Think outside the box of lies

I often think about how much better my life is now with Jesus. Before Him I was living in a dark box where no light could come in and where there seemed to be no way out. I was in a box of fear, a box of trouble, a box of issues and a box of despair all at the same time. There was not much room in that box. The little space that was available to me was occupied by a lot of negativity. I hated that box. I had to think outside the box and realize that Jesus was there for me. He wasn’t confined to a small space. When you have a “box mentality”, you can’t see Jesus for who He is. You have a narrow vision of Him because of where you are. You are limited in your thinking and in your heart. I had a limited and diminished Jesus in my heart. Like I said, I had to think outside the box and stretch my mind and my heart. Was the Lord around when I was in that mental jail? Absolutely! If He had not been around, I would not have been able to get out of that inferno. Jesus watched over me and He set me free. They say that you find the Lord. I agree. I found the answer to all my questions. I found the answer to all my fears. I found the answer to all my failures. I found the answer to all my troubles. Jesus was the best answer and He will always be the best answer. He is outside the box. He is a box outside the box. His box of principles, wisdom, knowledge and hope is way bigger than the boxes of the enemy. When I found Him, He tore that box open and got me out of my misery. Today I want to encourage you to stretch your thinking and to let it grow so you can see more of Jesus. Step out of the box that is slowing you down. Come out of the box of limitations and step into the box of peace. Jesus is peace and when you focus on Him, you can’t help but see peace, experience peace and live in peace.

There is a box of our thinking. We reside in that box with our thoughts and our ideas. Very often that box is filled with anxiety and stress caused by the overthinking that goes on in there 24/7. We believe a lot of the thoughts that pop at any time. We buy into the lies that come into our heads. That box of lies is powerful especially if we give life to those thoughts by acting on them or by speaking them. We speak lies into our lives and they become our reality. Those limiting thoughts are not what the Lord wants for us. The devil comes only to steal and he is the king of lies. His plan for our lives is not what God has planned for us. We are not meant to live among lies and to live in fear and oppression. I know that when I spend too much time in the box of lies, my faith is damaged and hope dwindles. When we allow the box of lies to become our way of life, we fall into the trap of the enemy head on. We don’t have to live in that box. We don’t have to stay inside the lies. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. When we accept Him as our Savior, we get a new life, our spirit is born again but our mind is still the same. The box is still present and we have to work on it. The Lord gave us the Holy Spirit so we can destroy the box of lies and live outside that box.

As a young Christian, I hit the box of lies with the truth of the Gospel. The Lord’s truth was like a hammer wrecking havoc on the lies of the enemy. I used that hammer on the box like there was no tomorrow. I was hungry for the Word. I was hungry for the truth and the Lord always satisfied me. He fed me and He set me free from bondage and from false doctrines. For many years I made sure that the Word of God was my daily bread. I began to think outside the box of lies and I started thinking inside the box of the Lord. His box had no lid, no corners and no restrictive space. His box was freedom. His box was liberating. I got back into the negative box for some time and then I was shown the truth again. I have been living outside of the box of lies for years now. I am still exploring the box of freedom of the Lord. It is so vast that I can get lost in it and it is absolute bliss. My life with the Lord is my best life and it continues to amaze me and to bless me. Where would I be without Jesus? I would be limited in many ways and I would not understand that there is more to life than the world. There is the Lord. He is life. He is love. He is peace. He is joy. He is my strength. He is my everything. I pray that you come out of any box of negativity you might be in now. Jesus is always the answer. Jesus is always the Savior. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: John 14:6;  Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23

God can redirect your life

Yesterday was an exhausting day. Both physically and emotionally. I had a lot to do and I had a long meeting where we talked about some big changes at work. Some of these changes are pretty drastic and they are going to have a negative impact on our work. I was very tired and I didn’t know I could get everything done. I got it all done by God’s grace. I was cheered up by God’s grace. I had the strength to go through the day with a positive attitude by God’s grace. I saw the hand of God in action. I went from being confused and disoriented to being comforted and redirected. That is what God does. He redirects us when we are headed in the wrong direction. We might see Him in action at first but He does take care of us and He does watch over us. God watched over me beautifully yesterday. I was ready to throw in the towel and just break down. My mind was full of thoughts and ideas that were not conducive to a productive day. God had a different plan for me. He didn’t let me go too far in the direction of sadness. He saw me. He heard me and He said “time for redirection.” I found His redirection when I remembered that while I was praying in the morning, He said ‘Do not worry.” When I hear that, I often know that something is coming that will make me want to worry. Well, as the day unfolded I saw why He had said that. However, it wasn’t until later in the day that I saw how God redirected me. He reminded me of His early morning words and those words were enough to start the redirection process.

Today I want to remind you that God can redirect you and that He will assist you with that process. His Spirit is there to tell us that everything is going to be just fine. His Spirit can warn us and give us comfort way before the problems arise. I was joyful and at peace when I was praying in the morning. I sensed it was going to be another glorious day with the Lord but He knew what was coming and He warned me and gave me some early morning encouragement. I even shared it with a friend. I told her that I had received a pretty strong message from the Lord about not worrying. It was one thing after another and I felt I had a good reason to worry. There are never good reasons to worry when we have the Lord. We have to remember that. Nothing we worry about is ever worth it. God almighty is with us and He can take care of anything so why worry? It is part of our human nature to worry and it makes us feel better at times as strange as it sounds. Not being worried can seem unnatural but it can be supernatural which should be our new normal when we are in Christ. When those words came back to mind, I saw a smile. I saw the Lord smile in my heart. I sensed peace and the redirection took effect. A friend had emailed me and confirmed that there was absolutely no reason to worry. Her words echoed the Lord’s words and served as confirmation. God can use a few words to put us back on the right track.

God can redirect your life a million times. He can put things back together a million times. With God, you don’t have to think that because He did it once, He won’t do it again. He will do it again. He will do it again and even better. He will bless you and bless you and bless you. He will bless you ten times in an hour if that is needed. He is the God of redirection. The enemy might have sent you in the wrong direction but God will restore your path and make things right. Don’t get discouraged when you are lost and you don’t know what to do. That is how I felt yesterday. I was confused and I had no clue what to do. I am a man of God. I felt like I should know better but these disorienting spells can happen to any of us. I thank God for redirecting my heart and for helping me focus on what truly helped. His words helped. His words gave me a boost and gave me peace. If you are feeling lost and disoriented today, ask God to redirect you. Ask Him to redirect your life. He will make things right. He will bless your path. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Psalm 54:4; John 14:26; Hebrews 13:6

God to the rescue

How many times have I said that God came to my rescue? More than I can count. How many times has God saved and I was unaware of it? I think it has happened a lot and it is still happening. Just because we don’t see God in action in our lives doesn’t mean that He is not actively protecting us and saving us. I have to remind myself of that truth. Sometimes I find out after the fact that God had come to my rescue. God is not a passive God. He cares about us and He wants to protect us. I believe God has protected me from myself more times than I would like to admit. There were decisions I made that just didn’t make sense. There are steps I have taken that set me back and made my walk with God more difficult. God has never given up on me even when I was ready to give up on myself. God has never stopped smiling at me and loving me. That is who He is. That is what He does. He loves us steadily and He blesses us steadily. Have you noticed how God comes to your rescue? His love for you moves Him in your direction. He doesn’t walk away from you. He walks with you. God will come to your rescue as He is standing right next to you. He is not flying in from far away. All you have to do is look in His direction, call on Him and know that He is there for you. If you are going through a tough time right now, I want to tell you that God will come to the rescue. God will get you through whatever you are going through. He can handle it. He can change it. He can fix it.

God rescues those who call upon His name. He rescues the weak and the needy. When you are suffering or when you are having a hard time, you fall under the category of the weak and the needy. God can meet your needs and what you might be needing now is His help, His love, His comfort, His direction and His ability to deliver you. He can do all that for you. He can be all that to you. To me God is my Savior and my Deliverer. He takes me from a place of need to a place of thriving. He takes all my fears and insecurities and changes them into peace and joy. When God comes to our rescue, He works on us first. He tells us not to worry and not to fear. He calms us down with His Word and He puts us at ease. It is hard to think when our hearts are troubled so He makes sure that we slow down and we focus on what matters. What matters is that He is there and He always keeps His Word. Friend, you are going to make it because the Lord is coming to your rescue. He is holding you now and telling you with the power of His love that you are going to be more than ok. Things are going to turn around for you. He is going to bless you, help you and deliver you. Your current miserable conditions are not permanent. When God comes to the rescue, every knee has to bow and everything has to succumb to Him including your dreadful circumstances.

God will answer you. God will intervene and get you out of the ditch. The valley that you are going through is just a place of transition. You are not going to stay there and you are not going to live there. Fight any thought that is telling you that you won’t get out of debt, that you won’t get out of the pain and that you won’t get out of this state of chaos and confusion. The Lord can remove all the pain and the hurdles. Keep turning to Him. Don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged. The simple fact that you are reading this message shows that there is hope because God is talking to you through these words of encouragement. You have seen nothing yet. Maybe you have been in this situation for many years and you don’t know what it’s like to be free. However, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. His freedom is going to impact your life. You are going to change and your life is going to change. Hold on to hope. God is coming to your rescue and you are going to experience things you have never seen before. You are going to live with a peace that you never knew before and you are going to be filled with a joy that you never knew existed. It is not over. God is not done with you. He will rescue you. Thank Him in advance. Thank Him because He started working on your problems before you prayed to Him. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Psalm 82:3-4; Psalm 107:28; 2 Timothy 4:18

God’s love letter to you

I once was told that I should focus on what the Lord says about us believers in His Word. I was encouraged to highlight what was directed to us and to meditate on it. Then a new perspective came. The Book of Life, the Bible, is a love letter. It is a love letter from the Lord to us, His bride. It should be read as such and the author should be applauded and lauded. “God wrote a love letter to me?” I wondered. It seemed odd and very contradictory to my religious upbringing. When you think of a groom and a bride you usually picture companionship, intimacy and love. Could God be in love with me? I found out that He was and His love for me was different. His love for all of us is different from human love. It is bigger, better and stronger. We are the bride indeed and we are the object of His affection. Learning all this revolutionized my mind and it made me want to know more about this love depicted in the love letter. Jesus is the central theme of the Word of God. He is the Savior and He is the bridge between God and us. God gave His Son so that whoever believes in Him would be saved. That central theme of the Bible is the love theme that we should see in the Word. We should read the Word as the love letter that it is. Jesus came to reconcile us with God. He did the ultimate sacrifice and He achieved what no one else could have done. What He did is the best testament to the most powerful love in the universe and beyond. God so loved you that He gave Jesus. God so loved you that He wrote about it so that the truth in His Word would set you free.

Today I am inviting you to welcome the love letter from the Lord. Study the Word of God. Learn about this powerful love. Fill your mind with this love. Fill your heart with His love. Take the necessary steps toward living through this love. A Bible that sits on a night table is not useful. It is an ornament but it should be a garment. I am not saying we should literally wear the Bible but we should don it spiritually by letting it become a part of what we put on every day. There are so many things that could be wearing us down when we accept them and take them for absolute truth. The truth is that God loves you and me. That is where we should start when we read His Word. There is a love that transcends everything and it is the love of the Lord for us. That revelation should illuminate our vision of God and help us read His Word the way it was meant to be read. How much does God love us? I don’t think we can fathom the depth of His love but we owe it to ourselves to be students of the Word and doers of the Word. God’s love letter is very long and it has many notes in the margin of its truth. The Holy Spirit can help us understand all the notes and all the fine print. He can reveal secrets and wisdom that will change our lives. The key is to invite Him to be part of our quest and to refrain from following man-made theories and doctrines. Jesus is the message of the Word of God and He is love.

Next time someone tells you that you better watch out and you better be afraid because God will smite you, tell him or her that you know the love letter He has written for you and about you. Salvation is for you. Redemption is for you. Deliverance is for you. Freedom is for you. Healing is for you. Provision is for you. Wisdom is for you. Peace is for you. Faith is for you. Joy is for you and above all, God’s love is for you. His Word is loaded with His love. It’s on every page. It’s in every word. Pray that you see it. Pray that His Spirit will open the eyes of your spirit and demonstrate His love. Pray that you can read the letter with the right intonation and the right intent. Pray that the lies of the enemy don’t prevent you from embracing the love that died for you and that came back to life. Pray that you see life in the Word of God and you understand that death was conquered. As the bride, you are entitled to companionship, relationship and intimacy with the Lord. Get as close to Him as possible. Accept His love and keep it in the core of your heart. You are loved more than you will ever know by the Lord who knows you better than you know yourself. Welcome His love. Welcome His love letter and read it with Jesus as the main message. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: John 3:15-16; Romans 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:15-16

Help is on the way

I love watching first responders’ shows. I think that the responders’ work is amazing and inspiring. Those are people who save lives every day and who sometimes put their lives on the line to make sure that other people live. It’s remarkable! As a kid I loved Superman because he saved people and that concept of saving had a strong impact on my heart. Facing danger to save someone is so admirable. Superman is great but Jesus is greater. When I was old enough to understand what the Lord had done on the cross, I found my Superhero. I found the One who gave up His life so we could live. He did it for me and He did it for anyone who would welcome Him into his or her heart. Jesus is my hero and He is the most inspiring One there is. He did what He did so we wouldn’t have to do it. He didn’t save us so we would die for others. He saved us so we could live for others and testify to His glory. 

With Jesus, there is always hope. When you find yourself in one of those accidents of life and you are not sure how you are going to make it, remember that there is always hope. The moment you pray to God, help is on the way. You might be stuck in that accident for a while but help is on the way. Put your hands together and pray. Help will find you. Keep in mind that there is nothing that can separate you from God’s love. God will find you wherever you are. Whether you are beaming with faith or whether you are down in the dumps with no hope. Nothing can hide you from God. He always sees you and He always knows where you are. When you are facing problems, it’s easy to feel lonely and abandoned. The truth is that you are not alone. God is with you and He is sending help your way. Dear friend, don’t get discouraged today. I am here to tell you that help is on the way. Stand your ground. Keep praying. Keep hoping. Keep believing. Help is always on the way when you turn to Jesus.

I was reading the news the other day and the more I was reading and the more I felt like it was the end of the world. The way things are presented leave very little room for hope. The good news you get is very small and it is always followed by something horrific. The world doesn’t take a break from hurting, from suffering and from chaos. People are facing horrible situations around the globe and it seems that the enemy finds new methods to torture people and to keep them away from God. The opposition will tell you that hope is hopeless and there is no help for the helpless. The Lord will tell you that hope is still alive and there is help coming your way. Choose to believe the Lord. Hang on to hope. Hang on to the tiny little bit of hope you have. It will trigger a chain reaction that will bear good fruit. 

A little bit of faith is all you need to allow God to crack the shell of despair and to rescue you. God is a rescuer. He is a protector and the Savior. He has an army at the ready for you. You could be in the worst predicament and He would still be able to get to you and help you. Help is always available with the Lord. There is nothing and no one that can neutralize His power and His ability to help. Like I said before, pray. Turn to Jesus. Say a simple prayer. Ask Him for help and He will set things in motion. Keep Him in mind. Clear your mind of the lies of the enemy. One way to be able to do that is by spending time in the Word. When you do, hope grows stronger and stronger in your heart.

Help is on the way today so rejoice over what the Lord is doing even if you don’t see it. He is behind the scenes lining up favor and blessings. You don’t have to understand it all. All you have to do is hope and trust that things will change. Have a Holy Ghost party while you are waiting. It sounds contradictory to what the world tells you to do but I am telling you that if you celebrate the Lord during your times of trial, He will turn things around for you. He will reverse your situation. He will send help and you will get out of your nightmare. God has better dreams for you. You are going to be able to sleep soundly knowing that He is always there for you. Tell yourself that help is on your way. Thank Jesus. Thank Him for His goodness. Things are going to get better. Things are going to get much better. Angels are being dispatched as we speak. Don’t lose hope. Jesus is the hope that will carry you through all your trials and tribulations. Stay strong. Something amazing is coming your way in the name of Jesus!

Suggested reading: Psalm 82:3-4; Romans 8:31-39; 2 Timothy 4:18

The meditation of your heart

What do you think about the most? What occupies your mind space? What thoughts do you entertain the most? I was reading my Bible the other day and came across the passage where David asked the Lord to help him with the meditation of his heart. He wanted God to be his number one thought. He wanted his heart to be filled with the Lord so that negative thoughts had no place to be. He wanted his mind to be filled with God thoughts and not human thoughts that separate us from God. It is interesting to see that it was a prayer. It tells me that we can also pray for the meditation of our hearts to be all about God. It also tells me that there is a need for us to work on those thoughts and to guard our hearts against the negativity that is so rampant and so present everywhere. We often talk about how bad things are in the world and they are but we need to look on the inside and see how we can neutralize the bad that is happening there. Our thinking has a lot to do with how effective our faith is and how strong in the Lord we can be. A mind that is focused on the things of the world will not bear much fruit for the Lord. How can we avoid negative thoughts? How can we keep our hearts centered on God? It takes work, effort, diligence and prayer like David shows us. Today as we start this new week I am inviting you to take the “guard your heart” challenge with me. Work on staying focused on Jesus. Work on filtering your thoughts and making sure that negative thoughts don’t get the best of you. Work on the meditation of your heart so that it helps you share the mind of Christ and stay strong in His love.

We all meditate. We all spend time thinking about something. Whether it is our grocery list, upcoming exams, a difficult situation we are in, a person we love, a person we can’t stand. Our minds are always busy and at times we can’t keep up with what is going on there. However, the Lord encourages us to watch our thoughts and to control what is going on in our minds. He talks about renewing our minds and guarding our hearts. He would never ask us to do something impossible so we ought to get to a place where we believe and know that our minds can be changed and our hearts can be protected. Starting the process with a prayer like David did is a great way to start. David prayed that the words of his mouth and the meditation of his heart be pleasing to God. What words and what thoughts are pleasing to God? Anything that is pure and holy is pleasing to God. Does He like it when we have negative thoughts and we let them take control of our lives? Absolutely not! Negative thoughts will always be present but we can resist them and we can deal with them. Pray to the Lord that your words and thoughts are pure before Him. Thank Him in faith for His help and His assistance. Have the confidence that His Spirit will coach you and give you guidance so you can fight against the negativity. In David’s prayer we noticed that our words and our thoughts are connected. Sometimes our thoughts turn into words and I have also seen my words turn into thoughts. If I repeat what I have heard and I stick to that pattern, my thoughts can get negatively or positively impacted by my words. The goal is to wash away the negative thoughts and feelings and to replace them with what is acceptable to the Lord. Rebuke the negativity. It is of the devil. Resist the devil and he will flee.

In order to keep my thoughts and my words in line with the Lord’s mind and with His heart, I do a lot of rebuking and I do a lot of inputting. I input God’s Word in my mind as much as possible. I meditate on his Word. I do that every morning and during the day. I start the day with inspiration from the Lord. I get quiet before Him and listen. Verses come to mind. Encouragement comes to mind. I experience comfort and hope. I put myself at His mercy right from the start of the day. I set the tone for the day and my heart is learning to hang on to God’s love and to His comfort throughout the day. It is becoming easier to reject the negative chatter in my mind and to face the negative feelings that try to rob me of my joy. It is all happening because of how I let my heart meditate on the Lord and on His words. He has to be our priority and we should give Him an audience before we listen to what the world has to say. That is how we can develop protection around our hearts and our thoughts. It takes time and it takes discipline but it is worth it. Pray to the Lord and ask Him to give you the strength and the wisdom you need to get through this process. You will see how God becomes the meditation of your heart in no time. Stick with it and keep going. You are going to experience a change in your thinking and a warmth in your heart that wasn’t there before. Stay strong. Guard your heart and renew your mind. The meditation of your heart is going to be beautiful!

Suggested reading: Psalm 19:14; James 4:7; 1 Peter 2:5

Reviving or activating our faith

I get a lot of inspiration from the Bible. Reading about Job and his struggles is very inspiring. I can’t imagine having such tenacious faith but it is one of my goals. He was a fighter. He knew what it meant to fight the good fight of faith. He never cursed God and he kept hope alive. I want my hope to be alive all the time. I am working on it and I find great comfort in the Word of God. Who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow? Who knows when the next breakthrough will take place? All I know for sure is that if we stand our ground and we hold on to the Lord, nothing can defeat us. We can also be fighters of faith like Job and like so many others in the Bible. One thing all these people of faith have in common is a connection with God. Faith without God is just wishful thinking and it has no substance.

 What is your connection with God? How is your faith? Is it alive or does it need resuscitation or activation? My faith was active for a while and then it was dormant for years and when it was finally reactivated, it stayed on a path. I believe we all have a path of faith we should follow and it is important that we stay on that path. Is it always perfect? No, but we have the assistance of the Holy Spirit and we will always get up again after a fall. Our paths have obstacles on them. That is part of life but it is how we react to those hurdles that matters. Faith is a reaction. Faith is an anticipation. It reacts with hope and it anticipates the best all the time. It should be God-centered and fueled by love. My prayer is that your faith stays active or that you revive it if it needs revival. Stay in faith and you will walk in peace.

One of the characteristics of Job’s attitude during his trials was how he stayed in peace. When you are so confident in God’s ability and you are sure that He will come through for you, you stay in peace. There is no reason to panic and to fear when you know that everything will be just fine eventually. Faith believes in “eventually.” It doesn’t have a time frame but it has a God frame. Faith knows that God is framing our lives and He will see to it that we succeed and that we overcome our troubles. Faith helps us have a “God frame of mind.” It is God’s mindset at all times. It is what motivates Him to act and think the way he does.  If you want to know more about God’s frame of mind, spend time studying the Bible and you will discover some of the details of His mindset. He doesn’t know failure. He doesn’t know fear and He doesn’t know worry. He knows that nothing is impossible and His faith doesn’t waver. God does have faith. I never thought about it when I was a young Christian but God does have faith. When He speaks, things come to life. That is what faith does. Faith speaks life into existence. Faith speaks positively about everything. Faith has a voice and it is the voice of the Holy Spirit.

Faith is definitely a big part of God’s frame of mind and so is love. Faith without love doesn’t work. If you want to activate your faith or to revive it, you are going to have to walk in love. I would say love should be our priority. Love is the fuel that the engine of faith needs. God is love and when our faith is coupled with love, it is attached to God. Did Job walk in love? He certainly did. Job’s reverence toward God was undeniable and it was grounded in love for God and for others. When we walk in love, we are quick to forgive others. If we hold a grudge against someone, it creates a hole in our love walk and it hinders our faith. Forgiveness is crucial. The lack of forgiveness can shutter our faith and damage our spiritual walk. It also alienates us from God and remember that faith without a connection to God is non-existent. We can revive our faith by walking in love all the time. We can revive our faith by being inspired by the Word of God. We can revive our faith by praying every day and maintaining a relationship with God. faith is stubborn. It doesn’t give up. Let faith control you. Let faith make you tenacious and stubborn. Refuse to buy into the lies of the enemy and refuse to walk outside of love. Keep your eyes on the Lord. Make Him your priority and keep that connection alive. God will help you walk in faith. Give Him your mustard seed and He will give you a harvest of victories! Stay in faith!

Suggested reading: 2 Corinthians 5:7; Hebrews 11:6: James 1:3

God is still in control

When everything is out of control, God is still in control. When chaos is all you see around you, God is still in control. When you are lost and you don’t know how you will get back to “normal”, God is still in control. When your bank account is low and your bills are high, God is still in control. When you are in pain and the meds are not kicking in, God is still in control. When you are living in fear and you can’t go out without worrying, God is still in control. Any scenario you can think of can’t stop God from still being in control. I don’t know what you are going through today but I know that God is still in control. I don’t know what or who you have lost but I know that God is still in control. Before you were born, before your problems came to life, before peace went out the window, God was in control and He will always be. Today I want to encourage you and remind you that there is nothing you can face that is out of God’s control. Nothing that you are experiencing is bigger than God’s power and God’s love. You are still in good hands. You are still loved and you are still blessed. God is still in control in your life today. Hang tight. He is going to show you what He can do!

We often get into situations that seem very much out of our control. Things happen to us and we have no say on the matter. We never asked for those difficulties and yet they are sitting on our lap and we can’t push them away. Have you ever felt so much pressure from your problems that they seemed to be sitting on you all the time? Have you ever had so many worries that your mind couldn’t focus on anything else? Wherever you go and whatever you do your mind is filled with worry and doubt. You wonder how you are going to solve the problems, how you are going to get out of this mess. You start believing that the more you think about it, the more of a chance you have to find a solution but you really have no control over anything. The shift needs to start in your thinking. God needs to be included and to be added into the mix of all your thoughts. He is the One who can sort things out and He can make things better. Add Him into the recipe of your mind and you will see that He was the missing ingredient that could make everything taste so much better. He will give you a new appreciation for life and a new palate for the best things life has to offer. Let Him take over and He will change the recipe for disaster that was taking place in your mind.

“God is in control” and that truth should be part of what comes to mind every time you hit a hiccup. God took care of you before and He will take care of you again. He has been around. He didn’t leave when the problems started. He was waiting for you to turn to Him and to thank Him for being in control. He was trying to get your attention and tell you that there is nothing to worry about. Why? Because He is the One in control and not you. The only way you can fix it is by trusting Him, staying calm, expressing your faith, rejoicing despite the headaches and giving Him all the glory. Focus on how He is in control. Make it a habit to say every day that He is still in control. Say it in the morning, say it at night and say it throughout the day. You might not see how things are going to get better but you don’t need to see it. You just need to know that God is still in control and something amazing is coming your way. Your breakthrough is around the corner and great solutions are making their way into your life. God is still in control and He is making a way in the desert. He is bringing showers of blessings that will quench your spiritual thirst and make good things grow in your life again. God has not forgotten about you. He has not left your side. He has been there loving you and He is going to do something unexpected and something life-changing for you. He is in control of the outcome so don’t dwell on the problems. They are easy for Him to fix. God is still in control. Sleep easy tonight. There is nothing to worry about in Jesus’ name!

Suggested reading: Proverbs 16:9; Matthew 6:34; Romans 8:28

Let your words be from God

When you don’t know what to say, say what God has to say about you. Speak the Bible language that is meant to bless your life, to encourage you and to stimulate you. Learn that language and ditch the lingo of doubt and fear. So much negativity resides in what we say. We are so used to saying certain phrases and expressions that it doesn’t bother us when we speak words of discouragement. They are a part of our vocabulary and we can’t get rid of them just like that. Our words are powerhouses. They can be houses of a great positive power or houses of a big negativity that attracts more negativity. I know that working on what I say has helped me tremendously. I don’t want to spread negativity or to distribute despair and fear.

 I want to speak up for God and to stand in the comfort of His words so that others can be comforted. My message today is to speak hope, speak love, speak joy, speak faith and speak Jesus every day. We hear enough about hatred, misery, deception, fear, doubt and the enemy. It’s time we took the narrative back and let God express Himself through us. What does the Word of God have to say about our words? The book of Proverbs has a lot to say on the subject.

Proverbs 16:24 “Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” Kind words are the words that should be coming out of our mouth. Anything that is nice and kind should be what we say. Are God’s words kind? Absolutely! Speaking His words is speaking kindness. His Spirit can inspire us to speak kindness and to bring health to people through our words. Next time you are tempted to say something harsh, remember that those words would cause bitterness and poor health when spoken. They can make people sick and they can make people sad. They can make you sick and they can make you sad.

Proverbs 18:4 “A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook.” Give life through your words. Quench people’s spiritual thirst by serving them the life-giving water that lies in your words. God gives us wisdom. You can easily share that wisdom through your words. Plan to do that every day.

Proverbs 18:20 “Words satisfy the soul as food satisfies the stomach; the right words on a person’s lips bring satisfaction.” What are the right words? You can easily get to the right words when you let the Lord be your source of inspiration. Spend time in the Word of God and you will have the right words to say at the right time and at the right person.

Proverbs 15:4 “Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.” I want my words to be as gentle as possible. It takes a lot of practice and it takes time but when I think of the impact of my words and the potential of creating so much good through them, I know the effort is worth it.

Proverbs 11:17 “Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel.” Speaking God’s words nourishes our souls. His words give life and they stabilize us. They help with our emotions and our feelings. They keep us focused on what is good and pure.

Be good to your soul and speak God’s words. Be good to your spirit and speak God’s words. Be good to your heart and speak God’s words. Be good to others and speak God’s words to them. Let your words be from God all the time.

Suggested reading: Psalm 19:14; Hebrews 4:12; James 1:26

God is always listening so speak up

I have written letters to God in my mind a million times. As a kid I read my letters to Him out loud before bed. They were more like prayers. I struggled with being humble. I felt like I was not humble enough and that I was too selfish when I was talking to Him. I didn’t want Him to get the wrong impression and think that I was only talking to Him because I needed something. The reality was that I didn’t approach Him if I didn’t need anything. I didn’t know that He was always listening and He was always available. I also believed that there were only certain times when I was supposed to talk to Him. I used to think that bedtime prayers were the only prayers I could say. The day was reserved for anything but communicating with God. I had God in such a tiny box now that I think about it. I limited my interaction with Him and I limited my vision of Him. I had this heavy weight of my own thoughts and my own fears that got in the way. God was good but He was so far in my mind. He listened to me only when I was good. That is what I was led to understand. Was He a good listener? He had to be because He was God but in my book He didn’t pay much attention to me because I was pretty much a nobody based on how I perceived myself. All those lies were eventually met with the truth of the Lord. It is amazing how just reading a few pages in the Bible can enlighten you and open you up to a different world. A world where the Lord cares and listens. God is the best listener there is and we ought to talk to Him more. Let’s do away with the ceremonial prayers that are just said at a certain time, on a certain day and at a certain place. The Lord is always around and His ears are wide-open to your tears, to your requests, to your praises, to your prayers, to your cries for help and to your heart. I am here to remind you today that the Lord is listening. Have no doubt that He wants you to talk, He wants to answer you and He desires for you to engage in daily conversations with Him.

When we think that someone is not paying attention to us and is never listening to us, we tend to avoid the person or we never communicate with him or her. We realize that there is no point in trying to talk to the person. Sometimes we keep on trying and we waste some precious time when we keep hoping for a deaf ear to come alive and pay attention to us. The One who will never turn us down and reject us is the Lord. There is no doubt that He is always paying attention but when our focus is on someone else or something else, we will not be made aware of how attentive the Lord is. When we pursue people and things that are not receptive to our inquiries or our need to communicate, we head in the direction of disappointment. It eventuall leads to sorrow and sadness and keeps us in a vicious cycle of low self-esteem and other negative experiences. God will never let us down. When we turn to Him, He is smiling and focusing on us. You and I are extremely precious in His eyes. He would move Heaven and earth to listen to us and to help us. When we go to God the Father in the name of His Son, He listens. I learned years ago that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and we need Him to get to the Father. He is the perfect go-between. He is our intercessor and our connection to God the Father. I was recently reminded by a friend of the power of praying in the name of Jesus. It is something that I do instinctively now but I need to take a step back and think about how powerful and how amazing His name is. If you are not doing it, I encourage you to pray in the name of Jesus. Talk to the Father and go to Him in the name of His Son Jesus Christ.

I thank the Lord for listening to me. I thank God in the name of His amazing Son for listening to me. God listens. When His Son is mentioned, He always listens. There are quite a few passages in the Bible that deal with Jesus being the only way. He is the only way. There is one way and it is Jesus. Go that one way and you will find your way to God. You will see how He listens. Have faith that He does listen to you. He is all ears. With such an extraordinary listener things can’t go wrong. Why? Because He not only listens but He acts. He acts and makes sure that you are blessed, that you are taken care of and that you are loved. Speak up because the Lord is listening. Don’t be shy and don’t hold back. He is paying attention. Don’t be formal. Don’t be mundane. Talk to your Father. Have conversations with Him throughout the day. Speak up and let your needs be heard. Speak up and let your love for Him be heard. Speak up and let your fears disappear as you lean into the Lord. Speak up and let the peace of the Lord invade you as you get near to Him. Speak up and let your heart express what your mind can’t say. The Lord is listening. Keep talking. Jesus is always making a way so you can reach the Father. He is listening. Praise Him!

Suggested reading: John 14:6; Acts 4:12; 1 Timothy 2:5