Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world
1 Peter 5:8 NKJV
In the famous words of Suga Free, “If you stay ready, you ain’t gotta get ready!” If you are not familiar with him then please, do NOT google him. Let’s just move on!
Over the last couple of months I have been very straightforward with God about what I desired to see change in me so that I could have a more peace and joy filled relationship with Him and the people around me. It wasn’t until last week that I noticed that the prayers, focus in Scripture, and application of these Scriptures in my life had caused the very things I prayed for to be physically manifested in my life.
I was overjoyed! As I ministered to others I had an opportunity to share my testimony with a few people. It went something like,
“I was feeling this way and now I am feeling this way because I allowed the word to work in my life by doing this…”
Not that I’m being secretive, that is just the template of how I was able to share the glory of God while helping others find a way out of their slumps.
A couple weeks ago a familiar Scripture came up in my studies, 1 Peter 5:8 (written above). I automatically assumed the attack would be something in the area that I had struggled with previously so I put up my guard with those things and kept it pushing. The enemy found his way around that and went for something I wasn’t paying much attention to…ok, he went for several things I wasn’t paying much attention to.
While the hit may have come in a different way than I expected, I’m so glad that my God loved me enough to warn
And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship.
Oftentimes we are completely unaware or avoid the cracks, faults, or empty voids in our life that leave us susceptible to the attacks of the enemy. That’s why there are times we look up and wonder, “How the hell did I get here?” A majority of the time we do not become aware of these places in our hearts, minds, and in our lives until a storm rolls in and changes up everything.
Last week, there were men walking on the roof of my house. A bit random for me I must admit until I realized their purpose. The Homeowners Association sent them to do an inspection and with perfect timing because we got some pretty heavy rains last week! I mean especially for Southern California!
Although I’ve kept up with all of you who are signed up for the emails I send out I haven't posted an actual blog in a while…I thought, “hey, it’s my birthday, why not?!” So this is what poured from my fingertips…
“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”
When I recognized that 30 was coming to a close…an age I waited to reach in anticipation for 5 whole years, I decided to do some reflecting. The first thing that came to mind was that I don’t care if someone offered to fund my life for the rest of my life, I would never relive this year again. Ever! I began to ruminate on all the things that I lost, all the hurt, the attacks on people I love, the confusion…just all the bad stuff while ignoring all the good (because there was good).
I lost a lot in the physical, I was beat up emotionally, and spiritual attacks were severe but mostly because I decided to deal with them alone which probably wasn't the best decision I've ever made in life. I moved in my emotions when it came to handling my own stuff, which means things were often temporary and I spent a lot of time having to repair. My opinions shifted like the wind and my feelings went from both extremes in matters of days making for an unstable thought life.
The Holy Spirit gently nudged me during this time of reflection and encouraged me to look at where I have gained. The words that continued to play in my mind that day were, “to lose is gain”. And while I felt depleted of everything that I felt like I needed, everything I wanted, everything that has yet to come to pass God reminded me that there is more that I have gained in the spirit if I would just stop focusing on what I lost and what didn’t go like I thought it should. In other words, stop being a brat and change your perspective!
As I mentioned, there was some good! I had great moments! I got cool things! God has kept my family in spite of! Friends have overcome illness and recovered from surgeries! I grew in great relationships with some great people! I am apart of a great church family! God and my Pastor trust me enough to allow me to lead in various ways! I am blessed! But I decided to make a list of all the ways I grew spiritually, which honestly is the most important to me. While the material stuff is good, I believe that positive spiritual changes assist in a positive chain reaction everywhere else. So I learned:
Seek peace and pursue it. -Psalm 34:14b
This morning as I was doing my devotion I found that my mind was all over the place. I had difficulty controlling my thoughts and even after praying it seemed like they were still taking over. That was discouraging in itself! I mean why weren’t my prayers working!? (SN: Just because I didn’t see immediate results didn’t mean they weren’t working—God’s word is true and says that He will do anything we ask in His name (John 14). Don’t forget to rest on that, even if we don’t see that thang happen right, right now) The lies that were attempting to infiltrate my entire being almost made me feel like I needed to put down my reading for a minute and come back to it later but I was reminded by the spirit to keep pressing through. I needed what was in that text! (Hence the enemy’s strong attempts to keep me away from it since the night before)
As I read, God began to answer many of the prayers I have prayed over the last couple months. He continued to encourage me and was even able to counter many of the thoughts that were rushing through my mind. Sure, I could have taken greater authority over the thoughts and rebuked them but honestly in the moment that’s not what I did. Because I didn’t hear these thoughts quieted quick enough I became frustrated with them, I wasn’t able to think clearly, and was becoming overwhelmed.
But what God showed me today is that in everything, I will have to press through the negative thoughts in order to get what I need. Seek peace and pursue it! In order to get to a better mind space, in order to have a productive day, in
22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Last week I was talking to a friend about some things that were not going right. In the moment, I was aggravated but doing my best to be patient because if I threw my laptop across the room I would deeply regret it! I encouraged myself by stating the importance of patience and waiting for God’s perfect timing and taking deep breaths. It was actually working but my friend text me back and said, “take authority over it”. I quickly text back, “you’re right!” It never occurred to me to pray about the situation. So I sat there in Starbucks and made my declarations known, in Jesus’ name. And what do you know? That thing that took me two hours of fooling with at two different locations finally decided to act right. Like literally 20 seconds and it was done.
Her words stayed with me the rest of that day and when I woke up Friday morning, “you can move mountains” was in my spirit so, I automatically went to our key verse and was encouraged more than ever! I know the devil is livid because I haven’t been able to stop walking like a giant ever since lol. When I was reminded of this authority I started calling out the big stuff and when I tell you that mess was moving?????? Ha! You can’t tell me the God we serve isn’t real and that prayer doesn’t work. So I want to share this with you! We all need a reminder of the authority we hold being God’s children.
Do you understand the authority we have been given through Christ? I mean do you really? Because if you did, if I
9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. 10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. 11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
1 John 5:9-13
I was so excited by our Sunday school lesson yesterday that I wanted to share some of it with you today! So many of us are seeking out ways to enhance our physical lives, extend our lives, and even live our lives. We find ourselves spending thousands of dollars on products yearly to not be satisfied at the end of the day. How do I know we aren’t satisfied? Well, we keep spending, we keep wanting and feeling that we need more, the chase for physical satisfaction never stops. We work hard just so we can get more of the stuff that makes us feel like we are living.
We work to find life when Salvation is free and already ours! The gift was paid for by Christ at a hefty price so we
Good morning beautiful people! I pray that you have had a blessed week so far. Today I wanted to share a little bit with you from last night’s Bible Study at church. For the last several weeks we have been discovering all that the Kingdom of God entails and how to seek out the kingdom of God to reduce anxiety and stress in our lives. It has been a blessing.
Last night we continued to discuss how we are an extension of the kingdom of God. With this we know that God trusts us to get to know Him and serve Him loyally (1 Chronicles 28:9) but what happens when serving becomes draining and even causes one to feel brokenhearted? The bible tells us to not grow weary in well doing, but how?! (Galatians 6:9) In this Bible study class we used an example from one of our members and touched
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
And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Matthew 7:3 NKJV
In this season of my life one of the greatest lessons I have been taught have been on grace and humility. It has taught me to become less critical of others but it has also taught me that there is a thin line between that and compromise. That’s a whole different post. This morning verse three (our key verse) stood out to me because of how important introspection is. I’ve always been good at finding my faults and beating myself over the head with them. A pro actually! But at this point in my life I am learning to sit with God, look at my planks, hand them over to Him, and see how I can rid of them, and help others after I do without the shaming.
There is much that needs to happen as far as introspection goes. It doesn’t mean that I can’t see or discern when others
Today I sat at the pond at a nearby park. Shortly after I arrived a family of four came and set up near me. The dad and his son who was probably no older than three pulled out a remote control battleship. He gave his son the control and watched as he steered it through the fountains and around the barrier of the pond. After about 5 mins the wind began blowing a little harder and the kids driving got a little more reckless.
I was in awe that a little one could guide a remote control boat so well that when he started ramming it into the walls it made me nervous. I'm like sheesh he's gonna break the dang thing. Most of the time I watched the boat but decided to look up at the kid and he seemed cool and collected as he banged that poor boat all over the place. I looked up at the dad thinking he would be wincing but nope, he was even cooler than the kid as he watched. Occasionally the boat would get stuck in a corner and the kid would just walk over to find it and his dad followed behind to release the boat and they continued on. I learned some things from this interaction...
1) Sometimes we start out smooth sailing and then winds hit without warning
Whether it's a threat to our physical health, a distraction, heartbreak, or loss, sometimes these things hit when it feels like life is finally going smooth. Life is not void of trials that's why the Bible speaks of them so often. But we must
Melanie N. Lee
I just REALLY love Jesus!!!
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