The throne of your heart

Do you know what’s a great benefit of spending time in isolated prayer and meditation on God? God can deal with our hearts in those times. God can bring us face to face with some realities and truths that we need to face. God can put a mirror in front of us and help us understand what our thoughts look like, what our hearts look like and what our strengths and weaknesses look like. I was in a semi deep meditation on the Lord the other day and He opened my eyes to something I had not been willing to face. I saw the Lord on a throne. I couldn’t see His face and I couldn’t see Him clearly but I saw what represented Him in my mind. He was sitting on the throne of my heart. He was glorious but the problem was that He wasn’t sitting there by Himself. He was great and mighty and He was occupying most of the seat but there were other occupants next to Him. I noticed one in particular. He was much smaller than God but he kept changing in size. He was mostly small but at times he doubled or even tripled in size. As his size was changing, so did the Lord’s. It was as if the Lord shrunk a little when the other one on the throne grew bigger.

The other occupant was fear. Fear was ugly and nasty but fear felt very familiar. Fear wasn’t scary. It was almost a comforting figure. It was someone that had been sitting on that throne for a long time. It was someone who had been allowed to sit on that throne for as long as I could remember. The throne of my heart was shared. It was mostly occupied by God but I had given fear the permission to take a seat and to stay there for as long as it wanted. Fear is not welcome. Fear should not be invited anywhere in our hearts. Fear feels natural to us but it should not be next to our supernatural God. Fear has to go. Fear has to step down and never get back on that throne. I am a man of God and Jesus is the King of my life. However, there are times when fear is what I see and what I use to navigate through life. God has given me the tools to deal with fear and I use them. At times it is very easy and fear cannot be found. At times fear is a foreigner to me that doesn’t have the right to cross the border of my heart. During my meditative time, the Lord was reminding me that fear was much smaller than Him and it had to be dealt with.

Years ago when I became more serious about the Lord and I developed a strong relationship with Him, fear became so small that I believed I had no fear. It was a very powerful and very mind-blowing experience. I had never had that happen to me before. It lasted for weeks. Weeks with no apparent fear. Weeks where faith was dominant and fear was absent. I was deeply rooted in the Lord and no one and nothing could match my God. Then a few events took place that shook my faith. What I felt took me by surprise because I truly believed I had no fear in me. God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power, of love and of self-discipline. The same is true for you, friend. We get into trouble when we focus more on what we see and we take our eyes off of Jesus. When our problems are all we think about and all we pay attention to, fear gets up on the throne of our hearts and it sits there. It’s time we dethroned fear and gave Jesus the whole space on that throne.

I prayed and asked God what I should do to handle the fear that pops up from time to time. He took me down memory lane and reminded me of how I used to magnify Jesus in a big way. Not that long ago I was still doing that but when trials hit my life, I started staring at them too much. I repented for allowing my problems to take more space than my God. I declared that Jesus was greater and stronger. I lifted Him up. I praised Him. I thanked Him. Friend, the joy that came upon me was very strong and I got teary. No one should occupy the throne of my heart except for Jesus. He is my deliverer, my Savior, my hope and my peace. I am highly blessed and highly favored and so are you. Give Jesus back His full seat. Keep on lifting Him up. Glorify Him. Speak His name over your problems. Take the time to spend time with Him. Choose Him over Netflix if it comes down to it. Let Him be bigger than the fear. You do not have a spirit of fear so don’t act like you do. You have faith. You have hope. You have Jesus. You have all you need. The King is on the throne and that settles all matters of life. Stay strong! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Romans 8:15; 2 Timothy 1:7; 1 John 4:18

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Worry and fear

Your job is not to worry. Your job is not to stay up and overthink. Your job is not to panic and walk in fear. Your job is to call on the name of Jesus. Your job is to stay grounded in the Lord. Your job is to serve the Lord and to love Him with all your heart. Your job is to stay calm and to trust that the King of kings reigns. Remember that He rules in your life. Fear, doubt and worry will always try to overthrow Him in a coup. They will not get weary and they will get inside you in many different ways. They have easy access to your mind but you can put up the barrier of faith and fend them off. You are not meant to be a victim of the enemy. You have Jesus. He rules and you should be ruling in your life with Him. You are a child of the Most High God.

Worry and fear don’t produce anything good. They are not part of the fruit of the Spirit and yet we find comfort in them at times because not worrying and not fearing would be abnormal we think. We need to change our thinking and renew our minds. Worry and fear are not our friends and they don’t serve us at all. Every time they show up we should rebuke them and we should not accept them. They are not good for us on all levels. Every time we help ourselves to a dose of fear and worry, we swallow poison. They are very bad for our spiritual well-being. They gnaw on our faith and they take the place of what pleases the Lord. Don’t settle for worry and fear. They are not natural in the Kingdom of God and you belong to the Kingdom.

I recently went through something that caused a lot of stress and some fear. However, I denounced fear and worry and banned them. I don’t want garbage in my house and that is what they are. I pushed them out of my dwelling place by calling on the name of Jesus. I didn’t want anything to keep me from going to bed and to keep me from having the joy of the Lord. I was driving home one day when those negative feelings did their best to get ahold of me. I did not accept them. I quietly declared victory in Jesus. Within a few minutes I saw myself in the light of joy and my spirit was filled with intense peace. That peace only comes from Jesus and I have to tell you it allowed me to fight worry and fear. Call on the name of Jesus, friend, even when everything seems lost. God always has a way.

The Lord is holding your hand and He is not letting you go. Worry and fear should not stand between you and the Lord. Don’t hold hands with them and hold God’s hand at the same time. The hand that is holding the negativity might pull you in the wrong direction if you passively hold on to fear and worry. Talk to them. Command them to leave. It will make a difference. Don’t let them be a part of your day. Jesus is the biggest and the best part of your day and He deserves your full attention. Worry and fear are not for you. They are not welcome and they are not giving you anything positive. Hold on to Jesus. Turn to Him. Call upon His name. Resist worry and fear and they will run away. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Isaiah 35:4; Romans 15:13; 1 John 4:18

Fear and worry

When I was praying yesterday morning, I had a vision of a lady on crutches inside a church. The church was very white and I also noticed the brown benches. There was a nice contrast. The lady was making her way through the aisle on her crutches. There was a message attached to that inner vision. The message was about fear and worry. The Lord explained that sometimes we use fear and worry as crutches to make it through the hard times. We don’t rely on God. We don’t rely on His Word. We don’t rely on His hope. We use fear and worry on each side and we hope that they will help us make it through the aisles of life. We don’t necessarily do it on purpose but we overthink and fear and worry become our go-to coping mechanism. On the left we have fear that seems normal and natural and we are oddly comfortable with it. We say that after all we are human and we should have those feelings. On the right side we have worry. Worry is almost a sport. It is a practice that we are used to just like fear. We play the game of worry by seeing how long we can worry and we try to find out if worry can make things better. “If only I can worry long enough, maybe something will come out of it” we say. Sometimes we believe that worry will help us get to a solution. Fear and worry are two unreliable crutches. 

The Lord whispered softly that fear and worry are two crutches that can make us fall easily. They are very slippery. They can appear to be solid, to be normal and to be part of a certain process. The truth is that they are not from God. God tells us hundreds of times in His Word not to fear and not to worry. He wouldn’t say that if those two elements and feelings were from Him. Nothing good ever comes out of worrying and fearing. Worry is from the enemy and it is a tool he uses to keep us in a vicious circle of endless wondering and confusion. Worry is chaotic and it harms our spiritual core. It is the opposite of faith and its main function is to keep us away from God and from His amazing hope. Worry is a crutch that we can’t lean on and that we can’t accept. It is easier said than done but the Lord wouldn’t tell us not to worry if it was impossible. He wants us to use Him as our crutch and to look to Him. God wants us to banish fear and worry. It’s time we threw away those crutches of anxiety and stress and we picked up the Lord’s crutches.

Fear is a crutch that can make us slip into a state of terror. The enemy loves it when people fear because it keeps them in one place and it is not a good place to be. Fear doesn’t give us what we want but it takes away what we need and what is rightly ours. Fear takes away blessings and peace. Fear is a rotten fruit that tries to spoil the fruit of the Spirit. Fear doesn’t add value to our lives. It removes the layer of faith and confidence in the Lord. Fear tells us that we are on our own and we have to fend for ourselves. The crutches of fear and worry don’t allow us to move forward. Like I said, they can make us fall and they can stall us and paralyze us. Next time you are faced with fear and worry, don’t allow them in. Don’t accept them. They have no right to be in your house. You are the temple of the Holy Spirit and fear and worry are not welcome in that temple. Take a stand against them and rebuke them. Rebuke them with your whole heart. Speak against them. They are not from God and in the name of Jesus, you have authority over them. Use the name above all names against fear and worry and they will run away.

Yesterday afternoon I attended a funeral service at a small church I had never been to before. The church was white and had nice brown benches. When the pastor asked us to bow our heads and pray, we hurt a huge bang. A lady was trying to make her way to a seat but she fell. She was on crutches. We all felt so bad for the poor lady. Fortunately she was fine but her falling while on crutches was a direct illustration of the vision I had had earlier that day. It reinforced the point that had been made. Thank God she was ok and she was smiling when I talked to her at the end of the service. We can’t walk with fear and worry. Let’s refuse to yield to them. Let’s dethrone them in the name of Jesus. Friend, fear and worry should not rule over you. The Lord Jesus is the ruler of your life. Keep Him on the throne and cast down fear and worry. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you.

Suggested reading: Psalm 23:4; Psalm 27:1; Matthew 8:25-27

Expect God every day

I love the start of a new week. I love new beginnings. I love new days, new weeks, new months and new years. However, I don’t wait for a new start to challenge myself or to trust that God can do something different in my life. Yes, He is the God of new beginnings and His mercies are new every day. I am so thankful for that and I praise the Lord for His new mercies. I do believe that God can act at any point in my life and I don’t have to wait for a new day or a new year to have great expectations. I expect God all the time. I expect Him to act on my behalf any time. I expect His blessings to follow me wherever I go and whenever. I don’t have to wait around for something new to happen. God is here now. His love is here now. His power is here now. His blessings are here now. You and I have the creator of the universe on our sides and He loves to bless us. I know that if we have faith in His blessings, they will flood our lives. God loves us more than we know and He wants rivers of blessings to be present in our lives. We need to learn how to flow with that truth so that we embark on the boat of joy and peace that floats on His rivers of blessings. Today could be a new beginning for you. Today could be the day you begin to trust that God wants you to be blessed all the time. I encourage you to expect God any time of the day and any day of the week.

I remember loving Sundays as a teenager because I could go to church. I used to go far to attend a church where I found what I needed at the time spiritually. I basically lived for Sundays. I knew I would encounter God on that day and I loved how my Sundays gave me the strength to face the new week. I had the wrong approach. I put God in the “Sunday box.” He was limited in my mind because He could only show up in my life on Sunday. I had a vision of a limited God that I could truly only interact with on Sunday. My Sundays with God helped me deal with Monday. At least with part of Monday because by the end of Monday I was usually back to my old defeated self. Did I pray during the week? I did but my prayers were rot and they sounded rehearsed. I didn’t know how to connect with God outside of Sundays. I didn’t except God during the week other than some ripple effects from my Sunday worship and prayer time. We should expect God all the time, friend. Sundays are great days to praise the Lord but so are all the other days of the week. We can expect God’s peace every day. We can expect God’s joy every day. We can expect God’s blessings all the time. We should expect God at all times.

I saw a big shift in my spiritual life when I decided to praise the Lord on a daily basis. I remember actually starting doing that on a Monday. I held my own private praise and prayer sessions in the morning and at night. I brought church home so to speak and within a few days, I had encounters with the presence of the Lord. He visited me every day and I was open to His love and His direction. The Holy Spirit opened the eyes of my spirit and I was all about Jesus. I expected the Lord to inhabit my praises all the time. I read my Bible every day. I prayed a lot more and I established a beautiful relationship with the Lord. I expected Him to be the God of the Bible 24/7 and that is what happened. I had dreams, visions, bouts of joy and peace and I was addicted to Jesus. I expected Him to bless me every day and to help me deal with every single day. I knew that problems would still arise but I expected God to give me the victory. Today I still expect God every day. I still pray and worship all the time and it makes my life so much better. God is not just here on Sunday. Expect Him every day, dear friend. It will change your life for the better. Expect God’s blessings all the time. Ride the waves of His peace every single day. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: John 8:32; John 14:6; Ephesians 3:20

When you decide to follow God

When you decide to follow God, you are always right. It might feel like you made a choice that you will regret but you are always right. Following God is following love, peace, joy and truth. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and when you are behind Him, you are in front of blessings that will follow you wherever you go. Following God doesn’t mean that trouble will not stalk you. Trouble will pursue you but God’s hand will be on you. You will be protected and shielded. At times you will want to throw in the towel but the Lord will always have your back and He will hold you in the palm of His hand. Following God is following the best. God is never wrong. God is never late. God is never unfair. God is always the best ally. Follow God, friend and you will be on the right path. Don’t let the enemy talk you into getting on a different road. The road ahead will be paved with joy and peace and trials and tribulations but nothing will get in the way of your success. When you follow God, you are on the winning team. Follow God. You will never walk alone.

Following God is more than just reading the Bible on a regular basis. Reading the Word is important and it is necessary but there are different ways to read the Word. You can read the Word and intellectualize the whole experience. You won’t get much out of it that way. You can read with your mind and with your reasoning and turn the process into something cerebral that is not spiritual. God is Spirit and we need to have a spiritual connection with Him. We need to have a spiritual connection with His Word. Following God means reading His Word and letting it become a part of us. It means giving room to the Word so it can grow in our lives and so it can change us. Following God is interacting with His Word and applying it. Praying is part of following God. It is also filling our hearts with His love and holding on to faith at all times. Following God is a spiritual experience that impacts our lives and the lives of people around us.

Following God is following love like I said earlier. Love is the most important thing and when we follow God, we decide to walk in love and we make love a priority. Following God is not just following rituals and doctrines. The one doctrine we should abide by is the doctrine of love. It is not a regular doctrine. It is a commandment from the Lord. Love the Lord with all your heart and love your neighbors as yourself. God is love and we, His followers, should seek love wherever we go and spread love. If today you are trying to follow God, remember that love is what will keep you on the right path. Love should always be in front of you, guiding you. Enjoy the walk of love with God. Follow Him and you will follow the biggest blessing in the world. Jesus is the most amazing blessing and when you follow Him, you are always right. He will never mislead you. Keep following God even when you seem lost. Trust that He is showing you the right way. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Deuteronomy 5:33; Matthew 10:38; John 14:6

You deserve God

I have mentioned a few times that I had felt like I didn’t deserve God’s love for a while. I used to think that God excluded some people and only the chosen few could approach Him. There had to be someone between God and me otherwise I couldn’t communicate with God. I was wrong. I didn’t know what God was all about. God is love first and foremost. I should have started with love. I should have looked at God using the love filter. When we study God and we try to know Him better and we are reminded that He is all about love, we have the right approach. God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish.

That verse, John 3:16, is the starting point. It is the essence of God’s vision of humanity and it defines what God thinks of every person that will ever walk the earth. If you are a person, no matter what your gender is, your background, your location and anything else about you, you are loved by God. If you believe in Jesus, you will be saved. It doesn’t matter what you have done or said or how far you have been from God. He loves you so much that He gave Jesus for you. You deserve His love and His salvation. You deserve God. Think about that. You deserve God, friend. If you were made to believe that you are not worthy, I am here to remind you that you deserve God’s love and blessings. You belong with God.

Deserving God sounds like a big statement and it is a reality. I know that life can break you and hurt you and people can make you feel like you are less than. God doesn’t see it that way. He sees everyone as wonderful people who can have a relationship with Him. You and I can be in an intimate relationship with God. This reality should be part of what we meditate on and what we believe. If we don’t think we are deserving of God, it will hinder our connection with Him. God tells you Himself that a life with Him is what He wants for you. He doesn’t want you to live in isolation or to be disconnected from Him.

Eternal life, salvation is what Jesus bought for us and you dear friend deserve it because you believe in Jesus. You believe in the One who gives eternal life. Enjoy your life in Christ. Live it up! Know that it is yours and embrace it. His salvation is not meant for later on. It is for the here and now. What else is part of salvation? The Bible describes our lives in Christ and the promises of God are real and they are for you and me. We deserve every one of them. Spend time in the Word and learn about the Lord’s salvation and what it entails for you.

When I found out that I deserved God’s love, it made my connection with Him stronger. I saw a different side of God that is the right side. I saw that His love is so powerful that I should always remember that I am protected, saved and covered by the hand of the Almighty. Blessings were out of reach for me before my perspective changed. I believed that blessings were reserved for other people. Something was missing in my life. At least that is what I thought. I was under the impression that I lacked the “lovable gene” that other people seemed to have. It was more than a gene. It was a blessing that I longed to have. All of that was not true. I had Jesus and I needed to focus on who He was and dig a little deeper.

God’s love transformed me and it kept me going. His love told me that I deserved the best and His mercy and grace were enough for me. His mercy was wonderful and it was always there. God’s grace was sufficient and I was blessed. Friend, you are blessed in the name of Jesus. You are highly favored and God adores you. Don’t let the lies stop you from receiving God’s best. A wonderful relationship with Him is what you can expect. Enjoy Jesus. Enjoy your connection with Him. You deserve God’s love every single day no matter what you have done or what you do. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: Luke 4:18; 1 Corinthians 15:10; Hebrews 4:16

Hope in Jesus

I talk about hope a lot because God is a God of hope. I didn’t know that when the God I was familiar with was a God of religion and restrictions. I was always under the impression that hope was limited to a few privileged believers in God. Isn’t that sad? Some of the doctrines I subscribed to were very dismissive and void of hope. They focused on being pious and on getting rewards from God based on what I did right. Every time I made a mistake, I felt guilty and unworthy. There was no real hope for redemption or for salvation to tell you the truth. I completely misunderstood what God was all about and I had no hope. I didn’t believe that things could get better in my life. I did my best to please God but hope was never something I experienced. This all changed once I got in touch with the real God.

I got in touch with God by entering into His gates through Jesus. Jesus became my doorway to God, my doorway to Heaven and my doorway to the truth. One of the first things that stood out about Jesus was how much hope He gave me. The more I got to know Him, the more I was filled with hope. First, there was hope for salvation. I became aware of His salvation and of His role in the whole process. He had died on the cross for my sins and I could receive salvation through Him. He was the guardian of all good things and hope was part of them. When you encounter Jesus, you can’t help but become hopeful. Life takes on a new meaning. You are in the presence of hope and it changes your perspective and your outlook on life.

If you are looking for hope today, remember that it is still alive and well and you can always find hope in Jesus. Don’t look at your hopeless circumstances. Change your focus and look at Jesus. Spend time reading about Him and talking to Him. He will give you hope. You will discover that He is the hope of the world and that with Him everything is possible. With Him, life is not a series of failures and defeats. With Him, life is a series of challenges that get resolved and defeats that get defeated. Yes, Jesus will defeat your defeats. Isn’t that amazing? He will turn your worst situations into blessings and rivers of hope will flow through your life.

There is nothing that the Lord can’t change and nothing He can’t fix. When you have Jesus, you have the best chance to make it. He is a situation changer. He is a hope giver and His hope is never in vain. He doesn’t fake His hope and His promises. He keeps His promises and one of them is to give you hope to get through anything in life. You have the Savior of the world in you and with you and hope is never going to leave you. You might lose sight of it. You might forget about it. You might not believe in it but it doesn’t mean that hope is not there. It is always there and it always fulfills its purpose. Hope’s purpose is to confirm God’s goodness and it is a great witness to His faithfulness.

When you hope in Jesus, you hope in love, life-changing power and endless possibilities. You never know what God can do in your life when you have His hope in you. He can stretch possibilities and multiply blessings. He can reverse the course of your life and put you on a path where peace and joy will be strewn all over the place. God’s path for your life is paved with hope. Every step of the way you should believe there is hope. Every step of the way you should keep in mind that things are not the way they look but they are the way the Lord says they are. Faith will help you walk through the worst valleys and climb the highest mountains. The King of hope will carry you through everything and you will be able to overcome the most difficult circumstances.

Jesus is the hope you need today and you will never be disappointed when you fix your eyes on Him and you refuse to succumb to the world’s problems. Problems will never go away but neither will Jesus and if you have Jesus, you have all you need. If you have Jesus, you have all you need. Keep your hopes up. Keep your hopes in Jesus. Keep walking and trusting and you will never go astray. Hope is a blessing that will always walk by your side. Stay strong. Stay encouraged and stay hopeful. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: Psalm 16:9; Jeremiah 17:7; Romans 5:5

Stand against fear and worry

Fear and worry are two things that most of us experience on a fairly regular basis. With everything that is going on in the world, it’s easy to worry and to dread the future. When we don’t have control, we panic and worry. When we think of what’s coming and we don’t know how we are going to deal with the future, we panic and we worry. Worry is one of those things that slides into our minds and our hearts without a problem. We don’t have to work hard at being worried. It’s in our DNA. I came into contact with a lot more fear before I had an encounter with the Lord. I had been saved but I didn’t have a connection with Jesus. I was always worried about everything. I could find the tiniest thing and worry about it. I had a very active mind where overthinking was alive and well.

I am a quiet person by nature and I don’t like noise. However, there was a constant party going on on the inside and it was never a good party. Worry and fear celebrated each other a lot and they fed off of each other. The chaos and the commotion on the inside were out of control at times and yet I was saved and believed in Jesus. Then I found out that the Lord had a lot to say about fear and He has a recurring message that notifies us not to be afraid and not to fear. He doesn’t want us to worry about anything. It makes sense. Worry and fear are the opposite of faith and without faith we can’t please God. Without faith we can’t reach God and we can’t live the life that He bought for us on the cross. Every time we worry, we put holes in our faith and we hurt our spiritual makeup.

I worry a lot less now. I still have inner conflicts where my faith battles the fears but faith wins a lot more now. One of the best things that has happened to me has been the personalized encouraging messages I have been receiving mostly during morning prayers. The Lord tells me almost every single day not to worry. He knows me well and He always knows what’s coming ahead and His encouragement is to not lose hope and not lose faith because there is no reason to worry. It doesn’t matter how bad things look, worry is not something we should adhere to and embrace. When worry gets a hold of us, we need to get a hold of the truth and push it against worry.

God’s truth is much more powerful than the lies of the enemy and worry and fear are lies of the enemy that we buy into. They have been normalized and they even give us some comfort at times because after all it is only human to be afraid. Our God is above all human feelings and experiences and Jesus died so that we could live free from fear and worry among other things. He didn’t “just” die for our sins and trespasses. He conquered death and all of its allies. You can be sure that fear and worry are death’s allies and so they were defeated. Today I want to encourage you to take a stand against fear and worry. Don’t let them win against your faith. You can do this in Jesus’ name!

When you read passages of the Bible that deal with fear and worry, you get an impartation of hope. I find all these passages to be very inspiring and very helpful. I have memorized a few of them and they give me the boost I need when worry comes into my life. I refuse to see worry and fear as parts of my life. I don’t have fear and I don’t have worry. I have Jesus and the enemy will try his best to remove that connection from my life so he sends worry and fear. I don’t welcome them. I face them with the power of Jesus and I rebuke them. Don’t believe that you have fear and worry. Don’t think that they are a natural part of you that you should acknowledge. They don’t belong in you. They need to be confronted with boldness.

Next time fear and worry come and sit on your lap, don’t let them settle in. Speak against them. Declare that you have faith in Jesus. Declare that you have Jesus. You have no reason to worry and fear. You have the solution to all fears, worries and doubts. You are well-equipped and armed. Use the Word of God. Pray against fear and worry. Stay in praise mode as often as you can. Praise eradicates fear because it focuses on Jesus. Remember that Jesus took care of fear and worry on the cross. Receive His freedom and His deliverance. Stand against fear and worry. God will assist you and He will get you through those negative feelings. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!
Suggested reading: Psalm 34:4-5; Isaiah 41:13; Luke 14:27

The power of self-control

Yesterday I watched a video on YouTube about a young entrepreneur who has had his own restaurant for 5 years. In his video, he talks about his struggles and his achievements and he says that the one thing that has helped him was finding out the power of self-control. He described how he had to deal with difficult customers when he first started and he lost his cool a few times. One he realized that self-control was a must, he was able to deal with many situations and overcome the emotions that had basically ruined his day so many times. Self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit. It is not something I usually talk about but I know it is something I need to focus on more and develop in my life. I don’t lose control often but just like anyone else I go through phases.

The Holy Spirit produces fruit in our lives if we let Him. He produces love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Self-control is last on the list but it doesn’t mean it is not important. Self-control is defined as the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires, usually in difficult situations. God wants us to have self-control because He wants our emotions to be kept in check and our desires to align with His. Do you lack self-control? God has the power of self-control at His disposal and He wants you to tap into it. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Don’t let the desires that are against God’s will dominate you. The Holy Spirit will produce good fruit in Him. Leave it to God to do something great in you.

The fruit of the Spirit has to do with what is inside of us. It touches parts of us that are unseen at first. It affects our emotions, our feelings and even our thinking. The fruit of the Spirit is powerful. It starts with love. With God, everything starts with love. Love is the foundation and the base we should always operate from. We should also think of God as the God of love and know that all He does is out of love. When we have that mindset, we can get to know God better and we are definitely on the right track. God has love for every single one of us and because of His love, we are worthy of having a relationship with Him and of receiving from Him. You and I are entitled to receiving the fruit of the Spirit.

First we have to acknowledge the Lord in all our ways and embrace His Spirit and the fruit He can grow in us. Submission is key. Submit to the Spirit of God and the fruit will grow. There is no way you can yield to the Holy Spirit and not experience the power of His traits in your life. He will always rub off on you when you seek Him and accept Him. A yielded spirit is a spirit that can receive from God and that can have the wonderful fruit of His Spirit on the inside and on display. People will notice the fruit of the Spirit in your life and it will be a blessing to them as well. Self-control is a great blessing that promotes peace and serenity. It will give you the power to conquer anger and frustration among other emotions.

I remember a time when I was getting very upset with my students. I can’t recall exactly what they did or what they said but I know I felt anger rising inside of me. I was going to let them have it. I am not the kind of person who loses his temper easily but that day I was getting very mad. All of a sudden I felt something pressing down the anger and repressing it. It wasn’t so much that it was getting repressed. It appeared that something was pushing it down and destroying it inside of me. There was no doubt that the Holy Spirit was doing something in me. I had been praying a lot and spending a lot of time in communion with the Spirit of God. His fruit was ripening in my life and that experience showed me how self-control can take over when we are yielded to the Spirit. It was as if my mind were getting mad but my spirit was telling my mind to calm down and the Spirit of God won that battle easily.

It takes submission like I said and continued engagement with God and with His Spirit. This manifestation of the Spirit of God happens a lot when we are in constant touch with God and we let Him be our priority. We need to be filled with His Spirit and get lots of refills along the way. One dose of the Spirit of God can only last for so long. You can have self-control, friend. Be in communion with the Lord on a regular basis and don’t resist His Spirit. Give Him free rein in your heart and in your mind. He will give you amazing fruit. The power of self-control will help you every day and you will be able to overcome strong emotions. Resist the devil and he will flee. Self-control from God is how you can resist the enemy. Stay strong in the Lord! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Proverbs 25:27-28; Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Timothy 3:2-3

God is standing by your door

God is at the door. Do you ever think of that? I often imagine myself at the door of the Lord knocking and waiting for Him to let me in. Every time I pray or every time I just talk to Him I am standing at His door. The good thing is that His door is always open and my knock is just a formality. It is just a reminder that I need to knock, I need to pray, I need to turn to Him. He doesn’t make it complicated or ritualistic. He is right there smiling and welcoming me every single time. If you have a hard time connecting with God, I would suggest you remember that every time you knock, He answers. He said it Himself in His Word. He is not distant and He is never ignoring you. He might not answer the door the way you think He should but He always does. He always replies and He always takes care of our requests when we stay in faith. The act of knocking on His door is an act of faith. When I pray, I know for sure that He is listening. I don’t have to make up a formula or come up with a special password to hear back from Him. All I need is faith in His reply and trust that He is always available. As a kid I would think that God was too busy to bother with me. Friend, that is a lie. He is attentive and He is willing.

Now, going back to my initial statement. God is at the door. He is at the door of our lives. I read in Revelation that He is standing at the door waiting for people to let Him in. It is not just about us being let into His world, it is very much about us let Him come into our lives. His entrance into our lives should be a daily thing. We tend to answer His knock on Sunday but then the other days of the week, we don’t hear the knock because we are too busy with our lives. God is not the God of Sunday. He is the God of every single day. I made the mistake to limit my time with God to Sundays. I had great Sundays. My spirit was fed on Sunday. I had peace and joy and I felt like I could face anything on Sunday. Come Sunday night, the Monday morning blues started settling in and my defenses were down. God was nowhere to be found. I focused on Monday and the rest of the week more than I did on my Savior. Before I knew it, I had closed the door and told God I was too busy to be with Him. Little did I know that He was standing there asking me to give Him the time of day. When I changed my ways and answered the door all the time, my relationship with Him changed drastically.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me.”* What an amazing invitation we can give the Lord! We can invite Him and make Him the host. We can invite Him and spend the day with Him. Imagine eating with the Lord every day. You can. Open the door. Open your Bible. Open your prayer session. Open your heart to Him. That is the key. The key is in your heart. By the door to your heart is where Jesus is standing. He is waiting for you to acknowledge Him. He is always speaking to us. His Spirit is always talking to us but it’s up to us to pay attention and to give in to His love and to His protection. God wants to have an intimate relationship with us every single day. His knock on our door is gentle so we need to settle down and listen carefully. I like to get into meditative prayers. They help me settle down and hear the beautiful voice of the Holy Spirit. Once I have welcomed the Lord, I sit at His table and listen to what He has to say. Friend, my prayer for you today is that you answer the door and let Jesus into your heart every day. It is truly what you need. More than anything else. Eat with Him as He feeds you His Word. Stay connected to Him. Enjoy Him! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!


Suggested reading: Matthew 7:7; Luke 13:25; Revelation 3:20