Don’t worry about anything

One of the messages I get the most during prayer time is “Don’t worry about anything.” Then the Holy Spirit gives me a list of what I shouldn’t worry about and He tells me not to worry about anything that would happen that day when I am praying in the morning. It is a very strong impression on the inside that catches my attention and that lets me know it is an important message. I have seen time and time again how accurate that message was. It doesn’t always mean that something bad is coming but it reminds me to always trust in God and not let worry become my god. When worry is so strong in us that we can’t see God, worry takes the place of our Lord. We give it a pedestal that it doesn’t deserve. We give it the attention that it doesn’t deserve. We make it more important than faith. We actually show faith in worry so to speak.

Worry becomes our modus operanti, our mode of operating or working. It becomes our approach to life, the way we process life and it is the system of beliefs and thoughts that we resort to. God and our faith in Him should be our approach to life. Faith should be our modus operanti. Worry takes God out of the picture and puts us in the middle of the frame because we believe we have to do it all on our own but we are limited. When God says “Don’t worry”, He is saying “Don’t rely on your own strength but rely on Me.” He is saying “Take yourself out of the frame and let Me be the bigger picture.” Worry depletes us of hope and fills us up with doubt. Today I want to pass on God’s daily message and tell you “Don’t worry about anything because the Lord is with you in everything.”

There is so much we can worry about. If we let worry dictate our lives, we can start worrying about the tiniest things. Sometimes we don’t worry about the big things but we worry about the smallest things and because they are very small, we think that worry doesn’t have a grip on us. Worry is worry. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is. It is bad. Period. It is always the enemy of faith and therefore it is the enemy of God. Worry is one of those enemies we have to fight and the best way we can fight it is with God. If you look at how often you worry and what you worry about, you can gauge how much help you need with worry. The truth is we all need a big dose of hope and faith every day to either push worry away or to keep it at bay. We need to build up our faith in the Lord because it is the biggest shield against worry.

What about when we are sick or a loved one is sick? When we have no money? When we are going through a very difficult time? Is it ok to worry then so God would have pity on us? God is merciful and His grace is amazing so oftentimes He will intervene. However, He wants us to never worry. It doesn’t matter what we are going through, we shouldn’t give in to worry. When life hits you hard, banish worry. Push it away. Stand strong against it. Refuse it and rebuke it. Declare that it is not a part of you and it is not the truth. Don’t accept the lie that says it is ok for you to worry. Worry is the enemy of faith like I said earlier. Having faith is giving God something to work with. Faith pleases God. Faith activates the hand of God. Worry removes His hand from our situation. Today you can stay in faith by holding on to the hope that is in Christ. There is always hope in Him. It’s up to us to hold on to it. Don’t worry, don’t fear. The King of kings is on your side!

Suggested reading: Matthew 6:34; John 14:27; Philippians 4:6-7

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 103)

God is not always a blessing in disguise. He is a blessing in plain sight. He dresses the part and He shows Himself the way He truly is. The question is, are we recognizing the blessing?

Jesus gets in the way when there is no way. He makes a way and blows you away with His mysterious ways!

Consider God as the highest source for everything. Highest source for life, love, peace, freedom, wisdom, victory, deliverance, truth and joy.

Some people are only in your life for a season and only God knows the reason. Don’t try to figure out the departures and arrivals. God is in charge of everyone’s journey.

Some doors are more like windows. They are shorter and thinner so the opportunities are fewer but they are still there. Ask God to reveal the doors and the windows in your life.

Put one foot forward in faith and keep walking in love. Put the other foot forward in faith and keep running your race. Put one foot forward in faith and let God show you the way. Put the other foot forward and see how God leads you to amazing places one step at a time.

Stress and anxiety are conduits for the enemy to get into our lives. They are open doors for negativity and depression. Open the door to faith and hope and positivity will follow you everywhere.

Peace is what God gives and what we should expect. The absence of peace doesn’t mean the absence of God but God can make peace present even when there is turmoil and chaos.

The Lord gives us notifications about how much He loves us. They are reminders of His goodness and kindness. Let’s be aware of those promptings and embrace His loving nudges.

Your breakthrough will come true. Your blessings will show up. Your answers will come. Your deliverance will manifest. Your Lord will keep His promises. Your current misery is not the end!

Suggested reading: Jeremiah 17:7-8; Psalm 20:4; Philemon 1:25

God is a refiner

To refine is to remove impurities or unwanted elements from a substance. It also means to improve by making small changes or making something more subtle and accurate. God is the ultimate refiner. He purifies, He changes and He removes impurities like no other. Our lives can’t be the same when we let the Refiner do His job. How willing are you to let the Refiner do something new and pure in your life? Are you willing to give Him your life so He can refine it? It’s not a sacrifice. It’s an honor and a privilege. Coming to the realization that the Lord can refine our lives is a blessing. Preparing ourselves to being refined and changed by Him is priceless.

The fire of the Holy Spirit can refine us and burn all things that weigh us down and that we don’t need. I present my life to the Lord on the altar of His love and I ask for refinement and change but I need to let go first and let God be in control. We can’t hold on to our lives with both hands and hope the Lord will take them away from us by force. He is gentle. He is caring and loving and He won’t remove what we love dearly. It’s a lesson I am learning and my goal is to get to a point where God can purify my heart without my ego or my insecurities getting in the way. Today I want to invite you to give all of you to the Lord and let Him refine you. Burn for Him and only for Him with a heart that is surrendered.

The process of refinement and purification is not always an easy process. Like I mentioned before there is a need for letting go and being open to the fire of the Lord. Burning is a powerful action that results in transformation. In the natural when we burn something it comes out looking differently. There is a transfiguration that happens. When God burns us, He changes us for the best. The process leads to beauty. He burns the ugliness and leaves us looking beautiful. We come out of the ashes and we rise up thanks to a touch of His love. God will take the worst parts of our lives and refine them. He can take our shortcomings and our worst traits and refine them. His burning process leaves a mark on our soul and spirit.

The mark of the Lord shows through the light that comes forth when we have been refined. The process will not always be easy but it is always worth it. David asked the Lord to purify his heart and renew his spirit. His prayer wasn’t in vain. God has the power to purify any heart and renew any spirit. You and I are examples of how God renews spirits. We got saved and with salvation came the transformation of our spirits. That was just the beginning. Now we have to press on and allow the Lord to purify us continually.

I am not sure we are always aware of what needs to be purified in our lives. The Holy Spirit can convice us and show us what needs to be put through the holy fire of the Lord. The Lord’s Spirit can open our eyes to all the areas that need to be refined. Besides, God the refiner is excellent at changing parts of our lives that are not in line with His will. I am not just talking about sin and the purification of what we do. I am referring to fine tuning the situations in our lives. Problems and trials can also go through the refining process. If there is something in your life that is not going well or that is not where it should be, call on the Lord, the Refiner.

The Lord will make things right. He will tune your life so it is in harmony and goodness will follow you. He will burn the tribulations and put them through His fire until you have the victory. God the refiner can do that and He will do it if you put your life in His hands. Don’t hesitate to give it all to Him. Give Him the good things and the bad things. He will do what He does best and make everything be in line with His will for you life. Let God the refiner refine your circumstances and bring you peace and joy again! He is going to improve you and make changes that will transform your life.

Suggested reading: Psalm 51:10; 1 John 1:7; 2 Corinthians 7:1

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 101)

Let God’s love in you be bigger than the hate that is in this world. Let’s God love in you be bigger than the fear the enemy wants to see develop in you.

No stress, no worries. Jesus comes on time and He helps all the time. His timing is perfect and His help is on point.

Don’t just look at what you want to see. Look at everything the Lord wants you to see. Look with the eyes of faith and you will God’s hand everywhere you look.

Darkness roams in bright daylight. Test all spirits. Not every light is from God but God’s light always pierced all shades of darkness even the lightest shades!

With God you have nothing to worry about. He will always give you a reason to believe and the peace and wisdom to rejoice in everything.

If your church is divided because of who rules your world, refocus on who the ruler of your life is. Be sure that Jesus is the ruler and not anyone or anything else.

God has a plan. God is the plan. Let God unfold in your life. Let Him be the reason for every season of your life. Let God prosper you. God won’t harm you but He is your hope and your future.

Our minds try to “Google translate” God and we end up missing the meaning of what He is saying. Let’s interpret God with the help of the Holy Spirit who speaks God’s language fluently!

There is a price to pay when we want to stay in faith despite some events of our lives. This price is praise; it costs less than we think and its reward is priceless!

The Lord goes before you wherever you go so you should travel with the assurance that He is your insurance no matter where you are.

Suggested reading: Psalm 67:7; Numbers 6:24-25; James 1:17

Dream big in 2020

A new year is about to start and with a new year come new resolutions for many of us. Exercising more, eating healthy and being more productive are popular promises we make to ourselves. How well we keep those promises is up for debate but at least we have good intentions. I say dream big at the start of the year. Have big dreams and keep track of them. Base those dreams on God’s promises. Don’t limit yourself. Write a list of big things you want to see happen in 2020. Look at what God can do in your life. Let Him be your resolution maker. Be bold with your dreams. Let them stretch your faith. A new year and a new you in Christ is reasonable according to the Lord. Great things will take place for you this year when you put your trust in God for amazing things. Signs and wonders are what you can expect. Whatever you think God will do, He will do. Jesus spoke about miracles that He will perform through us when we believe. Think of 2020 as the year when you are used by God to perform those miracles. Think of 2020 as the year when you see things you have never seen before. Make promises to the Lord. Tell Him that you are going to work on bold faith and you are going to say bold prayers this year. Stir yourself up and rely on God to get you through this new year. Hold on to your big dreams. Keep an eye on them and revive them through the year.

What big dreams am I talking about? I am talking about dreams that are so big that they seem impossible. Dreams that defy your understanding. Dreams that seem unreal. Dreams that are God-size dreams and not human-size dreams. Dreams that excite you and motivate you. Dreams that take faith and boldness. Dreams that you never dared to have before. Pray about them. Ask the Holy Spirit to assist you and He will show you what those dreams should be. Don’t make a list based on what the world dreams about. Make a list that reflects what the Lord planned for your life. His plans are big. They are from a different realm. They are not confined by human reasoning. They are designed by His understanding and they are manufactured in His heart. God has a heart that is so enormous that no one can fathom its size. Your dreams were birth in His love and His love is limitless and invincible. Dream big with your heart and not with your mind. God is in your heart. Your dreams are going to be divine!

Once you have written down your big dreams, keep on eye on them as often as possible all year long. Pray about them once and then thank the Lord for them every day. Celebrate the Lord because His goodness endures forever and He will make your dreams come true. Thank Him for giving you big dreams. Exalt Him and praise Him because He never fails. Keep your dreams between you and Him and share them with the world as a testimony when they come to pass. Some will take place this year and some will come later but stay in faith. God is faithful and He keeps His word. He would never give you dreams that won’t materialize. This is going to be a great exercise of your faith and it’s going to give you many reasons to praise the Lord in advance. Stay close to the truth all year. Stay close to faith. Stay away from doubt-inducing people and ideas. Keep your faith strong by spending time in the Word and in prayer. Keep your eyes on Jesus in 2020 and let Him make your dreams come true. Dream big in 2020!

Suggested reading: Jeremiah 29:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Hebrews 13:20-21

How ready are you to receive from God?

I have been traveling for the holidays. When I am not at home, I find it a bit harder to pray at times. It has become a lot easier in the past six years but I am very sensitive to the spiritual atmosphere around me. I remember trying to pray when I was in Barcelona a few years ago and it was a struggle. Thank God it wasn’t anything the Lord couldn’t help me with. He helped me break through. I strongly believe that our environment can help our prayers or can deter them. What we have to do is keep “pushing through” and the flow of prayers will come. I flow with the Spirit when I pray. It starts with praise and thanksgiving. That combination sets the ground for praying with the Spirit. He comes in and takes over and all I have to do is yield and let Him lead the way. The other night, I was in bed praying here and I found that it was very easy to pray. Everything just went so smoothly. The Lord showed me that the family member I was staying with had a very fertile soil for the things of the Lord. He has a good base that allows the Lord to come in and bless him. He prays daily and he has the faith of a child. He believes that what the Lord says is the utmost truth. I meditated on the “fertile soil” concept and I received some insights. The question I came up with is how fertile is our soil? The soil here represents our foundation, our base, our level of faith, our engagement with the Lord and our “preparation ground” as I like to call it. When our soil is fertile and expectant, God can shower us with His rain and blessings grow all over the place.

The spiritual soil we all have is our level of faith. Faith is everything because without it we would not believe in God. Now, we all have a soil that we have to maintain. We all have a measure of faith that we need to cultivate. We can actively work on it or we can be lazy and not do anything to it. Being lazy and having a non-active faith is obviously not the best solution. We ought to be laborers of faith that spend time working on our piece of land. We have control over how much faith we are adding every day, how much fertilizer we are using. The Word of God is the best source of fertilizer. If the Word stays on our shelves, it won’t do any good. No harvest has ever come out of a land that is never taken care of. It is true that the rain comes and does something to it. That is what we can compare to God’s grace. His grace is given to us without us doing anything. Yes, God does bring the rain and we see miracles come out of the soil but He also expects us to do the growing and the cultivating by studying His Word. I want my land to be so fertile that there are crops all over the place and others can come and taste the fruit of the land. Our faith is for us and for others. We can stand in faith for others until they start growing their own crops. Use the fertilizer of the Word of God daily.

Praying like I said earlier was a joy that night. It has been ever since but that night is when I got the revelation as to why it was so great. When we pray every day, when we pray without ceasing, we make our soil very fertile. Praying without ceasing can seem impossible but it means praying often and keeping a prayer attitude. Our prayer attitude is sustained when we say and do things that don’t contradict out prayers. It’s when we say and do things that line up with faith. Our words outside of our prayer time are very important. We need to watch what we say. Are we doubting God when we talk or are we supporting our belief that God will answer our prayer? A faith that is rooted in “God can do all things” is a strong faith. When your soil is constantly sprinkled with words of affirmation and words of faith, it becomes fertile and it is ready to receive from God. Keep sprinkling faith all over your foundation. Pile up faith on top of faith. Let your declarations be strong and assertive and let them speak of how great your Lord is. The more fertile your soil, the more sustained blessings you will see. Jesus said that He couldn’t perform miracles where no one believed. Don’t let your soil be a place where He can’t perform miracles. Be sure your land shouts out His praise and you will see great miracles take place in His holy name!

Suggested reading: Matthew 21:22; Hebrews 11:1; 1 John 5:5

Peace is always a good start

School ended a few days ago but I will be working part of the summer to fulfill some of my administrative responsibilities. I took a day off the day after school ended but so much was happening that I kept getting emails and phone calls. I couldn’t ignore them. There seemed to be a bit of a chaotic situation at work and I felt that stress was trying to get me. One of my friends told me that the situation was not alarming at all. I loved the way he reacted to what I told him. He said “You know this. All you have to do is be calm and everything will be simple. Just find the peace.” It is such a powerful message we can all use in all circumstances. I could have decided to go with the chaos and feel anxiety and pressure. That would have been very easy to do but the Holy Spirit through the words of my friend, reminded me of the amazing truth that when we are in peace, we give God “permission” to act on our behalf. Peace is a platform from which the Lord can work. Peace is the foundation for a breakthrough, for a miracle, for deliverance. Today I want to encourage you to apply this truth to your current circumstances. If chaos is what you are experiencing, go back to peace and let the Lord take control. Give God permission to intervene by getting back into a state of peace.

When chaos is getting us all worked up and all stressed out, it’s hard for us to imagine how we are going to come out of that stress. We all operate from a certain foundation. We have to ensure that the foundation is positive and pure. Anything that has negativity attached to it is a bad foundation that will not be of help in the long run. Some people say they work better under pressure and stress. I believe them but I also believe that the stress they are putting themselves through eats at them on the inside. It can have harmful long-term effects. It might be a boost at the time but it can turn into a trap in the long run. A trap of endless worry and stress. When we get accustomed to stress, it’s difficult to detach ourselves from it. It becomes second nature and it even becomes a comforting feeling. God never called us to take comfort in anything that is bad, evil or negative. He would never say “Be stressed now. It’s ok.” Those words are not from Him. Think about that!

Once I found my peace again I was able to snap out of the funk that was trying to settle in my head and in my spirit. There is always a process for me to get back to a place of peace. I ask for peace and God gives it to me. I need to isolate myself if peace doesn’t come right away. I disconnect from the world so I can reconnect with the Lord. Just like anyone else I need to get back to that foundation of peace and that’s when things start turning around. Once I have reached that platform of peace, God can be seen again. God can do what He does best. God can have my attention and my faith gets reactivated. It’s the fulfillment of what the Lord said when He declared “Be still and know that I am God.” Being still is crucial. If you are stuck in a platform of anxiety today, remove yourself from it. Be still. Seek the Lord’s face. Make it your priority to find peace again. Don’t make any decisions until you are at peace again. Chaos won’t last. Confusion won’t prevail. Peace is coming back. Trust in the Lord’s process. You are going to make it. May the Lord’s peace be with you again. It’s going to get better. Peace is always a good start. Start there and the Lord will do the rest!

Suggested reading: Psalm 46:10; Psalm 100:3; Colossians 3:15

When you are in crisis

I was at a meeting yesterday where we talked about some of the students, we have that are in crisis. Kids are in crisis all over the country and not just at my school. Depression, anxiety and lack of a sense of belonging have been rampant for years not only in kids but in adults as well. We keep working on ways we can help our students and we come up with new ideas, new protocols and new systems to try to help them. It seems that new types of crises are emerging all the time. Kids that were happy at the beginning of the year have fallen into dark holes of despair and it is hard to pull them out. What do you do when you are in crisis? Who do you turn to? What methods do you use to come out of the crisis? When I left the school, I had a bit of that chaotic feeling that was attached to our discussion during the meeting. You could feel the anxiety rising in the room while we were looking for solutions. One teacher even said that the staff was in crisis dealing with all the chaos. As I was driving away, I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to carry any of that negativity with me. I did what I always do in times of crisis. I go into my refuge and I spend some time there away from people. What does my refuge look like? Let me tell you more about the place I visit in times of crisis. It has made a huge difference in my life. The Lord is my refuge and He has shown me how to get to a place of peace and rejuvenation.

 

 

First, I need to say that I totally understand how hard it can be to look for help when we are going through a crisis. Sometimes the last thing we want to do is talk to someone. When I am in crisis, I isolate myself.  Not to cry in a corner but to seek the face of the One who will help get out of the corner of pain and misery. During times of crisis our senses are all over the place because they are stimulated by a lot of negativity. It’s hard to be rational. It’s hard to make the right decisions. It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Therefore, it is important to hit our senses with all the positive energy that is available. For me that positivity comes from the Lord. When I am in crisis, I jolt myself back to normalcy with the power of the Word of God. I speak over the feelings. I speak against the negative emotions. When I was driving away from school yesterday, I started speaking out loud in my car so that my mind and my heart would hear what the Lord had to say about my situation. This is why spending time in the Word is crucial because it allows us to know what to say when the going gets tough. We can quote the verses that bring peace and that bring us to a place of deliverance. I did tell a friend that there was a lot of heaviness during the meeting but I also said that my Lord outweighs the heaviness and the negativity was no match to Him. I don’t necessarily know the verses verbatim but I am very familiar with their message and it’s that message that takes me to my place of refuge.

 

 

My refuge is this beautiful place where I find myself alone with the Lord. There is no distraction. All I do is contemplate the majesty of the Lord and I humble myself before Him. I tell the Lord that I am nothing without Him. I tell Him how much I adore Him and I just sing to Him with all my heart. You should have heard me in my car yesterday. I belted it out. I sang to Jesus. I reverenced Him. I focused on Him. You see, He is always a refuge, a stronghold of peace and love but we must get to that refuge. We need to reconcile our world with His world by letting His trample ours. His world, the place of refuge, is way better than our environment where negativity can pollute the air any time. God is our refuge and our salvation. A crisis can make us feel like we have lost our way but God is the way and when we put Him above our troubles, He takes us straight into His arms where we will always find refuge. If you are in crisis today, go to the Lord, go to your refuge. He will shelter you and get you out of your crisis. There is nothing the Lord can’t do!

 

Suggested reading: Psalm 46:1-3; Psalm 91:2; 1 Peter 5:7

 

Cast your cares

“Cast your cares upon The Lord and He will sustain you. He will not allow the righteous to be shaken” (Psalm 55:22) is undeniably one of the most powerful verses in the Bible. Easier said than done you think? Well God wouldn’t ask us to do something that can’t be done. It takes practice and discipline. Whenever you find yourself overwhelmed by life, turn to Jesus and ask Him to take your burden. I picture myself kneeling in front of Him offering my worries. I also rebuke worry and anxiety out loud in the name of Jesus. Find a practical way to cast your cares that works for you and keep using it. The promise is real. We need to take a step and He will take us all the way to “carefree” land where we can walk around knowing God carries our burden. You will not be shaken. Just put all your trust in The Lord! It does wonders!