God is listening to you

Every day I am amazed at how good a listener the Lord is. When you think about it, He quietly listens and doesn’t interrupt us when we talk to Him. Thoughts, emotions and feelings try to interrupt us when we talk to Him or try to interfere when He talks to us. The Lord is patient and He listens. He is always around and He knows what you are going to say before you say it and yet He still listens. If you are questioning if God heard you, go back to when you got saved. You were desperate and you were headed toward eternal perdition before that but the Lord heard the cry of your soul. Whether you are aware of it or not He heard you and responded. He made salvation happen for you. As a whole, God hears the cry of humanity and He sent His Son to save us all. He listens. He acts and He is faithful. God heard the prayer you said last night. God heard the cry of your soul before you even uttered it. God heard the prayers you will say years from now. Is He silent? He is not silent. He has answered you many different ways already and one of His ways is through His Word. If you think God is silent, open His Word and prick up your ears. It took me a while to understand that but once I did, I knew I was heard and my perspective was changed.

 

I spent countless hours praying and feeling like no one was listening. I thought I had to feel a certain way and then I would know that God heard me. Then I found out that God is not in feelings and emotions but faith is key. Just believing that God exists involves faith. It might be a mustard seed of faith but it is enough. That same seed I had was needed for my interaction with God. I had to water it with the Word of God. The more time I read the Word, the more I became aware of God’s love and of His presence. One thing that struck me was what God’s love meant for all of us. When you love someone, you take care of them and you listen to them. A lot of couples say that the number one problem in their relationship is lack of communication. They feel like they are not heard by their partner or they can’t express themselves to their partner. We are in the most amazing relationship. We are in a relationship with God and because He loves us so much, He does listen to us all the time. Today I want to encourage you to thank the Lord for listening to you. When you pray, thank Him. Do it every day. Tell Him how grateful you are that He always listens to you and that He heard you a long time ago.

 

God is listening all the time. He can listen and hear everyone. He is not too busy paying attention to someone you think is more important to Him. You matter to Him just like anyone else. He is no respecter of people. His ears are all yours. He sees your heart and He sees your pain and your struggles along with your joy and your victories. He sees it all and He hears it all. You are precious to Him. He won’t interrupt you until He needs to speak to you. He won’t brutally interrupt you. He is a gentleman. When I pray I often get “interrupted” by the Lord. It all flows in one direction. His interruption makes sense and it happens at the right time. I get quiet. I am tuned in and I know to just listen. It has taken me time to get there but like I said it all goes in the same direction. My prayer and my words go to the Lord and He listens to them and takes them to the next place. He puts them in a place where He answers my call. The Holy Spirit orchestrates the whole process. It is breathtaking! God is listening to you, friend. Trust that He heard you and spend time in His Word. You will find answers and messages that fit your situation and that show you that He is listening. You don’t have to be a pastor or a prophet to be heard by God. Just be you and express yourself. He will hear you quietest whispers and your loudest outbursts. God is listening to you. Thank Him that He is attentive and He loves hearing your voice!

Suggested reading: Jeremiah 29:12-13;1 Peter 3:12; 1 John 5:14

The power of living in Christ

I have thought about definitions of Christianity and what it means to be a Christian. To me” Christ” in the word Christian is the biggest part. The “-ian” part of the word reminds me of a nationality like Belgian, Hungarian or Ghanaian. A person who is Belgian is from Belgium or is affiliated with the country. By the same token, a Christian is a person who lives in Christ. Christ is his or her country, residence, main affiliation and place of belonging. I wrote about the message of love yesterday and being a Christian is definitely being a carrier of that message. I often wonder about how much of Christ I am sharing with people. How much pride do I have in the One I belong to? Am I wearing the flag of His love? Am I being a good ambassador for Him? Being a Christian has had so many definitions and variations and I know it confuses believers and non-believers. How do you define your Christianity?  I can’t picture life outside of Christ now but at the same time I realize that I step out of my residence too often. “I am human after all” has become an excuse I am not satisfied with anymore. My goal is to be the ambassador of the message of hope that the Lord wants me to be. I can’t craft my Christian identity based on what the world expects or what the world says. I have removed myself from the world’s interpretations of Christianity and I am on a quest to know Christ more for myself and to share Him with anyone I get in contact with. I am proud to be a Christian and I am humbled to even call Jesus my Savior. I am so not worthy and yet He died for me. I want to encourage you to define Christ in you and to shed His light around you. Some people will want to give their lives to Christ because of who they see in you. You never know who’s watching and you never know who is listening.

 

Christ in you, the hope of glory. With Christ in us we always have hope. Hope for the better. Hope for the light to shine. Hope to make it. Hope to have a better life. Hope to grow. Hope to love more. Hope to know more. Hope to rejoice more. Hope to live more. Christ is alive and well and He scared death out of us with His resurrection. I let Him scare away every dead cell, every dead thought, every day action that linger in me. He is the life that impacts my life. Spending time with Him is like getting a surge of hope and energy. He revives us. He encourages us. He motivates us. He activates peace, joy and love in us. As Christians, we have His life inside of us. I think we tend to forget that and we get carried away by a morbid life that is void of life. We live our lives as if we were still in the grave. We don’t celebrate. We don’t get excited. We don’t pray enough. We don’t connect with God enough. We just float on the river of a dead world that longs to know the resurrected life in Christ. Christ in me, the hope of glory. I have hope that I can see His glory. That hope gets me through the day. When His glory hits me, my spirit is lifted up and darkness fades away.  There is a permanent light in the Lord. A light that we are meant to distribute to the world one word of love at a time, one act of kindness at a time, one touch from Jesus at a time.

 

The Holy Spirit lives in us. He inhabits the believers. We can give Him as much space as we want. We can make Him the mayor of our territory or we can make Him an occasional guest. I opt for the mayor option. I want Him to govern my heart and rule over my mind. As a Christian I have all it takes to show God’s love and spread His Word. It truly is up to me to surrender to the Lord or to surrender to the world. There is a nation of ambassadors for Christ. That nation is rising and it is going  to take the world by force, using the power of love. Choose to join that nation. Remember that being a Christian is living in Christ. It’s dying to ourselves and living for Him. When you interact with someone, you can give him or her a touch from Heaven by being a representative of the Lord. You don’t have to perform miracles. You just have to listen, love and learn. Listen to the person, love the person and learn what you can do for the person. The Holy Spirit will guide you and give you what you need to share a piece of Heaven with earth. There is always hope in you because of Christ in you. Hope to revolutionize the world with love. Hope to show Jesus to someone who can’t see past tomorrow. Show the world that there is a future for everyone and Jesus holds their destinies. Keep living in Christ! It will change you and it will change your world!

Suggested reading: Luke 9:23; Colossians 1:27; Galatians 2:20

The God who can change anything

How do you see God? Do you ever ask yourself that question? Do you ever have an inner conversation about who God is in your life? Is He the God who judges us? Is He the God who is far out there away from us? Is He a good and loving God who is always with us? Is He the God who can intervene in our lives? I used to see God as an entity that was too far to be reached. To me He didn’t get involved in our lives. He was too busy being God for the whole world so being God to me, little me, seemed too much to ask. God is a personal God. He is an intimate God. He is not too big for any of us. He is not far from any of us. He is interested in us and in the details of our lives. You see, before you accepted Jesus as your Savior, there were many things that needed to be changed in your life. Many parts of your life had to be ironed out with the power of God. There were too many wrinkles that just kept peace and joy from being smooth events in your life. There was too much of a fight to stand and to make it every day. Once you accepted the Lord, changes still needed to be made but at least you had a connection to the One who can change anything. God is about love and His love wants to change our lives completely. When you love someone, you want them to have what’s best all the time. Not just part of the time. My God loves me 24/7 and He blesses me 24/7. I block some of His blessings with the way I think and with lack of faith in some departments but I am actively working on it and the Holy Spirit has been helping me a great deal. Every morning I hear “Today is going to be an amazing day. The Lord is with you and He will assist you.” I repeat that out loud when I pray. It’s an everyday declaration. God assists us. How? When we trust Him, He can change anything. Anything that is going wrong He can change for the best. Today I want to remind you that the Lord can change anything. Your biggest headache can turn into the biggest triumph. With the Lord, you are triumphant. No obstacles can stand in the way of the Lord. No hurdles are too difficult and you are rightly entitled to the triumph and the victory provided by the Lord. God can change anything.

 

One thing that stood out after I got saved is how God was changing my heart. God can change anything and that change starts with us. I wasn’t all in and I was holding on to a lot from my old life so the changes in me took years to materialize. They are still happening today but at least I have put my guard down and I have allowed the Lord to do a work inside of me. There is a lot to be done and thanks to patience, I am riding along this amazing journey with hope in my heart and more serenity in my mind. God can change anything and He will changé the coldest hearts, the most stubborn attitudes and the most rebellious souls. It takes surrender and obedience. Two acts that can impact our lives in ways that are unimaginable. Sometimes all it takes is a prayer. A prayer asking the Lord to change us, to mold us and to make us more like Jesus. I have learned that being changed on the inside is much more important than having our circumstances changed. When the inside is more like Jesus, the outside is more manageable. When the inside is strong, the outside can’t get in. It’s our circumstances that often remove our peace, disturb our joy and crush our faith. God can change anything and the change should start inside you and me. Pray that the Lord gives you the strength and the courage to face the day.

 

God can change any circumstances. When you have grown through a transformation process on the inside, your situations are much easier to deal with. God gives you the patience to wait through the storms. You are long suffering and you can go through trials with praise and thanksgiving knowing that the best is yet to come. It will come. Good things will be part of your life soon. God can change today’s nightmares and melt them into dreams that are too good to be true and yet they are real. Your patience, added to your faith and love will result in changes of your circumstances. God will act in your favor. He will remove the mountains that are standing in your path. He will heal your sick circumstances and give your life new health. He will put the shame that has been haunting you to shame. He will destroy the plans that were meant to destroy you. He will perform miracles that will reveal the wine that has been sitting at the bottom of your cup of water. Under the plain is the supernatural. What seems to be commonplace has a silver lining that is far from being common when your trust is in the Lord. Don’t look at the surface that is all dusty. Look into the shiny depth of your blessings. They may not appear to your naked eye but your eyes of faith can see changes and blessings to come. God can change anything and you are about to see something you had never seen before. Stay strong. Stay in faith. Stay encouraged. God can change anything that is troubling you now. The best is yet to come!

Suggested reading: Malachi 3:6; Isaiah 43:19; 2 Peter 3:9

Scare your fears away

Fear is a tool the enemy uses against everyone because he knows it’s the opposite of faith. He tries his best to keep people from believing and from living a life free of fear. Someone who believes in God and who has no fear is a problem to the enemy. Someone who applies the Bible to his or her life and who has love that excludes all fear is a danger to the enemy. Perfect love doesn’t know fear. We Christians can attain a level of love that is void of all fear. We have so many fears that it is a real process to get rid of them. Only the Lord can remove fear and leave a clean slate of love in its place. When you get impacted by God’s love, fear is dissipated. It can’t stay where God abounds. It can’t stay where God’s love reigns. It can’t stand the goodness of God. It can’t stand the Word of God. There are ways we can conquer fear and God can assist us. God can scare your fears away when you put your life in His hands in faith. You can speak against the fears in your life and scare them away. Speak up against fear and worry by speaking the Word of God.

 

The Lord tells us not to fear hundreds of times in His Word because He knows that He can stop fear in our lives. He knows that when we take His Word and shove it against the fears in our lives, the fears have to fade away. He tells us to be relentless and to persevere in all we do. In order for us to win the battle against fear we have to persevere and keep pushing against it. Like I said, love is the power that neutralizes fear. It has to be part of the equation if we want to solve this problem. We can declare that we are loved by the creator of the universe and therefore we don’t have to be afraid. God our Rock and our Refuge cares about us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Let’s not be discouraged because His hope is always there. His love and protection will shield us through any storms of life. When we declare the truth of the Word of God against fear, we wage a war that we can’t lose. Fears try to separate us from God but nothing can prevent the Lord from loving us. We can put pressure on our fears by exalting God’s love for us. Fear hates love. The more love-conscious we are, the less power will fear have on our lives.

 

We are the redeemed of the Lord and we belong to Him. Do you ever think about that? Do you ever remind yourself that you belong to Jesus? The Lord has called you by His name. You are part of His family. Fear will attempt to break that family bond by overwhelming you with negativity. Fear brings other negative agents with it and it is a disastrous domino effect before you know it. Fear punches you in the head and in your heart. It gives you butterflies that wouldn’t be pretty to look at if you could see them. I picture dark and morbid butterflies when I think of what stress causes. Those butterflies are not entitled to be part of your life and you can rebuke them. You can rebuke fear and scare it away so that it hates being around you. The enemy will always come back and try to destroy you but once you have established a rhetoric that discriminates fear, you are good to go. The goal is to constantly put fear down and slam it with hope and with the power of the Word of God. Give it a chance. Scare your fears with God’s love. Fear doesn’t want to hear that with God nothing is impossible so tell your fears about your invincible God. Lift Him up above the fears. Refuse the fears. When they come with their scary agenda, show them what God has to say about them. He says they died on the cross. Remind them of their death and let your faith rise up. Scare your fears away in Jesus’ name!

Suggested reading: Psalm 18:2; Isaiah 43:1; 1 John 4:18

To the one who needs a miracle today

I mentioned the other day how I get messages when I pray. Messages that appear to be movies playing in the background of my mind. God speaks to us during prayer time. Prayer is not just about talking to God but it is a great opportunity for Him to talk to us. He talks to us in many ways and prayer is one of the spaces He uses to make His will known, to comfort us, to guide us and to give us revelations. Some of the messages I receive in that safe space have nothing to do with what I was thinking about right then and they seem disconnected from my realities. Other messages are answers to questions I have had or confirmations. If I quiet my mind and listen, there is always some type of message. I often end up writing messages especially when they don’t make sense to me at the time. One recent message was about the Lord saving us and getting us out of a ditch. I saw the Lord extending His hand and getting people out of what looked like quicksand and huge puddles of mud where they had been sinking. He said, “Whoever needs a miracle today, take My hand.” He was addressing the world and offering His hand to rescue whoever needed His help. It was not just help with a daily issue. He was offering help to people who needed a miracle, people who needed an act from God. I would say that most of us are in need of a miracle today.
Take heart, friend. The Lord is extending His hand to you and providing the miracle you need. Today I want to encourage you to grab His hand and let Him pull you out of the mud of your problems and put you in a sphere of miracles. The Lord is watching over you and He is looking at you with so much love that the hatred around you will have to fall apart. Focus on His love. Focus on His smile. Pray that you see His smile. Love is where it all starts and you need to know that love always saves the day. The Lord’s love comes to the rescue. It is His love that led to your salvation. It is His love that comes down and blesses you. It is His love that wins all the battles. When you are going through a tough season, it is hard to understand that love is the way. Love never dies. Love is alive and love brings life. Hope might look like a dead feeling today but God’s hope rises above all feelings. It is a reality. With God hope is alive and well. There is hope for you today. Your miracle is coming to you. Grab the Lord’s hand. Let His love pull you up. An amazing blessing is on the way.

When someone gives you his or her hand to help you out, it’s up to you to accept the help or to turn it down. Pride can get in the way. Insecurity can get in the way. Lack of trust can get in the way and even fear can be an obstacle. Surrender is key. Don’t let your ego get the best of you. The Lord is giving you a chance to be blessed when you leave your ego behind. Your help comes from the Lord. No one else can do what He does the way He does it. Trust that He is able. Trust that His hand is mighty and it is strong enough to get you out of that mud. You might be saying, “But you don’t understand what I have been going through. It would take a miracle for my situation to change.” That is where the Lord comes in. Nothing, absolutely nothing is impossible to Him. Spend time meditating on that truth. Build up your faith in it. Read about the Lord’s incredible exploits and miracles in His Word. What He did before, He can do again and more!

God has pulled you up before and you saw the power of His hand. He parted the seas for you before. He turned your water into wine. He opened your spiritual blind eyes. Now, let Him resurrect hope in you so your faith in Him can grow again. All He is saying is “Believe in Me. I can do anything and everything. Nothing can stop Me. Nothing is too difficult for Me.” God has a miracle for you today. What seems to be like a major act from God is a simple deed in His mind. Jesus spoke with authority against sickness and evil spirits. Jesus spoke with authority against the storms. Jesus spoke with authority against the enemy who tried to tempt Him in the desert. Jesus is speaking with authority against your storms and against the enemy today. He is speaking up for you. He is speaking up against what is bringing you down. Thank Him for speaking up for you. Thank Him for giving you the miracle you need today. Grab His hand in faith. Believe He can do it. Trust that He is the God of miracles and that He does great things. To you, friend who need a miracle today, I say that you should hold on to Jesus’ love and you will receive the miracle that has been awaiting you. Nothing is impossible to God!

Suggested reading: Genesis 18:14; Luke 1:37; Hebrews 6:18

Helping others face the roller coasters of life

Who knows what’s going to happen today and who knows what will happen tomorrow? We get ahead of ourselves and we try to figure out what will take place in our lives every time we wonder if something good or something bad is going to happen. Our minds are very good at trying to put the pieces of a puzzle together. A puzzle that shouldn’t be a source of worry for us. When we have the Lord, we have all we need. Today could be bad but we will still have the Lord. Tomorrow could be horrible but we will still have the Lord. The Lord is our common denominator in life. He is a constant presence and too often He is an ignored presence. Problems and trials can make us forget about His presence easily. What does He have to say about our days to come? He says that life is a roller coaster; there are highs and lows but the events of our lives shouldn’t give us motion sickness. What makes a difference on a roller coaster is the seat. If the seat is safe and secure, we don’t have to even think that we could fall or that something bad will happen. The Lord is that safe seat on the roller coaster of life. He makes a difference. He is secure and He won’t let us fall. Our lives can go down and everything can feel very scary but even when we are down in the valley, the Lord is there with us. I have written that message many times but it is a message we need to hear all the time. You might be on the high side of the roller coaster now or you might be so low that you can’t even see anything. Remember that in both cases the Lord is your seat. He is your refuge. He is your protection and He will help you in any way He chooses. He can assign people to watch over you.

 

I have read of two pastors who have died by suicide this year and it made me very sad as you can imagine. They were facing some deep depression and nothing seemed to get them out of their fragile state. I understand that depression is one of those low points where you can’t picture going back up again. You feel stuck at the bottom of the roller coaster and you don’t know how or if you will get out. Saying that God can help you face anything is an understatement. However, there must be a great amount of support in some cases and when it’s not there, the fall can be permanent. We are the body of Christ and we need each other. We can try to face everything alone but we often need a shoulder to rely on and someone to push us up. I don’t know what the situations were for those two dear pastors and I won’t pretend to know exactly what happened. What I know is that we sometimes need to take a seat next to someone who is struggling on the roller coaster of life. The Lord is with us all the time but there are blindfolds of many different forms that can prevent us from seeing that. We lose our sight and sometimes we need someone else to be our eyes and show us how the Lord is still with us in the valley. Let’s check on each other’s rides. Let’s see if other people are not feeling safe enough on their roller coaster and they need assistance. I don’t like heights and I surely appreciate it when someone sits next to me in a height situation. I can pray up a storm but I need support when dealing with heights. It is a whole lot better now but I can see how someone would need comfort and a helping hand when they are uneasy. Let’s be the eyes and ears in our communities and let’s get on other people’s rides so we can be Jesus to them when they are facing storms.

 

I have seen myself on a roller coaster during prayer time when I was dealing with some issues. For me the highs were bad and the lows were good because I felt better close to the ground. What can be a high for someone can be a low for someone else. We can’t ever downplay what others are going through. Compassion and empathy are two helpful attributes that can guide us through the process of helping others. The Lord has those attributes without a doubt so when we find ourselves lacking those characteristics, we can always turn to the Holy Spirit and find help. I have noticed that the Holy Spirit always listens before we even ask. How? He often gives me what I need right when I need it even though I didn’t know I needed it. He is always a few steps ahead of us so we ought to pray that He would open the eyes of our spirits and lead us so we can be good stewards of His love and compassion for others. My prayer today is that you get on someone’s roller coaster and give them the love and attention they need. Be a spokesperson for love today! help someone who is having a hard time on the roller coaster of life!

Suggested reading: Proverbs 18:10; Psalm 32:7-8; 1 Peter 5:7

Your future is bright

Have you ever heard the expression “Your future is so bright you’re going to need sunglasses”? This applies to whoever believes in God. The clouds might be looming on the horizon but the truth is the sun is shining bright beyond the clouds. We always have great things to look forward to because Jesus is our Savior. He is the Light and He has promised to give us life more abundantly and to the full. (John 10:10). Abundance means a very large quantity of something and we know that with Jesus it is an abundance of the best things life has to offer. It is not only material blessings in abundance but spiritual, emotional and physical abundance. In Psalm 23:5 the Bible says our cup overflows and runs over. This sounds like abundance to me. If the abundance is not here yet it’s something to look forward. God keeps His promises when we stay in Him and His grace is an amazing gift. We go from glory to glory so we know our future will get better and better. (2 Corinthians 3:18). So friend, put your sunglasses on. You’re going to need them. Your future is very bright because of the Light of the Lord. His light is ever shining and His provision is always abundant.