Should we hide?

Acts 8:1 (AMP) Saul wholeheartedly approved of Stephen’s death. And on that day a great and relentless persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem; and the believers were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except for the apostles.

We read in Acts 6 and 7 about the life (in Christ) and the death of Stephen. Saul is still a young man and is witnessing this. What a moment in the history of the early church. A man (innocent) said to have the face of an angel (Acts 6:15) is stoned to death for telling the group before him that they were stiff necked and stubborn just like their fathers before them for resisting the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51). Saul (later Paul) witnesses all of this and later becomes a persecutor of Christians. We see in the above verse that the believers were scattered.

Where did they scatter to? Did they go in hiding? A relentless persecution had broken out against the church in Jerusalem. If we look to the past, what did they do in the past? Moses ran (Exodus 2:11-15). David ran (1 Samuel 21-24). Elijah ran (1 Kings 19). Should they run and hide?

Acts 8:4 (AMP) Now those [believers] who had been scattered went from place to place preaching the word [the good news of salvation through Christ]. 

Caves were no longer an option for those in Christ. When I was fired nearly three years ago, and told that I was a criminal for the unintentional mistake, my first reaction was to hide. I could have shrunk away from all things ministry. Instead, it propelled me into a deeper relationship with my Father and a deeper understanding of the Holy Spirit. We have to remember, although the angel led Elijah to the cave, it was God constantly calling him out of it.

Why did the persecution come? Why do hardships come? Before the Holy Spirit was released, Jesus gave a great commission, Matthew 28:18-20 (TLB), He told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and earth. Therefore go and make disciples in all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and then teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you; and be sure of this—that I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” We have two choices, we can either hide (and use God as our crutch) or we can follow these instructions and GO!

We have not been hidden for later use. There is a great need for Christ in our world. It is in our comfort that we seek the cave. Depression is a real issue. If this is an issue with you and you cannot come out of the cave because of it, it may be time to seek help. It would not be choosing a plan B (other than God). You are not a failure for seeing a counselor, therapist and/or doctor. That was a dangerous and destructive theology…why is it okay to send doctors to the mission field, but not okay for you to see one?

In the last three years I have preached more in my local church, not to say I have not had to fight rejection. I have not had thoughts that I was not enough for people. However, I have stepped out and mentored anyone who has allowed me to. I am not ashamed of the Word and how it changed me.

Acts 1:8 (AMP)  But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.

This is what they were missing and why they hid. We have the Holy Spirit. This is why we do not hide! He has not hidden us for later use. It is time for the Body of Christ to come out of hiding and proclaim the word (the good news of salvation through Christ)!

Marathon, not a race

Psalms 119:32 (AMP) I will run the way of Your commandments [with purpose], for You will give me a heart that is willing.

Last week I spent time with my mother at Panama City Beach, Florida. The beaches in the Gulf of Mexico have white sand. They have some of my favorite beaches. Gulf Shores, Alabama, being my top favorite. Panama City is where my mother, and sometimes my grandmother, would take us during the summers. The places we stayed growing up had an old Panama City feel, and the place we stayed at this time reminded me of my childhood. My grandmother would have celebrated her 80th birthday that week.

hile on the beach, where I spent most of the day, I read. I love the written word. I do not read fiction. I read books by authors like John Bevere, Lisa Bevere, Tommy Tinney, Joanne Weaver, Lysa Terkeurst, Joyce Meyer, Lisa Harper, Bob Goff….I have an extensive library. I not only read the revelation of others, but I also read the Bible for myself. Right now I am reading the Bible chronologically and I am about a third of the way through (I started about 120 days ago).

This verse above stood out to me. Sometimes we think that God will run the race for us. Have you ever heard this statement: “It’s a marathon, not a race”? When someone sets out to do a marathon, they have to train. When someone starts running, they cannot expect themselves to do a 5K the first day out. When we start to desire more of the things of God, we cannot expect to sit and pray for two hours, when we have never prayed more than at meal time (the same with reading).

How can I want to do this, you ask? Make a plan and execute it. This verse says do it with a purpose. If it is something we think we are “suppose” to do and don’t, then guilt will set it. Guilt is the biggest lie of the enemy when it comes to getting into a deeper relationship with our Father. It will cause us to run away from Him instead of drawing closer to Him.

So pick up that book study that has been calling you to grow deeper. Spend some intentional time in prayer. Turn off the television, You Tube or whatever you like to listen to to get your Word for the day and start reading it for yourself (good teaching should be a supplement to add to, not your be all). You might start out with a chapter a day…I did. The first time I read the Bible completely through was when I was forty (twenty two years after I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior). That was last year.

We are all at different levels of training for the marathon. Do not get distracted or feel guilty for not running as fast as others. Just keep running, He is the wind that is pushing you along. He will give you the heart that is willing!

Evidence

1 John 5:10 (AMP) The one who believes in the Son of God [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies confidently on Him as Savior] has the testimony within himself [because he can speak authoritatively about Christ from his own personal experience]. The one who does not believe God [in this way] has made Him [out to be] a liar, because he has not believed in the evidence that God has given regarding His Son.

Sometimes evidence will be staring you straight in the face and you do not want to believe it. I think this is like what this statement is saying. To put it in another perspective, go back to 1 Kings 18 and read the account of Elijah on Mt. Carmel to prove to King Ahab who the one true God is. Jezebel introduced polytheism to the Israelites, they started worship both Yahweh and Baal. Baal was the king of all gods, but not king over Yahweh, so Elijah’s challenge was for a great show down on Baal’s turf. Yahweh showed up and showed out! Elijah was so excited that he out ran chariots. When King Ahab told Jezebel about the one true God, she sent a messenger to tell Elijah she was going to end his life. Beyond all evidence being presented to her, she refused to believe. It pretty much sounds like she was made out to be a liar.

Elijah, heart broken because it did not change the hearts of as many as he had hoped, ran away and hid and became depressed. We are tempted to do the same thing when we focus on the response of people. God will tell us time and again to have peace, to be still in His presence, so that we may regain focus. What are we to be focusing on? He is the “I AM.” That means He is our all. Yes, we are called to be with His creation and we are not to isolate ourselves from them, but we do not focus on them.

Philippians 4:8 (AMP) Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].

This is a verse I cling to when my thoughts and my doubts start to stir up inside of my mind. Today I am sending off a group of teenagers (my two sons included) to a youth camp in Florida. They will spend four nights in amazing worship and ministering services. I pray they come back filled with a fresh fire and receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Evidence will be presented of what a life in Jesus can transform their lives like while they are still teens. Pray for them this week. Pray that broken hearts are mended, anxiety is broken off of them and they open their eyes to see who the Son of God is. Pray they come back with hearts on fire to see a revival in their schools!

Have a blessed week!

Not Rejected but Accepted

Psalm 142:5 (AMP) I cried out to You, O Lord; I said, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”

In my personal studies I am reading the Bible in chronological order. I have been using the You Version App and it has a plan to read it in a year. I cannot say that I read every day, but I do catch it up to where I should be in line with what it wants me to be at. Right now I am in the middle of 1 Samuel and some of the Psalms. These were the Psalms that David wrote as he was being pursued by Saul the first time. I encourage you to read your Bible in different ways and in different translations. The Word of God is living and brings fresh revelation (like the manna) every day. Here are some that stood out to me:

Psalms 142: 4-7 (AMP) Look to the right [the point of attack] and see; for there is no one who has regard for me [to act in my favor]. Escape has failed me and I have nowhere to run; no one cares about my life. I cried out to You, O Lord; I said, “You are my refuge,my portion in the land of the living.
“Give attention to my cry, for I am brought very low; rescue me from my persecutors, for they are stronger than I. “Bring my soul out of prison (adversity), so that I may give thanks and praise Your name; the righteous will surround me [in triumph], for You will look after me.”

Psalms 56:8 (AMP) You have taken account of my wanderings; put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not recorded in Your book?

Psalms 56:5 (AMP) All day long they twist my words and say hurtful things; all their thoughts are against me for evil.

Psalms 34:14 (AMP) Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Psalms 31:10-13 (AMP) For my life is spent with sorrow and my years with sighing; my strength has failed because of my iniquity, and even my body has wasted away. Because of all my enemies I have become a reproach and disgrace, especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me on the street run from me. I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel. For I have heard the slander and whispering of many, terror is on every side; while they schemed together against me, they plotted to take away my life.

Reading these passages out of context (just reading the Psalms on their own) we would think that anything against us we have the right to wale like David did. In that context when we “think” people, family and/or the world is against us we like to quote these verses of David. I want to make something clear, David was ACTUALLY/LITERALLY RUNNING FOR HIS LIFE!

I had a Psalms 56:5 moment the other day (All day long they twist my words and say hurtful things; all their thoughts are against me for evil.) Then I had to think, “If I had to explain this to an non-believer what would they think?” They would probably think I was nutty, fruity and flaky. Here is what I want you to notice what David did recognize, in Psalms 142:7, he writes, “Bring my soul out of prison (adversity), so that I may give thanks and praise Your name; the righteous will surround me [in triumph], for You will look after me.” When we lament over our thoughts of adversity, we put our own souls in prison. Most of the battles we are facing are in our minds, not like David here, who again was literally running for his life.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (KJV) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds😉 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

People are not our problems. The more we dwell on them, and how you think you may feel about each other, we are putting up strongholds in the body of Christ that will keep us from reaching the ones that need Jesus. We are the light of the World and we cannot show our light if we keep putting up these strongholds. We cannot keep “feeling” like this against our brothers and sisters in Christ and be effective. We are doing like David said and have put our souls in prison. Let us cast down these thoughts, these imaginations and focus on who we are truly called to be.

1 Peter 2:9-10 (MSG) But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.

We are not rejected, we are accepted!

Inventions of the mind

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (AMP) The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood]. Our weapons are divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (KJV) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

I was reading Nehemiah chapter six as it was instructed in my Faith to Faith Devotional yesterday and something stood out at me. When a group of people heard that the wall had been rebuilt and there was no way to breach the gate (there were no doors to the gate at the time) they wanted to meet face to face with Nehemiah. Their intentions were not to talk things out, but to harm him. He refused. Four times they requested and he refused. The report back to him was that they heard a revolt was planned and they were planning on making Nehemiah their king. They said that if he did not come out and meet they were going to send a report to the Persian King. I love Nehemiah’s response, because it lined up with the scriptures above.

Nehemiah 6:8 (AMP) I sent a message to him, saying, “Such things as you are saying have not been done; you are inventing them in your own mind.”

I do not know about you, but I have moments like the men outside the walls. We can act super spiritual and say that the Holy Spirit is revealing these things to us (that the spirit gift of discernment is at work.) I am so grateful that I have the husband that I do. This is why it is important that you have people in your life that are grounded in the Word, and for you to be grounded as well. When I start to allow the imaginations to run in my mind, I think a phrase or a look is directed with evil intent, I need to reel it back.

My husband is in a series called “Focus.” This is a year of distractions and we need to be focused on Kingdom purpose. Then he has branched to the subpart called “Assurance.” Assurance being the state of mind free from doubt. Now he has sub-parted off of that to “When the Enemy Attacks.” The first place the enemy will attack is your mind. It is not going to be a one time thing either. That is his point of entry. The whole point in attacking your mind is because he wants you to accept the lies that he tells, the Word in how he twists it. Then his goal is to rile up your emotions to you responding the way that is contrary to the Word (see Galatians 5).

Romans 12:2 (NKJV) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Ephesians 6, verses 10 through 20 tells us to put on the full armor of God. The renewing of the mind and the full armor of God are things we need to do daily. There are days I can honestly say that I do not feel like it either. We want to quote the lines from a famous song, “Jesus, take the wheel.” That is not His job, He is making intercession for us. We have to make the choice. Joshua 24:15a was explained very well in service yesterday. In the NIV it says, “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” It is not always desirable to renew our minds. It is not always desirable to turn off the shows that cause us to become anxious (the news included). Our spirit man has been saved, but we still have our own fleshly desires we have to put in line (which includes our minds). Today, I choose to cast down those thoughts, those plots I can see forming (only in my head), and choose to think on what God sees (Philippians 4:8).

Happy Monday! Be blessed!!

In Pursuit

1 Peter 3:11 (AMPC) Let him turn away from wickedness and shun it, and let him do right. Let him search for peace (harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts) and seek it eagerly. [Do not merely desire peaceful relations with God, with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, go after them!]

Back when I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior, in 1998, there was a couple of popular books going around. There was, Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and, The God Chasers by Tommy Tenney. This verse made me think of the later. I still have my copy of the book with all my highlights and notes from when I first read it. Rereading the introduction this paragraph stood out to me, “The difference between the truth of God and revelation is very simple. Truth is where God’s been. Revelation is where God is. Truth is God’s tracks. It’s His trial. His path, but it leads to what? It leads to Him. Perhaps the masses of people are happy to know where God’s been, but true God chasers are not content to just to study God’s trail, His truths; they want to know Him. They want to know where He is and what He’s doing right now.”

This has been my hearts desire and why I started Desiring for More. Yes, we are saved by the drawing of the Holy Spirit. You cannot pursue after something that you have no knowledge of.

Mark 10:46-52 (AMP) Then they came to Jericho. And as He was leaving Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind beggar, Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, was sitting beside the road [as was his custom]. When Bartimaeus heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and say, “Jesus, Son of David (Messiah), have mercy on me!” Many sternly rebuked him, telling him to keep still and be quiet; but he kept on shouting out all the more, “Son of David (Messiah), have mercy on me!” Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.” So they called the blind man, telling him, “Take courage, get up! He is calling for you.” Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped up and came to Jesus. And Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni (my Master), let me regain my sight.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith [and confident trust in My power] has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Jesus on the road.

The sovereignty of God has come to the point that people accept their place in life, their illnesses, their living situations everything they are as God’s will for our lives. “If He wanted something different for me, He will bring me out of it” mentality. Or, “I am just waiting on God to come through for me.” I know I am stepping on Sovereign toes (golden calves), but there are many times that we see pursuit of God before freedom, the break through, the healing. I know of people who burn sage in their homes to ward off evil spirits. That is weird to me, when I know the One that makes the demons tremble.

Pursuit is not a bad thing. Pursuit does come with expectations though. It may be the disappointments that have caused believers to stop pursing after God. Maybe it is just not knowing that they could. It is up to the ones that are chasing to disciple others in that pursuit. There is something true about fire that we can relate to. If you get close to a fire you will either use it to get warm; you can get closer and you can start to burn; or we could make the choice to jump in and we can catch on fire ourselves. Just like the levels of intensity, we choose the level we want to be at.

I pray this encourages you to pursue! Pursue whatever it is that you have a need of in your life. I pray that you discover that in your pursuit that it is Jesus that you see that meets that need (see John 4:46-47; Mark 1:23-28; Mark 1:40-45; Matthew 8:5-13; Matthew 9:1-8; Matthew 9:18-26; Matthew 9:27-31; Matthew 15:22-28). In also encourage you that you do not seek after a relationship to get, but you do like Bartimaeus and follow.

Matthew 6:33 (AMPC) But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.

Give me the giants

Joshua 14: 7-12 (AMP) I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the Lord sent me from Kadesh-barnea to scout the land [of Canaan], and I brought a report back to him as it was in my heart. My brothers (fellow spies) who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear; but I followed the Lord my God completely. So Moses swore [an oath to me] on that day, saying, ‘Be assured that the land on which your foot has walked will be an inheritance to you and to your children always, because you have followed the Lord my God completely.’ And now, look, the Lord has let me live, just as He said, these forty-five years since the Lord spoke this word to Moses, when Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, look at me, I am eighty-five years old today. I am still as strong today as I was the day Moses sent me; as my strength was then, so is my strength now, for war and for going out and coming in. So now, give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke that day, for you heard on that day that the [giant-like] Anakim were there, with great fortified cities; perhaps the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.”

I love this part of Caleb’s story. I have had my spirit crushed before with expectations of people, specifically them not meeting my excitement of the journey ahead. Caleb was tenacious. He persevered even when they did not match his excitement (see Numbers 13). God rewarded Him for that.

There are times that you will be ready to move forward when those that you love are not ready to move at the same pace. Keep moving forward anyways.

I spent the day traveling three hundred and eighty two miles from home (nearly a six hour drive) to be at the Palm Coast Holy Spirit Conference this week. My husband and I planned this trip months ago. We brought our teenage sons along with us. A couple in our church are also attending. My prayer is that no matter what our ages, that we will have the excitement as Caleb did. “Give me this hill country about which the Lord spoke that day!” If not, then my prayer is lined up with Elisha for the servant with him, when the enemy army was surrounding them in 2 Kings 6:17 (AMP), then Elisha prayed and said, “Lord, please, open his eyes that he may see.” And the Lord opened the servants eyes and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha.

We will have giants come before us that we will have to overcome. I get excited about the giants, because I know that growth comes from fighting giants. I understand that not everyone is excited about a challenge like I am. I might let you discourage me for a moment, but I am going after that giant eventually. Giant slayers are strong! Giant slayers gain momentum. Giants slayers eventually take that mountain!!!

Wherever you are I pray that you do not give up. I pray that you look up to the promise and tell God that you will do what you need to do to conquer that mountain, even slay a giant if you have to!

Have a blessed week!

Closet Clean Out

Psalms 139:23-24 (AMP) Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.

Our hearts are the most important muscle in our bodies. We often focus on our outward appearance and our outward change that we lose focus on the most important things that need t be dealt with…our issues of the heart. The personal things we hide deep in our hearts.

Ephesians 4:22-25 (AMP) That, regarding your previous way of life, you put off your old self [completely discard your former nature], which is being corrupted through deceitful desires, and be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude], and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation]. Therefore, rejecting all falsehood [whether lying, defrauding, telling half-truths, spreading rumors, any such as these], speak truth each one with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one another [and we are all parts of the body of Christ].

So many of us put our faith in Christ as our Savior…but fail to allow Him to be redeemer, our healer, our restorer. Christ has done everything He needs to be done to be One with us. God lives in me, He sees me, He hears, me, He loves me and He understands me. People may not always understand you, but Jesus will always understand you.

When the children of Israel were delivered from Egypt, there were promised a new land, a new life…the land of mile and honey! But along the way it was evident that even though they were physically delivered from the bondage of slavery…their hearts were still being held captive! Almost every time that things did not go the way they thought it should have they reverted back to Egypt, “we would have been better off back there.”

One of the enemies best weapons to stop your spiritual growth is to get you “back there.” Back to the place of regret, back to the place of hurt, back to the place where sins of the flesh ruled you. We will never live in a land of promise wishing you were “back there.”

This sounds a lot like the closets we keep in our homes. I have a size ten dress that I am very much trying to get back into. I succeeded a few years ago, then put the pounds on again. I did not get back to the size twenty I started with, but I did creep up a bit. That does not mean I have let that dress go. The closet, attic, garage are usually the places we hold everything from our past. We keep it there just in case. What are we holding onto that needs to go?

Realize this, we are in a process of progress! Daily we have to allow God to come in and deal with the issues we have in our heart.

Philippians 3:12-13 (AMP) Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of being Christ like] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on so that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His own. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead… Paul is saying that he has not “arrived” yet. He has more to work on, there are areas he needs to decrease in so that God can increase. One thing he says for sure the he had to get a hold on…Forgetting the Past! You cannot live in the past and have a future. Stay focused on what lies ahead, and leave what was behind. Verses 14-16 (AMP),  I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature [pursuing spiritual perfection] should have this attitude. And if in any respect you have a different attitude, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us stay true to what we have already attained.

Keep on keeping on! You may have been put down. You may have been counted out. You may have been bruised. You may have been falsely accused. You may have been let down, trampled on, talked about and left to fend for yourself…but remember that you have been made a new creation. Old things have been passed away, behold all things have been made NEW!!! Each day you put on the renewed mind set, clean up the intimate areas we allow God to reside in, take out the trash and keep on going!!

The things that have been hidden away… the hurts and the let down that we try to keep to ourselves, the beat down that my mind tries to do to me daily… NO LONGER will I put up with it! That is not who I am any more. I am a child of God, made in His image, for HIS purpose. Get into our closets, get rid of the junk and live a new life in Christ!

Quality Time

Philippians 1:6 (AMP)  I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return].

God is not going to ask me to do something and then not give me the power to complete it. A few weeks ago I did a post called, “Where is your spot?” I wrote about the importance of having a spot that you can go to throughout the day and spend time with God. My spot just so happens to be in my living room. It is a room that I spend quality time fellowshipping with God. It is also the room (in our house) that holds what influences our lives, if we let it, a television. I remember the days when we did not have televisions in every room like we do now. Now we walk and have the ability to watch whatever we want with our phones!

The things we meditate on, spend time with, is what we will become. The more we spend time with it…the more we allow it to become a part of our thoughts, attitude and behavior. We are all doing to do two things: 1) we are either going to influence or 2) we are going to be influenced. Influence defined is “the power to change or affect someone or something; it is the power to cause changes without directly forcing them to happen. The capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself.

God wants to have an open door to come into “Living Room” and remodel what we are allowing to influence our lives. Our success in life is dependent on what we meditate on and observe. The Word of God tells us to think on good things, things that build us up and not tear us down. The things we meditate on and observe will influence our thoughts, our thoughts affect our words, our words precede our actions and our actions define our life.

Philippians 4:8-9 (AMP)  Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].  The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you.

Guard the gate to your heart. Gates allow or stop things coming in and our of our hearts of our home. There are two very important gates: 1) the eye gate, and 2) the ear gate. The things we allow in these gates will either help build or destroy our house. A city can have great walls around it, but if the gates are not guarded (no matter how great the walls are) the enemy has free access to enter.

This was a needed reminder for me as I like to binge watch shows on Netflix. When we are at a restaurant, how many times do I pick up my phone to look at Instagram? This was just came to my mind this morning to help me get back on focus. Getting back to my living room as a place of fellowship. I pray this blesses you as well!

Where does worry lead?

In the times we live in today it is easy to just spill out our opinions for the world to read. Is that not what blogging and social media was created for? It is easy to follow into the flow of judgement and dishonor. I am guilty of it myself. I try my best not to let it out on social platforms, but I can tell you I have to battle this stuff in my mind.

Pastor Steven Furtick posted late last night, “Father, we worship you in the moment. I declare dreams come alive in this moment, hope come alive in this moment. Do what only You can do, God. Resuscitate, revive, restore, move, heal, save, deliver. Spirit of God, have Your way in our lives. Have Your way in our situation. Nobody is greater than You. Amen.” As I read that this morning I had this unction to cast down the thought of disappointment of people and practice honoring them anyways.

Philippians 4:8 tells us, “Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].” (AMP)

That means that whatever I think, whatever I post, whatever I speak about should line up with this so that I can get that heart change. I do not want to dwell on the other stuff, because I do not want it to effect my heart. I do not need to dwell on when they did not show up, that does not mean I have to stop showing up for them. When I choose to honor, when I choose to see the value and virtue in others, I am glorifying my Father.

Philippians 4:4-7 (AMP) “Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, take pleasure in Him]; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit [your graciousness, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance, and patience] be known to all people. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].”

“Let your gently spirit be known to all people.” To be honest, most of the time I can admit that I do not fall into this category. That does not mean that I do not want to. I desire to be gentle. I desire not to worry so much, which I can say is the root of why I do not walk in grace, mercy, unselfishness, mercy, tolerance and patience at all times. There are times that they will flow out of me and I praise God in those moments, because that is reflecting a work in me. It shows that the Lord is near. That is where I desire to be, where the Lord is near. Worry is not there, peace is. Worry does not lead to honor.

Jesus even says in Matthew 6:25, “Therefore I tell you, stop being worried or anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted) about your life….” Jesus goes on to talk about food and clothing,but how about relationships? Thoughts and rehearsals of conversations you have had? Events that you were not invited to? People who do not show up for you? This is all rooted in worry, which will ultimately distract us. I am done with being distracted! I want to be free of worry. Verse 27 Jesus says, “And who of you by worrying can add one hour to (the length of) his life?” This is what He does tell us to do, verse 33, “But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being rightthe attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.”

Alright God, I hear what you are telling me today. Putting my focus back on you. Laying down the thoughts and worries of yesterday and the days to come. I am going to worship and praise moment by moment today. Worry brings distractions and I am tired of being distracted!

Praying for you all this week!! Be blessed!!!