Just having typed out a prayer for us, I “happened” to hear this. It’s invigorating, refreshing, passionate worship , I hope you will join in with the sound of Heaven too ❤️www.youtube.com/watch
Dear Heavenly Father,
The Jewish New Year just about rolled in, and we are so excited to see all that You have in store for each and every one of us. We thank You for cultivating us in Your Love the past year, and developing us in ways that have left us dumbfounded. Truly, Your thoughts and ways are higher than ours, and we are grateful for that. So, in the same breath Father, we ask You to go ahead of us and illuminate our path. Guide us, guard us, instruct us, counsel us and watch over us; as Your Word promises. Keep us close to Your Bosom in order that we may hear Your Words of loving kindness that bring healing to our soul and strength to our bones. We pray Father, that the promises You have given us from Your Word will begin to see visible manifestations in this new era, that You will bestow upon us signs, wonders and miracles from The Heavens above as a constant source of encouragement as we tread uncharted territory simply because we trust in Our Father who will never fail us nor forsake us, but instead promises to fortify, strengthen and uphold us. We pray that the coming year would be drenched with Your supernatural favor and goodness. We Thank You for being our Constant One, Father and pray that as we continue to yield ourselves to Your Careful Hand, You will make us into the vessels that will spread the Love and Light that we have so freely received from You wherever we go. We Thank You for all that You have promised to bring to pass in our lives and ask You to grace us with the patience, love, peace and joy in our souls as we continue to travel with You into destinations yet unknown. We love You, Lord!
In Jesus’ Mighty Name,
“If faith works by love, perseverance works by trust.”
My walk with The Lord has revealed to me that it is a revelation of His Love that gives me the faith to believe. It is a knowing deep down within me that because My Father loves me with a love too profound to even articulate, He will never let me down. Let me share what He revealed lately through Scripture,
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:9-11, NIV)
Reading this passage of Scripture lately was extremely life giving to me. It ministered to me on a deep level that if as mere humans, we know how to give good gifts to our loved ones, then how much more can we trust in the Love of Him who loves with no strings attached to make good on His Promises? He may take time in the process, because the preceding verse talks of a need to persevere. Allow me to share,
“Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8, AMP)
I believe this is a warm invitation from The Lord to us to come into the secret place and continue to fellowship with Him in order that He may reveal to us what it is that He is cultivating within us through the process that our promise has ushered us into. This was an astounding revelatory truth to me that liberated me from the need to have circumstantial resolution, and instead empowered me to focus on who it is that I am becoming in this time frame, in and through my relationship with The Lord. This is vital for our spiritual development as that is God’s main focus: to make us more and more like Jesus.
Ever since I received the call to persevere, my journey, by His Grace, has gone to a whole new dimension. I have encountered situations and circumstances that have had me seek The Lord and adhere to His voice. I have realised that the strength of our journey lies in our intimacy with Him. I have understood the sheer importance of our relational component with The Father, who knows us the best, loves us the best and therefore, guides us the best.
The Lord told me to not just persevere any kind of way, but with the fruits of The Holy Spirit : love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control (Galatians 5). This completely shifted my spiritual posture from one of despondency to that of passionate engagement with The Father. As the situations and circumstances came my way, I would ask The Holy Spirit, “What does persevering look like now?” At times, it would look like patience, at times peace, at times displaying the goodness of God, for He has been very good to me. As I began to practice like this, I was unwittingly growing in different areas. Suffice to say, I have realised that the promise is granted not just to bless us sometime in the future, but in the here and now. The blessing may look like an internal fortification that happens as we yield to the work of The Holy Spirit, but rest assured friends, the rewards shall be substantial.
We can persevere only because we trust. As God’s very own, we can put the outcome into His Mighty Hands because we are well acquainted with His Majesty, Supremacy and Sovereignty. We know that a call to persevere is synonymous with an assurance of breakthrough. It is like two sides of the same coin. But the level to which we allow God to grow us through the process is the extent to which we will live victoriously during the process. In a way, a wilderness in the natural can lead us straight into our promiseland in the spirit. It’s a journey that quite honestly, I’m still learning to navigate my way through, and occasionally fall into pits that only The Holy Spirit can help me climb out of, an experience that further fortifies my faith in His Faithfulness and Constancy.
Hebrews 11 is a glorious chapter in The Bible. It speaks of the heroes of faith and how their faith saw them accomplish the seemingly impossible. A specific verse, however, stood out to me concerning the journey of Moses,
“By faith, Moses left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger, he persevered because He saw Him who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11:27, Berean Study Bible)
The Word of God always encourages us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith. He is alpha and omega, and everything in between. I think that sometimes He is more evident in the spaces in between. He uses these spaces to teach us who He is and who we are becoming in Him – the righteousness of God in Christ. We don’t let go of the promises, rather we use the promises of God to empower us to travel well in the process, as Christ continues His glorious work of transforming us into His image. He start to learn how to abide in Christ and what it means to be seated with Him in heavenly places. We start to learn to see the way He sees, think the way He thinks and act the way He would act; something that puts us in a position to manifest a piece of Heaven on Earth wherever it is that we find ourselves.
Because I have encountered the Love of Christ, I can believe. I can believe that He is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do. His Love also inspires trust. I can trust Him with the journey and also, to teach me to travel with Him, light and free with a radiant confidence that comes from knowing that The One walking by my side, is both, The Invincible King and my Best Friend Forever.
He calls me, “Beloved,” and the last time I checked, Love never fails.
“You only get exhausted when you don’t enjoy the journey.”
Our residential complex is such that I love taking a small round around the block every once in a while. The pavements are beautifully laced with plants and flowers of varied hues and colors, varieties and species; making for an exquisite amalgam of creation presented in miniature. However, I noticed a very interesting dynamic taking place as I started to make these rounds. Let me explain.
Initially, as I started taking a round around the block, I would return feeling a tad bit exhausted and worn out. Then, something beautiful happened, almost as organic in its revelation as the wind in its movement. I felt something change and began to concern myself more with finding delight in the tiny steps that I was making as opposed to accomplishing the goal of finishing a round around the block. Ever been there? We all have, I’m guessing.
As I started taking the time to notice the beauty of the strokes within the plants that surrounded me and touch the majestic palms that I would otherwise be too preoccupied to pay attention to, my whole disposition began to change. I really didn’t care if all I took was four tiny steps, but in keeping with the rhythm of the beauty of creation around me, I knew those four tiny steps would be more than enough. The task of completing one whole round around the block was replaced with a delight found in appreciating the tiny, yet potently significant things along the way. Noticing The Creator within the creation started to bring a smile to my face and light up my soul. And it all began with a slight pause, a simple readjustment leading to a remarkable change.
The same holds true for our journey with The Lord as well. He takes us by the hand, and lovingly leads us on. In our childish impatience, we often demand a blueprint for our lives, but Our Creator knows better. He understands that as we make His Word a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, we will have by divine design agreed to walk in sync with His leading, one step at a time. This positions us to enjoy subtle yet significant details of life. It enables us to find our delight in partnering with The One who brings all things to life. It graces us to travel light and free, with peace and rest in our souls. It liberates us from the need to know it all and grounds us in the reality of what is. It empowers us to be willing to encounter His Presence, a reality more tangible than the one we are currently standing in.
So, as I hasten to a close and perhaps prepare for a round around the block, I hope and pray that we will learn to find the beauty in the mundane and the sacred in the simple.
All my love!
“Even in my vulnerability, I’m secure because I’m held within the arms of Perfect Love.”
This post is literally what The Lord has me walking through, and I still don’t know how to unpack it except that I’ll try.
In my experience, our walk with The Lord will have us go through phases of vulnerability that when stewarded well under The Sovereign Care of God, will prove to be invaluable in transforming us from strength to strength and glory to glory. I have come to understand that our journey has more to do with the strength of our relationship with God than the fickleness of our circumstances. The circumstances that we see manifest and change literally on a daily basis are only tools in the hands of God to draw us closer to Him in order that we may seek His Heart in the situation, thereby aligning ours with His, and manifesting a piece of The Kingdom wherever necessary. This spiritual heart posture requires vulnerability because it really humbles us to know that we don’t really know, and because we don’t really know, we are compelled to seek The One who we know does know. Quite a tongue twister, aye?!
Seeking the will of God and what it is that He is trying to teach us through circumstances that are clearly beyond us, but not beyond Him is powerfully liberating. It liberates us from the narrow confines of our thinking and draws us into the majesty of His Kingdom. We begin to humble ourselves under His Mighty Hand, acknowledge our need for Him and allow Him to guide us, counsel us and instruct us in the way we must go.
I personally had an experience of late where I saw circumstances shift dynamically in a way that was beyond my comprehension. I knew I had to put everything aside and simply let Jesus in. Friends, that is the best decision we can ever make in circumstances that seem out of alignment, but present themselves only to push us closer to His Bosom, because when He speaks, everything changes. Maybe not on the outside, but certainly on the inside of us.
I spent my day with The Lord, and as it wound to a close, I heard The Holy Spirit whisper,
“If circumstances are fickle, then what is not?”
I’m guessing you know the answer as well as I do. “The Infallible Word of God,” is what I found myself saying. You can well imagine the “selah” moment I had thereafter.
However, this wasn’t only a “selah” moment but a lesson for life. When circumstances come to contest The Word of God spoken over us, we can rest in what has been decreed as opposed to what is seen. What is seen will eventually align with what is spoken, which is what makes us vulnerable in the middle of the mystery. However, it is a vulnerability that Our Father honors and covers as He holds us close and promises to never let go. It is a vulnerability that makes us realize that without Him, we are not enough to win this battle. It is a vulnerability that finds us like little children again, eager to know more and willing to learn. It is a vulnerability that God uses to build our trust in Him, as the alpha and omega, the author and the finisher of our faith. And I also believe that it is a vulnerability that reintroduces us to the strength of His Perfect Love.
Standing in the midst of circumstances that seem daunting, I am held within His Perfect Love. Caught contesting for the seemingly impossible, I am held within His Perfect Love. Letting my light shine, one speck at a time, I am held within His Perfect Love. Sometimes fearful, sometimes faith filled, I am held within His Perfect Love. Seeking resolution and being lovingly restored to a place of contentment deep within, I am held within His Perfect Love.
All this to say that Perfect Love casts out all fear. We are defined by neither failures nor successes. We are defined by neither trials nor triumphs. We are defined by neither the perceptions of others nor their opinions. We are defined by nothing of this world, but everything of another – the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ.
And that Blood has set me free. It has given me an Identity that nothing can add to nor take away from. It has given me a Purpose that finds direction in His leading every single day. It has given me a Destiny so profound that it blows all my paradigms of how great Our God really is.
My experience has taught me that in our most vulnerable moments, it is the strength of His Love that keeps us, shapes us and molds us. It is His Love that comes to reassure us and settles as a deep peace within our souls. It is His Love that takes our weakness and transforms it into strength. It is His Love which looks at us with compassion and starts to make ways in the unseen, when we have realized that if all we have is Him, we have more than enough.
It is my hope and prayer, friends that this truth will shift our perspective on how we view ourselves in our vulnerability, and that we would be able to see ourselves the way God sees us, as much loved children who cannot fail, because we know the end from the beginning, and are determined to find the joy and delight in partnering with Our King in the process, a joy that will sustain us through the valleys and mountains alike, because it is a joy that comes from knowing beyond a shadow of doubt that irrespective of what is going on, we are held within the arms of Perfect Love.
“I am Your Child before I am Your Church.”
The more I walk with The Lord, the more I realize how much He values relationship. He will allow situations and circumstances to manifest, and then invite us to listen to His Voice in order that we may discern what it is that His Spirit is doing in and through the manifested circumstances. I am slowly coming to a point where I recognize that the stronger my relationship with Him, the more I am in sync with Him which allows me to see, think and act the way He does in order to see His will manifest in through whatever it is that I may be experiencing. Perhaps, this is the reason we call our lives as believers a grand adventure with The Lord.
The way we were drawn into a relationship with Jesus is the way it is sustained. His Love is what won our hearts over, and it still is His Love which continues to. In a world rife with chaos and turmoil, we are often spurred to be the salt and light. After all, that is what Jesus has called us to be, and my journey reveals to me that the extent to which we allow ourselves to bask in His Light is the extent to which we can authentically be the light in our tiny part of the world. So, before I “do” anything, I am slowly learning the vital importance of “being” in His Presence. I love how The Bible makes this clear,
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, King James Bible)
This leads me to believe that God is more interested in our “being,” than our “doing,” for He understands that from the overflow of our fellowship will inevitably flow the desire, the resolve and the power to be the salt and light. This is where our striving ends, and our surrender to Him puts us in a place of being able to receive like a child, and as a child. This where we learn to receive His perfect love, unconditional acceptance and matchless grace. This is where we encounter Presence and allow it to transform us into a Child that knows how to host it. This is where our weakness meets His Strength. This is where our wounds begin to heal and our souls finds revival. This is where our hearts start to melt as His Love begins to well up from deep within. This is where authentic transformation in Christ begins.
My experience tells me that our journey is purely relational and transformational, the fruit of which is for the world to savor. We can give only to the extent we receive. It is therefore, important to realize that the foremost thing is to receive the love, the grace, the mercy, the forgiveness, the kindness and the goodness of God in fullness and abundance every single day of our lives. This not only keeps us tethered to His Presence, but takes us deeper and deeper into a relational walk with Him; from the abundance of which can freely flow the goodness that our world needs to see and receive.
As His Child, I first want to receive His Love first thing in the morning. I want to allow His Love to heal me, strengthen me, lead me, guide me and then, compel me. I want to let my “being” with Him define my “doing.” I want to yield more and more to the leading of His Spirit as opposed to what I may have thought is the best way to lead my day. I want Him to take centerstage in my life so that every move and every decision is assured of a favorable outcome. I want to first feel His Heart towards me, and then let that heart reach those that are near to me.
So, I told Him last night that I was first His Child, and then His Church. I want to be the lamp that He can put on a lampstand, but first I want to taste of His Love and Light that can be found only when hidden within His splendor shadow. I want to be the salt and light, but first I want to be salted and lit up from within. I want to be a world changer, but first I need my inside world changed. I want to be sheep among the wolves, but first I want to know what it is to be shepherded well. I want to be who He has called me to be, but first I want to encounter The One who has called me in the first place.
I guess what I’m trying to say is quite simple. In our walk with Christ, our foremost responsibility is to value our relationship over anything else. It is in the relationship that we forge that we get to know Him, and the more we know Him, the more we know ourselves and what it is that we are called to. As I write, the words of Jesus, after His Resurrection as He promised The Holy Spirit to His disciples, come to mind;
“I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49, NIV)
It is abundantly clear that the more we receive “power from on high,” the more we are empowered to be who He calls us to be: the salt and light of the world, His Children and then, His Church.
So be it.
“You’ve seen me through it all, now You can have it all.”
I have been listening to Kim Walker Smith’s track, “Insatiable” lately. Needless to say, the lyrics are exquisite and eloquently capture the heartbeat of a believer’s journey. She speaks of how Jesus won’t stop till He has it all. She responds by declaring that He can have it all: heart and soul. Beautiful, right?
So what is it that inspires such bold confidence in being willing to be ever so vulnerable to God that we find ourselves wanting to give it all to Him, our hearts, minds and souls?
Clearly, it is an undeniable revelation of the unfathomable Love of our God who perseveres with us through our rebellion, gently breathes down our walls or simply chooses to break in with a radical encounter. Either way, He is too good to leave us the way we are, and hastens to redeem us. Every such experience only serves to take us deeper into the Love of God which is the number one thing that gives us the courage to be ourselves. One of my favorite Bible verses is as follows,
“Perfect Love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18, ESV)
I love to remind myself that Jesus is a gentleman. He will never force His way in, but patiently waits for us to invite Him in. His sole intention is to heal us, restore us, affirm us and assure us that there is nothing that we have done or can do which will diminish His Love towards us, simply because Love is who He is. My own experience testifies that I need His healing, redemptive touch every single day; and the more I walk with Him, the more joy and confidence I find in learning to depend on Him for everything. Finding Him in every situation and asking Him to reveal His Heart in and through it is perhaps what fuels my relational journey with The Lord.
It wasn’t always like that, but through the passage of time, I have grown by His Grace. When I first started seeking Him, I needed a lot of things, in the natural. But what truly won my heart over was when I began encountering Him as Someone who wants to meet my deepest needs, who longs to bring healing to my bones and pour strength into my soul, who wants to not just do life with me here, but life everlasting on the other side. Eternity beats in the heart of man, and Jesus met me there. Suffice to say, it changed everything.
It began to sink in. He who has promised me Eternal Life will certainly be true in all His intentions towards me. Increasing encounters with Him where He would soothe my restless soul with words of loving kindness began to forge a Love relationship with The Living God where I began to trust that “a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.” (Isaiah 42:3, NIV)
Therefore, in our relationship with Jesus, we can be vulnerable with our brokenness simply because God is faithful to honor our trust in Him. We can invite Him into even those areas of our life that in the natural, seem to have no hope. But as believers, we understand that Christ in us is the hope of glory. He is our confident expectation of seeing something favorable manifest even in the most difficult situations, not because of anything we have done, but simply because our placement in Christ guarantees that our starting point is victory. We can tap into this consciousness intentionally on a daily basis till it becomes our first and most natural response, a response that eventually paves the way to a favorable result.
Each time doubt or unbelief threatens to sabotage our faith, we can simply look back at the faithfulness of God in our lives who in His unfailing love, comes through every single time. Whether it is brokenness in our souls, in our families, in our communities; He is able to mend it all into wholeness in a way that points to His Highest Name. I believe that Jesus didn’t just start coming through for me when I met Him, He came through for me at The Cross of Calvary, a death sentence that mandated vulnerability to the utmost extreme. Yet for the joy set before Him, He took The Cross for my freedom, releasing me to walk in the fullness thereof as I navigate my journey with Him here on Earth, learning to shed the old in order to adorn the new and keep looking forward to see what else He might do.
So friends, let us remember Him this day today in a manner that revives our faith in who He is, which will give us the courage to come to Him just as we are in order that He may begin the glorious work of making us the way He is.