Victory Redefined 

pure wisdom!

rethink

Last week I was at a high school conference where we learned about the story of Daniel. Daniel is an interesting guy. He is one of the only people in the Bible, besides Jesus, where his mistakes aren’t recorded. Throughout his whole story Daniel is portrayed as an upright guy that is following God in the midst of some pretty hard circumstances.The book of Daniel is full of story after story of how Daniel stood up for what was right despite the imminent danger that it would cost him. This is where the story gets really interesting. Each time Daniel or his friends were faithful in the midst of danger God spared them. From a fiery furnace to a lions den, when they stood for what was right, God showed up and saved them.

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Blessings don’t have to be difficult

Luke 5: 4-8 – When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

Why is it that we can’t see something working if it’s just too easy. Like really Jesus it’s that simple? What we see here is a group of men who by their own effort couldn’t catch a fish to save their life, but then came Jesus. And we know once Jesus steps in a miracle is bound to happen. So by their own efforts they couldn’t catch a thing and Jesus tells them to simply throw the net on the other side of the boat. Of course they doubted Him because they had been fishing all night and caught nothing. What would the difference be now? The difference is that Jesus was involved now and He spoke a word, and when God speaks a word it must happen. So, finally they decide to be obedient and listen to Jesus and they catch so many fish that their net begins to rip. Not only did their nets begin to rip, they had to call for help because they had more than they could handle!

Wow! Do you see what obedience can get you? Just simply listening to Jesus gave them enough fish to possibly feed their whole town! We are just like these fishermen. God gives us simple instructions to live by but of course we rather go through life trying to fulfill our purpose with our own efforts and we find ourselves fishing all night with nothing to eat. Work, work, and more work with nothing to show for it. If we would simply listen and obey God not only would He allow us to fulfill our destiny, oh but He will open up the gates of heaven and pour blessings on us so abundantly that we wouldn’t have enough room to store them! We would have enough for us and everyone around us! God wants to do so much for us. He wants to open the doors and help us get through them. He wants to provide everything we need and more but we don’t let Him. We have become so proud that we want full credit on everything we accomplish in life and we find ourselves feeling unfulfilled and empty at the end of it. We find ourselves with an empty boat with not even one fish, not even one blessing to show for all our hard work. But when we let Jesus in the picture, the blessings are overwhelming!

I like in 2 Kings, when the prophet Elisha told a man named Naaman that was suffering from leprosy, to simply go to the Jordan river and wash his face 7 times and he would be healed. Naaman got angry! He was expecting Elisha to say some magic words and touch him so that he can be healed. An officer that was there told Naaman in 2 Kings 6:13-“Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, ‘Go and wash and be cured!’”. Finally Naaman gained some sense and listened to Elisha and he was instantly healed! Why do we need things to be difficult for us? Not every miracle or blessing has to be so difficult to obtain! Simply obeying God will get us so far. Yes, in life we are faced with struggles but obedience can eliminate those struggles. Not doubting the word that God speaks to us, even when we don’t know how it’s gonna work. Even if we tried a million times but God says try one more time, we have to have faith that God is gonna get the Glory this one last time! Who are we to question how God wants to work His miracle? Let God be God and you just be you. An obedient servant of Christ and I promise you that there is no situation God will not help you through. Don’t doubt the simplicity of obedience. Obedience is greater than sacrifice can ever be. And it saves us a lot of unwanted hardships. So lets stop trying to be in control or over looking the blessing that comes as easy as just listening to God and we will have more than we need and be freed from any ailment that might be holding us back.

LUKE 11:28-   He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.

Praying for rain.

JAMES 5:17-18: Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.

Wow! How much power is there in our tongues! We are not even aware of how powerful we are because we have the power of Christ in us. Some people have been praying for their rain for years and they are still in a drought. Where is that faith? Elijah was a mere mortal just like me and you but he had something that a lot of us lack. Elijah had full confidence in His God. I’m talking about 100% faith that if He asked God for something it will be done. When Elijah wanted to prove to the 450 Prophets that were praising Baal how real his God was, he didn’t do it with an ounce of doubt in His mind. He knew Baal was powerless and That the Lord was going to send fire to ignite his sacrifice. He didn’t know how and he didn’t worry about how it was going to be done, he just knew that His God was going to deliver. Which of course He did. That is what we need. That doubtless faith in our God. Not wondering or worrying ourselves with the details. Lets leave that to God. All we need when we hit our knees or when we speak a word is that faith.

When is our rain gonna come? We don’t know but we know its coming. We could smell it in the air. The healing, the promotion, the house, the car, the manifestation of Gods promise in your life is coming. Whatever you are waiting for, praying for is coming all it takes is that doubtless faith. That we serve a faithful God that will deliver for His glory. God didn’t deliver so that Elijah can look powerful. No God delivered so that He can get the Glory. So He can prove His power to the people who were serving false Gods and He will do the same for every Christian in today’s world. He will deliver so that people around us can see the power of faith and prayer. So that God can get the Glory when He delivers us. All we have to do is show that confidence that we have in Him. God knows our hearts and He knows if we believe what we are speaking. Sometimes we’re praying for something with uncertainty that God is going to give it to us and He won’t! Not with that type of faith! He wants to know there is not one drop of doubt in your prayer.

Elijah prayed earnestly.

Earnest: serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous, showing depth and sincerity of feeling, seriously important; demanding or receiving serious attention.

How earnestly are we praying? How serious is our situation? How badly do we want our blessing? We have to pray like we need it! Live like it is already ours! And most importantly have that undoubtedly, unquestionable faith in our God no matter the situation or the outcome, that He will make everything work out for our good.

Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

Mark 11:24  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

John 14:13-14 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it

Our Calling

Matthew 28:19-20

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

What a privilege it is to speak words that came forth from the mouth of God. Something we are not even worthy of. But to be chosen to speak the word of God, what a blessing it is. Are we doing it as much as we could or should? I don’t think so. When I read the word and I see how dedicated Jesus disciples were. It’s like they ate, slept and breathed the word of God. They were truly Holy Spirit filled, healing in the name of Jesus. Do we not have the same Holy Spirit? Did the name of Jesus become any less powerful? NO! The Spirit has never changed. What changed was the desire, the wanting, the need of speaking life. The fear of God has diminished. We aren’t as worried about the coming of Christ as we should be. Are we not living in the end times? I feel like the power of the Holy Spirit should be seen now more than ever as we get closer and closer to the return of our savior Jesus Christ. The disciples spent every waking moment working for Christ. They didn’t care if they ate, if they had clothes to wear or money they went where they were led in full dependence on the Lord. Where has that dependence gone? Why is it that we feel as if we can’t do something unless we are completely satisfied and comfortable with our surroundings first?

Thinking back on how uncomfortable the disciples of Christ must have been. And knowing how they would be beaten and imprisoned and eventually killed for their faith and it still didn’t stop them! How selfish are we? And I include myself in this. Whenever I feel the Holy Spirit telling me to speak the word in public I think about it for a second, I get nervous which is ok. But why do I have to even have to think about it? Where is the obedience, the hunger to spread the Gospel? Why should I even have to wait until God gives me a nudge to get up and preach? I should be filled with so much fire for Christ that I want to take advantage of every opportunity to speak His word. I’m desperately waiting for God to come back and I know He is waiting until every one has heard the name of Jesus, which should give me an even bigger desire to spread the Gospel. Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”  

So is time to get it together, get over the fear of public speaking. To seek God for courage and guidance and to just speak His word in any way we can. Not only with our lips but with our lives. To be examples of Christ at all times of our day. To be that light in this dark world and people will be drawn to Him. God has chosen us and set us apart for this Leviticus 20:26 Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the people’s to be Mine.” Preaching the word of God is a privilege and a great responsibility we should not take advantage of. More now than ever do we have to stand up and speak for our God. We were not saved to be silent. But to be used so that others can see what God has done in our lives and seek Him for salvation. Not by our own human effort will souls be saved but by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 2:8  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God”  It’s time to give the gift of salvation, unashamed and unafraid. Walking in the footprints of our ancestors and putting the desire of doing Gods will before anything else.

Psalms 40:8  “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.”

Learning to love where I am

Have you ever prayed for something and then realized maybe it’s not really what you wanted? Like really got on your knees and didn’t stop until you got it, just to act ungrateful when God finally opened the door because maybe it’s not as easy as you thought it would be?

I was working for the same company for 5 years and when I became born again I wanted out. The environment was just killing my spirit and I was praying for God to get me out of there and place me somewhere where I can be a blessing to people and grow spiritually, and He did. After long months of praying and a few interviews I finally got the job I wanted so badly. I have been working here for 6 months now and that joy of having a new job just wore off. I am the only christian in my workplace, so I tend to be the most positive and happy person here, which I’m OK with. I’m praying that somehow my happiness will ware off on my coworkers but honestly I find them avoiding me more than anything. There is such a negative spirit in my workplace that I find myself praying more than ever. I really feel like my presence annoys my coworkers. I was at the point that I wanted out. Waking up everyday to go to work became a drag and my joy was just diminishing more everyday. I would literally be dragging my feet walking to the building.

Then I spoke to God. I told Him I feel horrible because this is what I prayed for and He gave it to me and now I feel like I’m being ungrateful. I mean Jesus endured way more persecution and negativity than anyone can ever experience and He was still happy to do the will of His father, why can’t I be like that? Why is it that I have to be so selfish that I only worry about my happiness and not Gods plan? After speaking to God and letting Him know how I felt He spoke to my spirit. He told me I only feel the negative because that is all I am focused on. He reminded me of all the people I have come in contact with on my way to work on the train or just walking to get my lunch who have been a blessing to me. And the customers that God has blessed by using me to speak the word to them or just to speak a blessing on to their lives. He told me I shouldn’t be looking for a way to get out of a negative atmosphere but I should be praying for Him to sustain me in my situation. I am the only Bible those people may see. I have to be a light in a dark place and if He doesn’t place me in a dark place then how can His light shine? How can people notice the glory of God if there not surrounded by destruction first?. If my goal in life is to do the will of God then I will be happy to endure any criticism, bad talk or any type of persecution that might come with being a servant of Christ. It is going to strengthen me and teach me how to deal with difficult people and show them that unconditional love that God shows me everyday although I fail Him. But of course before realizing this I had to go through that doubt and that discomfort which ultimately led to me feeling guilty for doubting Gods plan and wanting out of it.

God is using us everyday in ways we will never understand. (John 13:7 – Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”)  But just like Jesus said eventually we will see. We only see the situation that we are in while we are in it forgetting that God paints on a canvas the size of the universe and He already has every detail of our life planned out. He knows the purpose of why He places us in difficult situations and it’s not our job to understand why. It is our job as servants of Christ to continue praising Him through the process, continue seeking Him for guidance and strength, and to just show the love of Christ and be that light in a dark world. As long as we are in the flesh we will always grow impatient and that’s OK. But not focusing on the now and just remembering all that God has promised us will carry us through everyday and we will feel more accomplished than ever. Because everyday we are walking in His will and getting closer to our destiny.

So today I woke up grateful for my job and blessed to be chosen to be that light in a dark place. Praying that the love of God will fill the hearts of my coworkers. I have a sense of fulfillment knowing that I am doing the Will of my Father. I will not give satan pleasure in seeing me down but I will defeat him by rejoicing in the Lord no matter my circumstance.

2 Corinthians 4:17 –  For our light afflictions and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

Was I born Gay?

This is such a sensitive topic for me because I once thought I was born a bi-sexual or lesbian. I have a lot of Homosexual friends and family members and now that I am a christian its hard to speak about it with them because a lot of them truly believe they were born this way. Honestly who am I to argue with them? All I can do is share what I have experienced and learned since finding Christ.

“God made me this way”.  That is a common thought of a homosexual person. Just because we have a thought or something is programmed into our minds at a young age we believe we must have been created that way. Lets take it back to Genesis. When God created the world and Adam and Eve. Oh lovely Eve, that was so easily deceived by the serpent. Because of the first sin of man every human that was born after them was born in sin. Separated from God spiritually. Which is why Jesus Christ had to be the human sacrifice to reconcile us with the Lord. But back to being born in sin, because we are born with sin in our heart, into a world filled with sin, the devil automatically has the upper hand in our lives. He is in control of this world and everything we are seeing and experiencing. Its hard not to walk around and not see a gay couple, which is completely normal in today’s world. Now if you have a thought or feeling as a child about liking the same-sex and you turn on your tv or walk outside and see that homosexuality is normal, then you are never going to think it’s bad. People are telling you that if you feel like you’re attracted to the same-sex then you were born this way. Of course you’re not gonna argue about it your going to do whatever pleases your flesh because that is what we do. We live to please our sinful desires because before we know Christ we don’t know any better.

I speak on this not because it’s what I learned in church or from anybody. This is what I lived through. I was struggling with this spirit since I was a child. It started with kissing girls when I was little. To having full on sexual relations with them when I got older. Growing up in a family with a few homosexual people and being surrounded by it of course I thought this was normal. Although I did have some knowledge of God and knew that the bible clearly states that it was a sin. I thought, well God must make some exceptions right?. Wrong. Pleasing God wasn’t my concern when I was living in sin and being in a lesbian relationship was only one of the many sins that I was committing at the time. I had a serious drinking problems, I smoked weed like my life depended on it and the list can go on. Finally when I couldn’t take the life I was living anymore I knew I needed Jesus. Deep down living in sin was killing me. The thought if I died I would go to hell was haunting me.

But back to battling this spirit, it wasn’t until I gave my life to Christ that I began to understand that Satan really messes with your mind and he doesn’t have an age limit. He is active in our lives from the moment we come out the womb trying to stop us from having a relationship with God. Making us comfortable in our sin. The world has made gay marriage legal so that people who are living in sin can feel comfortable. Now they feel because the government approves then it must be ok. That is exactly what satan wants. He wants people to feel comfortable in their sin so they wont turn to God. But the word of God teaches us we are not to follow the world but His word which gives us life. We have to separate ourselves from this world and their behaviors if we want to reign with our heavenly father. When I spoke to God about my battle with this spirit, He spoke to my spirit and reminded me that I was made in His image and He didn’t create a confused child. I had to search for God to get the answers to my many problems. But in today’s society sadly people don’t turn to God anymore for answers they turn to the world and if the world says its ok then in their minds they figure it ok.

Am I condemning homosexuals to hell? Of course not. Who am I to judge? I was just in that spot almost a year ago. But God saved me so I can be an example that it’s not too late. He is waiting for you to stop going to the world for answers and support but to go to Him. He is the only one that can save you and He loves you! A lot of homosexual people are afraid to go to church because they think they won’t be accepted which is really the fault of a lot of churches. I mean of course we have to preach against the sin but welcome the sinner. Church is a hospital for the spiritually hurt and sick people. We have to encourage each other and show the love of Christ so that we can bring souls to His kingdom. I know that death is something everyone thinks about and I’m sure it scares a lot of people to think if they died right now they would be going to hell. I know it use to scare me.

So were you born gay? No. God loves you but He doesn’t like your sin. If you give Him a chance and let Him work in your life He will help you overcome this spirit. Because the victory is yours!

Defeating the spirit of depression.

  • Depression- feelings of severe despondency and dejection.
  • Despondency- a state of low spirits caused by loss of hope or courage.

So its safe to say by definition that depression is a state caused by low spirits which is caused by loss of hope or courage.

2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

God, our creator gave us our spirit. When we are walking with Christ the first thing the enemy is going to attack is our spirit. He does not want us to have any hope, faith or courage in our walk. He wants us to doubt every promise God has made to us. Unfortunately because we are in the world and we have to deal with many unpleasant circumstances, it is easy for us to feel doubtful. It’s easy to lose faith when you don’t see Gods promises manifesting immediately in your life or at least when you need them to.  We know that our lives are in Gods hands and His plan for our life will unfold in His time not ours. That’s hard to swallow because humans are just naturally impatient. I personally ask God to please hurry up almost everyday. I always tell myself to just be patient, greater is coming, blah blah. Easier said than done.

I recently came down with depression for like 4 days. I was out of it. I went to church, I was praising God but it didn’t feel right. I felt hopeless. I was trying to focus on Him but it was hard. Physically I felt terrible, my body was aching I just wanted to sleep all day. Which I did, and then I felt worse because I wasted days in bed when I could have been doing something to get closer to God. So that made me feel crappy. I don’t know why I can be so hard on myself when God already knows how imperfect I am and how I am going to fail Him every single day. He doesn’t expect us to be on our A game every single day. He knows the devil we are dealing with is very much alive and well and trying his best to make our lives miserable. I woke up yesterday determined to get over this feeling. It was Sunday but I didn’t want to go to church. I just wanted to be in a park around trees and birds with my Bible and just speak to God. I needed some alone time with Him. But of course the enemy wasn’t going to let me get that so easy. From the moment I wake up in my home its spiritual warfare. Being the only Christian in your household can be depressing alone. Most of the time I feel like I can’t even speak because there is never any conversation going on that God would like me to join in on. So I find myself alone a lot. But I was determined so I dressed my daughter and made my way out the door. I already felt better. When we got to the park I took a moment to just enjoy Gods beautiful creations. The trees that give us shade, the sun that keeps us warm, the breeze that cools us down, the music from the birds and my favorite is just looking at all the beautiful little kids enjoying their life carefree not tainted by the world and its many destructive ways. I was just taking it all in. I felt so at peace and I just began to speak to God. I opened the word and it landed on,

Psalms 91 – Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him. For He will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with His wings. His faithful promise is your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night nor the arrow that flies in the day.

There’s more but just that part right there is enough to lift your spirit. God has not left me or forsaken me. He is with me while I’m having these spiritual battles. He is protecting me from the attacks I go through both at night and during the day. He is my refuge. It so easy to forget to just call on the Lord when we are going through something. We get so caught up trying to keep our minds occupied trying to do something to impress God when really there is nothing we can do that will impress Him. What gives God joy is when we have our faith in Him. When we turn to Him in our time of need. When we confess to Him that we are nothing without Him we can’t handle this life and we just need His help. Which is the truth. I can read 100 books, write songs, go to church everyday. God is not impressed by my works. He loves to know that I need my father to guide me. That when I’m down I’m not gonna sleep all day but I’m gonna pray until something happens. That I’m going to be the light in my home speaking the word even if it kills my family. I’m going to praise Him and worship Him because with every bad thing I can list going on in my life I can list at least 10 blessings. The good will always outweigh the bad when you are walking with Christ.

Back to what Timothy said God did not give us a spirit of timidness but of power! Meaning we have to live like that which like I said before is sometimes easier said then done but we have to try. In our weakness God makes us strong. As long as we depend on Him, He will strengthen us. But as long as we depend on ourselves we will continue to be weak. In trying to do things myself I became weaker but once I just stopped trying and told God to take control I felt a sense of peace that I can’t explain. The enemy is going to try anything he possibly can to discourage you in your walk with Christ. He will use everyone around you to stress you out and make you feel defeated. But we know the victory is already ours so we just have to cling to God and He will restore us. I realized that I don’t have to try so hard to do right by God. Having faith in His word and His promises is enough. Knowing and believing that He is God and He will make all things work out for my good is enough. (Romans 8:28). Waking up with a positive mindset and not focusing on the negative is enough. Being the light in my home and showing that unconditional love that God shows is enough. Rejoicing in my Lord and remembering all He has done for me is enough (Psalm 92: 4-6). Just the thought that Jesus came down to die for me, a hopeless undeserving sinner is enough to make me feel like I’m just that special to God. We all are. We just have to remind ourselves whenever we feel that depression creeping up on us. Jesus Christ died for us so that we can have a life full of joy, love, and hope. The enemy will try to destroy us but Jesus died so that we can have life and life in abundance. (John 10:10). Everyday we will grow, learn and become stronger in Christ as long as we lean on Him and not on our own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5) So with that I say stay strong in your faith, don’t give up and pray until something happens.

Deuteronomy 31:8

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you;he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”