Malachi 3:1 (NIV) “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.
Are you seeking the messenger? Do you realize that he has come? What does that mean for you, for me, for us in this current moment? During this Lenten season, our true challenge is to connect with our source in a way better than we have previously. This Lenten Challenge should build our faith and discipleship. The goal is for us to live on purpose. In order to get there, we must align our purpose with His purpose.
Please consider that the desire of your heart is placed there by the Lord. He is always there to love and support you for your highest good. Ultimately, your life in the Lord is to live the blessings that God puts on your life. Really, this sounds easy. However, this is not necessarily so. We are human with weaknesses and faults. While we strive for perfection, we will fall short. No matter how disappointing this is for us and God, God still loves us.
When we know deep within our being that the messenger has come for our salvation and abundant life, our living each day will be enhanced. We will live a life more pleasing to the Lord and more fulfilling for us. Ultimately, we all want to hear the words, ” ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Let us celebrate! The messenger is come! We are free!
Here came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. John 1:6-7 NASB
Every day we are yearning to know “How can good come to and out of our lives?” We live with dreams, visions, and goals to which we never pursue. Getting a better job, starting a blog, eating better, teaching and empowering others, etc. are some things we long to do. Taking time to understand what you are sent to this earth to do will help you with getting started with accomplishing your goals. Many times we are looking at everyone else accomplish and receive results in the things we sit and think about doing. It’s time to get moving and receive. The life you dream of is awaiting you.
John the Baptist was sent to this earth by God and so were you. John came to testify about the Light and he fulfilled his purpose. You came to fulfill a purpose as well. He fulfilled his purpose so many would believe in Jesus Christ and when you accomplish your purpose people will believe they can do it to.
You have everything inside of you to live the life you see. You would have never had the unction to desire those things if God wasn’t going to give you everything you need to fulfill them. He has already gone before you and paved the way for you to become your dream and live good. Go and fill out the application. Put down the cookies and pick up a carrot. Begin uplifting with your co-workers. Do something now. Do not wait until everything is in place because something will always come up. It’s time to push pass the thoughts of “I’ll do it tomorrow” and start now. Push pass the thoughts” I am to old”, you are still breathing. Push pass the thoughts “one cookie won’t hurt”, ten minutes of exercise won’t either. No more excuses. No more limitations, it’s time to fulfill your goals and live your dream.
38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2: 38-39)
Now the reason you must be born again is because Jesus wants to transfer life. If we want to follow Christ we must do what the word of the Lord says, “repent and be baptized.” There has to be a turning away from a life of selfishness and rebellion against God’s law and at the same time a time to turn to Christ. We cannot save ourselves – only God can save us. Baptism identifies us with Christ and the community of believers. It is a condition of discipleship and a sign of faith.
Then sin says I am going to attack your body, begin to destroy the thing that God created. Fill you full of affliction and disease. That is how sin works. Sin wraps its fingers around your life and hangs on. Sins says I do all of that for one purpose. Sin eventually wants to get a hold of your soul where it can drag you to hell and work destruction on you for all of eternity. That is what sin has set its course to do.
But Peter said, “let me tell you what Jesus has come to do.”
Jesus has come to destroy the power of sin on your life. You do not have to live with your mind under continued attack. You don’t have to live with your emotions under continual attack. You don’t have to live with your body under attack. Jesus said in the book of John:
John 10:10 KJV The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. This is a word that has resonated with me personally during my weight loss journey. In the area of changing my eating habits. If don’t change the way I was eating and caring for His temple then I am going to die. That was one of the last things that I wanted to do, so I had to repent for my emotional eating lifestyle and asked God for help. He said in John 3:30 ‘He must increase and I must decrease.’ I had to learn to turn my frustrations, stresses, worries over to him and crave Him more and not food.
First of all, repentance is asking Him to be the Lord of every area of your life. Secondly repentance is admitting you are a sinner.
Inheritance means that it belonged to somebody else before it belonged to you. You have received something of great value. It is my prayer that after my 40 Day fast that many of my loved ones and new souls will receive this new inheritance and become part of the body of Christ.
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Hebrews 4:15-16 (NIV) 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
To think that Jesus understands what we are going through because he walked the earth like us and faced challenges similar to what we faced, is really amazing. Sometimes, it is really hard to comprehend that our Savior led a life similar to what we do. Jesus walked where others walked and addressed issues as others would.
Jesus took on this responsibility to be closer to us and that we could truly be connected our Lord. We should have a knowing that God truly loves us and always wants the best for us. Not only do we have the blessing of eternal life, we have the Lord everyday. The knowledge that the Lord is with us should make us bold even in times of our most dire need.
During this Lenten Season, we have the opportunity to grow and re-focus to prepare to do just as the Word says and approach the Lord with confidence. As we build our relationship with God daily, our connection to our source continues to grow. What will be able to accomplish with this power and when we are acting with the purpose that God has for us.
Isaiah 40: 31 NIV …but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
This scripture solidifies God’s challenge for us to wait upon him for all good works to come to pass. You are not a victim of circumstance. You are a child of the King. You are able to walk on water in faith and you will always know that God is on your side. All you have to do is be willing to thank him for both the good and the bad and remember that he is faithful to the end. He never fails, he always has a plan for you and he will see that good work through to the end if you are able to stand strong and not give up. Though things may seem as if they are going slow and there is a delay, hold strong to your profession of faith. Time is the only thing separating you from the victory. A delay is not a “No” and a hurdle is only a distraction to stop you from believing. You will receive the prize if you hold on and not faint. You may feel weak, depressed and downtrodden. But, they who wait upon the Lord, their strength shall be renewed and you will be like a tree planted by pure flowing rivers of God. Your roots will spring forth and you shall bath in the richness of His riches. Wait I say, upon the Lord.
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Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.
– Corrie Ten Boom, author and human rights activist
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7
Recently, when asked what I had I given up for lent, I said “my foolishness”. My friend paused for a few seconds and said, ‘What does that mean?” I responded, “Trying to predict the future, correct the past and skipping over today.” She looked at me as said “Good Luck!”
It truly is not about luck. For me, this Lenten period is period of time to release, rejoice, rejuvenate and recommit to the Joy of being Loved by God, that He gave Jesus his only begotten son, who was crucified, buried and rose from the dead. This is a time for me to release anything that has held me back from allowing God to be my guide, the lover of my soul.
I have found that I worried about things that I could not change. I read a long time ago, that 90% of what we worry about never comes to pass. Whether that is true or not, I don’t know but there’s probably some truth to it in life. How much of our lives do we miss because we’re agonizing over what has happened and what might happen down the road? How often do we stop ourselves from doing something, –even if it’s the right thing to do–because of our fear of the unknown, second guessing ourselves, or looking for someone else’s validation.
While worrying did give me something to focus on; it was also an opportunity for me to avoid dealing with me and it did not solve any problems. All it did was to paralyze my actions and keep me in bondage – I was stressed out, mentally and physically tired and often times, worrying and anxiety sapped all the joy of what could have been a wonderful day.
Periodically, when circumstances lined up, I was happy, but not joyful and certainly not peaceful. And that’s why I decided to give up my foolishness, not just for 2013’s Lenten Season, but as a way of life. I am willing to come before God with my alabaster box and present myself, seeking the gift of joy. Because I now understand that I was being carried through life, and loved, and because He Is Lord, I can, and have the expectation that God’s peace will permeate my life. I no longer have the need to be anxious for anything, God’s peace, love and joy comes from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, not from what’s happening outside of me.
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Romans 1:16 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
I hope your season of fasting and prayer is fortifying and refueling you. I chose the Daniel Fast for my Lenten Challenge. Having participated in a Daniel Fast last year with our women’s ministry, triSistah4:12 Ministries I had some experience with this type of fast. Here we are now 5 days into the Lenten Challenge and I find myself thinking everyday something that I do not even think crossed my mind last year. After lunch or dinner I’m thinking…What was my main dish? I hope you can already see where I am going? Can We Talk?!
The way that many of us were taught to eat was that we have a main dish which would be the meat and then our side dish would be the veggies. Since I am eating primarily fruits and veggies now my mind is challenged to think that I am full and satisfied because I have not had my main dish. As I was going down this rabbit trail in my mind this morning I started thinking about our scripture for today and the Lord whispered, “I am your Main dish.”
During this season of fasting, prayer, and surrender we must reflect on our relationship with Jesus. Some of us can’t be content in our relationship with Him because He is not our main dish in our everyday lives. Jesus is our side dish. We have compartmentalized our lives in Christ by living one way on Sunday morning and another way “in the world” throughout the week. Our everyday lives are craving the Main dish. Our everyday lives are craving the power and presence of Jesus Christ. In the 12th chapter of Romans the Apostle Paul implores us to “Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.”
Don’t you think our daily lives should be a testimony of our relationship with Christ? Living in the world, but not being of the world means that our everyday lives speak to who we are as His followers. No, that doesn’t mean we pretend to be someone or something that we are not. That also does not mean that we are perfect faultless people. What it does mean is that everyday, unashamed, with all our faults and wrinkles we pick up our cross and follow hard after our Savior who lived and died so that we would be free.
Isaiah 53:5-6 But he was wounded for the wrong we did; He was crushed for the evil we did. The punishment, which made us well, was given to Him, and we are healed because of his wounds.
Jesus paid it all! Whatever you are worried about. Whatever you are fretting about. Whatever you are throwing away your life for—Jesus paid it all! The Good News of Jesus Christ is that there is nothing that we could have done to earn our salvation and there is nothing that we can do to lose it. Can We Talk?!
When we are on a journey to improving ourselves to be more like Christ for the glory and honor of the Father, we can sometimes get lost or confused in our thinking that we somehow must be perfect or good enough to gain His acceptance and approval. That couldn’t be further from the Truth. As we go through this challenge, we may make some miss steps. We may fall short. Mostly because of some unrealistic goals we set. We may eat or drink something that we gave up and guilt and shame will set in because we think we’ve let God down.
My best advice to you is to get back up. The very next minute after you recognize you have gone your own way, repent and get back on track. Our God is loving, forgiving, gracious, and merciful. My experience will God has not been one of judgment, punishment, and condemnation. God sees us through Christ’s eyes. Christ is interceding to the Father on our behalf for our miss steps and set-backs. I can imagine Him saying “My blood covered that, all of that”. Because I know that Jesus has my back, I can get back up again!
See you at the top,
Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and the One who saves me. So why should I fear anyone? The Lord protects my life.
Fear. If we all would just take a second to think about and deal honestly with the fear that has plagued us in our lives, we would hopefully be willing to confess that fear only has the POWER that we give it. Can We Talk?!
When we allow it, fear has the power to paralyze us and keep us from our appointed destiny in Christ Jesus. We all have seen fear paralyze people so much that they do not move. Literally and figuratively. These are the people that are always waiting for the right time, a burning bush, an angel in a vision, or a prophetic word before they can step out on faith. They check, double check, and verify as they wait on countless, nameless people and signs to confirm a Word from the Lord.
Conversely, we have probably seen fear make people move through life so quickly that they have not stopped to check with God to be sure that their will lines up with the plans He set before us. Busy, busy, busy, but not productive or anointed. Driven but by what? Afraid if they slow down, God will ask them a simple question. “Who told you to do all of that?”
Life changes and life challenges have a way of invoking fear. The next 43 days may seem insurmountable. You may be thinking what have I gotten myself into? Put your faith into action. Put your faith on your fear. Faith has a way of arresting fear. Stopping fear in its tracks. We are not alone on this journey. The Father has equipped us to handle every challenge, struggle, and temptation ahead. He will be here with us every step of the way. Since God is for us, what demon has the strength to oppose Him? None. Not one.
Believing is seeing,
Ephesians 6:10-12 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, [c] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
There is nothing more powerful than the power of God, EXCEPT the complacency of man. I heard a minister say this about a year ago. As I meditated on this thought then and share it with you now, the truth of that statement resonates in my spirit. Can We Talk?!
We have free will. God doesn’t force us to do anything. Even salvation, the single most important decision I believe we make in our lives, God leaves to us to make freely of our own volition. I can testify that many times in my life I have gone against what God was commanding me to do because of laziness, content, or complacency. Yes, I was disobedient. Comfortable in my situation, routine, or way of life. Then here comes God, shaking the foundation of my complacency and commanding more of me. Doesn’t He know I’m busy here?!
Thank God for His grace, mercy, and love. God’s love meets us right where we are, but He doesn’t leave us there, in the same condition He found us. His love compels us to change, move, grow and be different. His love fuels our desire to obey and change.
When God instructs us to change we have to be ready for Satan to oppose us. We have to be ready for our own flesh to oppose what our spirit knows to be the right decision (Galatians 5:17). We will think of every excuse possible to remain the same and hold on to what God is trying to pry from our grip. If we are going to change and be all that God ordained we have to first get clear in our minds that the work is going to be hard. If it were easy, then everyone would be doing it and knowing us, we would be bragging about how WE did it. Yes, the work of changing our old habits, attitudes, and behaviors will be challenging, BUT God! He is faithful to complete the work He began in you. Put on your armor Warrior. Stand.
See you at the top!