"And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins."
Mark 2:22 NLT
So, yesterday I spent a majority of the evening packing up items for donation. I can admit that this task of letting things go is one that's a bit difficult for me.
If you ask people close to me, they would probably note me as having hoarder tendencies. I won’t go as far as to claim that, I’ll just say I overstock things on occasion lol.
Either way, the donation truck will be stopping by the house in a couple of days, and I wanted to have some good quality stuff for them to take with them.
My closet was overflowing with literally no room to put any of my new clothes that I wear most often. There's no reason that I should be fishing new and clean clothes out of baskets because there's no room in my closet. No reason at all!
As I emptied the shelves, my heart hurt a little bit. I thought, “What if I’ll be able to fit this stuff again” or, “What if I’ll need this?”
Hear me clear; I understand the importance of giving,
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV
Last week when I was reading these verses I couldn’t help but to think how the promises made in this Scripture are constantly met but God showed me why some of us, well…why I have yet to walk into many of the physical manifestations of these promise and I want to share with you.
There were three words that stuck out to me during this reading: everyone, he, and him.
For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Many of us are more than willing to ask God for provision, for Him to give us answers, for Him to show us our next move, for Him to lead us, for Him to forgive and deliver us, for Him to do all of these things for us but not everyone is willing to respond
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand.
Psalms 37:23-24 NKJV
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to fall into something but when it’s time to climb out it’s like the most hellish experience ever? Like something that literally took you 4 seconds to get into can leave you spending the next 60 years fixing! This can be with anything…loving someone, becoming addicted to something, making a poor business decision, shoot making any poor life decisions.
The Bible does say obedience is better than sacrifice and I thought I learned this lesson lol but I still find myself looking back at my own life thinking, “Jesus, when will I learn to be obedient so I don’t have to deal with the challenge of climbing out of all these painful pits!?” (1 Samuel 15:22)
Family, we have got to learn to watch our steps! We are literally walking straight into pits of addiction, despair, bondage, confusion, depression, anxiety, etc and getting stuck there! The problem most of us are facing is that we are
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
John 4:23-24 NKJV
Last night our church hosted the final night worship service of our Summer Nights Worship Series. The entire summer has been a blessing for me watching God manifest Himself in so many different ways. Last night made a lasting impact on me for several reasons but I wanted to share a little of what I shared last night with you all today. I hope it will encourage you a little or a lotta bit =)
What we have learned or been reminded of during this entire series is what worship is. Worship is simply thanking God for who He is. It’s that relational piece that focuses on who we know Him to be to us and to those that we love. We are able to use every moment of our lives to thank God for Him being a healer, protector, provider, keeper, mind regulator, fair judge, shield, and lover of our souls…We worship Him because He is able, reliable, long lasting, consistent, and a miracle worker even in the nastiest of situations. He is Sovereign and in His providential care He can do all things giving us the ability to do all things through Him.
I believe the ultimate act of worship is when we allow God to be who He says He is to us! To be exactly what we need Him to be in the very moment that we are in. The issue that we face as humans is that we think we need something
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
1 Corinthians 10:13
The other day I was sitting with my nephew while Doc McStuffins was on TV and I came across Robot Ray. I’m not quite sure what happened to cause the toy robot to go see the doctor but I did pay attention to his diagnosis. He was suffering from wetmosis, which let me know the poor robot was waterlogged lol.
Our young doctor gave him a solution to the problem…stay out of water! Don’t get wet! “These are the doctor’s orders!” He agreed and went about his business. In the next scene the robot saw a toy in danger and because it was in his nature to help that’s exactly what he dove in to do. The only problem is he had to go right in the midst of the water sprinklers to do it. So he ended right back up in Doc’s office and had to go through his procedure and “fixing” process all over again. She shared, “You have to follow the doctor’s orders!” His response, “But I had to save the day.”
How many times have we failed to obey the doctor’s orders, to obey God’s orders? Sometimes the directions are so simple, don’t get wet, don’t go there, stop flirting with that but our human inclination to satisfy the wants of the flesh (and even desires of the spirit) cause us to consistently jump right into the very thing that is causing us physical, spiritual, and emotional harm.
We see people and things that we crave and that draw us in and in spite of the doctor’s orders we fall victim to the tricks and traps of the enemy. There has to be safer ways to fill the voids of not getting what the flesh desires. Ways that our needs are met just as the doctor has prescribed. Sometimes it takes help from the people who are around us.
When Robot Ray was in the doctor’s office the second time all the toys talked to him about his choice. They held him accountable sharing with him the importance of following the doctor’s advice. Just as I talked about in yesterday’s blog, You need a group like theirs, we need people around us that will encourage us, not give up on us when we have moments of failure, and that will hold us accountable.
When robot Ray was faced with the final challenge he didn't have everyone to stop him and tell him, “Nooo, don’t jump in the water” even though they knew he wanted to save the toy. But Robot Ray found another way. It took him a little time but he was finally able to stop and think before he acted so he wasn’t putting himself in harms way. He found another avenue to do what his heart desired in a way that pleased the doctor and kept him healthy and whole.
My prayer for us is that we do take these ways of escape when they present themselves. That we trust that the directives God has given us are for our best interest. That we may remain whole and that those we’ve been called to serve and partner with will receive the best us. If you are struggling with following His orders understand that where you are weak you are strong because of Him (1 Corinthians 12:10). That through Christ all things are possible (Philippians 4:13). Don’t beat yourself up by ignoring His directives or for the struggle you may be facing just attempt to do better the next time you are faced with the test! His grace is sufficient for you (1 Corinthians 12:9)!
Melanie N. Lee/New Standard © 2015 All Rights Reserved
For we walk by faith, not by sight. II Corinthians 5:7 NKJV
My nephew turned one last week and there was a question posed to me several times by multiple people, "Could you imagine your life without him?" My answer was a consistent, “Nope and I don't want to.” I think about the moments the older adults in my family were not pleased with the news of Blake now they drool all over him. It’s quite disgusting. They couldn’t see or trust the happiness God would allow through this child because all they saw were their own mind blocks.
Yesterday as I was reflecting on my experiences over the last couple years I couldn’t help but to think of all the things I didn’t want to accept in my life, all the things I had to walk away from (whether I wanted to or not), all the people I had to walk away from (whether I wanted to or not) and how some of those things and people I held onto like the plague. I couldn’t get past my own mind blocks. I knew that God wanted to do something new in me but I wanted to hold onto the old while He blessed me with the new. I put God on a contingency plan without saying a word. My actions told Him, if you do this, I’ll let go of this. Lol, that is definitely not how this thing works.
There are times when new additions compliment things that are already in our lives. This happens more times than not. We just don’t notice it as much because we aren’t faced with the “let that go challenge”. But there are times that in order to receive the next level of gifting, blessing, or peace we have to free our hands of what we are already holding. We have to clean out the junk rooms so there’s space for the new goods. We have to be empty to be filled back up with the right stuff.
I think about all the things I didn’t want to let go of. All the things I hoarded and hoped God would allow me to keep because I didn’t know how I would function without it. But now, if anyone asked me if I had regrets about walking away from those things my answer would be the same as with my new baby, “Nope and I couldn’t imagine my life if I wouldn’t have taken the risk and walked by faith and not by sight.”
It can hurt to walk away from things that are comfortable or that feel right for the moment but we have to trust that God has a greater plan, which includes giving us a greater measure in Him. We can’t receive any of that if we have only positioned ourselves to receive a little bit in that small-boxed faith space we’ve reserved for Him. My prayer is that if God has been nudging you to let something go, walk away from something, or give a simple and plain “no” that you will have the courage to do so. I pray that you will seek Him for wisdom and guidance on the who, what, when, and where and that you will see the manifestation of your obedience to Him.
Don't be afraid. I can't imagine my life without the kid. I can’t imagine my life without the ministry work I’m able to do now. I can’t imagine myself still stuck in the same place I was in 4 years ago. I can’t imagine myself without the new friends I’ve acquired. And I don't want to. So don't be so afraid to let new stuff in even if that means having to let old stuff out!
Melanie N. Lee/New Standard © 2015 All Rights Reserved
But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.
Joshua 24:15 NLT
The other day I was talking to a friend and told them, "You make it seem like I have no choice." Their response, "you always have a choice." And this is true! While the pressures of making our decisions may weigh heavy on us we always have the choice to do or not to do. Go or not to go. Love or not to love. Try or not to try. Keep or not to keep. Fight or not to fight. We just have to be ready for the consequence of whatever we choose, whether positive or negative.
Everyday we wake up we have choices to make. What we will wear, eat, do, serve etc. There are some days I wake up with intentions to serve God instead of idols (including myself) and I’m fairly successful. Then there are other days where I'll fail miserably during some portions of my day. On those days I’ve learned to be honest with myself, not beat me up, and take it moment by moment. In taking it moment by moment I literally check in with myself throughout the day and renew my decision of whom I want to serve, God or my flesh, to ensure that I’m on track. If I can be honest, I don’t always choose God even if I’m fully aware that I’m making the wrong choice. Not because I don’t love Him or don’t want to be obedient but because I’m human and I struggle at times. So when I do have those moments where I seek to serve flesh, I admit my mistake, ask for forgiveness, make my choice over again, and keep it pushing. (Guilt, shame, and condemnation used to be my best friends. Learning to press past my wrongs by leaning on His grace has been the most helpful part of growing my faith and causing me to choose God more frequently)
We have an option with each moment. We can choose to live for God or not. He doesn't force us He simply lays out what will happen if we do choose Him and if we don't. So if you're struggling in your choice (you may have certain areas all put together but it's that one thing that has you like ugh) take it moment by moment. If by chance your choice doesn't favor God at that point allow for a reroute to happen and try again.
This journey is a process filled with choices. Choose wisely today!
Melanie N. Lee/New Standard © 2015 All Rights Reserved
“Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another.” Romans 14:13
How many times have we heard that someone is always watching us? It’s a fact and an important one that is easily forgotten. So my question…how are you reppin you? And more importantly, how are you reppin Christ? Have you mastered the ability to be accountable and practice self-control? Do you even practice?
This is something that all adults saved or not should be practicing. As children of God with a mandate on our lives to share the gospel of Christ to unbelievers, accountability and self-control must be learned and applied! Since Christians are watched under this microscope of false perfection it’s imperative. Not for us to be perfect (because we’re not) but for us to strive to control our emotions and our actions so that they work out for the greater good of everyone around us as well as the kingdom of God.
Too many seasoned saints are relying on grace instead of growing up and learning to practice a balanced state of self-control and restraint. We are surrounding ourselves around too many people that support our foolishness making it increasingly difficulty to
I’d like to take today to recognize the OG Ride or Die in our lives, whether you’ve chosen to accept Him or not. Jesus! The one who gave up His life so that we didn’t have to. The one who continued to ride as He was spat on, whipped, pierced, nailed, plain ol assaulted just for you and every wrong you would ever commit. All so that grace would keep you in right relationship with God, the Creator of all!
His death brought us life! His resurrection gave us direction and power. Shout out to God for wrapping Himself in flesh to right what we messed up. Our ride or die, even when we purposely choose not to live for him.
#Committed #Dedicated #Love Today—I’ll do my best to ride regardless of my circumstances and die to my flesh and fears. It’s the least I can do…What about you?
Celebrate our ride or die today. The only one we can trust to do that for us 100% know that!
television with a couple other children minding your own business. Then all of a sudden you hear your mom start complaining about trash bags that are full, dishes in the sink, you not entertaining all the younger kids, and not pulling your weight with the guests. She must have been irritated by the distraction of hosting. You automatically think, “wait this ain’t my party, I didn’t ask these people to come over, I don’t even know these kids like that! You volunteered yourself and house for this not me.” But you only think it because you are not ready for the pain that would ensue if you actually voiced it or let your facials make the statement for you!
Melanie N. Lee
I just REALLY love Jesus!!!
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