Take the Test

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work.” -James 1:2-4

No one wants to be tested. They take us out of our comfort zone. Yet, it is one of the greatest tools that God uses to take you from glory to glory. The goal of God’s testing is to draw you closer, make you stronger and draw out the dreams and gifts He planted in you. 

“For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver…we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.” -Psalm 66:10,12

No one enjoys trials. For most of us it hurts but if you dare to persevere the end result of your trial and testing is this…Abundance!

Testing took Noah from World Destruction to the Ark to a New World.

It took Abraham from Childless to Father of a Great Multitude.

It took Joseph from Pit to Prison to the Right hand man in Pharaoh’s Empire.

David went from Shepherd Boy to Soldier to Fugitive to King!

Do you see how each test pushes you further and look at the end result.

If you’re in a season of testing don’t be shaken by where you are, focus on where this test is taking you.

“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised.” -James 1:12.

Endure, persevere…aim for your crown!

See Increase In Christ

As a child of the Most High God you can expect increase in your family and ministry. Expect reconciliation and salvation to come in the most unlikely places. Expect increase in your peace and joy. Expect restoration, fresh revelations, renewal and revival. Yes, Jesus meets you where you are but He doesn’t leave you there. Know that it is His desire to increase you, bless you and take you to higher heights and deeper depths in Him. Amen.

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in Me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” –John 14:12

Be Strong

Be Strong

It was like deja vu when I got the phone call. My mom’s biopsy results were in and the report was not good. It had been 8-years since her breast cancer diagnosis. A battle she emerged victorious in Christ in. Now here we were, 8 years later in the same office…again. On the drive there I said, “Okay Father you gave me a word before concerning my Mom. I’m expecting a word from you again.”

We sat and listened to the oncologist and heard his thoughts on the matter. When he and his nurse left the room I turned to my Mom and said, “God is not going to put on you more than you can bear.” 1Cor 10:13 Suddenly I saw a Peace in her that wasn’t there before. Then I knew it was a word from the throne of grace. I have to be honest though; I needed more. Why were we back here again and as a Royal Priesthood how am I supposed to stand and represent The Father in this? I had questions and I needed insight into the word God had given her. 

Later that day I stepped into that secret place (prayer) and shared with the Father what was on my heart. That’s when I heard Him say, “Joshua 1:9” Immediately I went there.  This is what it says:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Then I asked, “But how do I do that Lord?” 

The Lord replied, “It’s like you said before, I’m not going to put more on you than you could bear. Your ability to bear is based on what I placed in you. I can command you to be strong and courageous because I’ve already equipped you with strength and courage. I can say do not be afraid because My perfect love has casted out your fear. I’m simply calling out what’s already there and that’s how you’re going to do this.”

 What was in me began to stir like a mighty current.  All of that discouragement suddenly slipped away. I felt strong, confident, comforted and equipped to stand as a royal priest by my mother’s side and glory to God that is what I did!

 I am happy to report that the battle was glorious. The King of Kings made His presence known on the battlefield. I told no one but my Husband and kids about my Mom’s surgery yet God drew prayer warriors amongst the medical staff to lay hands and pray with me for my mom. To my delight the surgeon was a fellow believer who personally submitted the surgery into the hands of the True Physician. The LORD fought the battle and gave us the victory. My part was to have faith in Christ who strengthens me. 

God’s Beloved, He who created and formed you has equipped you with strength and courage. He can call those things and more out of you because that is who you are. That same Spirit that raised Christ from the grave is in you child of God. His Presence, Wisdom, Authority and Truth dwells within you. You are well equipped and you’re not alone.  So Be Strong, Be Courageous. Be Fearless; Do Not Be Discouraged. For greater is Christ Jesus that is in you, with you and for you wherever you are, than anyone or anything that can come at you in this world. 

God’s Economy

“Restore us to Yourself Lord.” –Lamentations 5:21

The Lord’s Economy is nothing like our own. Let’s take a look at Job. Job lost his wealth, his livestock and sadly his children. Soon after, Job was afflicted with painful sores that ran from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet. There was no support, no peace, no joy; not even the pleasure of sweet sleep. What remained though was his faith in God and his righteousness.

Through Job’s afflictions, whom by the way is a shadow of Jesus, we come to intimately know God and His Restoration Plan. The Lord restored Job’s fortunes to him and gave him twice as much as he had before.  His latter days were better than the former and he received long life to enjoy it all.

I know it saddens the Lord to see His children living life defeated. For it is written, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” If you or someone you know is living life defeated you are measuring your life against the world’s exchange rate not God’s. Look to the cross, Jesus gave you beauty for ashes. He became poor so that you may be rich. Jesus’ body was broken so that you may be made whole.  Your life, past and sins may have robbed you of a lot but in Christ YOU are a new creation and you can expect “your fortunes” to be doubled to you. You can expect your life to be transformed. Expect God’s favor to go ahead of you and open doors that would normally be closed. Expect Salvation to come to your loved ones. Expect healing and victory in every battle, test and obstacle in your life because of who you are, a beloved child of God.

You can liken yourself to Job. I know what some of you are thinking, “Job was a righteous man, I’m not.” Friend, here’s a fun fact, it was God who called Job Righteous and You, who are in Christ, are the Righteousness of God in Christ.  Like Job your righteousness was a gift. A gift given not because of your works and faithfulness but based on Jesus’ faithfulness and finished work on the cross. Whether you are experiencing the best of times or the worst (#TheWisdomofSolomon) You can expect that every promise the Holy Spirit has whispered to you in the valley or on the mountaintop is a “Yes” and “Amen” to you.

-He restores you to Himself. That’s our God’s Economy.


 

Living the Impossible

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; All things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27

Jesus moves in the impossible!  Think about it. He brought nations out of barren women. Parted great bodies of water delivering millions from oppression.

He caused the Earth to Stand Still at one Man’s request and gave Great victories to the weak.

He fed thousands with just five loaves and two small fish. He healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, speech to the mute and casted out demons with just A Word.

He brought the dead back to life even after four days in the tomb.

He caused an ordinary man, no different from you or I to walk on water with Him.

Jesus made evangelist and preachers out of the world’s outcast. The Nobodies, the Less than Perfect and Far From Able. The Least of them and the Worst of them He enabled and used them to accomplish extraordinary works for the Kingdom of God. He continues to do that today.

Above all with just One Sacrifice Jesus bore ALL of our sins and afflictions and brought Salvation to Whosoever Believes in Him. With One Act He imparted Righteousness to the Unrighteous, Justification to the Unjust and Eternal and Internal Life, Peace and Joy to the spiritually dead, lost and broken.

Jesus moves in the Impossible.

To us these great acts seem impossible but to the One who So Loved Us that He gave Himself for us… All things will be made possible for You.

Dare to Hope… Dare to Dream Big… Dare to Walk on Water Beloved Child of God. Nothing in your life is hidden from Him or beyond Him. Expect Your Heavenly Father to do the impossible in your life! In Jesus Name. Amen.

 

 

 

Heaven’s Lens

Do not conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. –Romans 12:2

Many of us have been programmed to think and see the worst in people, circumstances and ourselves. Professional Fault-Finders; often wired from childhood to think and prepare for the worst. We are also best known as our own personal worst critic.  Even in the midst of praise for your attributes and accomplishments you can’t help but to find something wrong.

Then along came Jesus preaching, “Repent!” Change the way you think.  What a bold request; a request that goes against every fiber of your natural being. To abandon the way you’re wired and see yourself not as a “Hot Mess” but through Heaven’s lens…Faultless, Forgiven, Perfected and Loved. That’s challenging for some of us.

I suppose Heaven’s view would look like this:

I am not past, my addictions or pain.

I am a New Creation, the old me is dead and gone, the new me is here to stay.

I am not my sins.

I am Forgiven. My sins, (past, present and future) are Nailed To The Cross.

Forgiven and Forgotten.

There is no more condemnation for me. Sin has No Dominion over me anymore.

I am not weak, a victim or a failure.

I am More Than A Conqueror. I can do All Things Through Christ who strengthens me.

I am a Co-heir with Christ, created to do good works.  I am Destined to Reign and Succeed.

Enough about who I was, this is who I am: Chosen By God, Justified By Faith, Glorified in Christ and at Peace with God. No longer conformed to the patterns of this world but conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. I am the Righteousness of God in Christ. No longer a Fault Finder but a Faith Seeker. I am light and salt to this Earth. I am the Apple of God’s Eyes, the one whom the Father So Loved. I’m wired in Christ now and as Christ is, So Am I.  My Friend that is how Heaven sees you.

The One

person at crossI was waiting patiently in the waiting room. It was an hour past my appointment time and I was not happy. I came to the early morning appointment without having coffee or bringing a book, tablet or phone. I thought I’d be in and out of there in thirty minutes top. I was so wrong. So I said, “Okay LORD, it is You who plans my day. If you’re going to leave me without coffee or iPad; who do you want me to minister too?” Moments later, I found myself spiritually sparring with another believer. That exchange lead to a mother asking me to pray for her daughter. We prayed and you can imagine my delight when I heard a few “Amens” from those listening.

Then there was, The One. It had been three hours past my appointment time. I could have rescheduled but I felt compelled to stay. There were only two of us left in the waiting area. This college student had heard and saw my interactions so he wasn’t surprised when I asked him if he believed in Jesus.

“Not anymore”, he said, “ I was ex-communicated out of my church because I asked too many questions.” He replied quietly.

“You weren’t in God’s church, Friend.” I replied. “You see whom the Father gives to the Son cannot be snatched out of His hands.  You can’t be ex-communicated out of His presence. Once you become His child, He vows to never leave or forsake you. As for asking questions, our Father says, ‘Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you find; knock, and it will be opened to you.’ Our God doesn’t run away from questions. He loves when you have questions about Him that means you want to get to know Him. The Father desires to unveil His heart to us.”

What the young man said next almost blew me out of my seat. “Am I supposed to believe that God who created this vast universe and filled this one planet with billions of people could care about someone as insignificant as me.”

“Yes!!!!” I yelled so loud that I even startled myself.  I started to say, “You’re the One…” Then the door to the examination rooms opened. They called my name.

I didn’t know what to do; I wanted to finish this conversation but what was on my heart to say I felt it needed to be said in private.  Even though I said to the attendant, that I’d be right there, she chose to stand there and wait for me. Sadly the flesh kicked in, I started to feel the burden from the long wait.  I looked back at the young man and smiled awkwardly at him. He smiled back, waved goodbye and I left.

What I wanted to say is this:

You are The One the scriptures spoke about. The One that God So Loved and gave Heaven’s Best, His Beloved Son for. God cares for you and loves you with an unfailing and unwavering love.  According to the Creator of this vast universe and planet filled with billions, YOU are The One worth fighting for and dying for and that’s exactly what He did For You on The Cross. You’re not insignificant to Him; you are the Apple of God’s Eye.

I have to be honest I felt like I missed a moment; like I failed God. Then the Father reminded me that it was Him who orchestrated this moment. It was Him who prompted the prayer I prayed later on for this young man. Everything went according to God’s plan. The Father assured me that I planted the seed and watered it.  Now it’s His job to make it grow. With loving-kindness God will draw him.

Remember its God who orders our steps. What may seem like a bad day may very well be God preparing “A Moment” for you to share the love of Jesus with That One.

Your Joseph Moments

IMG_0161Joseph was the beloved son of Jacob. His son by His true love Rachel, and He treated Joseph as such. He was set apart from his brothers even His robe, a gift from his father, was finely woven and made of many colors. He was hated by his brothers and one day betrayed by them and sold into slavery for twenty shekels. Then he was sold again to an Egyptian captain named Potiphar. Scripture records for us that while Joseph lived as a slave in Potiphar’s house that the LORD was with Joseph and He prospered him.  Later Joseph was falsely accused and imprisoned. While in prison the Holy Spirit records, the LORD was with him and He gave him success in whatever he did. You know how the story ends; God took Joseph from Prisoner –to- Right-hand Man to Pharaoh. Through Joseph’s promotion both the Gentile nations and his brothers were saved from famine and death. Joseph’s life served as a snapshot of our Savior Jesus Christ. Read full story of Joseph.

I think we’ve all experienced a “Joseph moment” at one point in our lives. One minute your up and everything is going well and then something earth shattering happens and your down in the dirt. Like Joseph, God’s intent is always to take you to the next level, to lift you higher. From fruit -to more fruit -to much fruit. Jesus will always meet you where you are but don’t expect to stay there. Expect Him to take you from glory to glory.

Wherever you are in life, know that this is a part of the process it’s not the final outcome. Set your eyes on the outcome not the twist and turns in between. HE Who Promised Is Faithful. God told you that He has a plan for you, plans to prosper you, not to harm you but to give you hope and a future. Just because you’re shipwrecked in a storm it doesn’t mean He’s changed His mind about you. See the bumpy roads and the shipwrecks as the tools that will sharpen you for the purpose that God created you for and the message He cultivated in you to impact this world and fulfill your destiny for Jesus Christ.

Just because you’re shipwrecked in a storm it doesn’t mean God’s plans for you have changed!

When We Touch Jesus’ Hem

sky-2667455_960_720-2“A woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the edge of His cloak.  She said to herself, “If I only touch His cloak, I will be healed.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” He said, “your faith has healed you.” Matthew 9:20-22

Jesus was moved by her thoughts of Him. Her thoughts drew power from Him. Another translation testifies that virtue and had gone out from Him. Her faith in Him caught Jesus’ attention. Jesus sought out the one who touched Him and when He looked at her He called her “Daughter”. Faith brought this Social Outcast into Sonship. It took her from Sickness to Sonship in mere seconds. Jesus also points out that it was her faith in Him, not His robe that made her well.  Scripture says that those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. Her faith made her a beneficiary of God’s Promise.

Who do you say Jesus is? What are your thoughts about Him? This woman once thought that her healing was in the hands of physicians and for 12 years she bore the consequences of her thoughts, she didn’t get better she got worse.  Then one day she heard about JESUS and it changed the way she thought.

Her thoughts drove her to go to places she wouldn’t have dared to go, it took her where the world said she didn’t belong. She dared to seek out and reach for what she heard and believed and that faith transformed her life. In a crowd of many only one touched Jesus. Are you that one? Is your faith driving you to pursue the plans God has for you. To be a Light in the World for Him.  In His eyes …YOU ARE.

The Sweet Water Life

efa1a-33318602_2050060551948021_8403795983611199488_nWhen we look back at our past, the mistakes we’ve made, the loss, heartbreak, regrets, betrayals and disappointments we’ve had… its hard not to feel bitter about it. Yet God has a way of taking the bitter taste of your past and hurt and turning it into sweet waters. Look at Joseph, betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery. He was falsely excused, imprisoned and forgotten but God used it to position him for greatness. At the appointed time he was exalted to the right hand of the most powerful man in Egypt. Those same brothers who betrayed him, he was able to save. He became a great blessing to many including his own father.

It is recorded for our benefit so that we may be encouraged that God was with Joseph in the lowest points of his life. The Lord was with Joseph when he was sold into slavery and God prospered him. He was with Joseph when he was falsely accused and thrown into prison and God showed Him favor, kindness and granted him success. This is such a beautiful revelation from our Heavenly Father. You could be having the worst day of your life but unlike those lost in the world you have this Hope that your Father is with you. His favor, grace and success is abounding towards you. Jesus is working on your behalf. Even in your weakness, when all you see is lack, you are more than a conqueror and a success because of Him who is with you and for you.

God’s math is different from ours. God has a way of taking what the world has subtracted from you and multiplying it two to five-fold back to you. (See Exodus 22, Job and Joel 2:25-27) You are in a unique position child of God; you are in Christ.  That’s why we count it all joy in times of trouble because we know that all things, not some things but ALL THINGS will work out for our good, its His promise to us. So hold on to this hope; the One who loves you with an unfailing love will make the bitter waters in your life sweet.