It doesn’t matter who is against you

We all face adversity at some point. We all have to deal with people who are oppositional, with situations that are difficult and circumstances that we don’t know how to handle. The opposition is real and it can be relentless. However, we have a God who is also real and His love is relentless. He is more powerful than any opposition that will ever come our way. God is bigger and greater. He is powerful and He is invincible. How come we go through times when we are defeated if our God is that amazing? Trials form our spiritual character and help us exercise our faith. We can look at the bad things that are happening to us as training ground for faith or as fields of defeat we don’t come back from. Our attitude toward what takes place in our lives is crucial. One thing that gives me strength when I am faced with tribulations is remembering that God is with me. The Lord is with me and for me. It doesn’t matter who is against me because Jesus is by my side. Does knowing that truly makes a difference? It does because I have meditated on it and I have used that truth on many occasions. Knowing it is not enough. Applying is over and over again is helpful. We ought to be relentless just like the opposition and just like God’s love. We can learn from what is bothering us, from the problems we are dealing with. One thing I have gained is a relentless spirit that keeps going despite the opposition because Jesus is there and He is the One who matters. Not the adversity. Today I want to remind you that it doesn’t matter who and what is against you. What matters is that Jesus is with you!

 

What does the opposition look like? What and who can be against you? I am sure you can come up with a list of agents of opposition for yourself. Financial struggle is an opposition. Stress is an agent of opposition. Fear and worry are friends with stress. Health issues are part of the opposition. Being at a loss and not knowing where to go next is a form of opposition. Spiritual and emotional torment is also opposition. The opposition can also manifest through people that are against us. People that seem to enjoy making our lives miserable. The Bible specifies that we have to face powers of darkness that are bigger than what we see. It doesn’t give a free pass to those who are opposing us but it helps understand why some people can be so against us. The enemy will use just about anyone; people we don’t know but also people we are close to. What is the best way to deal with all forms of opposition? The best way is Jesus. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. Dealing with life with Jesus is the best way to live our lives. Think about all the agents of opposition in your life. You can even make a physical list of them. If you do, write them on a piece of paper and be sure to not write them in big letters. Then write over them. Write “Jesus is greater than all opposition” in big letters. Always keep that piece of paper close by and review that amazing reminder as often as needed.

 

My advice to you is that you find a way to be reminded of how much bigger the Lord is. It has to be anchored in your mind and sink down into your spirit. You might be facing some terrible challenges now and they are probably discouraging you but those challenges don’t make God smaller. His love is bigger than the universe and when you stay in faith, you experience it and you can see that nothing can stop Him from protecting you. The opposition is no match for Jesus. Exalt Him above the problems. Put Him on a pedestal. Make Him look big, the way He is. Don’t let the opposition get the upper hand in your mind. The enemy does most of his work in the mind. Kick him out of there and put Jesus in there permanently. Dedicate your mind and your thoughts to Him. How? Let His Word be the word you abide by the most. Surround yourself with the truth that He is bigger than anything and everything. When you are facing opposition, declare that you have nothing to worry about because Jesus is with you. Deal with people who are against you with love. Deal with them with Jesus. Ask His Spirit to show you how to handle them with love and how to do what the Lord wants for you in that situation. Love is bigger than hate. Love will always conquer hate. Jesus is love. Jesus always wins over hate and over all the powers of the enemy. You have nothing to fear; it doesn’t matter who is against you because Jesus is always with you!

Suggested reading: Psalm 118:6; Jeremiah 1:19; Romans 8:31-39

 

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

God has already been there

The other day I was talking to a close friend about how amazing it is that God is omnipresent. He is omniscient. He is everywhere at the same time. He has been to the past, He is in the present and He has been to the future. It seems so unreal but yet it is so true. God has been to every part of your life, present, past and future. When I was talking to my friend, I told her that God had been to the meeting I had to attend later that day. He had been to every class I had to teach that day and He has lived and seen everything that will ever happen. He is never taken aback by anything. He is never surprised by anything. He has been everywhere and He can take you and me everywhere.

Wherever you have to go physically, emotionally and spiritually, God has been there. God is ahead of you and He will accompany you. It’s always reassuring when we travel to an unknown place with someone who already knows the place. Having a well-traveled guide is key. That is what God is. He is the company that goes with us and knows exactly what to expect on our journey because He has visited it and He is still there. Your situations and circumstances are not foreign to God. There is absolutely nothing that will ever stop God from traveling with you. Your worst tribulations don’t scare Him. Your strongest fears don’t derail Him. Your darkest secrets won’t keep Him away from you. He saw them way before they were formed in your heart and He still loves you. My message today is to remind you that God has been where you are going and He will always be with you. He can always protect you, bless you and love you no matter where you are.

Do you ever play your day in your mind before it starts? Do you ever wonder how parts of the day are going to go? There is usually some apprehension and some anxiety attached to the unknown and what we picture is not always the most positive picture unless we are very anchored in faith and hope. We all have moments when we get nervous about an upcoming event. Now, if we take into consideration that the Lord has already been to those events, we can look at them from a very different angle. We can see ourselves more as spectators of those events and the Lord as the main actor. When we leave everything in God’s hands, He takes care of everything. All we have to do is show up with faith and let Him be in control. It’s not the easiest thing to do. It takes practice and when we do it that way, we stay in the Lord’s way. He has a way of making all things work out for good. Your interview next week has already been visited by the Lord. The exam you have to take has already been taken by the Lord. The move you have to make has already been made by the Lord. He has been there and He will get you there with flying colors.

 

Next time you get scared of something that is coming up, declare that the Lord has been there and you have nothing to worry about. God took care of it before you have to go there. It will be handled nicely by the One who created the universe. There is nothing to fear and nothing to worry about. Not only has He been there but He is right by your side when you are there so you can rest assured that He will help you deal with whatever you have to deal with. Think about it. He is by your side and He will never leave you nor forsake you. You don’t have to do anything by yourself. God is your helper and your guide. His Spirit will show you what to do and His presence will cover you. You are covered everywhere you go. Step out in faith and keep walking. You are going places and the Lord has paved the way for you. Stay encouraged!

Suggested reading: Deuteronomy 31:8; Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5-6

You are the missing link

When I was praying the other day, I had a vision of two chains. One was in gold and the other one was made of silver. They were up in the air and the silver chain was trying to reach the gold chain but it couldn’t. There seemed to be some human emotions going on in that interaction. The silver chain was lower than the other one and it was extending its arm in an effort to hold on to the gold chain that was supposed to pull it up. I meditated on this vision and that is how I received this revelation. I knew it was important otherwise the Lord would not have brought it up to my attention. It came out of nowhere when I was praying. I find that oftentimes the Holy Spirit comes out of nowhere with ideas and revelations that take us everywhere. He gives us messages that broaden our horizons and that gently guide us through a maze of discoveries and secrets that help us grow spiritually. He speaks in parables; He speaks through signs and He speaks in ways that require for us to spend time and ponder on what He is telling us.

 

The message in that vision became clear quickly as the meaning unfolded during my quiet prayer time. The Lord was showing me how when we pray, we bridge the gap for others. We can pray for ourselves and that is encouraged, but prayer is an expression of God’s nature and His nature is found in the giving more than in the receiving. Prayer is giving some of our time and love to others. It’s blessing those who need an intervention from God. Isn’t it beautiful that we can get involved in people’s lives by pressing on in faith through prayer? The main message contained in the revelation was that there is a need for us to pray more for other people. God is looking for men and women who are willing to stand in the gap in prayer and help people reach a higher level in life. This higher level can be a higher level of peace, of love, of joy, of freedom, or of deliverance. There are millions of silver chains in the world that try to hold hands with the gold chains and receive a blessing, a healing or some loving.

 

Once the silver chain manages to reach the gold chain, they form one long gold chain hooked by love and resting in harmony. Do you know of anyone who is going through a “silver chain season” and who longs to reach the gold chain status? Do you have friends or family members that don’t know how to make ends meet and that need prayer? Do you ever see strangers struggling, people who have no idea that there is a gold chain out there that they could hang on to? Everyone needs prayers. There are no exceptions. There are a few things that everyone has in common. Two of them are that God loves everyone and everyone can benefit from prayers in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now, put God’s love for everyone with everyone’s need of prayers and that is where you and I come in. We have been given God’s love and we can pray through this love and with the power of that love. You and I are the missing link that can join the silver and the gold.

 

The silver chain could have been something else but for some reason that visual spoke to me the most. It looked as if the silver found its greater value once it was attached to the gold. God sees everyone through the eyes of love and to Him we are all golden. Silver has less value than gold and many people see themselves with little value. Some people consider themselves to be copper or fake silver. Now, it is thanks to prayers that the silver chain was able to become one with the gold chain. That image was very symbolic; prayer helps recover the value that the enemy has taken away from people. How? Prayer activates the hand of the Lord. It allows Him to uncover hidden treasures and expose the beauty that was buried by pain, trials, low self-esteem, problems, fear, anxiety and other negative agents.

 

Let’s be the missing links and let’s pray for others. Let’s pray that they discover how much God loves them and how much value they have. When someone feels loved and valued, he or she can thrive and grow. The Lord is all about growths and blooming. He wants to see His people reach their potential and enjoy the amazing individuals that they are. We can pray for healing, financial blessings and peace and we should but we shouldn’t forget to pray for people to see how incredible they are in God’s eyes and how wonderfully and fearfully God made them. Today I encourage you to pray for family, friends, strangers, anyone. Pray for peace of mind, for peace in their hearts, pray for a revelation from God, pray for a touch from God, pray for deliverance by God. Thank God for everyone and pray for everyone. You will see silver chains turn into gold chains and miracles will take place before your very eyes. Keep praying. You are the missing link!

Suggested reading: Psalm 139:14; 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13; Ephesians 6:18

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 has better for you

We all have dreams and wishes. Some of us see them clearly and know exactly what we want. Some of us are still trying to design our dreams and make a list of our wishes. Some of us have had those dreams and wishes for as long as we can remember and we won’t let go of them. What are our dreams based on? Are our wishes God-centered? Do we wish to have the best in this life because of how the world describes what our lives should be like? God wants us to dream big dreams and those dreams should align with His desires for our lives. We too often go passed God and create dreams that are far out because we think God gave us those dreams when in reality they were born in the realm of our ego and they are not from God. How do we know what’s best for us? What’s best for us is not necessarily what the world says is best. The world presents ideals that lure us but they are not the Lord’s best. In this message today, I want to invite to rethink what’s best for you and to open up to God’s best. What you might consider a dream could be a fantasy that doesn’t even come close to God’s best for you. God will always have better for you and when you get into His mindset, you will understand what’s best.

What is the best thing that has ever happened to you? If you are a Christian, getting saved is by far the best thing that has happened in your life. Having Jesus as your Savior is the very best thing! You entered salvation and your life was rescued from the claws of eternal death. Having a relationship with your Savior is the best relationship you can have. Now that you are saved and you are an heir to the Kingdom of God, you should expect a “Kingdom lifestyle” here on earth. Your inheritance entitles you to a lot more than you could hope for before you were saved. God’s Kingdom is the absolutely best place to be and we Christians can be in that place today. How? By faith. It’s by faith that we seize the Kingdom. It’s by faith that we reach out for the best. It’s by faith that we dream God’s dreams and see them come to pass. However, we ought to feed our faith the right manna from Heaven and not the junk food of the world in order to develop those big dreams.

The junk food of the world looks appealing, filling and delicious. It imitates God’s food. It is a diluted and processed version of God’s food. It is not sustainable and it won’t help you grow. It won’t keep you spiritually healthy even though it looks like it would. My point is that if you base your faith on what you hear in the world even if it’s not confirmed in the Word, you will have dreams that don’t align with God. For instance, your biggest dream could be to become a millionaire. God says He will provide your needs so becoming a millionaire sounds about right. It’s one of the world’s goals but is it the best that God wants for you? God tells you He has better for you. What is better than being a millionaire you might ask? Being rich in the things of the Lord is way better. Having an intimate relationship with Jesus is better. God is love and He desires for all of us to know and experience His love. His love is always better. It manifests in many ways and that is what the Lord wants us to dream about. His love is bigger than anything we can fathom so His dreams are always bigger. Expect big things based on God’s love. God loves you so much that He wants you to have better than what you want for yourself. Leave it up to Him and let Him show you the best!

Suggested reading: John 3:16; John 10:10; Ephesians 3:20

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