Walking with the Holy Spirit

Being friends with the Holy Spirit sounds outrageous to some people even in the church. However, Jesus sent us His Spirit so He would be with us. The Spirit of God is our comforter and our counselor and He is closer than a brother. He is in us. He is with us. He doesn’t leave our side and yet we don’t always welcome Him or pay attention to Him. I believe that the more we ignore the Spirit of God and the less active He is in our lives. Ignoring Him shows that we don’t have faith in Him. The Bible says that without faith we can’t please God. Anyone who wants to come to Him has to believe that He exists. The Amplified Bible says that without faith it is impossible to walk with God. I like that explanation because it underlines the need to walk with God and the best way we can do it is by walking with His Spirit. His Spirit is the best representative of Jesus. The Holy Spirit always points in the direction of the Lord. He is His promoter and His advocate. You can’t know the Father unless you go through the Son and you can’t understand the Son unless you walk with His Spirit. Walking with the Holy Spirit is vital and yet it is not a well-known need in the church. We tend to build ourselves up before we build a strong relationship with the Spirit of Jesus. Today I want to encourage you to walk with the Holy Spirit. Get to know Him. Embrace Him and be closer to Him.

Anyone who wants to approach God needs to believe He exists and believe that He cares.* The Holy Spirit exists. He is more real than the chair I am sitting on. He is more real than the trees and the valleys that I see. All these things are real but the Spirit of the Lord is even more real because He has always been around and He will always be around. The chair I am sitting on will disappear one day but the Spirit of God will never go away. He is here to stay and He decided to dwell in the hearts of the believers. He is in your heart, friend. He dwells in you and you are His temple. Host Him well. Take care of Him. Talk to Him. Invite Him into everything you do. Listen to Him. Open your Bible and read what He has to tell you. Meditate on what you read and you will hear Him talk to Him beautifully and clearly. He is alive. He is alive and well. Add that truth to your bank of wisdom and be sure to withdraw from it every single day. Get into prayer mode first thing in the morning. Stand in front of your bank of wisdom and knowledge. When you pray, spend time listening to the Lord and you will get great dividends that are more precious than gold. The ATM of the Lord is full of gems and nuggets of wisdom that will make you spiritually rich. You will be made aware of the presence of the Spirit of the Lord in your life. Do it daily and the Spirit will be real to you.

The Holy Spirit cares about you. He does. He cares about you and He wants the best for you. When you walk hand in hand with you, you learn how to lead a great life in the name of Jesus. All the wisdom you receive from Him should be cherished and kept. The Spirit of the Lord will open your eyes to His love and you will always find comfort in Him. Walking with the Holy Spirit implies walking in peace and joy. It implies that you are accepting His love and you are walking in faith knowing that you are cared for and you have nothing to worry about. Don’t walk with the Spirit one day a week. Church on Sunday is great but your walk should continue every day of the week. You will develop more intimacy with the Lord on your daily walk than you do during a few hours at church. I know some amazing people of the Lord who don’t have a church to go to on Sunday but they have the sweetest and the strongest relationship with Jesus that I know. Their secret is that they acknowledge the Holy Spirit and they interact with Him every single day. Be friends with the Holy Spirit. Make room for Him. Thank Jesus for Him. Live your life with Him. Great things happen when we walk with the Spirit. Hold on to Him and make Him a priority in your life. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Jeremiah 29:13-14; Luke 12:31; Hebrews 11:6 (Amp)*

React to life with Jesus

When I was praying the other day I kept saying a bright sun on the beach. The light was amber and very beautiful. It was interesting that I kept getting those gorgeous images because it was actually cloudy and rainy outside. The message the Lord was giving me was stronger than the weather. It was stronger than the sadness that seemed to blanket the area where I live. God is joy and His joy doesn’t depend on our circumstances and on our environment. It is always strong and powerful and it shines all the time. I stayed in prayer a little longer just so I could keep experiencing the great joy that was bright and encouraging. His light encouraged me. It made me look at His beauty and I forgot the greyness that was outside. We all go through seasons where clouds are all we can see. There is no hint of sun or of good weather. Sometimes those seasons last for months. We can be victims of those bad weather patterns or we can react to them with Jesus. When we react with Jesus, it doesn’t matter how cloudy our situation is. He is sunny and bright and full of hope. Every cloud has a silver lining and that silver lining is Jesus. You and I can see Him even when it’s raining. You and I have the assurance that He is going to make everything alright. He is the Sun that never goes to sleep. The Sun that shines in all kinds of weather. Today I want to invite you to react to life with Jesus. Let Him be your first reaction. Let Him be your reflex. Let Him guide you and help you react to whatever happens to you.

I usually check the weather forecast before I go out. I dress accordingly. I wear what I believe is the best outfit for that day. I try to be prepared. I don’t like surprises. If it’s going to rain at some point, I have an umbrella with me. When I start my day, I check the weather forecast during prayer. I check what the day is going to be like spiritually and emotionally. The Lord tells me the same thing every day. He tells me that I am ready and I am prepared for the day because I have Him. He is my strength, my fortress and my beacon of hope. No matter how bad the weather gets, He is with me. His weather forecast never changes. It doesn’t take into consideration the storms of life and the showers of pain and despair. His forecast considers Jesus as the only One who can weather the storms. He shows me that when I react with Him, by trusting that I have nothing to fear, He makes my day an amazing day. When something bad happens, our reaction to that bad event is more important than the event itself. Let’s say you receive an unexpected bill and you don’t have enough money to pay it off. You can panic and fall apart or you can give the bill to the Lord and let Him build you up in that circumstance. He builds you up when you give faith a chance. He makes you stronger when you react with faith. You give Him your small seed and He turns it into a tree by the end of the day as long as you stay in faith. React with Jesus to the bills of life. React with Jesus when you get bad news. React with Jesus when hope seems lost. React with Jesus when you don’t know how you are going to make it. React with Jesus and the sun will shine again!

I used to love the concept “What would Jesus Say?” I liked to remind myself that in all circumstances, Jesus would tell me to stay strong and to keep going. Now, it is much easier to get that reminder because my spirit hears His encouraging words all the time. When a storm is on the horizon and I can’t see it, He encourages me and tells me to hold on to Him and hold on to hope. When we hold on to Jesus during the storm, we can’t drown and we can’t fall off the boat. When we face life with Jesus, we are more than conquerors. We have overcome because He has overcome the world. React with Jesus all day long. Use His words. Use His Word and speak against whatever is going on in your life. React with Jesus by rebuking negative thoughts and all kinds of negativity. When something bad happens and you pray, you are reacting with Jesus. When you are having doubts but you choose to praise the Lord and to give Him thanks, you are reacting with Jesus. When life gets in the way but you choose to believe that Jesus will make a way, you are reacting with Jesus. When everything is good and you lift up His name, you are reacting with Jesus. When the enemy tells you to give up and you give God praise, you are reacting with Jesus. When you are in pain and you can’t go to sleep but you declare that by His stripes you were healed, you are reacting with Jesus. Choose Jesus over doubt. Choose Jesus over fear. Choose Jesus over giving up. Choose Jesus over discouragement. Choose Jesus over giving in to the flesh. React with Jesus and your life will be a lot better. May God bless you and protect you and remember that the Lord will always love you!

Suggested reading: Deuteronomy 30:19; John 15:16; 2 Peter 3:9

Stand your ground

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). Every time I go through trials and tribulations, I read this verse or I recite it to myself. It is so true and so powerful. We will always have problems. There is no way we can be on this earth without any tribulations. I once heard of a man who asked a pastor to pray that he would never have any problems again. The pastor said “Do you want me to pray that you die?” As long as we are alive, we will have opportunities to exercise our faith while facing the tribulations of life. Jesus said He had conquered the world so while we are waiting for the answer to our prayers, we should keep on standing. We should keep on hoping and keep on believing. The Lord can do all things and He conquered everything that will ever try to destroy us. Whatever you are going through today and whatever will happen tomorrow, do not forget that Jesus conquered the world. The enemy wants you to fall apart and to collapse. He doesn’t want to see any Christians standing. When life gets tough, stand your ground. You are standing on holy ground. You are standing on the Word of God. You are standing on the promises of God. Keep standing. Don’t let those problems shake you. Don’t let them intimidate you. They have been conquered and your faith will make things happen for you. Stand your ground in the name of Jesus. Stay strong and keep going!

A friend and I were saying the other day how easy it is to have faith when all is well. It is a strong message I had received from the Lord years ago and to this day it has been eye opening.. God knows that in our weak moments we need faith and we need Him so He stands by our side. He doesn’t leave. He gives us hints and He gives us signs that show that He is still there. He keeps us going and He keeps us standing. What we need to do in good times and in bad times, is hold on to Him. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus when the sun is shining and when it’s raining cats and dogs. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. His promise that He conquered the world is the same yesterday, today and forever. In the face of adversity, it is very easy to give up but the world with all of its trials and tribulations was defeated. Next time you are in the middle of a crisis, say out loud that Jesus conquered the world and He took care of your problems. Keep saying it and keep believing it. That is how you will be standing your ground. The goal is not to give in to the negative thoughts that come as part of the baggage of trials and tribulations.

Negative thoughts and thoughts of discouragement will come. You can’t avoid them but what you can do is not give them life. As long as you don’t say them out loud and as long as you don’t act on them, you are in good shape. Distract your mind. Fill it with God’s love. Fill it with joy. Fill it with the Word of God. Sing. Shake off the negativity. Do a dance. Dance as a sign of adoration and worship. David danced before the Lord. Dancing for the Lord is more powerful than we think. It is part of worship and it can help us get rid of negative thoughts. When your problems are all you can think about, put something else in front of you. Look at something. Focus on something from the Word of God. Block the negativity with God’s positivity. Dive into the Word. Take a stand against the feeling of despair. Take a stand against what the enemy wants you to experience. Don’t react with emotions. React with God’s motion. God will make you move in the right direction. He will move you into the direction of positivity and hope. Hold on to hope. Hold on to the hope that says that Jesus conquered the world. You are going to be more than ok. You are more than a conqueror. Don’t give up! Stand your ground. The best is yet to come. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: 2 Samuel 6:14-22; Proverbs 31:25; Romans 15:5

Waiting on the Lord

“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14) Being patient and waiting on the Lord is something I have been working on for a while. Even though I have made progress, I can still see that I have long ways to go. Patient is a great virtue and it is part of the fruit of the Spirit. I need to focus on the whole fruit and not just on the peel or on the seeds. The Spirit plants great seeds of His traits in us and those seeds need to watered. Looking at the seeds and being content with the seeds is not enough. It is like planting seeds in a garden and not touching it, not watering it and expecting that good things will happen. The rain will come and help but we have to be active and do our parts. We can’t rely on outside sources to make things grow. We can’t rely on outside sources to help us grow in the fruit of the Spirit. There are sources on the outside that will always assist us but we are encouraged to do the work within. Love, joy, peace and patience among other fruits, come from the Spirit but we have to be in sync with Him and be actively nurturing the fruit. The Bible talks about being doers of the Word and we should also be “doers of the Spirit” so to speak. We ought to do what the Spirit is motivating us to do. We should walk in love, tap into His joy, receive His peace and cultivate patience. Patience is key and the lack of patience can hinder our spiritual walk with the Lord.

Have you been waiting for the Lord to do something in your life? Have you been waiting for a breakthrough or for a miracle? I understand that the waiting is probably the hardest part. It can be excruciating and painful but it doesn’t have to be. When David wrote about waiting for the Lord, he described something that all Christians can do. He is not referring to an impossible task. God has given us patience. Sometimes it is an overt part of us and sometimes we have to retrieve it deep down in our spirits but it is there, available for the taking. We can take steps toward having more patience and the number one step that has worked for me was exercising more patience. We can become better at it when we practice it. Find something to pray about and wait on the Lord. Wait for Him to direct you and wait for the answer but you should also wait on the Lord. It is a very powerful routine. Just spend time in prayer waiting patiently before God. Don’t say anything. Stay quietly in front of Him and let Him do all the talking. It took me time to get to that point but I wait on the Lord a lot now. I just stay quiet in prayer and focus on Him. If the grocery list starts crossing my mind, I remind myself that I am here for Jesus. I just say “Thank You Lord for being so good.” I just bring my focus back to Him by talking to Him.

In Psalm 27, David talks about crying out to God and asking Him for help. He also talks about dwelling in the house of the Lord all of his days. When I wait on the Lord, His house doesn’t seem far at all. When I wait on the Lord, I have more faith in Him and I know He is hearing my cry. When I wait on the Lord, I have all I need. It is me and Jesus and the world around doesn’t mean a thing. When I wait on the Lord, I receive more peace and more patience. When I wait on the Lord, I am where I should be and nothing else matters. When I wait on the Lord, I wait for victory and I know I am on the right path. When I wait on the Lord, He shows His face, He shows His love. I am never waiting in vain and that is what I am teaching my heart. David was confident that he would see the goodness of the Lord and that justified the waiting. Friend, wait on the Lord and wait for the Lord. Waiting patiently before Him as you meditate on His goodness. Wait for Him to answer your prayers. Just like David, declare that you will see God’s love manifested. The answers to your prayers might take a while but celebrate the Lord while you are waiting and enjoy every moment. Hold on to patience and live your life. See the great things the Lord has put in your life and expect blessings and breakthroughs. It will happen for you. Be patient and be expectant. Wait on the Lord and you will receive much more than you can imagine! May God bless you and protect you and remember that His will always love you!

Suggested reading: Psalm 27; Isaiah 40:31; Colossians 1:11

Communicate with the Holy Spirit

What would you ask Jesus if you saw Him face to face? What would you want Him to tell you if He walked into your bedroom and sat next to you? Have you ever thought about that? I used to ask these questions to myself all the time. Then I realized that He is always here. He is always around. He sent His Spirit to be with us so we could have our questions answered and so we could experience Him sitting next to us. Having a relationship with the Holy Spirit, being Holy Spirit conscious, honoring and respecting the Holy Spirit are all very important. Jesus gave us His Spirit as a gift and we can’t ignore Him or overlook Him. I overlooked the Holy Spirit for too long. I did not receive the precious gift of the Lord. I was too busy being religious and I missed out on the greatest One. Jesus didn’t send the Holy Spirit so we could have Him only when we are drowning. The Spirit will help us for sure but He is there for us so we can have a relationship with God all the time. The Holy Spirit is the link between God and us. We can’t get to know God without the Holy Spirit. We can’t get close to Jesus without the Holy Spirit. It’s time we embraced the divine gift. It’s time we acknowledged the Holy Spirit. He wants to be close to us and to be the family that He is. My prayer life, my praise life, my faith life and my spiritual life all improved when I started including the Holy Spirit. Today I want to invite you to invite the Holy Spirit into every part of your life. Talk to Him. Pray with Him. Listen to Him. Sing thanks to Him. The Holy Spirit will get you close to Jesus in a new way when you let Him be in control.

What makes a good and solid relationship? Many people would say that communication is key. If we want to have a good relationship with the Holy Spirit, we need to turn that key every day and use it to open the door to His greatness. Yes, the Holy Spirit is great! He is God. He is the Lord. He is amazing. He is our family and He is with us and in us. He was dormant in me for years because I didn’t know how to approach Him. I wasn’t sure what the proper etiquette was. I was too formal and too rigid in my thinking. I saw Him more as a distant judge and I didn’t dare to talk to Him unless I was saying one of my mundane prayers. Then He sort of burst and exploded into my life. He came and invaded my life. He showed up and gave me a new lease on life. He didn’t come alone. He came with joy, peace and love. He came with an immense smile and with a huge amount of love. I experienced Him through love. I once was told that when the Holy Spirit would be part of my everyday life, He would be there in a big way. I didn’t know what it meant until it happened. I didn’t look for Him directly. I put the key in the door and turned it. The key was communication but it had the form of praise. I got to know the Spirit better through praise and worship. I started to get up early, very early every morning to praise the Lord. The goal was to pray but it always began with praise. I would sing a few songs and get into the zone. That zone was the Jesus zone. A place where Jesus was lifted up and His presence was tangible. Praise works, friend. Praise brings the Lord unto the scene. There is no specific formula. It just has to come from the heart and to be centered around Jesus.

Praising and worshipping is how I tapped into the power of the Holy Spirit. Now, one thing that is very important to remember is that the desire to praise and pray comes from the Holy Spirit. He is the instigator. He is the originator. He puts those desires in us and when we lean on Him and go with His flow, we are in full communication with Him. Why? When we pray and praise, we offer words and adoration to the Lord. In return, He shows up and He talks to us. He has many ways of talking to us. He will use the best way that can get your attention. He wants to hear from us. He wants to hear us. He wants to be intimate with us. I often see worship and praise as an opportunity for the Spirit of Jesus to express Himself through us and to us. The Bible talks about praise hundreds of times for a reason. It is a powerful way to communicate with the Lord. I get messages when I praise and pray. I get an impartation of joy, of love, of peace. The Holy Spirit does that. When you are in communion with Him, you receive parts of Him. He won’t leave you empty and He won’t disappoint you. Talk and He will listen. Listen and He will talk. He will always point at Jesus. He will always encourage you to be the best worshipper you can be, the best Jesus lover you can be and the best person you can be in Jesus. Develop that relationship and get to know Him. He is more than incredible. He is miraculous and loving. Communicate with the Holy Spirit every day. It will make your life so much better!

Suggested reading: John 14:16; Romans 15:13; 2 Corinthians 3:17

God’s mercies never end

God’s mercies never end. They are new every morning. His blessings never end. There is an infinite supply of them for you. God is merciful and He will always provide for you. Your last blessing and your last breakthrough were not the end of the story. There are many more chapters ahead of you and God will continue to pen your story. There is more to come. With God, there is always more to come. Expect it. Expect great things. You see, with the Lord you go from glory to glory, from mercy to mercy, from blessing to blessing. He is a giving God who loves to give more than we can imagine. You and I belong to “the Lord of more to come.” You and I are part of the family of the Lord who gives more than enough. The abundant nature of God is sometimes overlooked but today I am here to underline it and to remind you that there is so much more to come into your life and you should embrace it, accept it and thank God for it.

You deserve what God has for you. You deserve God’s best. You deserve His blessings and His mercies. Not because you are special but because of Jesus. It is true your Savior is special and He makes you the blessed recipient of His love. His mercies and blessings are part of the package deal that comes with His love. God so loved the world that He gave Jesus so you could have blessings upon blessings and so you could have an amazing life. Jesus is the biggest blessing there is. Having Him in your life is more than enough. All the mercies from Heaven are found in Jesus and He is your Savior so you are all set. Don’t underestimate the power of your relationship with Jesus. It is an incredible relationship that covers you with the blood of the Lamb. There is so much more than meets the eye with Jesus and that is why faith is important. It gives you access to abundant blessings from Heaven without relying on what you see. Faith gives you a clear vision of God’s blessings.  Great and wonderful things are going to happen to you in the name of Jesus. Your next blessing is going to overtake all the blessings you have experienced. Trust that it is true. Believe that blessings from the Lord are a lifestyle for you. You were meant to live that life. You were meant to go from glory to glory. Live it out.

God’s mercies don’t end. They can’t end. You might be going through a quiet season where you are not seeing much going on but God is still actively blessing you. He is setting up your next breakthrough and He is preparing a way for you. Don’t give up hope. God is full of surprises and there are things in your future that will blow your mind and that will make wonder. You will wonder how a God so big and so powerful can do so many great things for you. He loves you and that settles it. Don’t let your past or your sins rob you of the blessings. Jesus is the bridge between you and the Father and He makes all things possible. His mercies are new every morning and they are not reserved for an elite group of people. They are for you. Think of them as a river. They are a river that can’t be quenched and that can’t stop overflowing. Be ready for the overflow. Brace yourself for the Lord’s overflow and stay there. Enjoy it and praise the Lord because His mercies never end.

Suggested reading: Lamentations 3:22-24; Hebrews 4:16; 1 Peter 1:3

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

When you walk in the valley of the shadow of death

When you walk down the valley of death, nothing seems to bring you joy. There seems to be no hope on the horizon and you are in a mental prison where negative thoughts are criminal and positive thoughts are forbidden. We all walk through the valley of the shadow of death at some point. We have short or long trips down that valley. It is a place of despair and of sadness. The Lord tells us that when we are down in the valley, we shouldn’t be afraid and we shouldn’t be intimidated. Why? Because He is with us in the valley. David wrote about the dreadful valley in Psalm 23 and declared that even when he was the valley, he feared no evil. He had no fear when he was down there because he knew who his God was. He had total faith in God’s ability to rescue him and to protect him. You and I have the same God David had by his side in the valley of death. Our God is our refuge and our shelter. We could be in the deepest valley of death but nothing will separate us from God’s love. We could be going through the most excruciating time but the pain and the suffering are not too big for our God. When we go through the valley of the shadow of death, we need to turn to God. He might appear to be missing in action but that is just a spiritual optical illusion. God has not left but the mental prison has taken over and we ought to get out of there. Today I want to encourage you to turn to God and to trust Him in the deep valleys of death. Learn to rely on His love and to declare just like David that you will fear no evil because you know who your God is.

Even though you might be walking through the darkest valleys, you have nothing to fear because the Lord your Shepherd is there to assist you and to bless you. How does His company impact the valley of death? You have to look at what God is like. He is love, He is joy, He is almighty and powerful and He is peace among many other amazing things. When you are in the valley, He can give you love, peace, joy, faith, patience, self-control, long suffering, protection and hope. What you need to do is tap into the power of the Holy Spirit. That power is available when you pray. Prayer brings the Lord into the scene. Prayer opens a realm of possibilities. Prayer is made possible by the Holy Spirit. Every time you feel like praying or you are led to pray, it is because of the nudge from the Holy Spirit. It could appear to be a simple act or a natural thing but it is coming from the Holy Spirit. As a believer, you have the Holy Spirit in you. He is your biggest ally and your biggest strength. He is your connection to God and you should maximize that connection. Pray in the valley and speak. Pray in the valley and listen to the Lord. Speak and declare that you are with the Lord in the valley. Speak over your circumstances in the valley. Walk around the valley with confidence trusting that your Shepherd is there with you and that His rod and His staff comfort you like David said. When I first read about the Lord’s rod and staff, I had to look up those two words.

 A shepherd has a rod and staff. A rod is a strong stick used to ward off wild animals and to protect the sheep. Here the rod symbolizes the strength and the protection of God. The staff is a long stick with a hook on it that allows the shepherd to save a sheep if it has fallen in a hole. The staff also symbolizes God’s protection and His love and care for us as well as His power to rescue us. God has a rod and a staff with Him when he is walking in the valley by your side. You have nothing to fear in the valley. Call on the Lord for help. Thank Him for His rod and His staff. Know that He will use them to get you out of the valley. You can walk in faith with your eyes fixed on the Lord. It is important that you can see the Lord when you are in the valley. If He is nowhere to be seen, change your focus. Sing to Him. Exalt Him. Praise yourself back to His presence. He doesn’t go anywhere but like I mentioned before, your mind takes you away from Him and hides Him from you. Renew your mind with singing and with the Word of God. You should always be able to see the Lord so to speak whether you are in the valley or not. I have long days when I am so busy that I can’t see the Lord. Sometimes I lose sight of Him just a few hours into my day. I am learning that as long as I can get back to Him quickly I am ok. A prayer or a few words of gratitude bring me back to Him. Find what helps you be in the presence of the Lord as often as possible. The Lord is with you today and every day. Valley or no valley He is there for you and with you. Don’t lose hope. Stay encouraged, friend!

Suggested reading: Psalm 23; Psalm 91; Acts 18:9-10

This is what God says about you

God is who He says He is and you are who He says you are. He is a God of His Word. He doesn’t lie and He doesn’t compromise. Who does He say you are then? First He says that you are loved. Whoever you are, know that you are loved by Almighty God. Nothing about you can stop Him from loving you. It doesn’t matter if you believe in Him or not, He loves you and nothing can ever change His mind about you. His Son died on the cross for you and came back from the dead so you would have abundant life in Him if you accept Him as your Savior. Think about how every single person you will ever meet is loved by God just as much as you are. We all have something in common; we are all loved and the biggest and most powerful sacrifice was performed for us all.

If you are a believer, God says that you are saved. You are born again. Your spirit was renewed and you have a new life running through your spiritual veins. There is new hope, new mercies and new blessings available to you every single day. You have a Father who adores you, who protects you and who takes care of you. That is what the Lord says about you and He doesn’t lie. You have abundant life in Jesus. That means that there are no limitations to what the Lord can do in your life. You can grow spiritually. You can make mountains move with your faith. You can be healed. You can be encouraged in Him. You can be comforted and counseled by His Spirit. You have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you. That is what the Lord says about you.

As a host of the Holy Spirit you can worship and praise the Lord. Now it’s up to you to choose to grow in the things of the Spirit and to acknowledge His presence all the time. You see, the Lord says that we are to renew our minds with His Word. Even though we have the Spirit and our spirits are new, our minds are still a work in progress. One thing we need to work on is believing with our minds and our hearts that God is always with us and that with His Spirit

comes power. Power to live this life in Christ and to be conquerors all the time. God says you are a conqueror and that your faith saves you. He says that your faith activates His hand. Recognize that you are the person of faith that the Lord talks about and walk in the power of His love.

God also says that you have nothing to worry about and that He gave you a strong spirit that is not weak. This is something important that you ought to confess daily and to remind yourself daily. Fear is the enemy of faith. God doesn’t give fear and He doesn’t promote fear. He promotes faith and He encourages you in your faith. You can defeat fear in the name of Jesus. God tells you not to fear in His Word about 365 times. It is not something you should ignore. You have the power within you to beat fear because the Lord is with you. You are a person of faith who lives above fear. Believe it. Be in agreement with it.

God also says you are blessed. You are blessed wherever you go because He goes with you wherever you go. Stand on that truth and walk on your path with confidence knowing that you are blessed. God even says that you are highly favored. That is not a simple statement. It is a big statement made about you. It is part of the package deal of your salvation. God’s favor is on you and you are blessed in all you do and everything you touch is blessed. He also says that you are a blessing. Let Him use you to bless others. Serve with love and be a blessing to someone today. You are a blessing that can change someone’s world. That is what the Lord says about you. Get on the same page. Thank Him for all He says about you. He knows you better than you know yourself and everything He says about you is true and it should all be accepted in faith. Make a pact with God and agree that you will take Him at His Word and be grateful that He is a God of His Word. You are loved. You are saved. You are a person of faith. You conquer fear. You are blessed and you are a blessing.

Suggested reading: Numbers 6:24-26; Romans 10:9-10; 2 Timothy 1:7

Surely goodness and mercy will follow you

“Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6). I read Psalm 23 every single day. I believe it, I know it by heart and I thank God for it. I am confident that the Lord’s goodness and mercy will follow me every day of my life. I have seen it happen and it will continue to be a reality in my life in Jesus’ name. It is true for you as well, friend. God’s goodness and mercy will follow you every day of your life. If you don’t confess this powerful truth, I encourage you to make it a part of your daily prayers and your daily thanksgiving. It is good news. It is great news. God’s goodness is with you wherever you go. It is never leaving you and it will always chase you down. It doesn’t matter how deep in the valley you are, God’s goodness is down there with you. It is attached to you. You are a magnet for God’s goodness because the Lord is in you and with you. Don’t get intimidated by how dark it gets in the valley. God is with you and His goodness is a light that will always guide you, bless you and protect you. God’s mercy is also following you and not letting you out of its sight. God’s mercy always has an eye on you and it will always intervene especially when you least expect you. Bad things might be after you every day. Negativity might try to get stuck on you all the time but remind the enemy that God’s goodness and mercy are with you all the time. Remind the opposition that greater is the Lord that is in you than the devil that is in the world. God’s goodness and mercy will always be your allies. The enemy will not win!

When I am going through a hard time, it feels like I am being followed by bad luck. I get the feeling that no matter where I go, bad circumstances will find me. The enemy plays tricks with my mind and does his best to convince me that I am cursed or that I am doomed. It is crazy how fast negative thoughts can travel through our minds and take a seat there for a while. Good thoughts are harder to hold on to. Bad thoughts are easily adopted. Now, the Bible tells us to continually renew our minds. We need to kick out the bad thoughts. We need to get them out and keep them out. The Word of God is the best tool we can use against the bad thoughts. When the enemy is saying that we will never get out of the valley, we can take the Word of God and spray it all over the negative thoughts so to speak. We ought to speak out and speak God’s truth over our situations. God’s Word is the truth and the truth will always set us free. If there is a battle right now in your mind between good and evil, grab the weapon of the Lord and point it at the evil that is trying to take root in your thinking. Keep doing it. Be relentless. Declare that surely goodness and mercy will follow you and that all thoughts that are coming against that truth are not allowed in your mind.

Psalm 23:6 also states that we will live in the house of the Lord forever. Forever is now. When you got saved, you had a place in the house of the Lord. it started back then and it will be true forever. You are living in the house of the Lord now and it doesn’t matter if you are visiting the valley of the shadow of death. You are still in the house of the Lord. What’s in His house? An abundance of goodness and mercy. There is love galore. There is tons of peace and joy. There is more hope than you can count. It is pasted on every wall. All the goodness of God is present in huge volumes and you have access to all of itl even when you are going through a tough season. God will season your tough times with many sprinkles of goodness and mercy so now you should rejoice. Live it up knowing that you are in the house of the Lord. Embrace His house and make the most of it. The enemy wants you to cry and it is ok if you do but gladness will replace your tears very soon because goodness is after you. You are going to make it, friend. Don’t pay attention to how things look. Look at the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands and stay positive and strong. God’s goodness and mercy are a great reason for you to celebrate today. Things are going to change and they will change in your favor because you have God’s favor on your life. Stay encouraged. Don’t give up! Surely God’s goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life and you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever in Jesus’ name!

Suggested reading: Psalm 23; psalm 27:4; 2 Timothy 4:18