Deal with your head with Jesus

The other day I was very tired from a trip I had been on and overthinking was strong in my mind. At the same time “God thinking” was also strong. It was a tug o war between negative and positive thinking in my head. On one side I kept hearing, “What if this happens? How are you going to deal with this and that? How will you handle this?” On the other side the Holy Spirit in me was saying “You have Jesus so you have all you need.”

My mind was getting overloaded with the questions of the enemy and the doubt he was trying to instill in me. I decided to take what the Spirit was giving me and use it to tear down the lies of the enemy. The Holy Spirit suggested to deal with everything with Jesus. I spent time meditating on that. Here He was saying “Deal with your head with Jesus.” He recommended to face every lie and every doubt with the power of Jesus. How do we do that?

We need to tackle that inner dialogue and handle it with God’s care. It’s easy to let overthinking get out of control. It’s easy to go with the flow of those thoughts and end up stressed and defeated. I knew that the Lord didn’t want me to overthink and He didn’t want me to be passive. I couldn’t let myself be a victim here. I had to do something. Dealing with the negative chatter with Jesus was my best bet.

What I did was respond to the negative thoughts. That is how we should deal with them. My responses were verbal and they all involved Jesus. I inserted Jesus in everything I said. I used the Scriptures to silence the enemy. When Jesus was in the desert and the devil tempted Him, He responded with the Word of God. That is how, we believers, can face every lie and doubt by speaking Jesus against them. Jesus is the Word and there is power, wonder-working power in Him.

Some of the negative thoughts were about my new job and my finances. I told those thoughts that the Lord would supply all my needs according to His riches in glory. I declared that Jesus got me this far and He wasn’t about to leave me. I explained that Jesus is all I need and as I serve Him, He takes care of me. I had to respond with Jesus over and over again until I gave my faith a boost and He appeared to be bigger than the doubts. I pushed Jesus against the lies. There was spiritual and mental friction going on and you know the Lord always wins. I kept it up for a while until I was anchored in the truth that I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Jesus helped me won that mental battle.

The goal is to put Jesus between the negativity and ourselves and always resort to Him. Friend, if you are being dragged down the aisles of despair in your mind, deal with the bad thoughts with Jesus. Let Him be the response you give the enemy. Jesus is your shield and your protection. He will help you deal with anything. Stay strong and stay encouraged in Him. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Matthew 4:1-11; 1 Peter 5:9; James 4:7

God has a better option

I went to one of my favorite coffee shops the other day to do some writing and to get breakfast. When I got to the place, they asked me if I was dining in. I said I was and much to my surprise they said that on weekends if you are eating by yourself you can’t eat in the main room because they get very busy and they reserve the seats for bigger parties. They told me I could take a seat in the lounge and sit on the cozy couch. I wanted to be in the room I am usually in so I wasn’t happy. I know the lady tried to make the lounge sound like a great place to be but in my heart I wasn’t having it.

I did comply and sat on the couch and as I sat down, I heard on the inside “Remember I always have better for you. Trust Me.” The lounge was indeed very comfortable and I loved it. It is now my favorite place to be when I go to the coffee shop. What happened illustrated how God always have something better for us. We can be used to a certain routine that He wants to change up for good reasons. What He has to offer is not always appealing but if we trust Him and we go with it, we will find out that His choice is better than ours.

You have probably read passages in the Bible about God’s plans for our lives. He has a plan for all of us. Now, you can see it as one plan with many parts or a series of plans for our lives. He is interested in every part of our lives so He has plans for every part of our lives. We can embrace the plans or we can reject them. On a small scale, His plan for me that morning was to find out about the lounge space and enjoy a new experience that has become my new normal at that coffee shop. It allowed me to see that the main room was too noisy and not as comfy even though it was nice. Now, I could have decided to walk out of the coffee shop and go somewhere else because of the frustration I was feeling.

I think we get to a point where we don’t understand that God has a better option and we walk out. We walk out and we decide to go our own way. We miss out on something better. God always has the best option and when we stay open to His suggestions, we open ourselves to what’s best. How do we know what God’s will is? In general we can find a great outline in the Bible. When it comes to smaller matters or to more detailed areas of our lives, we can trust the Holy Spirit and we can trust that if we pray for His will to be done, it will be done. The key is to pray to God and thank Him that His plan is always the best. Then we just need to walk in that truth and believe that His plans are unfolding in our lives.

I didn’t like how it felt to be turned down by the wait staff at the coffee shop. It felt like a slap in the face. I was tired and things got to me more easily. There was no reason to be frustrated and to be upset but my emotions and feelings tried to get the best of me. I thank God that I didn’t follow their lead and I just accepted the alternate spot I was given. Once again this is just an illustration. I am by no means comparing the waiters to God. When God gives us a better option, it can be very subtle and we have to go with our faith and trust Him. He doesn’t always plainly explain what His plan is and that is why we need faith. However, when we have blind faith in Him, everything works out for the best and we end up in a better place from where we started off. God is not the only One who has options for our lives.

The enemy has many options and they are all very bad. Some can seem more appealing than others and they often don’t appear to be negative at first. The only way we can avoid them is by praying for discernment and staying in faith like I said before. When you find yourself having to make a decision, put it all in God’s hands. Give Him free rein to provide His best option for you. Dear friend, God always has a better option. It’s coming. Keep trusting Him! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Jeremiah 29:11; Proverbs 16:9; Romans 8:28

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 185)

God’s hope reverses the worst situations in your mind. It breaks down the negative thoughts and replace them with a positive outlook. Be filled with the Lord’s hope. Get a dose of it every day in His Word!

Even in your worst case scenario, Jesus is with you. He can rewrite your script and give you a better ending. Don’t write Him off when you go through a tough chapter. He has the final say!

You can always be care free in the name of Jesus even when you are carrying baggage. Leave the luggage of despair at the door and enter the Lord’s house with gladness.

Stay strong and be encouraged. God is on your side and He will get you through anything. Good things are coming. The Lord is pacing the way for better days. Keep believing!

With God you won’t drown. You will float for a while and then you will start walking on water as your faith increases. Keep your eyes on Jesus even when you are in the middle of an ocean of trouble.

Sometimes the pain is so strong that nothing seems to help. God can help. God will help. Give Him your pain. Ask Him to help. He will assist you and bless you!

Stay in your lane and run your own race. God has a lane labeled with your name. Your blessings are in your lane. Your gifts and talents are in your lane. God is with you in your lane. Don’t try to be someone else!

Precious are you to God. He hold you in the plan of His hand. He adores you and He watches over you. In bad times remember that the Lord who loves you is with you all the time!

Start your day on a positive note. Start your day with God. Start your day with prayer. Start your day with praise. Start your day with thanksgiving. Start your day talking to Jesus and you will start your day with power!

Delight in the Lord and in His love. Celebrate His goodness. Rejoice over His faithfulness. Lift up His name. Find peace in Him. Stay close to Him. Embrace Jesus!

Suggested reading: Psalm 37:4; Job 22:26; John 15:7

When prayers don’t seem to work

Sometimes pain remains despite prayer. Sometimes the bills keep adding up despite prayer. Sometimes nothing changes despite prayer. Sometimes God seems to be away despite prayer. The truth is that He never leaves and He never falters. He doesn’t make mistakes and He doesn’t take us for granted. One thing we need to understand is that despite the pain, the suffering and the struggles, God’s love for us is unchanging. God loves us all the time. He loves us when our prayers are answered and when we don’t receive what we have been waiting for. So why don’t we get answers to our prayers? I don’t have all the answers but I know we are called to persevere and to keep believing. The change will come. The healing will come. The answer will come. We might have to wait a lot longer than we wish but God is faithful.

Today I want to encourage you to persevere and to not give up when your prayers don’t seem to work. God is working behind the scenes and there is more happening than you know. God will honor His Word. Stay in the game Stay hopeful. Blessings are on their way. Don’t give up. I know that the pain can be unbearable. I have been there and I have cried out to God with no reply but then all of a sudden and out of the blue, God showed up. He will show up for you. Keep your faith high. Keep your hopes up. God will not leave you stranded when you are on the path of your journey. Have faith that things will change and patiently wait. Don’t waste the time while you wait. Do something productive and constructive.

Your prayers in the name of Jesus are never in vain. God never said that your prayers would be answered in the next week or in the next hour. He said that you should keep on praying with thanksgiving. This means that you make your request known once and then you keep thanking God no matter what. Pray with thanksgiving. Give thanks to the One who is going to change your situation. Give thanks to the One who is going to heal you. God is going to do something beautiful for you. Your life is going to be touched by Heaven. Don’t lose hope. When your prayers are not moving mountains, remember that God is watching your faith and He is taking care of your mountains in His timing. Rejoice and put all your hope in the Lord. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading : Psalm 139:17-18; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Ephesians 1:18

When you decide to follow God

When you decide to follow God, you are always right. It might feel like you made a choice that you will regret but you are always right. Following God is following love, peace, joy and truth. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and when you are behind Him, you are in front of blessings that will follow you wherever you go. Following God doesn’t mean that trouble will not stalk you. Trouble will pursue you but God’s hand will be on you. You will be protected and shielded. At times you will want to throw in the towel but the Lord will always have your back and He will hold you in the palm of His hand. Following God is following the best. God is never wrong. God is never late. God is never unfair. God is always the best ally. Follow God, friend and you will be on the right path. Don’t let the enemy talk you into getting on a different road. The road ahead will be paved with joy and peace and trials and tribulations but nothing will get in the way of your success. When you follow God, you are on the winning team. Follow God. You will never walk alone.

Following God is more than just reading the Bible on a regular basis. Reading the Word is important and it is necessary but there are different ways to read the Word. You can read the Word and intellectualize the whole experience. You won’t get much out of it that way. You can read with your mind and with your reasoning and turn the process into something cerebral that is not spiritual. God is Spirit and we need to have a spiritual connection with Him. We need to have a spiritual connection with His Word. Following God means reading His Word and letting it become a part of us. It means giving room to the Word so it can grow in our lives and so it can change us. Following God is interacting with His Word and applying it. Praying is part of following God. It is also filling our hearts with His love and holding on to faith at all times. Following God is a spiritual experience that impacts our lives and the lives of people around us.

Following God is following love like I said earlier. Love is the most important thing and when we follow God, we decide to walk in love and we make love a priority. Following God is not just following rituals and doctrines. The one doctrine we should abide by is the doctrine of love. It is not a regular doctrine. It is a commandment from the Lord. Love the Lord with all your heart and love your neighbors as yourself. God is love and we, His followers, should seek love wherever we go and spread love. If today you are trying to follow God, remember that love is what will keep you on the right path. Love should always be in front of you, guiding you. Enjoy the walk of love with God. Follow Him and you will follow the biggest blessing in the world. Jesus is the most amazing blessing and when you follow Him, you are always right. He will never mislead you. Keep following God even when you seem lost. Trust that He is showing you the right way. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Deuteronomy 5:33; Matthew 10:38; John 14:6

10 nuggets of wisdom for your Saturday (Part 184)

God never takes a break. He never takes a break from loving you, from watching over you and from talking to you. Don’t take a break from trusting Him!

Before you know it, things are going to get better. God is working on your situation. Keep praying. It’s never in vain. God is the God of good changes. Stay in faith!

When God says you go from glory to glory, He means that things will get better and better. You are not going to stay where you are forever. God’s glory is after you and it will bring great changes. Stay encouraged!

God says you are terrific so don’t be terrified when the enemy says you are terrible. God knows best. The enemy is a liar. You are wonderfully and fearfully made!

Keep praising God. Praise your way out of worry and pain. God is on your side. He always shows up in the praises of His people. Praise relentlessly and your worries will go rapidly!

You can rely on people’s experiences and testimonies or you can define your own experiences. Define them through Jesus. Let Him be your daily experience.

God loves you so much that He gave His only Son so you could have life through Him. Enjoy your life in Christ. Enjoy His permanent love and His goodness that lasts forever. You are loved more than you know!

Your God is the God of the next level. He can do increasingly more than you expect. In Jesus’ name miracles can happen, chains can be broken and hope can be restored. Have faith in the God of miracles. Stay encouraged!

Your tears are a plea for help and a prayer to the Heavens. God hears your tears and He sees your pain. Don’t give up. God will show up and show you the way to freedom. Keep praying! Stay in faith!

Don’t lose hope. Hope is alive. Hope is the reason why you will make it. Jesus is the hope you need today. Keep turning to Him. He is the hope that saves the day. Stay strong!

Suggested reading: Psalm 30:5; Psalm 62:5; Romans 5:5

When you are in the valley

God does things right. When I look back at what has happened in my life, I can’t help but think that God has orchestrated everything beautifully. There have been ups and downs and some of the downs were way down in the valley of death but God has also taken me to the mountain tops. Some of those tops have been so high that I couldn’t have seen them before I went up there. They were far beyond anything I could have imagined. There have been times when the impossible was made possible in a breath-taking manner.

“God can do great things” is an understatement. I thank Him for the victories and I praise Him for being in the valley with me. If you are in the valley today, a mountain top is on the way. It might take a while but it’s coming. While you are in the valley, look at the Lord. Don’t close your eyes and hope things get better. Keep your eyes wide open and focus on the Lord. When you do, the valley is more than bearable and joy can come meet you right there in the valley!

Finding joy and peace in the valley is not something I was told could happen. I was more of the belief that the valley was a painful place where sorrow and despair reigned. Yes, there is pain the valley. There is no doubt about it but Jesus is also in the valley. He has been to the deepest valleys that exist and He came back victorious. He is smiling at your in your valley and He has a plan to get you through your ordeal. The cross destroyed the valley. The empty tomb defeated the valley.

Give your faith a chance to destroy and defeat the valley as you put all your trust in the Lord’s ability to help you in the valley. It can be a lonely place but the Lord will provide what you need and give you strength in the midst of your suffering. Say a prayer. Ask Him to assist you. He listens and He acts. Expect peace in the valley. Expect the opposite of what your feelings and emotions are telling you. You can find joy in the valley in the name of Jesus. Wait and see what He does for you in your solitude.

I remember a time in the valley of death when everything felt like I was walking through a desert. That horrible valley was empty. There was no hope in sight and there was no relief coming any time soon. That was at least what the devil was whispering to me. You see, the enemy wants you to believe that Jesus is not with you when you are going through problems. He wants you to think you are all alone. It is a lie. God is by your side all the time. Say it to yourself. Declare it even when it hurts. Speak to the loneliness.

Make a declaration of faith and tell the enemy that your Lord is accompanying you in the valley. Talk to the Lord in the valley. Pray more. Praise more. Read the Bible more. Joy will come. As you get closer to the Lord, His joy will be your strength. You don’t have to be down in the valley. You can walk and you can run with faith. The Lord can bless you tremendously in the middle of your worst times. Don’t lose hope. God is going to pour showers of joy in that valley and you are going to smile again, laugh again and triumph again. Help is coming. Joy is rising. Fix your eyes on Jesus and not on the valley. Stay encouraged! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Psalm 23:4; Psalm 118:6; Luke 1:79

The God of the next level

Getting closer to God and developing an intimate relationship with Him allows us to see Him in a different light. It is a light that glows and shines really bright. It is the light that takes us to the truth and that opens the eyes of our spirit. What does the truth about God reveal to us? We can learn a number of things and one of them is that God is the God of the next level. He is higher and mightier than we used to see Him. He is above and beyond all. He is next level and He is overwhelming good. God’s goodness transpires more the more we know Him. His power is perceived better and His sovereignty becomes more of a reality.

God would never let us get closer to Him without opening us up to His supernatural nature and to what makes Him God. That next level of awareness touches our hearts and gives us more faith in God’s ability to do the impossible. I was studying my Bible the other day reading some of Jesus’ miracles. Most of them are unheard of these days. I believe it’s because we don’t have the faith that it takes to see such exploits come to pass. I know that some people have that kind of faith and they often experience miracles. They have this tight relationship with God where they always expect Him to show up supernaturally. After all, God is next level all the time. It’s up to us to reach the level of faith where the supernatural is natural.

One important point that came out of the Bible study I did was that Jesus Himself announced “the God of the next level.” He said that those who believe in Him would perform greater miracles. Now, He didn’t say that they would have the power to perform miracles in themselves. They would perform those miracles through Him and thanks to Him. He died on the cross and defeated death so that the next level would be reached. It is that covenant with Him that ensures that we have access to that next level. Today I want to encourage you to expect the God of the next level to show up in your life. Expect more. Believe there is more. Let the God of the impossible open your eyes to His true nature. He can do it. He can do all things. Get on His train and enjoy the ride!

What is the God of the next level like? It’s for you and me to discover as we press on and stay in faith. Let’s pursue the truth and it will set us free. It will set us free from a limited mindset that doesn’t acknowledge the God of miracles. We have the creator of the universe in us and with us. Our faith reaches His hand and enables the extraordinary to invade our ordinary reality. Let’s the next level become our reality as we praise and worship the God who is not limited. My prayer for you today is that you grow in your faith and you become intimate with the God of the next level. There are no limitations to what He can do. Welcome Him into your heart. Praise Him. Thank Him. He is out of this world and He can make your world a better place. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Jeremiah 32:27; Mark 10:27; Ephesians 3:20

God always has a better plan

Where will God take you next? Who knows? God knows. Keep trusting Him even if you don’t understand which way you are going. Keep trusting Him even if you think His plan is not the right plan. Have you ever thought that your plan might work better than God’s plan? You might not realize it but every time you take matters in your own hands and you act without God’s consent or approval, you show that you believe your plan is better than His. Sometimes we think of God’s plan as plan B when His plan should always be plan A. It sounds simple but it is easier to go with our plans when things are all over the place. We need to change that attitude and let God be God all the time.

The other day, I was supposed to go to a Greek restaurant with my family. When we got to the restaurant, we found out that it was closed. My nephew was very disappointed because that restaurant was his favorite place to eat. I could see that he was bummed. We suggested we look up restaurants in the area and try to find something else. He agreed but I know he was not excited about finding another option. His plan was the best in his mind. We found an African fusion restaurant. He was open to trying it. That new restaurant was delicious and my nephew loved it so much that he even ordered take-out. My sister said that it was God’s plan for us to find that new place. God had a better plan. At first it didn’t sound too appealing but once we gave it a chance, it turned out to be way better than we thought.

The restaurant illustration is just a tiny example of what God can do in our lives. He knows best and He can take us to new places where we will be greatly blessed. What we have to do is be receptive to His plan and be ready to follow Him even when we don’t know where we are going. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He is the way, friend. He leads us into all truths and He leads us to the best places. If you are in a place today where you always count on what you know and you are not willing to explore God’s options, I am here to encourage you to let God lead the way. What you have been doing for years might still work but it might also need to be changed.

We get into routines that are comfortable when God wants us to sometimes step out of our comfort zone and adhere to His plan. It can be scary. It can be intimidating because we don’t know exactly where we are going but His plan is always a great plan. God can take you to a mountain top that you didn’t know existed because you have be so used to going to the top of a hill. His mountain is higher than your hill. His plan is bigger than your plan. Go up the mountain with God. Take one step after another holding His hand. The mountain He wants you to climb is not insurmontable. He understands that getting to the top is the best thing for you so widen your vision. Broaden your horizon of faith and go with God’s plan.

It takes faith to trust in God’s plan and our faith in His great plans can always grow. Think about the steps you have to take when you walk in faith. If you keep going, you will start taking bigger strides because you will be trusting more. Go one step at a time but keep going. The plan might be bigger than you imagine so your steps will need to be bigger as well. Don’t rush it but don’t stop walking. When God sent His Son to earth, He had a plan. The enemy try to meddle with the plan but nothing he did succeeded. At one point it looked like all was lost but God had the final say.

Now, you could be in a situation where you don’t believe God’s plan for your life is going to come to pass. You might have had hurdles and difficulties that have disheartened you but God will have the final say. When all seems lost, God is still working. His plan won’t fail. His plan will prevail. You will get to a new place. You are not going to stay where you are now. God’s plan for your life is amazing. Keep believing. Keep trusting. Keep walking. Stay strong. God’s plan will blow your mind. You are not walking in faith in vain. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Jeremiah 29:11; Esther 4:14; Romans 8:28

Standing on God’s promises

I love reading the promises of God. I highlighted a number of them in one of my Bibles and I go back to them often. Here is something I suggest you do. Take one of God’s promises and spend time meditating on it. Start by thanking God for that promise. Have a Jesus celebration. Go all out and lift Him up because He is so good and because He keeps His promises. Then make that promise yours. Declare that it is relevant to you and that God wants you to have what He promised. Speak that promise over your life. Pray it into your life at first if that helps and then adopt it and stand on that promise. You can do that a few days in row with new promises. Be sure that when you add new promises to your faith portfolio, you keep going over the promises from before. As you build your faith portfolio, you have a number of great promises to stand on and you will be following the Lord’s lead. He wants you to trust His promises and He wants you to keep standing on what He promised no matter what.

When you stand on God’s promises, the enemy will try to topple you and to make you fall. He will do his best and he will relentlessly aim at you. You are already a target because you love Jesus but now that you are standing on God’s promises, you are even more of a danger to the enemy. You see, believers that stand on God’s Word and apply the Word are trouble. The enemy sees them as trouble because they are walking in the truth of the Lord and His truth will set them free. The devil hates freedom and he doesn’t want you and me to be enlightened and to be free. Keep standing on the promises. You will be shaken but the Lord will help you. Don’t change your daily declaration of the promises in your life when things go wrong. Things will go wrong but the Lord knows how to right all wrongs. You are going to make it beautifully and you are going to see the promises come to pass.

The Lord tells us to be fervent in prayer and strong in faith. Keep praying to be strong in your faith. Keep praying the promises of the Lord into your life. You can do that by affirming that the promises are a part of your life in Christ and nothing can stop the Lord from fulfilling the promises. No weapon formed against you shall prosper. God will bless you and He will assist you. He has an army of angels to protect you and His mercy and grace will get the job done. Stay strong in your faith. The Lord loves seeing how you trust Him even when life gives you reasons to doubt Him. Keep standing on the promises. They come from the Word of God so they are reliable and they are for you. You are not standing there alone. God backs up His Word and He never leaves you nor forsakes you. Remember that you are standing with Him by your side. Your faith is powerful. There is power behind every word of faith that you say regarding God’s promises. God is going to do the things He said He would do for you so stand and count on Him to catch you if you fall. God’s promises are going to unfold in your life in a great way. Trust Him! May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Genesis 17:1; Psalm 16:11; Ephesians 2:8-9