God Doesn’t Need Your Help

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11  For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
The LORD gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
12  O LORD of hosts,
How blessed is the man who trusts in You! (Psalm 84:11-12, NASB)

God’s plan for us takes into account all of our talents, gifts, skills, and dispositions. He plans to mature us and bring certain aspects of our lives to pass at a certain time. But sometimes God’s timing is not our own. And that fact causes some dissonance for us. The intensity of our desire, the feelings of perceived need we have sometimes overrule our spirit’s will to wait on God. Abram and Sarai’s journey to the son God promised them is a perfect example of how our desires can lead us to shortcut God’s plan for us.

God told Abram he would be the father of many nations. To do that, he had to be somebody’s daddy. Of course Sarai, his wife would assume it would be through her. Well, that wasn’t happening. So, the story goes that she convinces Abram to marry her maid and have a child with her. Well, Sarai’s plan shortcuts God’s will. And it wreaked havoc in their family. Her desire to be used by God, her need to fulfill her husband’s desire caused her to step outside of God’s will to make it happen on her own. If I’m honest, I totally understand Sarai’s impatience. And I’m, sure you do too. Have you ever had something you know was coming, but it wasn’t coming fast enough, so you decided to do what you could to help it along? I know I’m guilty!

However, in those moments, rarely do we consider how those choices, those deliberate choices affect our direction. Our shortcuts are grounded in pride; how we feel we need to help God out.
Did you read that? How we need to help God out. That’s ridiculous to even type. Abram should have told his wife, Bye, Sarai! Go sit down and be patient while God does His thing.

Throughout their ordeal, I know Sarah and Abraham were changed. They came to know God more deeply, more intimately. They came to rely on him more than they did before. They got to see His will come to pass. To me, this deeper knowledge and understanding, and even God’s fulfillment of His promise (despite their behavior), is just more evidence that God surely will work all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

If you take one thing away from this devotional today, it is God does not need your help! Each time you are tempted to help Him out, remind yourself that God has all things, knows all things,
and can do all things. And on that alone, nothing you can do will enhance His plan for your life.

Dr. Charles Stanley said something that stuck with me on a message about shortcutting God’s will.
He said:
God makes a promise.
Faith believes it.
Hope anticipates it.
Patience waits quietly for it.

Many Blessings!

Wait on the Lord

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Since leaving my job of 17 years in August 2018, I have been in a time of waiting. I have not been given instructions about my next career move or even if I will even return to my field. Although I have done several temporary jobs over the last few years, in the meantime, I’ve been enjoying my time at home with my children while they participate in virtual learning. I have found a new love, crafting. It has brought me so much joy and peace. So, many different things have taken place in my life. 

Initially, I was very anxious and continuously applying for positions in my field. Eventually, I stopped and decided to focus on the last instructions God had given me. He had told me to focus on my writing and my family. So, I began to do just that. In doing so, I’ve experienced so much peace about my future. In light of all that has happened in the world since 2018, I have been convinced that I am exactly where He wants me to be. How could I be so sure? Because I have seen Him gradually align various areas of my life, develop me, and give me freedom. Some things have occurred that I could not have happened without God’s hands on them. 

Therefore, I have resolved that I will not move until He speaks. I will trust in Him. I also had to commit to change how I wait. Initially, I anxious for something to happen but now I am resting in him and praising Him for the journey. I am more intentional about embracing my NOW and all of the possibilities it brings. You see how we wait for God to move matters. When we complain, we make it an arduous task and torment ourselves. However, when we choose to have an attitude of gratitude, we shift the atmosphere of our lives and posture ourselves for greater works of God in and around us. 

Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint.” Therefore, how we wait on God matters. We have to wait in a way that is conducive to us receiving renewal, strength, refreshing, restoration, and eventually reward. 

What are you waiting on God to do in your life? Have you grown weary in your waiting? Have you become fearful or even doubtful of whether or not He will come through for you? If He is will is not a question, God is faithful in all His promises. If He said it, it will surely come to pass. So, I say,” Dear Friend, wait on the Lord”. 

Be blessed. 

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How Are You Living?

Last week, my sweet husband, asked me a very important question. He asked,”If you knew you were going to die soon, what would you do?” My mind immediately started to ponder the question. How would I live? What would I do differently? How would I decide to spend the rest of my time? All of which are very powerful questions. Likewise, their answers were even more powerful because they caused me to really reevaluate my life and how I am living it.

Each answer is very personal. So, I won’t go into intimate details but I will say one thing. I would definitely be even more intentional about all areas of my life. Over the last 5 or 6 years, I’ve made alot of changes as a result of plenty self-evaluation. I have evaluated my career, relationships, parenting, wellness, and so many other areas. Although I have made alot of changes, there are still so much more I could do or be more intentional about.

Today, I want to ask you the same question,”If you knew your time was ending here on Earth, how would you live the life you have left? Would you be more present in your relationships? Would you shut all all distractions and hone in only on your family or those most important you? How would you spend your days? These are all very intense questions. Many of which I’m still trying to construct an answer or plan for.

One thing I know for sure is that I don’t want to leave this earth without using every gift God has blessed me with. I don’t want to leave without giving all the love He has given me. I don’t want to let all that He has brought me through to be in vain. I don’t want to not embrace and cherish every moment He has given me to praise and worship Him. I don’t to leave here with His work undone. I want to live for His purpose, on purpose. Don’t you? He came that we may have life and have it more abundantly.

John 10:10 TPT A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect —life in its fullness until you overflow!

So I ask, “What does that look like in your life? Are you living your life for His purpose with intent? Is life happening to you or by you living in and for Him?”

Let Us Pray…Father, we thank you for your divine plan and purpose for our lives. Help us to seek your will and wisdom on how we should live in a way that pleases you. In doing so, you’ve promised us life more abundantly which can only be found in you. Lord, you’ve given us the gift of life so that through you we may live a life of intent and great love. Teach us to do just that. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

A River Runs Through

Bring all your sorrow, your guilt, and your pain,

Bring all your burdens, your fears, and your chains.

Bring your disappointment and even every sin,

Bring it all. It doesn’t matter what shape you are in.

Release, exhale, drop, let everything go,

Because the answer is near and soon it shall flow.

Full of all you need to experience new life,

Full of what’s needed to make all death alive.

Lean in. Can you feel it’s rhythm on the cusp of the wind?

The river is knocking.  Will you let Him in?

No matter what you’re facing the river runs through.

He is coming to deliver, set free, and make new.

The river runs through mountains high, valleys low,

The river can reach no matter how far you go.

Oh, there is a river from which you can drink and thirst no more.

That river is Jesus. Praise His name forevermore!

River run through and make us anew.

River run through and fill us with truth.

River run through and drive out all doubt.

River run through because its you we cannot live without.

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Trust Him

This morning, I thank God for continuing to confirm His plan for my life. I just want to encourage you today. If God tells you to do something, do it regardless of how crazy it seems or how you/others may feel about it. Be wise. Every opportunity that sounds good may not be what God desires for your life. The opportunity may be a good one but it may not be right for you. However, when pursuing a God instructed path, it may be scary at first but you have to trust that if He said it, He has you covered. Initially, you may have to walk alone but as long as you are following His lead, help is on the way.

I can remember how much I dreaded having to go to Grambling because I knew that there would be some things involved that I didn’t want to deal with. Although what I dreaded did occur, God had already made provision and I developed so much. If I had not gone, I wouldn’t have met my husband and so many other beautiful people. I learned so much about God being my friend, provider, protector, and vindicator. I also learned the importance of listening to Him for instruction. From personal experience, I can tell you that nothing that God has told me to do has ever made sense to me but it has always worked out for me.

Sometimes, God has to change the scenery of your life in order to allow you to see Him in a new way. We can’t afford to play it safe and remain comfortable in our faith walk. If we do, we will never even scratch the surface of what God wants to do in our lives. Even Jesus had a wilderness. He had to face it in order to be prepared for what lied ahead. God blesses our obedience. It’s just that plan and simple. Will you trust and obey Him today?

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Pedestals

Pedestals were meant to bring objects up higher,

Not for us to place men upon so we can admire.

Nor to exalt ourselves above others and say look at me,

Or put our lives on display for all the world to see.

Who are we except filthy rags washed clean by lamb’s blood?

Or wretches merely saved my grace and perfect love.

Do we really have anything worthy of envy?

When we’re all an inch short of falling and our hearts being empty.

When we are all striving with hopes to one day see His face,

While we grow weary of the toils that come with this race.

If we opened our closets, what would our skeletons say?

If our prayers of deliverance could be heard, would our admirers turn away?

Because we are all in need of His grace with every step we take,

How dare we boast in our flesh and His goodness we forsake?

If humility were our breath, we would surely die.

Because we have a tendency to puff up our flesh too high.

If there’s any lifting up, it should only be of the Father.

Man-made pedestals don’t last forever so why do we even bother.

He said, “If I be lifted up, I’ll draw all men unto me”.

But that’s hard to do when WE are all others can see.

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Reflect

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This week is Holy Week. It is the week that Jesus was on His way to a horrific death on a cross, accused, whipped, died on the cross, buried, and rose from the dead. I have been trying to simply meditate on what that must have felt like. How did He feel? What was on His mind knowing His fate? How did He feel when He arose from the dead? I could only imagine the array of feelings He must have felt. I am sure none of us will ever come close to knowing the magnitude of the weight on His shoulders. We have all experienced hardship but nothing comparable to His. Yet, Hebrews 12:2 says,” Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Although what was ahead for Him was bleak, He was still hopeful. His eyes were on His destiny and the outcome of His obedience. His heart of fixed on US, all the souls He’d save.

Would I be willing to endure punishment for something I didn’t do? Would you? Would you be willing to die for sinners whom you came to save that spat on and mocked you? We find it difficult to bear the persecution part of it, let alone the punishment. Yet, He did it just for us. What great love? What great courage? What great strength? What great devotion to the Father? 

As we approach Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, let us reflect on the sacrifice that was made so that we may have a right to the tree of life. Do our lives show that we truly understand the life, death, burial, and resurrection of our Saviour? Are we living lives that honor Him and are reflective of gratitude? 

Let Us Pray:

Father, we thank you for loving us the way that only you can. We thank you that your love for us was greater than our sin. Help us to reflect on the meaning of this week and to remember its implication for our lives. We ask that you forgive us for the times that we have taken it for granted and lived in any way that hasn’t reflective of your glory. Let us remember the cross not just on holidays but every day. Help us to be living epistles of men so that others may come to know you and receive your gift of salvation. Help us to know your son, Jesus, in the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering. So, one day being conformed unto His death, we too shall be raised again to live in eternity with you. 

In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. 

Tears

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My heart has been broken,
My heart has been filled with joy.

My heart has been played with,
As if it were a toy.

My life has been shaken by grief and strained,
My feelings discarded as if they were spare change.

I’ve lain my head in sorrow,
I’ve lain my head in pain.

I’ve felt like I was suffocating,
And would never breathe again.

I have been up,
Lord knows I have been down.

I have smiled,
And I have frowned.

Some have asked me, “What’s in those tears?”,
Many times I couldn’t answer because even I was not clear.

Science says its water, electrolytes, mucus, fat, and proteins,
Some even say their purpose is to moisten and clean.

I guess that could be true because after I let them go, it helps me,
Or they even leave me feeling lighter and more much free.

I could talk forever about all the times I cried,
But the one thing I can tell you is the Father’s been by my side.

He is always there to answer my every cry and call,
Because He is the one who loves me and catches every tear that falls.

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The Goodness of God

Last week, I was blessed to be able to spend a few days by the ocean. While sitting on the beach, I looked out at the ocean. I could only see the shore where the water met the land but I could not see where it ended. All I could see was its vastness and the power of its waves. I began to reflect on my upcoming birthday on the 18th and my heart was filled with gratitude. I couldn’t help but think about how good God had been to me for almost 44 years. At that moment, the Lord spoke to me and said, “Do you see that ocean? That’s how my love is for you. That’s how my grace and mercy are towards you. That’s how my forgiveness is towards you.” Wow! What a revelation? Then, I looked at my children playing in the water and I was reminded of how even the births of my children were evidence of His goodness in my life. 

Regardless of what we may face each day, God is still on the throne. There is nothing that we may experience that catches Him off guard and because He is sovereign, He has power over all things. We may be amid a pandemic…BUT God is still good. We may have received a bad report from the doctor…BUT God is still good. We may be discriminated against and hated…BUT God is still good. Things may not have worked out the way we have liked them…BUT God is still good. 

I am so grateful that I am still in the palm of His hands after 44 years of challenges and triumphs. Guess what? So, are you my friend. God has you and there is no need to fear or worry. He cares for you. He loves you. He has more than enough grace to cover your mistakes and carry you through. He is more than capable of being all that we need. 

I just wanted to encourage your heart today. So, whenever you’re faced with an “ocean” you can’t cross, if you feel that you’re drowning, remember you have a Father that parts seas so you can cross them. You have a Father who throws your sins into the sea of forgetfulness. Your Father loves you infinitely and deeper than an ocean. You won’t sink because as long as you keep your eyes on Him, you can walk on water. He has been good throughout the ages. His goodness in your life will never end because that’s just who He is. 

Lastly, I’d like to end by sharing a song that is my testimony and declaration for the rest of my days called, “The Goodness of God”, written by Jenn Johnson and Bethel. Below is one of my favorite versions of the sound by CeCe Winans. Be blessed.

“And all my life You have been faithful,
And all my life You have been so, so good,
With every breath that I am able,
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God.”
The Goodness of God, Jenn Johnson/Bethel Music

Psalm 23:6 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 31:19 19 How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you.

1 Peter 2:3 3 now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

Psalm 145:9 9 The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.

Psalm 27:13 13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

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Will You Answer?

One of my pet peeves is being ignored. There is nothing more irritating than calling, texting, or speaking to someone and them not answering knowing you are talking to them. If it bothers me, I can only imagine how the Father feels when He is speaking and we fail to answer. I’m guilty of ignoring Him myself and have had to repent for my disobedience. However, I must say that He certainly is not the one we need to ignore especially if we understand the implications of doing so. Years ago, my husband and I knew the Lord was calling us to a ministry assignment outside of our home church. Being the true analytic that I am, I had a million questions and ways of trying to decide the rationality of it. The more I tried to figure it out and reason with God, the more frustrated I became. Everywhere, I went there was confirmation. I couldn’t turn on the TV, radio, or even have a conversation without hearing it. Eventually, the Lord spoke very clearly and told me He wasn’t going to say anything else to me until I obeyed. For some time, I wrestled with myself. As soon as I surrendered, He instantly started giving step-by-step instructions for what He wanted us to do. 

If you have ever experienced the tangible presence of God that comes through intimate fellowship with Him, it is a terrible feeling to be separated from it. There is an unexplainable void that comes with it. The truth is our disobedience breaks our fellowship with our Father. He never intended for us to be away from Him. That’s why He sent Jesus to bring us into right fellowship with Him. So, if there is, it’s because we have moved out of alignment with Him. The good thing about it all that He is waiting for us to answer Him. All He wants is a, “Yes”. Yes to His will, His Word. When we do, we are saying, “Father, we trust that you have our best interest at heart and know what is best for us”. It can be a scary thing because we don’t know what lies ahead. However, if we understand that He is the author and finisher of our faith, we can blindly follow Him. He is the one with the pen and has promised us it will end well.  

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Even though it only lasted a few years, the Lord was very faithful to us during that season of ministry. He moved in great ways and provided everything we needed. We held service in a hotel meeting room so many different types of people came through. One Sunday, a young lady walked into the service. She said she was staying at the hotel and couldn’t sleep throughout the night. She woke up, came downstairs, and heard the service going on. Initially, she was going to stand outside and listen but she said she had to come in. My heart was so full watching the Lord bless her through His Word and receive the love that was showered upon her. We prayed for her at the end of the service and she left. Although we never saw her again, I had peace because I knew she had been impacted by what she’d experienced. Also, during that time, my precious grandfather who is now 88 years old, rededicated His life to the Lord and was a faithful member of our church. The beauty of it all was that I could never remember him attending church while growing up. He was quite skeptical about it. Later, I found out that he was once in church but had a bad experience. So, it was all the more meaningful seeing him participate in worship, outreach, bible study, and Sunday services. 

Ultimately, the assignment ended but my heart was full of joy because I knew that people’s lives were impacted due to our obedience. It would’ve still been worth it even if my sweet Papa was the only one. That is why we must answer the call of God. Someone needs what God has placed inside of us. When we let our fear take over, we make the work about us and not about Him. It is true. We can’t do it in our ability but we can do it in His power. If He calls, He equips and qualifies. 

Friends, the Father is calling out to you. Will you answer His call? All He wants is a Yes. The first response He needs is that of salvation. Have you accepted His invitation of salvation? If not, He is calling. Will you answer? Maybe you know of Him but you haven’t answered the call to live righteously. If not, He is calling. Will you answer? What instructions has He given you? He is calling. Will you answer?

Let Us Pray: 

Father, please let those who have an ear hear what you are saying. Forgive us for our disobedience and turning a deaf ear to your call. Help us to be willing vessels. Help us to lean not unto our understanding but acknowledge you so you can direct our paths. Stir up the gifts that you have placed within us that we have allowed to lie dormant. Give us wisdom on how to cultivate such gifts so we may build your kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. We cast out all fear and ask that you replace it with your perfect love. 

In Jesus Name. Amen. 

This song blessed me and reminded me of the posture we should have when God calls us. Be blessed. Enjoy!

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