Today is a beautiful day! It is in the 70’s in Chattanooga, TN. It’s hard to believe it’s still winter. Everything is blooming and the pollen is very high today. I have spring fever. I don’t like the cold weather! It’s almost time to ‘spring forth’. I like the time change when it is daylight longer outside. It’s so hard to get up for work on those ‘fall back’ changes. It takes a couple of weeks to become accustomed to the change. It is a whole lot easier to get used to the ‘spring forward’ time change. You have that extra hour to sleep and it’s already light outside when you have to get up. The birds are already singing and it just seems happier and better.
One of the Merriam-Webster’s definitions of ‘spring‘ is to make a leap or series of leaps. I think it’s time for us to take a leap of faith and do things that we haven’t done before. Start trusting God to take care of the unknown and take that first step toward your destiny. In Mark 5:36, Jesus told Jairus, “Don’t be afraid, just believe.” Sometimes we are just to afraid to follow our dreams and then it’s too late. Don’t let your dreams pass you by.
Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Where do you see your life headed? Is it in a positive direction or do you need to change the way your thinking? Stop trying to figure out how God will work it out, and just trust that He will. You never know, your dreams just might come true. You will never find out unless you chase your dreams and never give up!
Mark 11:22 says, “Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God.” We can choose to put our faith in God, or in things that are going on around us and keeping us distracted. It’s all our choice. Like the woman with the issue of blood chose to believe that if she could just touch the hem of Jesus’s garment, she would be healed. In Matthew 9:22, Jesus says to her, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.”
What we put our faith in will determine what kind of life we will have. We can choose to believe that things will end badly instead of choosing to believe for the best. Mark 5:36 tells us, “Jesus told Jairus, Don’t be afraid, just believe.” What we believe will influence what we speak. Most of the time, what’s going through our mind pops out of our mouth. It is vital that we fill ourselves up with God’s word. Romans 10:17 says, “So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.”
Hebrews 11:16 also tells us that, “It is impossible to please God without faith.” That’s why the bible tells us to have ‘childlike faith’. We will start trying to figure it out and then we start doubting God. God’s ways are higher than our ways. We will never figure Him out and it’s really stupid of us to think we can. We can only use 10% of our brains and we think that we can figure out an Almighty God! Well, we can’t!
2 Timothy 1:7 tells us, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” The (KJV) says it like this, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.” The Spirit in us is greater than the spirit of fear that is trying to stop us from achieving the plan and purpose that God has for our lives. When we have a spirit of fear, it paralyzes us. It gets such a strong grip on us, that we get tired of trying to fight it. Sometimes, we don’t even know how to fight it.
So, what can we do to fight fear? In John 5:8, the word tells us, “Then Jesus said to the man, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” Jesus was talking to a man that had been an invalid for 38 years. He told Jesus that he couldn’t make his way into the pool of Bethesda because nobody would help him and others would get in first and get their healing. Jesus wasn’t really interested in his excuses. If you want your healing you will get up and walk. Stop making excuses and just do it. It is really, really hard at first. But, if you make up your mind that you will do something, then you will do it.
The only way to defeat our fears is to conquer them. We must step out in faith. If we keep giving into them, we will never have the victory. You need to see yourself as victorious, as a winner!
Hebrews 10:22 says, “…For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water.” We all have a problem dwelling on mistakes we made in our past. Sometimes, something will pop into my head and I am so ashamed and embarrassed that I could have done that. I beat myself up over it and keep asking God to forgive me. The truth is, He has already forgiven me. When I asked the first time I was forgiven. He doesn’t remember my sins anymore. Psalm 103:12 says, “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.”
The enemy is the one reminding us of our mistakes. He wants us to think we will never be good enough to please God. The only problem with that is, we are saved by grace. We are not saved by our works. Romans 9:12 says, “He calls people, but not according to their good or bad works.” Yes, we should go and do the works of Jesus-even greater. We can only do this by Salvation and the Holy Spirit. When we are saved from our sins, we are new creations. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” God doesn’t see us anymore, He sees Jesus in us. We are righteous through Christ Jesus! John 16:10 says, “Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more.”
If you have a guilty conscience, it is the enemy trying to stop you from fulfilling your calling. Don’t let him steal that from you. Fight him and he will flee. James 4:7 says, “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” We only have this one dry run at life, so let’s make the best of it. Start now and make the latter part of your days better than the beginning. You have the greater one living inside of you! 1 John 4:4 says, “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.”
As we approach Halloween, I wanted to blog about something more fitting to the holiday. I don’t celebrate Halloween, but the idea around it is scary haunted houses, dead and dark things, and trick-or-treats. Do you ever feel like your dreams are dead? Like they will never come to life. When you know that you shouldn’t be sitting in a cubicle all day, that you should be doing something totally different than what you are doing today. I know, for me, the monotony of life makes me feel like I am going in circles instead of progressing forward in the area that God has called me.
I believe that there is a message in our monotony. If we don’t learn what it takes to do what God has called us to do, then we won’t be able to do it. The dream is dormant, instead of dead, until we get to the place we need to be to handle the calling. Life is a learning process. We won’t stop learning lessons until we die. If you feel led to an area and love that type of work, then chances are, God is training you to do it. It just takes time. Don’t give up and think it’s a dead dream -it’s just dormant until you are ready for it.
Just like leaves on the trees in the fall, they go dormant until the next spring. They get a fresh start in their new season. They have to go through the winter season before it is time to bloom out again. The trees are not dead, they might look dead, but they are still standing and producing carbon dioxide for us to breath. They are just not green and vibrant like they are in the spring and summer. In due season, your dream will come to pass. Just keep going in that direction and God will provide the right season for it.
Change of season is defined on Merriam-Webster.com as: to give a different position, course, or direction to; alteration; transformation.
Ecclesiastes 3:17 (NLT) says, “I said to myself, “In due season God will judge everyone, both good and bad, for all their deeds.” In each season, things change. Change is inevitable. We can either embrace it or fight it. We need to keep changing and growing in knowledge and truth so that we can lead others, by example. God will judge everyone. Christians and non-Christians alike.
We need to all search ourselves. I have noticed that too many “Christians” point out others faults, but they are doing exactly the same thing. They don’t see it in themselves. Matthew 7:3 (NLT) says, “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?” As Christians, we need to first, judge ourselves, our motives, and our walk with the Lord. During this autumn season, I challenge all of us to reflect inward and change what needs to be changed in us. Let’s use this time as a personal reflection in our own lives. We can better help others when we are not acting like non-Christians.
If you call yourself a Christian and are acting like a non-Christian, then you might not be where you need to be, as a Christian. I urge you to do an inward evaluation and see if you are following your feelings or if you are following the truth of the Bible. People should know that we’re different. Jesus was different.
What are you spending your time focusing on? Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT) tells us, “No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead. I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” The only way to get freedom from depression, or any other bondage that is controlling your mind and life, is to focus on Jesus.
Seek out the truth in God’s living word. When you focus on what’s going on around you, it can seem overwhelming or impossible. That’s exactly what the enemy wants you to think about. Philippians 4:8 (NLT) says “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing, fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
When we take our eyes off Jesus, we start looking at all the ugly that the world has to offer. At first, you might think it’s great or fun, but it soon proves to be devastating. That’s why God’s word tells us to choose life instead of death. The wages of sin is death. It’s really that simple.
My last post was about soul wounds compared to weeds and roots. Now, I am going to blog about how deep your seeds are rooted. In Matthew, Jesus tells us about different seeds. He talks about how deep the seed is rooted. The seeds that are planted in shallow ground were eaten by birds and never had a chance to take root. Some of the seeds ended up on rocky soil and had shallow roots. These faded quickly because they were not rooted deep enough to produce. Even others fell on among thorns that choked them out. Some, however, fell on fertile soil and took deep root to produce abundant crops.
The deeper the root, the more healthy and productive they are. The deeper that we are rooted in God’s word, the more productive we are too! This does go both ways. Weeds with deep roots tend to choke out the harvest of whatever they grow near. If your soul has wounds that are deep, you will produce a negative, unhealthy harvest. But, if you are deep-rooted with God’s word, you will produce an abundantly good harvest. The bible says that we are known by our fruit. Are you producing good fruit or bad fruit?
While weeding my flower bed, I noticed that not all weeds are the same. I thought of these different types of weeds as a comparison to soul wounds. Some of the weeds were very easy to pull up. The roots were shallow. We have different levels of soul wounds. Some are shallow and obvious and pretty easy to deal with. All we need to do is recognize that they are there and take a little time to get rid of them. These soul wounds are from small hurts that don’t take up a lot of time in your mind. You don’t really dwell on them, but they are a nuisance. Proverbs 27:6 says, “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.”
Some weeds are spread out a little wider across the flower bed. They are harder to pull up and it takes more time and effort to get the whole weed out along with the root. These roots are also deeper in the ground. These kind of soul wounds take much more time than the shallow wounds to get rid of. Sometimes the problem is much more complex than you think.
Psalm 13:2 tells us that, “How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand?” There is a type of weed that has needle-like thorns on it and very deep roots. They seem to weave around the flowers and bushes and try to overtake them and kill them. When I tried to grab these weeds, I noticed that it was very hard to get any type of grip on them because of the thorns. Also, the roots were so deep that it was easier to just cut the weed off instead of trying to pull the root out. Don’t be fooled by these type of wounds. You won’t be healed if you don’t get to the root of the problem. You might have to remove smaller weeds to find out where these type of weeds truly started.
Are you a sell-out or are you all-in? Do you prostitute yourself out instead of committing yourself to the One who will set you free? Do you give into lusts instead of keeping yourself pure before the Lord? The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23). That’s why we need to remain pure and blameless instead of giving into our flesh. When we turn away from God, He will turn away from us.
In Hosea, God instructed him to marry a prostitute. There was a lesson that God wanted him to learn in this experience. Son #1 was named Jezreel, meaning –God will punish Israel and bring an end to Israel’s independence because of murders that Israel committed against Jesreel. Daughter #2 was named Lo-ruhamah, meaning ‘not loved’ –God will not longer show love to Israel. Son #3 was named Lo-ammi, meaning ‘not My people’ –for Israel is not God’s people and God is not their God.
God’s people sold themselves out for food and clothing (Hosea 2:5). Like today, some sell out for food stamps and just enough to survive, but not enough to better themselves with. People are happy to live on what the government gives them instead of working and providing for their families. They won’t try to make a better life for themselves or their children, it’s a vicious cycle of generational welfare. I have family members that have never worked a job in their life. I can’t relate to that. This generation is lazy and that is a sin. (2 Thessalonians) tells us that people that are unwilling to work shall not eat.
Repent! (Hosea 6:6-7) God wants His people to show love, to know Him and to keep His covenants. We can only have a move of God if we repent. God assured Hosea that later, His people will come back together and be planted again in their land. In that day, Israel will be called ‘My people and the one’s I love’.
Freedom from depression, fear, anxiety, and helplessness