Tag Archive | Faith

Who Shall You Serve? I Will Serve El Elyon- The Most High God- Sovereign Lord.

For the last couple of weeks, I have been contemplating on the sovereignty of God. A lot has happened to me within those couple of weeks that for some people would make them turn away from God and harbor bitterness in their hearts. But for me, that is not the case at all.

I was reading Daniel chapter 3 in my private bible study. It has always been one of my favorite bible stories, but this time, the story came to life in a new and refreshing way. Daniel’s friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were faced with dilemma: worship a false idol or be put to death. What amazed me was their response to the King when he inquired of them why they did not obey his decree. They said :

“King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3: 16-18)

*SQUEALS* I’m sorry but every time I read this I get excited! Insert Laugh here.

But seriously, look at what they said! These three young men, in the face of death (in this day and age, we would say they were rebellious and defied authority) told the King that they made a choice. Their choice was to never bow down. First, they believed that God was more powerful than the King and could rescue them. But check this out. They knew God was not a genie to grant them their wishes. They truly believed He is a good God and could save them but they left their fate in the hands of God.

Ask yourself this question : What idols do I have in my life? Idols can come in the form of people, objects, goals/aspirations, our career and ideologies. As I was taking a good look at my environment, I realized that there were many people that were trying to take God’s place in my life. I also recognized that I was allowing it in some cases. Nothing can become an idol without our permission.

Like these men, I had to say from my heart that I will serve the Lord even if He never rescues me. I first had to believe He had the power to rescue me but even if he doesn’t, He is still my God and I will bow to no other. I made up my mind to work, live and serve as a child of God. When situations arise in my life, I had to always declare that I will serve no other gods. Persecution, lack of all kinds, hurt and pain, sickness and diseases will not turn me away from God.

In my recent pain, I had to “set my face like flint” and confess that I will never ever turn away from God. It doesn’t matter what happens, God must come first in my life.

It’s more than going to church on Sunday, looking modest in apparel. It’s even more than exchanging sweet words of encouragement to our brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s about looking at God as a loving and sovereign king. Who is bigger and badder than all. No demon, no human, and no angel can mess with my bad God. He is God all by himself and He chose to rescue me from myself. All the other things I mentioned are important but they flow from an intimate relationship with God. A relationship that transcends anything else.

When we believe that our good deeds, our church attendance, our modest apparel, and how often we read the bible determines our relationship with God, we run the risk of allowing these very things to become idols. These behaviors must flow out of our love for God and not be the means to reach a goal.

True love is not sentimental gush. It is not mushy romance or an idealistic view but the truth of the Word of God made manifest through Christ and through true intimacy with Him. It is not a merit badge, a flag to wave. It is not a fake handshake and a smile to keep up appearances in Church. It is not click groups, it is not title or position. It is not tallying up how many good deeds you did in a year. It is not how many tithes and offerings you give. It is not measured by who loves you or don’t. It is not measured by how beautiful or intelligent you are.

It is truly about intimacy: an openness to God. Being honest with Him. Going to Him first with everything. Being open to what He wants for you. It might look different from everyone else. Apostle Paul’s ministry was so different : He was a Jew preaching to the gentiles. No one might understand what God is doing in your life, but will you bow down to their idea of how your life should be or who God called you to be? When you read the Bible, do you read it to learn more about God and to draw closer to him, or use it as a self help-manual, treat it as a bullet on your to-do list or as a rod to whip people with?

Daniel’s friends were finally tossed into a very very hot furnace. It was so hot that it killed the King’s obedient guards. What happened next shook that King to the core! He looked down and saw that these three men were not only untied but unharmed and what looked like to be the “son of gods” was walking around with them!

Let me break this down for y’all! I’m weeping while writing this.

When you decide to obey God and not bow down to idols, this is what God does….whether or not you die in the furnace YOU WIN! When you face persecution from both the saved and the unsaved, the pharisees and the roman guards, God has a way of coming down….making himself available to you in the fire. He doesn’t just rescue you by removing you from the heat. He will untie the things that use to keep you bound. Untie the burdens that keeps you from walking around. Not only does He untie you but He dwells among you.  He places Himself in your situation. When people watch you walk around in the flames, they see you untouched and unharmed. And when you walk out, you will not smell like smoke. Nothing will harm you! While this is a physical representation, I see this as spiritual! You come out with your faith in God intact! They may even try to kill you and even if they succeed, they cannot take God away from you! God will give you strength and peace to go through it all. It isn’t about having a happy smiling face, it isn’t about never crying and pretending to be so brave and strong. It is whatever you choose to do: smile or cry, you say in your heart : I will not Bow!

The King, shocked and in awe declared this :

“Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

“Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.” (Daniel 3: 26; 28:29)

When God steps in because of your unwavering faith in Him, people will see and declare that God is the most high! They won’t be able to deny that God is the true and living God and all power belongs to Him.

El Elyon the most high God. What does this mean? It stood out to me.

“The name or title “Elyon” emphasizes God’s uniqueness and his supremacy above all others. It reminds us he is the Creator of heaven and earth and the Owner of all. He is not merely mighty, but Almighty. He is the Sovereign Possessor and Controller of all things. Elyon sovereignly delivers his children and sovereignly accomplishes his purpose even in their suffering, which itself is temporary and will be followed by the eternal refreshment he promises to bestow on them.” (Source)

  • I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me (Psalm 57:2).
  • If you make the Most High your dwelling, even the LORD, who is my refuge, then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone (Psalm 91:9-12).
  • “But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever; yes, for ever and ever” (Daniel 7:18).

 

 

Just A Thought…

People see the outward part of us. What we show to the world, but God sees the inner man. The places in our heart, mind, soul and spirit that even we cannot see. Unlike man that loves a performance and a show, God looks at the heart. He looks at the source. He sees the hidden things and if we allow Him, He can clean every nook and cranny until we are spotless.

I believe this is why God said do not focus on pleasing people. People usually do not care what’s on the inside, they just like seeing pretty things. They like to be entertained. If you try to please everyone, you will not only burn yourself out, but lose yourself in the process.

This ties into being who you were created to be. You were born special and unique. There is no competition in God’s kingdom. Moses was not like Joseph and both of them were not like David or Daniel but God used all of them and loved them all. The one thing they had in common was their love for God but their temperaments, life story and callings/ministries were different. We are one body with many parts. All parts are necessary and important for healthy function. So don’t compete. Don’t compare. Be free and be YOU and love God with all your heart because he saved you from the competition and stress of the world.

Here is a quote I came up with in the quietness of my own thoughts :

“The me of today can only do what I can do at this present time. And, I cannot do today, what I can do tomorrow. But, if I keep doing today what I can do for now, I know I’ll get better in time for tomorrow.”

Tomorrow is dependent on God. He forms the new day, calling it into existence. He keeps the world functioning as it should. He cares about the intimate details of our lives and so all progress in our lives rest in his hands. There is something different about the Kingdom of Heaven that is different than the system of this world. We use to rely on our own ideologies and our own will and strength but those things can crumble and fade away through the pressures of life and even in the face of death. But there is something supernatural about the system of heaven. It’s more about dependence on God. A faith that is reliant on God’s power, wisdom and knowledge but not our own.

I had a realization that unless we allow God to empty us, and refill us with Himself, we will never become who we were created to be, reaching our full potential. We will always be putting on a show. A source of entertainment for people to enjoy and feel comfortable, but true change is uncomfortable, forcing people to see beyond themselves and into the Light of Christ.

You Are Not Condemned

Anyone that speaks condemnation over your life is not of God. The bible tells us in John 3:16 that God so loved the world that he gave us Jesus Christ and that whoever believes in him has eternal life.

It is one thing to determine and judge the nature of a person, but it is another thing to condemn someone and speak on God’s behalf when you don’t even know what is going on in someone’s heart. Usually, we judge a person to determine the company we keep and the influences around us, but we are not God.

If you believe in Jesus Christ and follow him, you are saved. It doesn’t matter what you did or are struggling with. Notice I say struggle. We do not become perfect overnight but it is a process that the Holy Spirit takes us through.

If God based our future on who we were in the past, do you think we would even have the bible we have today? David was not only a womanizer, he was a murder: killed a man for his wife. Yet, he was still considered a man after God’s own heart. Moses also killed a man. Apostle Paul persecuted the early Christians but later became the main apostle to the gentiles.

What amazes me about some of us , is that, we can be so happy for another person’s testimony. A man or woman that was caught up in drugs. Lived a horrible lifestyle, treated people horribly, but they share their wonderful testimony and everyone is so happy and applauding. But make someone in your own personal life go through these things. Make this person do something bad to you and it doesn’t matter if this person has changed and is sharing their testimony, no ounce of mercy or forgiveness is shown. It amazes me, we love success stories but we do not like the process.

We say we love people but we smile in their faces, pretend we want to pray for them but in our hearts we are just sizing them up. To see if they are worthy of what God is blessing them with. We don’t bat an eye when people that blatantly disregard God is financially prospering but let someone in the faith prosper, we turn a side eye or question why them.

Instead of looking in our own hearts, we are trying to appease our flaws by putting someone else down.

No one is perfect and no one can save themselves. We all fall short. Some of us fall miserably. There are consequences in life, yes. But wow I truly understand the significance of what Jesus did for that woman that was going to be stoned. Jesus said ” he who is without sin throw the first stone.”

We are all guilty, at some point, of believing that we are better than others. That our own mess don’t stink. We are guilty of believing that God plays favorites. God has no favorites, he loves us all. From the righteous to the unrighteous, his love and mercy pours down on us all. And remember, we were all unrighteous at some point. We weren’t born saved.

We have a false sense of love and mercy in this world. We believe that actions is all that love is. But, I pray for you and I feed you. I give you everything and yet my heart towards you is like poison. We must be full of love, even within our hearts. Our prayers and actions must come from a sincere place. And if this is not possible, remove yourself from that person’s presence and seek the Lord. Don’t hang around and try to push people down. Don’t hang around and continue the cycle of hate. If you KNOW BETTER, DO BETTER. With much knowledge comes responsibility.

As Jesus always say ” He who has an ear, let him hear.” Not every message is timely but if you have the right heart condition to heed this message, LISTEN.

The way you treat someone can greatly affect their walk with God. You can greatly discourage a person who is trying to live right. This is a message for all of us. We are constantly called to forgive and to allow God to wash our hearts daily.

Will we always get it right? NO! But at the same time, we must be mindful and always strive to do better.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

I want to thank all of you that took the time out to read my content, liked and commented. I appreciate you all. This blog was a way for me to find the good in the small things. To celebrate life ,joy, peace and give glory to my Father in heaven.

I would not be here today if it were not for his mercy and love. I am truly thankful for Him. Through the ups and downs of life, I learned that I can run to Christ with my imperfections and trust that His perfection will shine. I can trust in His word and that He is faithful to bring me to full maturity!

I am learning what true love looks like. I am learning about forgiveness. I am learning that God is all about restoration and wholeness. God is way too good for mere words so I pray that my life will be worship and praise to Him!

 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Be safe and enjoy!

 

Trust God Even When It Hurts!

I realized in my anger towards God and the confusion around what He is asking me to do, that it all boils down to a lack of trust. Half submission. I want to know everything, why I’m doing it and if it will benefit me in the end. I become discouraged and frustrated when things do not go my way. I over-calculate and want everything to happen and flow exactly how I planned. Life is not that way. People cannot be controlled. Situations change. Trust requires us to be flexible with the outcome. It requires us to bend. It requires us to be obedient even if we don’t see the fruit of our labor today. We might never see it. Maybe the next generations will. Maybe my prayers for this specific person isn’t for me but for someone else. But I would be doing someone such a lovely thing , praying for someone is the best gift you can give them because God is everything we need and He knows how to meet every need.

When I am so caught up in my own world, how things will benefit me in the end, I allow fear to keep me from expressing true love. Do good, pray for others , even if you get NOTHING out of it! There will always be people that don’t mean us well, dangerous and risky situations…and yes…even people that do love us. We do need to know and recognize who is who, but at the end of the day, if we spend so much time protecting ourselves, we will never have time to love others! To experience true joy! The Bible tells us over and over that God is our strong tower and that He is fighting for us.

I wont willingly run into danger but if danger meets me on my road to Christ, I will stand on His word that He will see me through.

Don’t feel guilty for having doubt, fears or worries, but one thing I you must always do is bring every care to Christ. Tell him what is going on. He is faithful to open your eyes to the truth and that truth will faithfully set you free!

So, I will be obedient to what tells me even if it hurts. God knows why He asks me to do certain things and I can only trust that it will help someone in the end. Not my will but yours be done.

 

There Is No Such Thing As “Spot Reduction”.

Just like many fitness experts claim that we cannot spot reduce through exercise, we cannot spot reduce in the things of God.

I hear and see a lot of women strive for becoming holy and baggage free for a husband, some are chasing after health, and others are chasing after financial stability. Even in things pertaining to the spirit : like love, joy , peace, etc; these things have become a quest. As I was walking home from picking up dinner today, I realize that we cannot spot reduce; we cannot pick and choose which area in our lives we are going to fix. When we have a relationship with God, when we are truly walking with him, he deals with us as a whole person. The more I fought and sought to change myself, the harder it was. Everything we need to be like God is in Christ. It is in the package of our Lord and Savior. It is not a self-help concept. The more I worked, the more tired I became. The more tired I became, the more frustrated I was with God, myself and with people.

Everything we need is in God. It is in talking to him and being close to him. The Holy Spirit does something in us, something we cannot see or pinpoint. It is in that, that we cannot brag or boast that we have it all together! Realization of sins and shortcomings isn’t so that we search scripture, apply principles, and get out of sin. It is to fall on our knees and confess our sins to our God, who loves us and wants us to be close to him and to others. It is total dependency on God. It is total honesty and transparency. When we spot reduce, we run the high risk of becoming self-absorbed and fatigued.

I realized that my love for God was choked out by the issues of life: natural and spiritual. I was focusing on the issues, my condition and my surroundings instead of just resting in God. I told God last night, “God, I am on a quest for true peace and joy”. I knew joy was something I had to step into, “but how?”, I wondered. Well, it’s not positive thinking. It’s not even shunning negative influences or stressors. It’s honestly knowing God! It’s being in his presence. It’s seeing God as a tangible being. When I say tangible, I mean real! We must believe he is truly real. We must believe that he truly loves and hears us. We must believe that his Holy Word is true! The Bible reveals God’s character to us , so we have a foundation when we approach him in prayer. This is what Jesus came to do for us. He came to show us the Father. He came to reveal to us who God truly is and what he is capable of doing in our lives. It truly is a process and a journey but it’s a process and a journey only God can define.

My quest for peace is in a father and daughter relationship with my creator. It’s as simple and easy as that. *smile*

 

 

The Seed Is the WORD OF GOD

The seed of faith is the word of God not money. There is a lot of deception floating around about money being a seed. A lot of well meaning people fall into this farce but plain and simple the seed of faith is the word of God and it is planted in our hearts and produces the harvest of the fruit of the Spirit.

The greatest scheme of the enemy is to get us to distort the word of God because the word of God is what produces our harvest. We are to store treasures in heaven not bribe God with money to get a blessing. I hold on to this truth because it is the word of God that will bring my deliverance in all areas of life.

It’s not good works, it’s not going to church every Sunday, it’s not looking the part and saying the right things, but diligently depositing the word of God into the temple and believing that God will produce the increase!

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Wholeness is what God wants for us. He wants to make us whole! This means producing fruit in all areas of our lives. Whether it be self-control or showing love towards self and others, or having peace despite all circumstances, etc. These are the things God wants for us.

Another point I want to make is, we must work on ourselves before we can ever minister to others. We must allow the Holy Spirit to minister to us in this way first, being kind to ourselves first before we can ever do so for others. Sometimes God will enable us to help others along the way, but ultimately a relationship with God comes before ministry!

I am at a place where I am allowing God to minster to me. To bring me to a place of wholeness in Him and to rely solely on his Word alone.

This means more to me than any material goals I have. It means more to me than any other relationship I have. Because true peace comes from inside of us not the outside.

No one and no thing can fill the void in our hearts like God can. It is truly the Word of God that sets us free, every single day, step by step. A process we go through every day of our lives.

I learned something important. Sin can be conquered, Jesus told us he already did that. We do not fight sin as believers but TEMPTATION. There is a different. Sin leads to death and is a state. After we are delivered from a sin or a lifestyle/habit of disobedience, we are now walking in obedience and righteousness. We must now preserve this righteous state by resisting the devil aka temptation through prayer and feeding the spirit with God’s word. This is the example that Jesus gave is in the desert. He didn’t allow circumstances : being hungry and tired, deter him from his state of righteousness. He didn’t give into his flesh: literally his natural needs. We too can be like Christ because this he promised us! Cling to the promises of Christ! All that he has done, is freely given to us! What a mighty God we serve!

Money and the lust of the flesh will lead us astray if we put our confidence in that and twist the word for own selfish gain. Being a christian is rewarding, freeing and truly life changing but it comes with a price. It means we give up everything we once knew and take up the cross of Jesus. It means not always having our own way but submitting to a holy God. In time, this becomes our own nature. We feel joy in the things of God and are disgusted by things that God hates. But we must be willing to crucify, kill, destroy, annihilate the flesh. We must resurrect Godly boundaries and walk in humility and God given authority to speak, confess and believe what God promised. We will offend many because we no longer please the world but please God. They will never understand but we must be like Jesus and say ” I’m about my Father’s business.”

Source: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians+5%3A22-23