10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 103)

God is not always a blessing in disguise. He is a blessing in plain sight. He dresses the part and He shows Himself the way He truly is. The question is, are we recognizing the blessing?

Jesus gets in the way when there is no way. He makes a way and blows you away with His mysterious ways!

Consider God as the highest source for everything. Highest source for life, love, peace, freedom, wisdom, victory, deliverance, truth and joy.

Some people are only in your life for a season and only God knows the reason. Don’t try to figure out the departures and arrivals. God is in charge of everyone’s journey.

Some doors are more like windows. They are shorter and thinner so the opportunities are fewer but they are still there. Ask God to reveal the doors and the windows in your life.

Put one foot forward in faith and keep walking in love. Put the other foot forward in faith and keep running your race. Put one foot forward in faith and let God show you the way. Put the other foot forward and see how God leads you to amazing places one step at a time.

Stress and anxiety are conduits for the enemy to get into our lives. They are open doors for negativity and depression. Open the door to faith and hope and positivity will follow you everywhere.

Peace is what God gives and what we should expect. The absence of peace doesn’t mean the absence of God but God can make peace present even when there is turmoil and chaos.

The Lord gives us notifications about how much He loves us. They are reminders of His goodness and kindness. Let’s be aware of those promptings and embrace His loving nudges.

Your breakthrough will come true. Your blessings will show up. Your answers will come. Your deliverance will manifest. Your Lord will keep His promises. Your current misery is not the end!

Suggested reading: Jeremiah 17:7-8; Psalm 20:4; Philemon 1:25

Let God your refuge be your filter

When I get overwhelmed by everything that is going on in my life I go to my Refuge. The Lord has been my refuge for a while but I have learned recently how to find refuge in Him.  He has always been there but I have not always been open to His presence. He is my Rock and my Protector. He is the best place to be. Some people find refuge in alcohol and drugs or some other types of addiction. Food can be a refuge for others. We all have our go-to place where relief can be felt. I have found that many places of refuge give us temporary satisfaction and long-lasting addiction that doesn’t bring real peace. When I made the Lord my only place of refuge, my life took a turn for the best. I still have problems and trials. They will never go away but my Rock, my Refuge follows me wherever I go. I can go to Him when I am on the mountain top or when I am buried in the agony of the valley. God is my refuge, my ever-lasting help in times of trouble and I go to Him all the time. I don’t wait for the storm to come to spend time with Him. He is my life, my shield, my joy, my peace. He is my habit, my lifestyle. I am learning to live life through Him. He is my filter for everything and that what matters to me. Do you have God as your filter for life? Do you go through Him to get to all the places you visit every day? If not, I am inviting you today on this beautiful journey of having the Lord as the filter for your life. Let Him be your Refuge, your fortress and your filter.

I have a few students who have no filter. When they talk, they say whatever goes through their minds. They speak without thinking. It comes with the age group but it is also a characteristic of some adults as you might know. Having no filter can be detrimental because anything goes, good or bad comes out. More often than not what comes out is not good. Living life without a filter means that anything goes. Anything good or bad comes out. We let life happen and we let it take control without restrain or check. When I found out that God was my refuge, I decided to let Him be my filter. How He sees life, how He approaches life became important to me. Having the creator of the world be the lens through which I can see everything impacted me greatly. He is my buffer, my shield. When life gives me headaches, God is my medicine. I take a few pills of His Word and life is more manageable and pleasant. They say life is 10 % what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. Let God be your 90%, let Him be your filter. React to life with God. React to life with peace, joy and love. Let your refuge be the place from where you react to life all the time.

A refuge is a comfortable place. When you are in your refuge, you feel safe and you can enjoy yourself. When God is your refuge and your filter, you feel safe and comfortable wherever you go. It doesn’t matter what happens to you and where you find yourself, your mind has the filter that makes everything better. Have you ever thought of a refuge as a filter? It makes sense with God because He is our protector and when you put Him between life events and yourself, you can only expect good things. When you have a job interview, filter your fears and your apprehension with your Refuge. When you have money issues, filter your emotions and your anxiety with your Refuge. When you don’t know what to do anymore, filter your doubts with your Refuge. Let Him be the place you run to all the time. He can handle anything. He can give you everything. He can bless you in everything. He can direct you through everything and He can protect you against anything. Let the Lord our God be the filter in all you do. Let Him be your refuge against fear, doubt and anxiety. Filter all negativity through His protective arms. You will have nothing to fear and nothing to worry about!

Suggested reading: Psalm 46:1; Psalm 145:18; Hebrews 6:18

God is a refiner

To refine is to remove impurities or unwanted elements from a substance. It also means to improve by making small changes or making something more subtle and accurate. God is the ultimate refiner. He purifies, He changes and He removes impurities like no other. Our lives can’t be the same when we let the Refiner do His job. How willing are you to let the Refiner do something new and pure in your life? Are you willing to give Him your life so He can refine it? It’s not a sacrifice. It’s an honor and a privilege. Coming to the realization that the Lord can refine our lives is a blessing. Preparing ourselves to being refined and changed by Him is priceless.

The fire of the Holy Spirit can refine us and burn all things that weigh us down and that we don’t need. I present my life to the Lord on the altar of His love and I ask for refinement and change but I need to let go first and let God be in control. We can’t hold on to our lives with both hands and hope the Lord will take them away from us by force. He is gentle. He is caring and loving and He won’t remove what we love dearly. It’s a lesson I am learning and my goal is to get to a point where God can purify my heart without my ego or my insecurities getting in the way. Today I want to invite you to give all of you to the Lord and let Him refine you. Burn for Him and only for Him with a heart that is surrendered.

The process of refinement and purification is not always an easy process. Like I mentioned before there is a need for letting go and being open to the fire of the Lord. Burning is a powerful action that results in transformation. In the natural when we burn something it comes out looking differently. There is a transfiguration that happens. When God burns us, He changes us for the best. The process leads to beauty. He burns the ugliness and leaves us looking beautiful. We come out of the ashes and we rise up thanks to a touch of His love. God will take the worst parts of our lives and refine them. He can take our shortcomings and our worst traits and refine them. His burning process leaves a mark on our soul and spirit.

The mark of the Lord shows through the light that comes forth when we have been refined. The process will not always be easy but it is always worth it. David asked the Lord to purify his heart and renew his spirit. His prayer wasn’t in vain. God has the power to purify any heart and renew any spirit. You and I are examples of how God renews spirits. We got saved and with salvation came the transformation of our spirits. That was just the beginning. Now we have to press on and allow the Lord to purify us continually.

I am not sure we are always aware of what needs to be purified in our lives. The Holy Spirit can convice us and show us what needs to be put through the holy fire of the Lord. The Lord’s Spirit can open our eyes to all the areas that need to be refined. Besides, God the refiner is excellent at changing parts of our lives that are not in line with His will. I am not just talking about sin and the purification of what we do. I am referring to fine tuning the situations in our lives. Problems and trials can also go through the refining process. If there is something in your life that is not going well or that is not where it should be, call on the Lord, the Refiner.

The Lord will make things right. He will tune your life so it is in harmony and goodness will follow you. He will burn the tribulations and put them through His fire until you have the victory. God the refiner can do that and He will do it if you put your life in His hands. Don’t hesitate to give it all to Him. Give Him the good things and the bad things. He will do what He does best and make everything be in line with His will for you life. Let God the refiner refine your circumstances and bring you peace and joy again! He is going to improve you and make changes that will transform your life.

Suggested reading: Psalm 51:10; 1 John 1:7; 2 Corinthians 7:1

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 102)

Stay where faith is. Don’t travel down the aisles of doubt and don’t get stuck in the corners of fear. Stay with God. Fortify the faith in you but staying within the house of the Lord. Don’t stray from faith. Protect it and guard it with all your heart, within your heart!

Let praise lead you into worship and adoration. Praise is the getaway into worship. Praise by focusing on what the Lord does and then worship by focusing on who God is. Praise and worship go hand in hand. Keep them together and you will be strong in faith.

God wants you to move. He keeps you in one place until you are ready to move to a higher level but He won’t keep you where you are. He will take you from faith to faith. He will help you grow your mustard seed and He will show you greater glory.

You can manifest your breakthrough with faith. Faith is the platform from which God can act. Let your platform be sturdy so your miracle can stand on it and jump into reality. Work on your faith because it is pleasing to God and it changes everything.

God is love” doesn’t mean that He is reserved for a certain class of people. God is love for everyone. God loves everyone. God loves. Period. He doesn’t love just the ones we choose to love. He loves the ones He says He loves and that includes everyone, no exception.

Rituals, doctrines and principles of a religious nature can destroy the work of the Lord. Jesus came to bring the good news of salvation and religion comes to bring the destruction of His salvation. Religion limits who gets into salvation. Jesus welcomes everyone into salvation. Religion stifles love. Jesus gives love!

The truth will set love, peace, joy, faith, patience and all the fruit of the Spirit free. If you are faced with a truth that doesn’t set them free, free yourself from that truth.

There is a constant rain from Heaven that pours blessings on those who believe. Don’t shy away from the rain from Heaven. Don’t get discouraged when you are experiencing the drought of the earth. Stay in faith and the rain will come. Let your praise and worship lead you into a rain dance. The rain will come!

When God speaks, those with ears listen. When God listens, those with mouths of faith speak. Be an oracle of faith and talk to God and be an even better listener and tune into His Spirit.

Your race is unique and it is God-made. You are not running against others. You are not competing against the world. You are in a lane designed just for you. Keep your eyes on the Lord before you and you will run a beautiful race. Keep the faith!

Suggested reading: Galatians 5:7; Hebrews 12:1; 2 Timothy 4:7

Cast your cares upon the Lord

I have read the verse “Cast your cares upon the Lord” many times and I have misunderstood or ignored its message many times. As a young Christian I thought that having concerns and cares was not biblical. I was under the impression that I shouldn’t have cares and if I did, I wasn’t Christian enough. Religion had me at its mercy and I had a lot of misconceptions that alienated me from God and from the truth. I had it in my head that I needed to be brave and to be a strong Christian and there was no time to waste on crying out to God. I was wrong. God wanted to hear about my cares and He wanted to comfort me. Finding comfort in our own erroneous perception of the truth is not a good way to get to freedom. Once we know the truth, it sets us free. We can spend years in a prison of a false truth and live within the walls of uncertainty and believe that we are where we should be. The Lord wouldn’t tell us to cast our cares upon Him if He didn’t think we should acknowledge that we had cares. God is not One to tell us to live in denial and put on the coat of faith. Faith doesn’t ignore the facts but it sees the truth of God that transcends the facts. Faith is the garment we can wear in all kinds of weather even in the deep winter of pain and concerns. Does God want us to list our concerns and keep them alive? No, He calls us to take the concerns and the cares and put them on Him. Have you been carrying burdens and cares? Are you tired of the weight of your worries? If you are, I am here to remind you that God cares about your cares and He will carry them for you. He took all the cares that will ever exist in the world and carried them on the cross. His unique sacrifice will stand the test of time and it will live on. God can still carry your worries and He can still give you peace today.

 

Think back to a time when God came through and all your worries went away. Think back to a time when God took you by the hand and lifted you from the pit. Think back to a time when God took your concerns and served you a measure of His peace. These amazing occurrences happened in the past but they are still available today. You see, what God did for you in the past is part of a continuum that can’t be stopped unless your mind loses hope and faith in it. When you got saved, you inherited salvation not for later when you go to be with the Lord but for today as well. Your salvation encompasses so much more than your mind can fathom. Salvation is attained by faith and it is understood by the heart where the Lord is. If we learned to think with our hearts more than with our heads, we would understand the things of the Lord more easily. The God who saved the day before can still do it today. The One who cared enough to save your life still cares today. Develop faith in the continuum of blessings. Believe that miracles still happen today. Believe that the Spirit of God still counsels and comforts today. Reject the idea that your blessings are a thing of the past. The Redeemer and Reliever can relieve you of your burdens today. Don’t carry the load any longer. Don’t live under the pressure of the thoughts the enemy is sending your way. Don’t try to do it all on your own. Come out of the cell that your mind has been visiting. Let the freedom of the Lord invade you. Let it set you on the path of peace and freedom. Cast your cares on the Lord!

 

How do you cast your cares on the Lord? Once you have identified the worries and the burdens, present them to the Lord in prayer. Denounce them and renounce them. Give them to God. Say it when you pray. Visualize yourself giving them away. I find that if I see myself carrying a heavy load of worries and I see myself taking it off my back and giving it to God, it makes a huge difference. I visualize it with the eyes of faith and I consider it done. I ask the Lord to take them and I tell Him I can’t do it without Him. When anxiety overloads our minds, it’s hard for us to think straight. A word of encouragement, a word of wisdom can take care of the burden. Spend time in the Word of God. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you through the Scriptures and you will find passages that will fill you with hope and courage again. You know that if you ask the Lord to carry your burdens, He will do it because He gives good things to His children. Child of God, trust that your Father is going to give you peace that surpasses all understanding. He is an expert at that. He is going to do it for you. Have faith! Relief is on the way.

 

Suggested reading: Psalm 55:22; Proverbs 12:25; 1 Peter 5:7

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 101)

Let God’s love in you be bigger than the hate that is in this world. Let’s God love in you be bigger than the fear the enemy wants to see develop in you.

No stress, no worries. Jesus comes on time and He helps all the time. His timing is perfect and His help is on point.

Don’t just look at what you want to see. Look at everything the Lord wants you to see. Look with the eyes of faith and you will God’s hand everywhere you look.

Darkness roams in bright daylight. Test all spirits. Not every light is from God but God’s light always pierced all shades of darkness even the lightest shades!

With God you have nothing to worry about. He will always give you a reason to believe and the peace and wisdom to rejoice in everything.

If your church is divided because of who rules your world, refocus on who the ruler of your life is. Be sure that Jesus is the ruler and not anyone or anything else.

God has a plan. God is the plan. Let God unfold in your life. Let Him be the reason for every season of your life. Let God prosper you. God won’t harm you but He is your hope and your future.

Our minds try to “Google translate” God and we end up missing the meaning of what He is saying. Let’s interpret God with the help of the Holy Spirit who speaks God’s language fluently!

There is a price to pay when we want to stay in faith despite some events of our lives. This price is praise; it costs less than we think and its reward is priceless!

The Lord goes before you wherever you go so you should travel with the assurance that He is your insurance no matter where you are.

Suggested reading: Psalm 67:7; Numbers 6:24-25; James 1:17

The power of not taking God for granted

I made a resolution for 2020. It has been brewing in my spirit for a few days now and I have finally set it free and now I can express it and talk about it. My main resolution for the new year is to not take God for granted. It may sound like something most of us don’t do and at first glimpse it sounds like not a valid resolution but it is. I have been scanning my life, my habits, my lifestyle and my thought patterns for a few days. It appears that even though I am grateful to God most of the time, there is still room for growth. Not taking God for granted means acknowledging Him in all my ways. In my thoughts, in my habits and in my lifestyle.

Are my habits a reflection of my awareness of God? I can think of many examples when I put God on silent and go on with my life. The pauses are not long but they are there. God doesn’t take a break from us so I can’t afford to take a break from Him. I get so engulfed in my life at times that God is a tiny wave in the ocean of the busyness of life. He shouldn’t be a small curling body of water; He should be the motion that commands which way the ocean should go. When our ocean is steered by the affairs of life and we have no control, we need to bring God back to the forefront. The One who can walk on water should be walking all over our lives, leading us, guiding us and being the center of our universe.

Not taking God for granted implies taking Him seriously all the time and letting Him come first. He is God. He is on a throne and we should keep Him on the throne. There is nothing and no one more important than the Lord. No one and nothing deserves the pedestal we give them. As this new year is starting, I am consciously removing all the things and people I have put on a throne. They are not as many as they used to be but some of them are still sharing the spotlight with the Lord. There is something majorly wrong with that picture and I am working on reframing it and making it the picture perfect it is supposed to be.

God deserves to occupy the whole picture and everything else should be in the background. He is the alpha and the omega and the finisher of our faith. Without Him we wouldn’t be here. Without Him I wouldn’t be where I am now. He doesn’t take me for granted. He makes me a priority. I want Him to be my number one. Not just in words but in action and in truth as well. I’m going to look at everything I have and be thankful for all of it because I have a lot thanks to the Lord. I am not going to waste anything, any food, any time, any words and any money. My goal is to be a good steward of what the Lord gives me and use it for His glory.

When we take someone or something for granted, we assume that they will always be there and we don’t need to focus on them now. They will be there so we can attend to them later when we have time. I live in the tri-state area and many people I know take some of the most amazing monuments around for granted thinking that they don’t have to go visit them since they will always be there. I know a lot of people who have never been to the Statue of Liberty but it’s on their bucket list. The Statue is less than two hours away. I don’t want to make God wait until I have time to attend to Him.

I do pray a few times a day but I can acknowledge God more in all I do in between prayers. That is what I am talking about. Paying attention to the Lord more than ever. I also want to remind myself of His past goodness and how present it is. I have experienced a lot of amazing things in my life and I want to resuscitate them more often. Not to live in the past but to remind myself of how big my God is. I don’t want to rejoice when good things happen and then just move on to the next best thing forgetting about what happened. God is the best. He deserves my best attention. My resolution is to give Him my full attention. I hope it resonates with you. Happy new year! Let it be the year of the awareness of God in our lives.

Suggested reading: John 16:13; Romans 12:9; 1 John 3:18