Now is the Time

In Ecclesiastes 3, we are reminded of the wisdom of God’s timing.  He knows when various purposes and plans must be carried out, and He knows when they must halt.  There is a time to plant and time to pluck up what is planted, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.

We are in an uncertain time in our nation and world.  The Coronavirus pandemic has many in panic and fear which is completely understandable.  However, as Christians, God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and sound mind.  Certainly, I am not suggesting that we throw caution to the wind, but God never told His people to cave and cower to fear.

Time to Pray

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I understand that we are constantly being told to pray,  but it always should be our first step in any endeavor.  Prayer is a beautiful design given to us by God the Father for communication.  Prayers strengthens us.  Prayer changes our situations.  Most of all, prayer changes us.

Not only do we and others around us need prayer, our nation’s leaders need prayer as well as various state and local authorities.  As a matter of fact, the Bible instructs us to pray for them.  Sadly, I see many that want to bash and say what he or she would do if in leadership, but the fact is you do not know until you are in the situation.  The decisions they are making press heavily on them.  You can see this in the faces of many of them. They need our intercession.

Rather than hitting up social media to gossip and rant, hit your knees and cry out to God for our nation.  Cry out to God for all people!  Cry out for those who are lost without God!  People’s lives and souls are at stake.  What we do matters.

Time to Sanctify Yourself

I am a firm believer in God’s grace and mercy.  He has been so patient with me during seasons of willful sin and in my failings in general.  However, the time has come for many of us to grow up in the Lord.  It is vital that we open our Bibles along with our prayer and ask the Lord for wisdom to rightly divide His word.

When reading His word, you will discover areas of your life that need to change.  I have discovered the same.  Instead of trying to change what the Bible says or justify ourselves, let’s surrender to Christ and allow Him to change us.  It is not pleasant to the flesh, but it is vital.  The world needs to see a people on fire for Jesus and so in love with Him that we allow His love to radiate through us so others can see.

Time to Fast

Christians, it is time for us to push the plate back to show our true desire for God’s will in our lives and for the salvation of our lost people.  I love to eat as good as anyone, but I find that fasting has turned the heart of God.  It is His desire to show mercy.  It is His desire to save.  It is His desire to heal and deliver, but we have to allow Him to drive out that which is not godly in us so He can put more of what is Him in us.

Read the book of Esther and Jonah.  Fasting turned away God’s wrath and brought mercy and healing to Nineveh.  Fasting turned God’s heart to pour out divine favor on Esther as she went before the King without being summoned, which could have led to her demise.  Jesus instructed us to fast.  When giving instruction concerning fasting, He said, “When you fast…”  He did not say “If you fast…”  How you go about that process is something your should seek the Lord about particularly if you have diabetes or some other ailment.

Time to Act

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The time to do more than talk the talk has come. It is time to walk the walk.  It is time to demonstrate God’s love and faithfulness to those with which we come in contact.  For some, it might be to stay in to keep from spreading the pandemic.  For others, it is to be on the front line bringing aid.  For all of us, we can pray.  We can look after the elderly.  We can encourage each other and pray for our leaders.

Yesterday is gone.  The time is not tomorrow or next week.  The time to do God’s will is now.

Transformation in Progress

Perhaps I should explain why I have not yet published the book I was promoting.  The title of the book is Are You Ready for Transformation (It’s All in Your Mind).  As a practical guide to renewing the mind, I want the Holy Spirit to guide me through the process.  In my rush to complete the book, I found myself running off without Him.  That will never do.

At this time in my life, I am experiencing some great transformation spiritually, personally, and in my career.  I am excited about these changes although I can get a bit apprehensive.  Why? I am stepping out of my comfort zone.

Areas of Struggle

Weight

One of the areas of my life in which I struggle is with my weight.  Since my late teens, I have been on one diet or another.  When I was not dieting, I was going on complete binges.  This type of yo-yo method is not healthy and can mess with the metabolism.

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Image via Pixabay by 4653867.

The Lord began speaking to me about my weight.  I am following His leading, and I would love your prayers.  He is teaching me how to keep the pursuit of weight loss in balance, allowing Him to heal areas that led me to overeating in the first place.  However, the pursuit of weight loss must not become an idol in my life.  If I am not careful, I tend to pursue the blessing rather than the God giving the blessing.  Can you relate?

Giving Up Control

By nature, I have a type A personality.  I feel the need to be in control.  Part of that control is feeling that I have to do everything asked of me to show my capability.  When I surrendered my control to God’s control, I found that I can say “no” when I need to.  I do not have to do everything someone asks of me.  If I need to, I can politely refuse.  Jesus did not travel to every town.  He did not give in to the wishes of everyone around Him when those wishes contradicted the will of the Father.  (Balance alert:  While I do not need to do everything asked of me, I do need to consider the needs of others which, at times, can bring inconvenience.)

Leaving the Comfort Zone

Due to loving control, I have a certain zone I prefer to stay in. If that zone were God’s will, then it would be fine.  However, it is my own desire.  It had to be surrendered to God because wanting to remain comfortable was keeping me from the transformation I needed.  Understanding that God’s ways were higher than  mine liberated me to allow Him to lead and guide my steps.

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The Book

Are You Ready for Transformation will be out when I know God’s timing is right, not mine.  The transformations that I have been undergoing will be discussed along with scriptures that the Lord led me to.  I am willing to wait because I know it will be better and the annointing of the Holy Spirit will be more evident when I rely on God and give Him the glory.

What about you?

Are you undergoing transformation by the leading of the Lord?  Remember our transformation comes by renewing our minds.  If you belong to Christ, you have the mind of Christ.  Using the mind He has given us will cause us to tap into realms of glory that we have never before experienced.

Trust the process that the Lord is taking you through.  The end result is worth the means.  God loves you, and His plan is to give you more abundant life.

 

 

 

Do Not Throw Away Your Confidence

Having confidence in your identity in Christ can be challenging in our culture.  Society often discourages people from seeking to live a life that is godly.  Society loves to encourage us to be moral, but morality is set by the standards of people who do not know Christ.  It can make a difference.  Knowing who you are in Christ and maintaining your confidence of who Jesus is to you will be a key to living a victorious Christian life.

DO NOT THROW IT AWAY

Faith 2Depending on the Bible translation you are reading, Hebrews 10:35 states that we are not to cast away, or throw away, our confidence.  The same verse goes on to say that our confidence has great reward.  Knowing who we are in Christ and knowing that He is for us will keep us from falling when trying times come.

If you continue reading, you will find that the writer of Hebrews encourages the readers to keep the faith and encourages the development of patience.  The believers to whom the book of Hebrews is addressed had faced a great deal of persecution.  Their homes, property, and personal belongings had been confiscated by the government because they proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Many of them had been imprisoned.  Others had been martyred for the cause of Christ.  The writer of Hebrews commended these people because they had been through a great deal of persecution and remained strong and steadfast, but another trial of sorts had come upon them when the letter of Hebrews was written.

The Scriptures are not specific as to the trial these people were facing at that time, but the writer was encouraging them to keep their confidence.  They were encouraged to remember that God would reward them for their faithfulness.  They were reminded that the just must live by faith.

THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH

Knowing who we are in Christ and keeping our confidence will require walking by faith.  God is pleased with our faith in Him.  He can and will do powerful works through us to bring glory to Himself if we will remain yielded to Him.

As you are reading this post, you might be discouraged.  You might be ready to throw in the towel, so to speak.  I am not necessarily talking about backsliding.  I am talking about giving up on your work for the Lord.faith 1

I am encouraging you to remain confident.  Be confident in Jesus!  Be confident in what He is doing in you.  He will continue the work he began in you when you first believed in Him.  Be confident in who you are in Him but aware of who you are without Him.  Living by faith requires more boldness than living a normal life, but you were not called to be normal.  You were called to stand out.  You were not called to throw away your confidence.  You were called to walk by faith and be confident in Christ.

BE ENCOURAGED

Whatever you are facing, know that your faith pleases God.  Even when your faith is weak, keep pressing on, confessing it to the Lord.  He has ways of strengthening your faith.  He will not forsake you.  Do not give up because the Lord will bring you out victorious!  “The Lord is a warrior.  The Lord is His name (Exodus 15:3).”

Do not throw away your confidence.  There is much that would be thrown away with it if you did.  Keep going on this way because there is no other way that brings light and victory.

Encourage Yourself

I completed this blog about a year ago, but I felt the need to share it here today.

 

Are you feeling discouraged lately?  Maybe you feel let down by people you are close with, or, perhaps your circumstances in life never seem to get better.  If anything, life seems to take a decline into the worst possible scenarios.  Truth is, I have faced those times, and, often, I still see those days.  Everyone gets discouraged.  The question is: what will you do about it?

 

David Encouraged Himself in the Lord

Encourage yourself!King David, the author of many of the Psalms in the Bible, had to encourage himself in the Lord. David was anointed by the prophet, Samuel, to be King over Israel, but he did not immediately step into that position.  Before becoming King, David went through many battles, many of them with Saul, who was King at the time David was anointed.

Saul was extremely jealous of David and attempted to kill him.  David remained on the run from Saul for a long period of time.  In 1 Samuel 30, David and his men came to Ziklag to discover the place had been burned, and all the people in Ziklag had been taken captive, including David’s wives.

The men with David were grieved.  In their grief, they lashed out at David.  They even threatened to stone him.  Needless to say, David felt extremely distressed.  However, he found something inside him that caused him to encourage himself in the Lord.  Victory came soon after.  The captives were rescued then, soon, David became King.

 

How You Can Encourage Yourself

Like David, you might be going through one battle after another.  It might seem that everyone is lashing out at you due to their own grief.  You might be waiting on some type of breakthrough or promise of God to come to pass just as David had to wait for a time before stepping into the position God promised him.

Throughout the Psalms written by David, he would express his true feelings to the Lord, but then he would praise God.  One way of lifting a heavy spirit is to praise God.  It is a challenge, at first.  Soon, you will feel better.  You can speak praise or sing praise. Praise defeats discouragement

Another way to encourage yourself is to reach out to someone else who is hurting.  Sometimes, forgetting about yourself for a while and focusing on others will put your problems into perspective.  Often, I have found that when I pray for someone else or reach out to another person, my situation will be resolved.

Finally, it is important to find scriptures of encouragement for your situation.  Reading the Psalms or other uplifting scriptures will breath life into your situation.  Speak those scriptures out loud, and you will notice what power the Word of God has.  After all, the Word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12-13).

What about you?  If you are discouraged, what steps will you take to encourage yourself in the Lord?  You do not have to remain in a pit of discouragement!

If you do not know Jesus as your Savior, then you can change that today.  It is not as complicated as you might have been led to believe.  Romans 10:9-10 states the following:  “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved.  For with the heart one believes to righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”