The day my life changed

The day I accepted Jesus as my Savior, the day I gave my life to Him is the day when everything changed. I have had many key events in my life that have changed the trajectory of what I thought was going a certain way but the day I met Jesus was the most significant change. I can’t remember what my life was like before because it was so bad. I can try and remember but what comes to mind is not a pretty picture. Jesus came into my life and repainted everything. He gave color to my darkest moments and He flipped my world upside down. Before meeting Him I thought that I was part of an exclusive club. A club where every member had bad luck, no hope and limited moments of happiness. I was stuck in that club and I longed to see what life was like outside that restricted environment. The club became comfortable because that is all I knew but it was not a joyful place. I saw joy on the outside but I didn’t know how to come out of the cage where despair had locked me for so long. Jesus opened the gate and let me out. He gave me His hand with a gentle smile. He introduced me to a new way of life. He showed me what life was all about. All the things that had been taken from me started showing up. Jesus gave me the rights that I thought only belonged to the lucky few. It wasn’t luck. It was His blessings. It was His love. His love brought a change. His love shifted everything and put me on a new path. The day my life changed is when Jesus became my life and it was only the beginning.

The day my life changed was a gateway into a more beautiful life. It was my exit from the cage of sorrow and my entrance into a better life. My salvation started when I accepted Him as my Savior and it has continued. Salvation is here and now and will never end. I believe sometimes we think of salvation as the time when we go to Heaven. Salvation doesn’t take place when we get saved and then takes a break until we go to be with the Lord. You and I are living our days of salvation today and that major change in our lives is still going on. Once I understood that truth, I saw my life in a different light. I received Jesus and He stayed with me. He never left and He will never leave. Today I am walking in the beauty of my salvation. Tomorrow I will still walk in the light of my salvation and that light will follow me forever. This means that my life is changed. It wasn’t changed at one point in time and then regressed to its old ways. It is continually changing for the best. I can’t expect misery to put me back in that cage. I have renounced my membership at the club of despair. I don’t belong there and I won’t let the enemy or my thoughts put me back there. I am free. The Spirit of the Lord is in me and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom.

You and I live an amazing life because we have an amazing Savior. It is not always a bed of roses but the Lord always takes care of every thorn and He weeds out the trials and the tribulations. Nothing is impossible to Him. Before Jesus, nothing was possible or so it seemed. Now, our lives are a series of endless possibilities from Heaven. We should be expecting great things from the Lord. We should be rejoicing over Him every day and thanking Him for giving us peace, joy, love and faith despite our circumstances. The new life we have in Christ is stronger than the life the world has to offer. The changed life we have can push away the tricks of the enemy. We are heirs of the Lord and part of our inheritance is the name of Jesus. Let’s use His name so we can live the fullness of this new life. In His name we are more than conquerors and that is an indelible truth. Embrace this great life with Christ every day. Remind yourself of the wonders of the Lord and how they never end. The day your life changed was only the beginning. Keep living it up in Jesus’ name!

Suggested reading: Romans 6:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Revelation 21:5

Hope in the dark places

What a year we’ve had! Many of us have visited some dark places that we thought we would never see. A lot of what took place this year was a trip to places of despair, isolation, fear, worry and doubt. “Why is this happening?” we have asked ourselves. “Why is it one thing after another?” was a recurring question in our minds this year. Those dark places seem to linger and spill into places where joy used to live. Was the joy gone? Was peace out of reach? The answer to both these questions is a resounding No if you ask the Lord and a defeated Yes if you ask the world. Things were bad. Things have been bad but the Lord’s peace and His joy have still been available. When the dark places are all we see, we are blind to the Lord’s blessings. We can’t even start to think that there is hope. Hope has been there all along. It has shown up as a flashlight in the dark places. I remember when we had a storm this summer and we lost power for several days, I used a flashlight at night. That light came in very handy and it demonstrated that even when everything is dark, God can provide a light. I was still able to see the blessings in my life thanks to the light of the Lord during those dark times. He was still there and I was made aware of it by that simple flashlight which was a great reminder. 

There have been dark places this year where no flashlight could be found. I had to search and seek God’s face. He made Himself available. No matter how bad things were, I saw His face. His love covered me and hope came with it. As long as the Lord is around, there is hope. The Lord is always around so hope is always there. Today I want to encourage you to believe that there is always hope even in the darkest places. God is following you every step of the way. Hope is following you every step of the way. You are not alone. You are not alone with fear and worry. They might be haunting you but the Lord’s hope is with you and in you. Tap into His hope. Let it come out to the surface. Get it out from under the pile of fear and doubt. Claim your right to hope. You are entitled to the light of hope. Just like a flashlight in the middle of a dark summer night, hope will show you the way. Hope will unveil God’s plans for you and you will see that they are always good. Hope is with you, friend. You might be in a dark place now but hope is in the dark with you and it is going to turn on the blessings that have been hidden from you.

The enemy hates it when we stay strong under pressure. He can’t stand it when Christians have hope and when they rejoice when they should be crying. The Lord’s hope can ignite joy in your heart and jumpstart peace in the worst situations. All you have to do is pray. Say a simple prayer. When you pray, declare that you believe that there is hope. Say that it doesn’t matter how bad things look, hope makes everything look better. Hope is in your heart because Jesus is in your heart. Speak hope back into your life. Hope will rise. Hope will bring down the darkness and let the Lord’s light shine. God is going to make a way back to peace, joy and love. This is not the end. There is a tunnel with God’s light in it. Your dark place is not your permanent address. It is a temporary inconvenience and you are coming out of it. Rejoice right now. Play some uplifting Christian music and praise the Lord. Do a dance. Sing about His love. Thank Him. Let your singing be that light of hope that the enemy doesn’t want to see. You are going to make it. Jesus is the way and He has made a way for you to leave that dark place. There is always hope with the Lord and His hope is breaking the chains of darkness. Don’t get discouraged. Stay strong. Hope is here to stay and your problems will go away!

Suggested reading: Jeremiah 29:11; 1 Peter 1:13; 1 Peter 5:10

You are blessed

I think that if we spend a lot of time focusing on what goes wrong in our lives, we can easily miss the blessings of the Lord. God blesses. Knowing Jesus is a huge blessing. Living out our salvation in Jesus is a great blessing. Learning more about Jesus through the Holy Spirit is a fantastic blessing. Being able to pray, praise and worship is an underrated blessing. Waking up every morning and having the Lord on our side is a tremendous blessing. We are highly blessed from all sides but the enemy wants us to see the bad things that are happening in our lives so that we believe that we are not blessed. Sometimes he uses comparison so we can feel like we are less than. He also brings back bad memories or old sins or mistakes and makes us feel unworthy of God’s love and of His blessings. All these things are lies. When Jesus is your Savior, you are blessed. Your situation and your circumstances are not an indication of how blessed you are. Jesus is the indicator and you have Him in your life whether things are going well or not. Jesus is the moderator of your life. He is there to make things right. He is there to tilt the balance in your favor. When you trust Him, He pours blessings into your life and it doesn’t matter how many problems you have. Today I want to remind you that you are blessed. Not because of who you are but because of the One who is in you and with you. God blesses you and when you acknowledge it, you can see it and enjoy it.

I don’t like thinking about everything that I can’t fix in my life. It seems that one negative thought leads to another and before you know it you are overthinking and creating mountains of trouble when there is truly a hill of hope on the other side. It is hard to think about the good things that are taking place when the bad things are that insurmountable mountain. Our faith can move any mountains but overthinking and desperation stall faith and keep us in a state of no progress. We get stuck in our minds and we get stuck in our hearts. We can’t think of anything else and we don’t have the courage and the boldness to believe that there is more. However, there is always more. With Jesus things are always much better than they appear. Living in the realm of what we see doesn’t do Jesus any justice. Taking a leap of faith and jumping into the realm of what we don’t see but believe, highlights the glory of the Lord. His blessings are forever present and sometimes we have to step into the faith realm to see them. Other times we have to take a step back and look around. It’s during those moments of observation and contemplation that we are made aware of how blessed we are. Like I said earlier, we are highly blessed for having Jesus in our lives. He is the start of all blessings. He is the originator of all good things. He is the distributor of amazing things. When He died and rose again, He handed eternal life to whoever believes in Him. You believe. He is your Savior. Let Him hand hope to you again. Let Him show you how blessed you are and how you are going to make it.

God’s blessings are pearls of Heaven that we can wear around our necks with confidence. God promised that He would bless us. Remind Him of what He said. He hasn’t forgotten but He loves seeing that you know what He said He would do and He hears you. He loves seeing your faith in action so speak up and tell Him you believe you are blessed. Tell Him that on your worst days you are still blessed. Tell Him how grateful you are to have the Holy Spirit. Make a list of all your current blessings that have to do with Him directly. From the privilege you have to be able to pray to the revelations you receive from His Word and from His Spirit. Read that list over and over again. Don’t keep it far from your eyes. Count those blessings. Remind your mind and your heart that you are already blessed. Don’t wait until tomorrow to rejoice over the blessings. They are here today. Thank God you are blessed. Thank God you are highly favored. God’s blessings and His favor are going to get you through this. Praise the Lord it is raining blessings in your life today. Your gratitude will bring a multitude. A multitude of blessings is on its way. Focus on the good things of the Lord in your life. You are blessed! Don’t forget it!

Suggested reading: Deuteronomy 28:13;  Ephesians 1:3-4; 2 Peter 1:3

Count it all joy

“Count it all joy” I read in the Bible. I love that encouragement and I have applied it in my life as much as I can but then there are moments when all I count is how much I have been hurt or how difficult things have been. “Count it all joy” is not just for happy times it is for all the time. It is not just when life is good and everything is going just fine. The Lord tells us to count it all joy no matter what is happening. As a matter of fact, He even says to count it all joy in the midst of our troubles. When I first understood the deeper implication of that encouragement I was distraught. I felt like it wasn’t possible for me to count it all joy when the bills keep piling up and when one trial after another rolls into my life. I prayed about it. I asked for guidance and clarification. The word “joy” is the key in that phrase. Joy comes from the Lord. God expects us to count it all joy thanks to Him and through Him. He wants us to tap into His power to be able to count it all joy. It shouldn’t be in our own strength. His joy is our strength. Today I want to encourage you to count it all joy no matter what and I am going to tell you how you can do that.

First of all it is important to count on God. Count on God to be there all the time. Count on His perfect timing. Count on His constant presence. Count on His love. Count on His mercy and His grace. Count on His ability to make things work. Count on His power to change your circumstances and above all to change you. Know that God can mold you and sharpen you so you can be the sharpest tool around. You are a tool that God can hold and use to His glory. He can enhance the gifts in your life. He can amplify the fruit in your life. He can guide you through the process of being more like Him. Joy is a part of Him and you can rest assured that the Lord will increase His joy in your life as you increase your time and interaction with Him. Count on the One who saves. Count on Him to save you from yourself and make you more like Him. See Him as the God who can change you from the inside out. If joy is lacking in your life, trust that it can be given to you in bigger portions. Thank the Lord that you can count on Him to make joy a part of you like never before. Renew your mind by studying His Word and focus on joy in the Bible.

Like I said before, joy is an inherent part of God. The more time you spend in prayer, worship and adoration the more you will be impacted by God and joy will be part of the whole experience. When you adore and lift up the Lord, His love, peace and joy are imparted to you. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen. Sometimes it comes faster than you can imagine. What’s essential is that you keep at it and that you keep doing it despite your feelings and your circumstances. God is not in your feelings and emotions. He is vibrantly present in your faith. It’s your faith that will get you to push through to the other side where joy is more permanent. When things are tough, it looks like there is a door that can’t be opened and great things are on the other side of that door. Perseverance will unlock that door. Perseverance, patience and hope will fling that door wide open. Joy is available to you all the time and with an open door, you can enjoy it all the time. Keep that door open. Trust that the Holy Spirit who dwells in you has joy galore. Rely on Him for joy. Count on Him for joy. Count on the fact that you can count on Him for joy. The joy of the Lord will trump fear, sadness, stress and sorrow. It is there no matter what your circumstances are and not matter what you are feeling. Count it all joy with God’s help. You will get through the most difficult times with His joy!

Suggested reading: John 16:24; Romans 12:12; James 1:2-4

Exploring God every day

It is just amazing to be in a relationship with the Lord. Would you agree that it is breathtaking? Who He is and what He does are mind-blowing to me. I have found that He always does something that surprises me, that energizes me and that gets me all excited. The excitement that comes from this relationship is just absolutely fabulous. I can’t believe that I lived my life without the Lord. I wasn’t breathing. I wasn’t living. I was just going through the motions pretending to have a life when I had what I call a pale imitation of reality. There is the world’s reality and the Lord’s reality. His reality is more real. It is infused with the essence of life and the substance of love. I don’t think my heart was beating well  before Jesus. I don’t think I had a clue what true love meant before Jesus. I had a great loving relationship with my family. I can’t deny that. They have been a tremendous blessing and God added into the family mix has amplified what love is. 

Love gives you a reason to get up in the morning and the strength to face the day every day. God’s love does that for me all the time. I am not on cloud 9 but I am on cloud 99 because the Lord takes everything to a higher level. Do I ever fall off the cloud? I surely do and the Lord catches me. He is my safety net so when I fall, He is right below me. When I was given the great privilege  to know Jesus and to accept Him into my heart, everything changed for the best. It did take me a while to do what I call a “God exploration”. I started exploring God in more recent years and that exploration has yielded so much joy, so much peace and a great transformation.

Today I want to encourage you to explore God. Explore Him in His Word. Explore Him during prayer. Explore Him throughout the day. Explore Him in your thoughts. Explore Him in your heart. Explore Him beyond your feelings and your preconceived notions. Explore Him through His Spirit. When Jesus was on earth, He always took the time to be alone with the Father. Those one-on-one times were extremely precious and valuable. If Jesus needed time with the Father we certainly do as well. Exploring the Lord starts with giving Him our time and energy. Before explorers set on a journey, they take the time to do research and to investigate what they are looking for. Exploring God involves doing our own research and investigation. However, it should be done for ourselves. 

We need to go to the source and find out what Jesus is all about for ourselves. Having some time alone with Him can get us there. What does He say during prayer time? What does He reveal during Bible study? We ought to develop this time with God away from the world so we can hear His heartbeat, so we can see His face and so we can share His mind. The heartbeat of God resounds with a deep love that is above any human love. I aspire to know God’s love more every day. His love is revealed in His Word and I want to live it out and experience it. I get beautiful glimpses of His love when I let Him be God and when my faith is bigger than my fears. That is when I can trust Him to be the faithful God that He is and His love gets loud.

I am a curious person by nature so exploring God is captivating to me. One thing I find very fascinating is that when I ask the Lord to unveil who He is and to let me know more about Himself, He does it in a big way. God wants you and me to get closer and closer to Him. In order to know Him better, we have to find out what He is like. His Word is alive and it describes Him accurately. Now, take this accurate description and blend it with the author of the Book of Life and you get a perfect picture of the Savior. The Author, the Holy Spirit, praises Jesus, lifts Him up and refers to Him all the time. When we explore God, we learn about His Son. We get attached to the Son of Man because He is so loving and His love is contagious. 

I got the “Jesus bug” a while back and I don’t want to get rid of it. His contagious joy and peace can be transferred to others. It is incredible that we have a God who allows us to imitate Him and to be more like Him so that the world can see Him through our words and actions. I am in love with a God whose love saved me and whose love reaches out to the world so the world might be saved. I will continue to explore Him. The better I know Him, the better I can represent Him. The better I know Him, the better I know myself. I find my identity in Him and I am thrilled that my quest to know Him more will never be satisfied but it will always bring me more and more joy. Explore the Lord for yourself and you will see that there is truly no one like Him!

Suggested reading: John 1:1; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 3:18

The blessing that can bless everyone

They say “Count your blessings” but sometimes it is hard to see what blessings are in our lives. Here is a blessing you can always count on; your relationship with God. It is one of the biggest blessings you will ever have. It is a major blessing for you and for people in your life. It can also be a blessing for every person you run into on any given day. It is up to you to see it as a blessing and to cherish it. Cherish it and let it grow. It will bless you day and night and change the lives of the people who need God around you. First you need to focus on what your relationship with God should look like. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to define the relationship and to help you maintain it and prosper it. The Lord said He would prosper you in all you do and I strongly believe that prospering your relationship with Him is on the top of the list. He can prosper you financially but He is more interested in the spiritual aspects of your life because He is Spirit. Encourage yourself to make your relationship with the Lord your top priority. You will understand how big a blessing it is and what it can do for you. It can make you more like Jesus and guide you through the maze of life. This great blessing from God will also keep going. It won’t stop. You can never know God fully but you can keep on walking with Him and learning about Him. Not only will you be blessed by His presence but you will bless others with His presence. Christ in you is the hope of glory. Never underestimate what the Lord in you means to the world. It is part of your mission on earth to share His love and to let Him express Himself through the blessing.

The blessing, as I like to call it because it is the most important one in my book, is phenomenal. It is outlined in the Book of Life and it comes alive in your life when you don’t take it for granted. When you accept Jesus as your Savior, you accept the blessing. You accept a relationship with Him that should stay on 24/7. However, you can switch it off by minimizing it or by ignoring it. I have to admit that I had turned off the blessing for many years. I was a Christian on paper but in reality I lived my life just like anybody else who didn’t know Jesus. I had my “holy moments” but they were not enough to get me close to God. I was basically acquainted with Him but He wasn’t as important in my life as He should have been. I didn’t comprehend the blessing. I had been introduced to it but I quickly put it away and went my merry way without Jesus. He has to be at the center. He has to be recognized as the author of the blessing and the power behind this amazing gift. Jesus is a gift. His relationship with us is a gift and every day we should open it and give it to others. Jesus is there for us but He is also very much present in our lives so He can touch other people’s lives. We can’t be selfish and keep the blessing all to ourselves. Let’s bless someone every day. Let’s pass on the gift and make someone’s day.

When you are close to the Lord and you stay “plugged in”, sharing the blessing is second nature. It is not something you have to think about. You do it naturally. You carry the torch of His love all the time and you look for people whose light is out. You take the torch and ignite their flame again. Some people have never had a light in their lives. They have never known peace, joy or love. God has all those great things for them and sometimes He relies on you to relay those blessings to others. You see, the blessing you have has many branches in the form of small or big blessings. Reach out to others and give them a twig or a branch. The Holy Spirit will show you what you should be distributing around you. Remember that it is all coming from God and give Him the glory for all the good you are doing in this world. You are doing it all in His name and through Him. Humble yourself and share the blessing. Give love, give peace, give joy, give the gift of time, pray with others, pray for others, intercede and stay strong in faith for others. The blessing in your life will never die but it will bring life to barren spirits and peace to troubled souls. Your relationship with Jesus is the blessing that can bless everyone. Make that relationship strong. God is using you to bring peace, deliverance and freedom into this world. Keep doing what you are doing in the name of the Lord!

Suggested reading: Jeremiah 17:7-8; Numbers 6:24-26; Romans 12:14

God is watching over you

God is watching over you. Whether you see it or not. Whether you feel it or not. He is your refuge and your protector. Things happen. Good things. Bad things. Sometimes more bad things than good things. Accidents take place but all these things don’t take away from God’s love for you and how much He cares about you. He has His eyes on you the whole time and He never leaves you nor forsake you. He will do anything for you and He did on the cross. Now it’s your turn to do your part and trust Him and honor Him. God is watching over you all the time and He wants you as close to Him as possible. Do you see Him as a Tower of refuge over you? Do you believe that He is following you and blessing you wherever you go? I do know that lack of knowledge can prevent our faith from advancing. We can’t have faith in what we don’t know. Faith is knowing before anything else. It’s knowing before seeing but the knowing part has to happen. God is watching over you and you should learn more about what it means and what it implies for your life.

In Genesis God said He would watch over us and He would follow us and bring us back to this land. Does He keep His promises? He certainly does. He is still watching over us today, following us and bringing us back to this land. What land is He talking about? “This land” can be seen as a promised land. A land where there is peace and freedom. A place of victory. A place of triumph. When God is watching over you, He is making sure that you are fine and that you are protected. Life happens and things can go wrong but He is still around and He won’t leave you until things are good again. That is a truth that you should hold on to and meditate over. If there is one thing you should get out of this message, it’s that God is staying with you through thick and thin and He will always get you out of your worst situations. He is not a God who leaves when the going gets tough. He gives a hard time to what is giving you a hard time. He gets in the way of what gets in your way.

Isn’t it reassuring that God is following you everywhere you go? That means that you can always call on Him and rely on Him. No matter where you find yourself, God is there. No matter what situation you encounter, God is there. No matter who is against you, God is there. You don’t have to fear or to worry about anything because you are being followed. You are being watched by the creator of the universe. He is not watching you to judge you but to shelter you and to help you. God is with you when you go to bed and with you when you wake up and go on with your day. There isn’t a single moment that the Lord isn’t with you during the day. Keep that in mind. Let that sink in. Make that the foundation of your belief system. Believe in the God who never leaves you nor forsake you.

God’s Spirit is with you and watches you. He will counsel you and guide you. He knows how to direct you and assist you. Develop a strong relationship with the Holy Spirit. He will talk about Jesus and remind you of the Scriptures. He will whisper God’s love to you and breathe peace into you. He will remind you that God can do all things and that He created you for a reason. He will always point you in the right direction. The Holy Spirit is the Watcher and the Counselor that you need. My prayer is that you trust that the Lord is watching over you, assisting you and blessing you along the way.

Suggested reading: Genesis 28:15; Proverbs 15:3; Matthew 6:4

You shall have whatever you ask in prayer

Growing up one of the “pillar verses” I relied on was Matthew 11:24. It reads “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” As a kid, I saw this verse more as the fulfillment of a wish to a genie. I had this mystical perception that God would fulfill all my wishes no matter what I asked. I had the faith of a child but that faith was misplaced. I needed guidance, direction and a major adjustment. The good thing is that I did believe that anything could happen. The problem was that my wishes were not always in line with God’s will. I wanted too many things that were bad for me. After a while I gave up on asking God for what I wanted. Not getting what I asked harmed my spirit a little bit and it created some confusion in my mind. My belief system was wounded and I needed help. I found the answer to my dilemma when I understood that I had to ask in line with the Word of God. Getting familiar with the Word of God was where everything had to start. I embarked on a journey of exploring the Word and of trying to comprehend it. Whatever we ask in prayer, when it is in agreement with God’s Word, we can expect to get it.

What are we to ask in prayer then? I think we can ask many different things but I see my requests primarily falling under the umbrella of getting closer to God and knowing Him better. Under that umbrella you can find the desires to be more like the Lord, to love more, to help  more, to bless more and to have more faith. These desires sum up the bulk of my prayers. God can give us anything. He is not limited but He knows that everything is not good for us. Can you imagine if we could get absolutely anything we asked in prayer? The world would be filled with chaos and self-righteousness would be rampant. People would ask for relationships and for riches. God won’t manipulate anyone and force anyone into a relationship. That is not our God. If man had whatever he wanted, God would be left out of the equation in many cases because there is a battle between the flesh and the spirit and the flesh wins easily. Do you think that people would ask for spiritual blessings over material goods? It is not likely. Many would but even more people wouldn’t. The Word of God and His will offer some powerful checks and balances. God’s Word is the moderator and the Lord is the executor. Let’s pray according to the moderator and the executor will bless our prayers.

Where should we start ? I would say we should start by asking the Lord to bless others. Our initial prayers should be for others. We should have a strong sense of wanting to see others blessed. God honors those prayers. Prayers to see people saved, to see people know the love of God and to receive His peace and His joy. Not everyone will be saved but praying for others will never hurt. It will always be the will of God for us. Praying for spiritual enlightenment for others and for ourselves is also a great request. Prayer for healing. Prayer for peace. Prayer for deliverance. Prayer for freedom. Prayer for joy. Prayer for more communion with God. Prayer for guidance. They are all amazing prayers that should be sustained. Now, the key is to ask according to God’s will and to have faith that what we ask will come to pass. A prayer fueled by faith is a powerful prayer. When it is founded on solid ground, that prayer produces miracles. Today I encourage you to pray according to God’s will and to have the blessed assurance that He hears you. Develop your faith in His ability to bless your prayers. Expect His hand to move in your favor and in other people’s favor. Expect great things. Expect God’s things! Nothing is impossible to the Lord and your prayers of faith can make amazing things come to pass. You shall have whatever you ask in prayer if you believe and you are grounded in God’s will!

Suggested reading: Matthew 21:22; Mark 5:36; Romans 10:10

There is more to this life with God

When I first started experiencing the Lord, I was blown away by how amazing, loving and generous He was. I had been saved for many years but I knew nothing about experiencing God and living beyond the natural. I spent many years developing head knowledge about God but I had no heart knowledge. God was theory and ideas. The Bible was a manual and a book of principles. I stayed on the surface for a long time. I didn’t know any better. God was good and knowing Him on an intellectual level was fine. However, I know that my spirit wanted more and knew there was more. Reading about the Lord’s miracles seemed empty. It was great to learn about them but the hope to see them come to pass wasn’t there. God had been put on pause for most of my life up to that point.

My thinking and some of my upbringing had limited my interaction with God and my understanding of who He was all about. God is Spirit and He wants us to know Him in spirit and in truth. I found out that there was much more to this life with Christ. Much more than what you can understand with your mind. I found out that I had to let go of the logic that my brain loved to hang on to. Experiencing God was a step I wished to take but I was at a loss. What did that look like? Was it real? Was God interested in me enough to come down to my level and bring me up to His? Was all this wishful thinking or was there a higher dimension of God that we believers can experience on a daily basis.

I decided to pursue God and I embarked on a quest that led me to a new reality. A reality that clashed with what I had known. A reality that was out of this world. A reality that captured God and that set Him apart. A reality that was based on a strong foundation; the foundation of the Word of God. My reality was shaken by God’s reality. After years of speculation and hope, God turned out to be more real than I had imagined. I took steps to getting to know Him and he took strides to get closer to me. When we set our minds and our hearts on knowing God and we are open to who He is, He draws closer. He said “Knock and the door will be open.” My knocks were persistent and they were not only a cry for help but a need to know the truth and to live out this truth I had heard about. I was tired of hearing about God through other people. I wanted to hear from Him for myself and I wanted to see Him and enjoy His company like David and like Job. I loved reading about people with tenacious faith in the Word of God and I used them as models. Jesus was the most inspiring model and I stood outside His door and stayed there until He opened me to a new life, a life in Him and with Him.

Doing life with God was what appeared to be key for me. I understood that I had to acknowledge Him in all my ways. I put Jesus in everything I knew. How? I prayed for Him to bless every part of my life. I dedicated every part of my life that I was aware of to Him. My day started with Jesus and ended with Jesus. I became obsessed with worshipping Him and lifting Him up. Friend, it makes a huge difference when we praise the Lord with our lives and we do our best to impregnate our thoughts and our ideas with Him. Before long we see that there is much more to God than we imagine. The constant praise and worship through the way we live our lives and through singing and dancing lead to His presence being manifested more. God inhabits His praises and the more we praise Him the way I just described, the more of Him we see in our lives. We get to experience Him on a daily basis. I am talking about an outpouring of His glory. Blessings upon blessings. Fear dwindles. Boldness rises. Love dominates. Peace becomes a resident in our hearts. Joy flows at the least expected moment. Confidence and faith grow. It is a collision between Heaven and earth and an awareness of the Lord of the Bible. The Bible becomes alive and speaks to the depths of our souls. God tells us in His Word that there is more to this life. Jesus came to give us life in abundance and it is for here and now. Get closer to Him. Enjoy Him. Rejoice over Him. Celebrate Him. Make Him your priority. Dive into His love. Go there with your heart. Stay open to His Word. Know that He is faithful and that He adores you. Walk with Him. Stand with Him. Run with Him. Trust Him with your life. Depend on Him and He will show you that there is much more to this life. Jesus is King and He can rule your life and make it so much better than you can ever dream off. Seek His face and you will find a reality where anything is possible and love overcomes all!

Suggested reading: John 6:35; John 10:10; John 11:25-26

Let God redefine your life

We all have needs. Your needs might be very different from mine. Your needs might be something I don’t have to worry about. My needs might be something that is not a need for you at all. My needs might seem big to me but small to you. My needs might be met in your life and part of a struggle in my life. What I have learned is that God sees all our needs and none of them are too big or too small for Him. He sees them. He understands them and He can provide for them. Now, He also defines our needs according to His will. Sometimes what we need is not truly a need. It sounds confusing but when you bring your needs to the Lord and you let Him take care of them, He defines them. He helps give clarity as to what we need. I used to have a list of needs that were more desires than needs. God helped me define some of those needs as desires and He opened my mind to what I truly needed.

I love how God can redefine our lives and write a definition in line with His love and in line with His truth. We all need God’s redefinitions. We all need to bring everything to God in prayer and to let Him guide us and change us. Today I want to encourage you to let God redefine you. Let Him redefine not only your needs but your thoughts, your ideas, your desires and your disposition. Letting Him change us can be a tough process at the beginning because we have to let go of so much but it is the best thing we can do if we want to grow in the things of the Lord. Once you are all in, you will discover that God’s definition of you is wonderful. It is beautiful and it is full of love. He didn’t write you into this life with a pencil of anger and wrath. He wrote a beautiful story and you are the main character in it with Him. Your goal is for you to recognize that He should be the main character in your story and that you can’t live without Him. He defines your story, He defines your life and He defines you. Let God redefine your life.

When I got saved, I was fairly young but I had a few things in place in my life. I had some principles, some ideas about how to lead my life and some truths I held on to. After some time, God shook my realities and made me question some of my beliefs. I was brought up with some Christian values that have stayed with me my whole life. Some other values were imposed by my environment and by some ideologies that sounded great but that completely went against what God is all about. God injected love in my heart and in my thinking. Not only was it love for Him and for others but He also showed me that because He loved me, He would always take care of me. I didn’t have to worry and fear. I didn’t have to hold on to possessions to make sure I would make it in this life. He became my life and redefined everything. I had to let go and let God as they say.

Material goods including money represented security to me. I felt safe if I had lots of money in the bank. I believed it was what I needed. I was wrong and God rectified that mindset. He opened me to a new reality where love was a currency, faith was a precious possession and peace was a rule of thumb. The needs that I had were not what God wanted for me. I didn’t need that list of “must haves”. What I needed the most was a strong connection and relationship with Him. He would then take care of everything else. I need to trust and not to thrust my way to the top of the social ladder. He demonstrated over and over again that my desires should be His desires and He transformed my heart. I am not done but I have accepted how God keeps redefining me and my thoughts. He is so worth it. He deserves the best seat in my house. Enjoy how God can change you and make you more like Him. His redefinitions are phenomenal!

Suggested reading: Galatians 2:20; Philippians 1:6; 1 John 3:1-3