God is listening

God listens to us. He is always listening. He listens to our thoughts, our ideas, our hearts, our fears, our requests and our intentions. He is not deaf to our tears and He is not deaf to our prayers. He is there and He is always attentive. One thing we need to be aware of is simply the truth that He does listen. When we don’t get answers to our prayers, we can lose hope and think He didn’t hear us. It’s easy for us to have this perception that there is a whole world between God and us when in reality He is near us all the time. God listened to all of us before we even spoke. How? He heard what we would need in this life and gave us the best answer to all our inquiries; He gave us His Word. The Bible is God’s answer to humanity’s cries and needs. He heard us. He heard what every single one of us will ever say and He replied with love. His Word is the incarnation of love and it is the answer we will need for every situation that will ever arise. If you think that your messages to God are not getting through to Him, open His Word. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you navigate through the Word and to help you find what you are looking for.

It blows my mind when I think about how much God loves us and because He does, He has provided for all our needs. He has even taken care of our needs before He heard them like I said. The chronological order is not us having questions first and Him answering them. The answers came before the questions and the answers are the truth. Truth is always truth and that is part of what makes truth the truth with God. What He says was true thousands of years ago and it will still be true thousands of years from now. God knew what we would request and His anticipation led to a Book that has an answer for every tribulation. What are you telling God today? What are you asking Him? Think about these two questions and believe that the answer has already been supplied.

God listened to your heart before it was even beating. Even though He heard everything you will ever say, He still gives you personal attention and specific answers. The Holy Spirit plays a major role in the listening and answering process. The Lord indicates that we should quiet our minds before Him and listen. When we listen to Him, we get a better understanding that He does listen to us. He gives us answers before we formulate questions. He does it during quiet time but He can also do it at any time. He is God! He gives signs. He gives messages through many venues. He is not limited when it comes to speaking to us. God’s ears are attentive to every prayer. We need to be at a place where we know that God listens. This is a place of faith that we ought to stay in. Trust that God is a listener. Trust that He is not deaf to anything you say. Trust that the answer existed way before you spoke. God promised He would listen to what you say. Take Him at His word and have the confidence that what you have to say matters to Him. Have the confidence that you matter to Him! Keep talking to Him. He has already heard it all and He will show you that He is paying attention.

Suggested reading: Jeremiah 29:12-13; 1 Peter 3:12; 1 John 5:15

Don’t worry about anything

One of the messages I get the most during prayer time is “Don’t worry about anything.” Then the Holy Spirit gives me a list of what I shouldn’t worry about and He tells me not to worry about anything that would happen that day when I am praying in the morning. It is a very strong impression on the inside that catches my attention and that lets me know it is an important message. I have seen time and time again how accurate that message was. It doesn’t always mean that something bad is coming but it reminds me to always trust in God and not let worry become my god. When worry is so strong in us that we can’t see God, worry takes the place of our Lord. We give it a pedestal that it doesn’t deserve. We give it the attention that it doesn’t deserve. We make it more important than faith. We actually show faith in worry so to speak.

Worry becomes our modus operanti, our mode of operating or working. It becomes our approach to life, the way we process life and it is the system of beliefs and thoughts that we resort to. God and our faith in Him should be our approach to life. Faith should be our modus operanti. Worry takes God out of the picture and puts us in the middle of the frame because we believe we have to do it all on our own but we are limited. When God says “Don’t worry”, He is saying “Don’t rely on your own strength but rely on Me.” He is saying “Take yourself out of the frame and let Me be the bigger picture.” Worry depletes us of hope and fills us up with doubt. Today I want to pass on God’s daily message and tell you “Don’t worry about anything because the Lord is with you in everything.”

There is so much we can worry about. If we let worry dictate our lives, we can start worrying about the tiniest things. Sometimes we don’t worry about the big things but we worry about the smallest things and because they are very small, we think that worry doesn’t have a grip on us. Worry is worry. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is. It is bad. Period. It is always the enemy of faith and therefore it is the enemy of God. Worry is one of those enemies we have to fight and the best way we can fight it is with God. If you look at how often you worry and what you worry about, you can gauge how much help you need with worry. The truth is we all need a big dose of hope and faith every day to either push worry away or to keep it at bay. We need to build up our faith in the Lord because it is the biggest shield against worry.

What about when we are sick or a loved one is sick? When we have no money? When we are going through a very difficult time? Is it ok to worry then so God would have pity on us? God is merciful and His grace is amazing so oftentimes He will intervene. However, He wants us to never worry. It doesn’t matter what we are going through, we shouldn’t give in to worry. When life hits you hard, banish worry. Push it away. Stand strong against it. Refuse it and rebuke it. Declare that it is not a part of you and it is not the truth. Don’t accept the lie that says it is ok for you to worry. Worry is the enemy of faith like I said earlier. Having faith is giving God something to work with. Faith pleases God. Faith activates the hand of God. Worry removes His hand from our situation. Today you can stay in faith by holding on to the hope that is in Christ. There is always hope in Him. It’s up to us to hold on to it. Don’t worry, don’t fear. The King of kings is on your side!

Suggested reading: Matthew 6:34; John 14:27; Philippians 4:6-7

Keep expecting blessings

Yesterday I wrote about the bad day I had on Monday. I needed to go through it and I am grateful I did. Why? Do I like it when things go wrong? Absolutely not but I loved what I saw, what I learned and how I made it through the day. I saw God’s grace. I saw His love in beautiful colors of hope. I saw His love holding me. I saw His hand covering me. I saw hope coming out of my spirit every time something bad was coming at me. I learned how leaning on God despite trials is crucial. It is a lesson I knew but I needed to live it again and get a clear picture of what it looks like. I saw joy in the middle of chaos and I saw what I couldn’t see if I had been doing it all by myself. What now? When we had a difficult day but we were able to make the most of the day what comes next? With every test of faith that we pass, we get bonus points that will help us go through the next test successfully. We get extra credit if you will, that we can use for the next test. Did I wake up yesterday Tuesday feeling beaten and scared of what the day might bring? Absolutely not. I woke up with a certain assurance and confidence that I could handle the day. I woke up with Jesus, spent the day with Jesus, talked to Jesus and carried Him with me. I want to encourage you to look at your trials as steppingstones that will propel you to a higher level of faith. If nothing happens in your life your faith can’t grow. It no problems ever arose you would never know how strong you could get. You would stay at the same level of faith but the Bible says that we go from glory to glory. With God there is always a next level. Be ready for the next level. Anticipate the next level. Rejoice that you are going higher and not going under. Your next breakthrough is around the corner so keep on going. God will use the next tribulation so you can gain more appreciation. You are going to enjoy the Lord even more because you will recognize how caring He is even more! Keep expecting His blessings!

 

I had the joy of the Lord in my heart when I woke up yesterday. His joy is a permanent resident in my heart but bad circumstances try to remove it and ban it from where it rightfully belongs. The joy I had was there regardless of the headaches I had had the day before. I had a meeting planned where I was going to have to confront some people. No one likes confrontation and I didn’t let fear creep into my mind. I went about my business with Jesus all over my business. I saw Him in everything and I thanked Him for everything. One day of setbacks can easily put you back where bitterness lives but every day is the day the Lord has made and in each and every one of His days we can hang out with peace, love and hope. When you come out of a tough day, know that the One who holds the day has better things in store for you. I have said this before and I need to say it again; nothing that takes place in your life is a shock to God. He is not standing next to you with His mouth wide open because of how surprised He is. He has seen it all and He has taken care of it all. The other day was a good reminder of how much God is in control. He is not just in charge of our mornings; He is in control day and night and He watches over us all the time. Rest assured that His love will continue to take care of you. Expect it all the time.

 

One of the keys to a life lived in faith is to keep expecting blessings. Boldly expect to be blessed. You might have had a bad day; you might have had a day of misery but your blessings are still on the way. Keep hoping for the best. When all is said and done, God still has something to say and that is what you should rely on. Rely on His words, rely on His promises. You are going to a higher level every time you have survived a terrible life event through the power of faith. Think of all the bonus points you are accumulating. Think of how much bigger your faith is. Think positive. Stay positive. You are on your way to nicer things. Stay in the moment and enjoy every moment. Keep going today. Keep trusting God. Keep rejoicing in all things. Keep walking. Jesus is walking with you throughout your journey. Expect the impossible! Keep expecting God’s blessings!

Suggested reading: Jeremiah 17:7-8; Numbers 6:24-26; Philemon 1:25

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 106)

God gives wisdom but sometimes we coat it with hate and judgement. Then we deliver a perverted version of His wisdom and hold it for truth and build doctrines that alienate us from God’s love.

Jesus has a label for you. It says “Wonderfully and fearfully made.” Don’t adhere to the labels the world put on you if they contradict God’s stamp on your life.

When you plunge into God’s heart you understand that He crowns you with love and gives you boldness to live out His mercy and grace.

God has signs and wonders that will make you wonder. Look for the signs, embrace the wonders and stay in awe of Him!

Your biggest battles are also God’s battles. He doesn’t just take care of your small fights. He is there with you when you have to slay giants and He always gives you the victory!

When your mind gets carried away, you are thinking about the worst when your heart knows what’s best. Trust the best that the Lord has for you. Let faith direct your thoughts and breakthrough will ensue.

Peace comes from God and pushes anxiety out of your heart. Pray for peace every day and accept that God has peace for you every day and you will be able to enjoy what God has for you every day.

Since Jesus is the best role model alive, why do we like to follow examples that are dead? Let’s look at the Lord for inspiration and forget the ones whose actions lead to death.

The Word of God is the Word of love. We can interpret it many different ways but love should be our main translation tool. The Bible was never meant to be a tool for judgement but an instrument for love.

Worry removes the hands of the Lord from our situations and it puts us in control of what God should be in charge of.

Suggested reading: Matthew 6:25-27; Luke 12:25; Colossians 3:15

Many are the problems of the believer but…

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him from them all” is the verse I was led to read a few days ago. It is Psalm 34 verse 19. David wrote that psalm. This psalm is an expression of praise to God for His goodness. David is an expert at exalting the Lord and giving Him all the glory. In this psalm He recognizes that pain and suffering are part of life but God can set us free from them. Who is the righteous David is talking about? A translation of this verse calls the righteous “the people of God.” This verse is about you. It’s about what you, believer in Jesus, can expect in times of trouble. It’s about how you can expect trouble and trying times but they are not the end of your story. Your bad chapter has a good ending. God handles your story and He changes everything and makes things good again. The afflictions that take place in your life can be many. It’s not unusual and it’s not weird. It would be unusual to have a life with no problems and no difficulties. You were made the righteousness of God through Christ and Christ suffered a lot of opposition so you will as well. However, you will conquer the opposition. The afflictions will last for a season but they won’t stay. God has a deliverance system that doesn’t fail.

I was so shocked when I first realized that despite being a Christian and knowing Jesus, I was still having a lot of problems. I was a teenager. I didn’t understand how it all worked and I was under impression that with God’s protection nothing bad could ever happen to me. I can see how if that is what you are taught, it can be detrimental to your spiritual health. You can be thrown for a loop and decide that God is not as good as you thought He was. We get this idea that God will have us float on a bed of roses and nothing bad can touch us. It is far from being the truth and it is far from being what Jesus said. Right from the Old Testament we are warned that trials would be part of this life. Psalm 34 gives a good account of God’s goodness and the world’s harshness. It is brutal out there and we are in this world so we will experience the good, the bad and the ugly. The good news is that since we believe in God, we have the guarantee that He will get us out of our problems. It is something we need to hear and remember every day because problems arise every day. I am not trying to paint a pessimistic picture of our lives. I am not trying to create an ideology that stresses how bad things are or can be. The emphasis is on how God can set us free. We ought to focus on that part the most so that when bad things happen, our faith in God will be a reflex. We will not be taken aback but we will be taking it with faith and we will be praising Him because we will know He’s got it!

 

“Many are your afflictions, child of God, but the Lord delivers you from them all” is how you should approach life. Don’t ignore the problems. Don’t bury your head in the sand hoping for things to pass. Confront the problems head on. Confront them with God. Confront them with the One who delivers you from them all. Remind the Lord in prayer that He promised to help you and deliver you. The Lord loves to be reminded. It’s not that He forgets; He loves to hear that we trust Him and believe in Him. Hang in there. God is in there with you. Don’t let your circumstances bring you down but let your God take them down. Speak words of faith over your situation. Sing in harmony with the heart of God. Sing a song of hope and turn off the radio of doubt that tries to play in your head 24/7. Stay with God, stay with His Word. Cry to God. He will hear you and bless you. Don’t be surprised by the afflictions. You are sharing Christ’s suffering and you are also sharing His victory. This winter is not your permanent season. The Lord is with you all year long. Hold on to that truth. Hold on to His love. He will set you free!

Suggested reading: Proverbs 24:16; John 16:33; 1 Peter 4:12-13

Nothing is too hard for God

Nothing is too hard for God. Our most complicated situations that amount to the most complex equations in life are not too hard for God. Our biggest trials are not too difficult for God who will stand in the court of life with us and plead our case through His Spirit. Our biggest tribulations that leave us depleted of all hope are not threatening to God. Our biggest losses and failures don’t scare God because He can replenish all things and give us more than we had in the first place. Our biggest tragedies and disasters don’t intimidate God. He can turn things around in a second and erase all traces of devastation. God is a restorer. God is the ultimate repair person. God is a conqueror. God is a counselor. God is a winner. With Him you can’t lose. When you stick with Him you can’t lose. God will always win and He will always prevail. Don’t be afraid of what’s in front of you because whatever it is you are facing; you are not facing alone. The God who can do all things and for whom nothing is too hard, is right by your side. He is going to make you win. He is going to make you prevail and He is going to break the back of what’s trying to break you. You are going to make it and you are going to thrive. The God who is more than enough is working it all out. Stay in faith and trust that your battles have been won and that your victory is coming. Nothing is too hard for God!

I have no idea what you are facing right now and it could be a lot worse than what I can imagine. One thing I know for sure is that God can handle anything. Your problem seems huge at the moment I am sure. You might be experiencing sleepless nights. Hope has left your vocabulary. Smiling doesn’t come to you easily and fear has become a resident at your house. You don’t know what to do and you don’t know who can help. This might be your reality right now but it is not God’s reality for you. Nothing can stop the Lord from loving you and your trials and tribulations won’t stand in the way. I have seen it in my own life many times. The truth is that His love is a permanent fixture in our homes and it does not matter if fear has been squatting at your place. With perfect love fear must go. Today you are taking back what the enemy has stolen and you are letting the Lord take control. Dust yourself off and stand up again. Wake up from the nightmare and start daydreaming with God. Something is about to happen to you that will make you forget all the misery and the pain. Nothing is too hard for God and He is going to show you that He can do the impossible.

It’s time you gave a beating to what’s been beating you. You are not meant to be defeated but the opposition will try to make you believe that you will amount to nothing and that you can’t win. It’s all a lie. The enemy has a web of lies that can appear to be real but Jesus has an ocean of truths that will drown your fears and your doubts. Dive into His ocean. Dive into His Word and you will stay afloat even when the enemy attempts to make you sink. The victory belongs to the Lord and you belong to the Lord so you will win. What you need is to build up your faith in God’s ability to do all things. Focus on developing your trust in His mighty hand. Believe that nothing is too hard for God. Stand strong despite the adversity. Ask the Lord to help you keep standing. Those hard times are going to lead to some of the best times of your life because you are going to gain more faith and have more confidence in God. You are already winning because you are learning more about God’s love when you stay in faith. Nothing is too hard for God. Keep that truth in your head and wrap it around your heart. Keep praying and keep praising. The impossible is going to overtake you as God shows up and shows off His love. Stay encouraged. You have seen nothing yet! Your problems will never be too hard for God. Praise Him!

Suggested reading: Genesis 18:14; Jeremiah 32:17; Job 42:2

God will find you

I remember the time when church was my only source of spirituality. There was the occasional prayer when I had a need but for me God was in the confines of the church and that is where I needed to go to find Him. Did I pursue Him during the rest of the week? No, I didn’t. I lived my life and He had His own thing going and I didn’t want our worlds to collide. Once a week was enough. I can’t believe I lived like that. That is what religion did to me. It pushed me away from God. It kept Him between four walls and it gave me no desire to spend time within His place. I didn’t understand that His Spirit could dwell in me. I did not know much about the Holy Spirit. I was very lost but I thought I was very found. I was lost in the ways of the world. The world mattered so much to me. God was just an accessory I put on when I had a need. God is not a piece of clothing we can wear as a shield when we feel like it and then we take it off when we feel safe.

 

God’s love is not a conditional offering that we should give into occasionally. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was real. His death and resurrection were real. The power of the cross is still real. The power of the blood is still real. The Lord’s love is still real. What happened to me after years of contentment without the Lord still baffles my mind. I was very lost and very out of touch with God’s reality but He kept in touch. God never left my side. He never hated me and He never gave up on me. He left the ninety-nine to find me and bring me back. Today I want to remind you that you are never too far gone. You are never too lost. God will find you and He will leave the ninety-nine for you!

I believe it’s possible to go to church every Sunday and not know God. It’s possible to be in a Bible study and not know God. It’s possible to pray to God every day and not know God. I have been to some of those places and they are empty lands where no joy, no peace and no love exist. I hated being in those arid places because nothing bloomed and I couldn’t see the end of the tunnel. The monotony of church was underwhelming. I just went through the motions and I pretended I had it all together but nothing was happening. There was a void on the inside and I didn’t know how to fill it. Church didn’t cut it so I turned to the world to get my fill. The world had some fun plans for me but they were not part of God’s plan.

 

I went through a long wilderness. I stood as far from God as I could stand but He never left my side. I couldn’t see Him but He had His eyes on me the whole time. You see, God doesn’t give up on us. He knows us better than we know ourselves and He can see the big picture, the frame, the photo and the negatives. The negatives in my life were many. I lived in a constant flow of negativity and I didn’t know there was a way out. I had not been introduced to the Lord properly but He introduced Himself to me and that changed everything in me.

There are various degrees of being disconnected from God. We can be on the opposite side of the spectrum or we can be a few steps away. No matter how far or how close we are, as long as we are disconnected, we can’t function properly in this amazing Christian life. God will reignite the light and He will bring us back because that is who He is. A simple cry from the heart on our part will take us far, so far that we can land in His arms again. The truth is that the Lord is closer than we think but we are the ones who put distance between Him and us. Trials and tribulations can also drive us away from God. Problems have a way of digging ditches where we fall and we can’t seem to get out anymore. God will leave the ninety-nine and find us wherever we are. All it takes is His grace and mercy or like I said a faint cry from the heart.

 

God sees our hearts and He replies to our tears. He reads our minds and He satisfies our hearts. When you long for a deeper connection, you open the door to much more than you could imagine. The Lord will take care of you. He will show you His love and He will show you how much you mean to Him. You are worth leaving the ninety-nine. Don’t despair because you feel disconnected. God is connected to you and He is taking you back where you belong. God will find you. Let yourself be found. You are not lost!

Suggested reading: Matthew 18:12-14; Luke 15:3-7; Hebrews 13:5