Help is on the way

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 steps toward spiritual growth with God

God is Spirit and He is interested in seeing us develop spiritually. There is a lot of spiritual growth that can happen during our lifetime. Sometimes the growth goes fast and sometimes it takes a very long time. Being patient and being ok with a slow steady pace is actually a sign of spiritual maturity. Our spiritual self longs to be more like God. We are spiritual beings that need to exercise and grow. We spend a lot of time developing our physical strength and our physical abilities and it is time we paid attention to our spiritual development. Thankfully the Lord can assist us in our growth. He didn’t leave us to our own devices. His Spirit and His Word are with us on this journey. We can learn a lot from them and see growth. The Bible tells us to be doers of the Word and not just listeners so for us to grow spiritually there has to be some engagement and some effort on our part. It is not always easy and it doesn’t come naturally at times but the good news is that it will happen if we stick with it. Today I want to underline three steps toward our spiritual growth with God. Jesus is our best inspiration and our best role model. Let’s see what He shows us about spiritual growth.

Step 1: Developing a prayer life

When Jesus was on earth, He spent a lot of time in prayer. He got up early to pray. Sometimes He spent the whole night praying. He isolated Himself from people so He could be alone with the Father. Now, if Jesus needed to pray, we certainly need to do the same thing. Jesus being the Son of God had a direct line to the Father and yet He wanted to pray a lot. I noticed a while ago that prayer can seem very complicated and almost daunting. It can sound very ritualistic and mundane. It can be very formal and very out of touch with reality. That is how I described it to myself when I was growing up. A little over 17 years ago, my prayer life changed drastically. I set aside the formalities and I just talked to God. He knows everything about us and He knows what we need before we even ask. I made it simple. I talked to Him and approached Him like the Father that He is. I also realized that prayer was a two-way street and it was a time for us to listen to the Father. Sometimes we have to listen more than we speak. Prayer is an intimate time of fellowship with God  and it doesn’t have to be formal, tedious and boring. Start your day with prayer, talk to the Father and listen to His loving voice. Make time for prayer throughout the day and end the day on a peaceful prayer note.

Step 2: Making worship and praise a daily event

I know I mention praise and worship a lot and it is for a great reason. Praise and worship are a powerful way to adore the Lord, to honor Him and to show Him respect. David was a great worship leader who knew the heart of the Lord and because He did, He celebrated the Lord with worship. The Lord inhabits our praises so when we praise Him, we get closer to Him. Worship and praise bring the presence of the Lord onto the scene. Our spirits were meant to worship the Lord so when we do, we train ourselves to do what we were created to do. We shouldn’t wait until Sunday to worship the Lord. It should be a daily occurrence. I saw a powerful change in my prayer life when I attached praise and worship to it. I have also experienced great peace and joy throughout the day when I puncture the day with praise and worship. They are a great spiritual habit to uphold. On a few occasions Jesus sang hymns and praised God. If He did it then we ought to do it as well.

Step 3: Walking in love

These three steps are not meant to be in any particular order. As a matter of fact, they should be taken at the same time. One is not more important than the others but walking in love would be the top one if we were to choose one. God is love and we should follow His lead. He tells us to love Him and to love our neighbors like ourselves. Since God is love, walking in love is following in His footsteps. It is a very spiritual act and it draws us closer to God. We will make great progress if we are able to keep walking in love despite life. Life has a way of bringing us down or getting us frustrated and irritated. Things out of our control happen. We can’t make people do what we want and we can’t control their actions. However, we can control how much love we show them and how focused we are on Jesus when dealing with people and dealing with terrible circumstances. Jesus walked in love to the end. Nothing made Him change His mind about people. His love drove Him to do the unthinkable and to die for us. Love is a spiritual force that enables us to do the impossible.

There are other steps toward spiritual growth but these three steps can help us be on our way. It takes work and determination but we can ask God for His assistance. Let’s be fervent in our prayers. Let’s adore the Lord every day and let’s walk in love even when the road is paved with hurdles and trials!

Suggested reading: Mark 14:26; 1 Corinthians 16:14;  Ephesians 5:1-33

Kick worry out of your life

Worry is a thief. It steals your joy, your peace and the makings of your faith. Worry is a liar. It tells you that things will never get better and that you are trapped forever. We all deal with worry. We all deal with that thief and that liar. It abuses us and it attacks us. It finds a nest in our minds and it sits there tormenting us with lies and distress. Overthinking is worry’s super power. If we let it take roots in us and give it an audience, it will rule over our thinking and keep worry in the center of our lives. I hate worry just like anyone else and I fight it and rebuke it. One thing I found is that with the Lord worry goes away. When I spend time in communion with the Lord and I am in that heavenly space, worry is not present. It is never invited and it can’t crash the Holy Ghost parties I have when I worship the Lord. There is something about praise and worship that worry can’t stand. Worry actually worries when we praise and exalt the Lord because it knows it is defeated. Worry and all agents of the enemy were conquered on the cross of Calvary. When we lift up the Lord, we lift the Mighty Conqueror that worry is afraid of. Praise and worship remind worry that the Lord won. It is like putting bad memories in the face of worry and it has to flee. Today I am inviting you to give worry the boot. Kick it out of your mind. Guard your heart and don’t let it in. Remind worry daily that it has been vanquished. Lift up Jesus and worry will break down and cry itself away from you. Kick worry out of your life in the name of Jesus.

Kicking worry out of your life is not going to be a one time thing. It is going to happen when you do it on a regular basis. Put God’s shield of protection around you and it will be harder for worry to seep in. How do you put the shield of protection around you? His protection is in His Word. The Word of God has a whole lot to say about worry. The Word tells us not to worry but to fix our eyes on the Lord. You will put that barrier of protection around your mind if you meditate on the Word daily. Not once a week. Not just on Sunday. This has to take place daily. I suggest you find verses that give you a boost and that help you resist worry. Keep those verses handy and read them every day. Read them silently to yourself and out loud. Include them into your prayers. Be diligent. Worry is resilient but the weapon of the Word of God is much more powerful. Kick worry in the chin with the Scriptures. Attack worry with faith. Your faith should be founded on the Word of God and on Jesus. Bring Jesus to the forefront of your mind and of your heart every day and you will see how worry shrivels and leaves you alone.

Putting Jesus to the forefront of your heart can be achieved through consistent prayer, praise, thanksgiving and the power of your testimony. Pray every day. Pray and thank the Lord for His goodness. Praise and worship Him. I can’t say that enough. There is true tangible power in praise. Praise is a song that declares that Jesus is King and that no one is above Him. Praise is an attitude that shows that Jesus rules your life and that there is no room for negativity. Praise is a chain of thoughts that focus on Jesus and that center you in a circle of positivity. Praise is an action that mirrors Jesus’ love and that reflects His power over the forces of darkness. Keep Jesus at the center. Give Him free reign in your life. Surrender to His Spirit. Yield to His majesty and worry will not be able to stick around. Every time worry knocks, let Jesus get the door for you. When you speak his Word and you worship Him, you are making Jesus the guardian of your door. He tells worry, “This is My child and you can’t touch him or her.” Jesus is caring and He will watch your door when you have faith in Him. Faith and worry don’t mix. Let your faith be like the oil of the Holy Spirit that doesn’t mix with the troubled waters of worry. Talk about Jesus and let the power of your testimony crush worry. You can do this! Jesus is your Savior and He killed worry on the cross. Now it’s your turn to remind worry that it is dead to you. Rejoice over the Lord and stay in peace. Worry has no power over the Lord. The Lord reigns and He is supreme. His mercies endure forever! Kick worry out of your life and enjoy God’s mercies and love. Don’t let worry steal from you and lie to you!

Suggested reading: John 14:27; Colossians 3:15; 1 Peter 5:7

God still multiplies today

When I was praying yesterday I kept thinking about how Jesus multiplied the bread and the fish. I decided to dig a little deeper and go to those scriptures in the Bible. Jesus did it twice. The first time he had five loaves of bread and two fish and he multiplied them and fed five thousand people. The second time he had seven loaves and some small fish and he fed four thousand people. That is quite a miracle! Can Jesus still multiply today? Absolutely. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Thousands of people had gathered to listen to Jesus preach. Jesus’ disciples noticed that the masses were hungry and they had nothing to give them. They went to Jesus and told Him about their dilemma. Did Jesus panic? No, He did quite the opposite. He took the little bit of food that they had, prayed for it and the food was multiplied and filled many baskets. People ate and were satisfied. There were even baskets of food left. Those people had come to be healed and to hear Jesus speak. Jesus felt bad when He saw they were hungry and He performed a miracle. Are you hungry for more today? Have you gone to Jesus to listen to Him? Whatever you have now, He can multiply it. Give Him the little you have and He will increase it.

I go to the Lord with little faith at times and I give Him what I have. A mustard seed of faith is all we need. When we ask the Lord to help us and we present the mustard seed, we can expect Him to do something big that will amplify our faith. The Lord still performs miracles today. All He is asking is that we turn to Him with what we have. He will do the rest. It always works. Give Him the little joy, peace and love you have and watch Him multiply them. Be sure to first spend time listening to Him. Get yourself comfortable and sit with His Word. Spend time studying it and seeking the Lord’s face in His Word. It will also increase your faith and it will get you ready to receive more. If there is anything you are lacking today, trust that God can multiply it. Build up your faith and give the Lord what you have.

The Lord can give us more than enough. Think about the baskets that were left over. There was an abundance of food. There is an abundance of blessings available to you today. I am not necessarily talking about materialistic things. God is Spirit and I believe that the spiritual is more important. What are some things in your spiritual life that you want to see multiplied? Do you want to pray more? Do you want to praise more? Do you want to be an even bigger giver? Do you want to have more patience? Do you want to display more joy? All these needs can be met in the name of Jesus. Identify the needs. Present them to the Lord and ask Him to amplify them or to increase them. You will reap a harvest of blessings when you stay in faith.

Jesus told the crowds to sit down on the ground before He prayed for the bread and the fish. Sitting down is often a good way to calm oneself. The Lord is telling you today to trust Him and sit down. Your needs might be many but with Him there is no reason to panic. Listen to His instructions. Try to calm down first and pay attention. The Lord is not worried about your situation. He knows what He can do with the little you are giving Him. Expect increase, multiplication and amplification. God still multiplies today. A miracle is on its way. Stay at peace and stay encouraged!

Suggested reading: Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:31-44; Luke 9:12-17

The year of worship

For a long time I have started every new year with some predictions for myself or with a theme for the year. I have called past years the year of breakthrough, the year of transformation, the year of growth. Most of the themes have been about me but recently the Lord showed me that  I needed to take a different direction and declare the year as a consecration to Him. The theme I would choose would have to be something that I would be doing for Him and through Him. He had to be the center of the theme. When I was praying a few days ago it was clear that I should be calling 2021 the year of worship. This new year should be all about Jesus. You might say that every year should be about Him. I agree and I am seeing this year as the start of a new trend. 

Jesus is going to be very trendy and go viral because when we worship Him and honor Him, we want everyone to know Him. He is so good and so amazing. There is no way we can keep such an incredible Lord to ourselves.The year of worship is the year of Jesus being exalted in all we do and say. It is the year when we surrender and we put Him first. I am very excited about 2021 and not because of what might happen to me but because of what I know can happen through me as I worship the Lord. The goal for 2021 is for me to diminish so He can increase. I am not making this year about myself, about what I can gain and what I can accomplish unless it is for His glory. I am inviting you today to join me in the year of worship. Dedicate 2021 to Jesus and you will see what He will do for you as you start seeing His face better.

We were made to worship the Lord. Somehow our purpose has been lost in translation. We think that we were made so God can bless us. He will bless us and He loves being with us. He adores each and every one of us but we are supposed to lift Him up and make Him the reason why we are here. He is the reason. His sacrifice on the cross is the ultimate sacrifice. A free gift to the world that came at a high cost and yet the Father paid it in full so that whoever believes in Jesus would have eternal life. That is reason enough to worship Him. Not just in words or with our singing but with our lives. Worship goes beyond tunes and voices. Those are a major part of it but our lives are instruments of worship as well. 

The year of worship is the year when we let ourselves be used by God, when we seek His face, when we honor Him and when we adore Him. It is a year of dedication and a year of learning. Learning about Jesus and wanting to make Him known. I like to think that it is the year when we say “Lord, You are in charge. I dedicate my life to You. Do whatever You want. Teach me what You want. This year is Yours.” Those words speak to the feelings of reverence and adoration we should continually have for the Lord. I used to be a fan of certain singers and bands and my reverence for them was too big. They were idols even though I didn’t think they were. No human being should come before the Lord, not even our families and friends. Worship means adoration and that level of love should only be directed to the Lord.

How will we be a vessel of worship to the Lord in 2021? I believe there are many ways we can do that and some ways are just specific to us. One thing I know is that excellence in service to the Lord comes from trying and doing our best. No one is perfect and we can’t be perfect servants but God sees our hearts and wanting it and trying to do it are a great start. We can worship the Lord with our best effort to imitate Him and to listen to His Spirit. Worship doesn’t happen without the Holy Spirit. He is the One who connects us to Jesus. He is the connector and we need Him to make contact with the Lord. Let’s be sure that we don’t ignore the Holy Spirit in 2021. Let’s include Him in all we do. He can lead us into great worship by telling us what we should do and how we can honor the Lord better.

 The Word of God is a fantastic guide when it comes to worship and studying it more should be one of our goals in 2021. I also encourage you to continue to sing and worship the Lord in the privacy of your home. Have worship sessions. Lift up your voice and sing about Him. New songs will come to you when you do it with the Holy Spirit’s assistance. Your life is also a song that can glorify the Lord or that can reject Him. Be sure to keep the tune of worship and dedication going. Be sure to give Jesus the best of you. Worship Him by talking to the world about Him. Brag on Him. Praise Him. Make Him famous in your own way. Stay true to who you are by giving Him permission to define who you are in Him. Remember it should be all about Him so celebrate Him and exalt Him all year! The year of worship will be your best year yet!

Suggested reading: Psalm 95:6;Luke 4:8; Hebrews 13:15

You shall have whatever you ask in prayer

Growing up one of the “pillar verses” I relied on was Matthew 11:24. It reads “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” As a kid, I saw this verse more as the fulfillment of a wish to a genie. I had this mystical perception that God would fulfill all my wishes no matter what I asked. I had the faith of a child but that faith was misplaced. I needed guidance, direction and a major adjustment. The good thing is that I did believe that anything could happen. The problem was that my wishes were not always in line with God’s will. I wanted too many things that were bad for me. After a while I gave up on asking God for what I wanted. Not getting what I asked harmed my spirit a little bit and it created some confusion in my mind. My belief system was wounded and I needed help. I found the answer to my dilemma when I understood that I had to ask in line with the Word of God. Getting familiar with the Word of God was where everything had to start. I embarked on a journey of exploring the Word and of trying to comprehend it. Whatever we ask in prayer, when it is in agreement with God’s Word, we can expect to get it.

What are we to ask in prayer then? I think we can ask many different things but I see my requests primarily falling under the umbrella of getting closer to God and knowing Him better. Under that umbrella you can find the desires to be more like the Lord, to love more, to help  more, to bless more and to have more faith. These desires sum up the bulk of my prayers. God can give us anything. He is not limited but He knows that everything is not good for us. Can you imagine if we could get absolutely anything we asked in prayer? The world would be filled with chaos and self-righteousness would be rampant. People would ask for relationships and for riches. God won’t manipulate anyone and force anyone into a relationship. That is not our God. If man had whatever he wanted, God would be left out of the equation in many cases because there is a battle between the flesh and the spirit and the flesh wins easily. Do you think that people would ask for spiritual blessings over material goods? It is not likely. Many would but even more people wouldn’t. The Word of God and His will offer some powerful checks and balances. God’s Word is the moderator and the Lord is the executor. Let’s pray according to the moderator and the executor will bless our prayers.

Where should we start ? I would say we should start by asking the Lord to bless others. Our initial prayers should be for others. We should have a strong sense of wanting to see others blessed. God honors those prayers. Prayers to see people saved, to see people know the love of God and to receive His peace and His joy. Not everyone will be saved but praying for others will never hurt. It will always be the will of God for us. Praying for spiritual enlightenment for others and for ourselves is also a great request. Prayer for healing. Prayer for peace. Prayer for deliverance. Prayer for freedom. Prayer for joy. Prayer for more communion with God. Prayer for guidance. They are all amazing prayers that should be sustained. Now, the key is to ask according to God’s will and to have faith that what we ask will come to pass. A prayer fueled by faith is a powerful prayer. When it is founded on solid ground, that prayer produces miracles. Today I encourage you to pray according to God’s will and to have the blessed assurance that He hears you. Develop your faith in His ability to bless your prayers. Expect His hand to move in your favor and in other people’s favor. Expect great things. Expect God’s things! Nothing is impossible to the Lord and your prayers of faith can make amazing things come to pass. You shall have whatever you ask in prayer if you believe and you are grounded in God’s will!

Suggested reading: Matthew 21:22; Mark 5:36; Romans 10:10

Call upon the Lord and He will deliver you

God has made many promises. One of them is that if we call upon His name we will be saved. Those who call upon the name of the Lord will be delivered. This powerful promise applies to every situation of captivity in our lives. Anything that is negative and that is holding us hostage is a situation of captivity. It doesn’t have to be an actual physical hostage situation but any situation that keeps us in bondage is a situation of captivity. Anything that hinders our progress, anything that brings pain, suffering and anxiety falls under the captivity category. Bondage and captivity are powerless before the Lord. They can be strongholds that can’t defeat on our own but they are no threat to the Lord. If you are in a situation of captivity today, I am here to tell you that if you call upon the name of the Lord, you will be delivered. You are going to be free. What seemed impossible to conquer will fall and crumble before you when you call upon the Lord.

What does calling upon the Lord entail? When you call someone, you talk to them. You try to engage in some conversation. You try to establish a form of communication. Calling upon the Lord is establishing and maintaining communication with Him. It’s not a one time thing. It’s the expression of a relationship with Him. Praying is calling upon the Lord and we are encouraged to be fervent in prayer and to persevere. In other words, we are encouraged to stay in contact with God. We ought to talk to Him all the time. When we make that call, He answers. We call Him because we know Him and we expect Him to answer. He promised two major things; He said that when we knock, He will answer the door and He also said that He answers before we call Him. He knows what we need and He knows what we want. It is up to us to call Him and to maintain communication with Him.

I call upon the Lord every day. Not because I need something but because I just love Him. I love talking to Him and hearing from Him. He is so good and so loving. When I am stressed and anxiety is trying to get to me, I call upon the Lord. Not only does He save me from the stress and the fear but He also delivers me from the negative situation that brought on the anxiety. God can take care of us in ways that no one else can. Do you know of anyone who can deliver you from angst, from worry and from your problems? When we call upon the Lord, He goes into action. When we call upon the Lord, He comforts us and tells us that He has already answered us.

Call upon the Lord, friend. Not once but all the time. Make it a habit to be in touch with Him. Get to know Him. Learn about His love. Learn about how He is our refuge in times of trouble and our Father all the time. He will deliver you. No matter what you are facing today, God can make a way. God can take you out of your misery and put you in a place of peace and delivery. He will give birth to a new part of your life where you will be enjoying the beauty of His love and where your faith will be amplified. Trust Him. He can save you from anything! Call upon Him. He will hear you!

Suggested reading: Psalm 50:15; Isaiah 65:24; Matthew 7:7

Hope in the Lord

Nothing is more upsetting to the enemy than seeing believers maintaining their hope in the Lord. The devil wants to destroy hope and put us all in a ditch of despair far from the Lord, far from hope and far from love. He doesn’t care about believers who are not connected to God. Those are no threat to him but those who hold on fast and who won’t give up are a menace in his eyes. I am not advocating doing all we can to aggravate the enemy. I am more in favor of focusing on the Lord, on His message of hope and on getting to know Him more and more.

All the negative things that the enemy does should not be what we spend our time focusing on. Bad things do take place and we can’t ignore them but we should be solution-oriented and not problem-oriented. We should be God-minded and not negativity-minded. We should be driven by hope and not stalled by fear. Hope in the Lord is a powerful tool to have. It influences our mindset and it strengthens our hearts. Today I want to encourage you to hang on to hope in Jesus. As this new week starts, make Jesus your hope. He will help you throughout the week. He will bless you and He will show you that with hope in Him you can do anything!

Can you imagine living a life where hope in Jesus is your anchor and nothing can bring you down? It is a life that belongs to you. The Lord gave you hope. It is in your heart. It might be buried right now but you can unearth it and you can use it every day. Hope in the Lord is like a super power that God made available to us. I say super power because it is out of this world. It is not like human hope that hinges on circumstances. It is grounded in Jesus who transcends all circumstances. No matter how horrible things get, hope in Jesus doesn’t get discouraged. It sees possibilities where the world sees eternal problems. It sees a way out where the world sees no exit signs. It sees victory where the world sees defeat. Hope in Jesus can change your thinking and it can change your circumstances.

Hope in Jesus is the fuse that ignites faith. When you have hope, faith takes over. Continued hope is necessary. When you have hope in Jesus, you can be hit by doubt and fear but you won’t go down. You won’t submit to the evil requests of discouragement and you won’t be defeated. Hope in Jesus is more powerful than any fiery darts of the enemy. You see, hope in Jesus is centered on the One who died on the cross and came back to life. It is hope in the power of resurrection. That power is invincible. It can’t be stopped and it can’t be conquered. Keep your hope in Jesus strong and you will keep your hope in life and miracles strong!

This week, control your thoughts by reminding yourself that Jesus is the hope of the world and that He is the hope that is going to make things right in your life. If something bad happens, let your first words be words of hope. Encourage yourself by talking about the hope who can do all things. Encourage yourself by declaring that there is always hope no matter what. Hope in Jesus will never die. Hope in Jesus is always worth it and it is always a strong force that brings change and miracles. Your faith in Jesus will always heal your situations. Your faith in Jesus will always activate the hand of the Lord. Keep your hopes up! Focus on Jesus all week. Hope changes everything, even the most desperate situations. Stay encouraged!

Suggested reading: 1 Thessalonians 1:3; Ephesians 1:18;  1 Peter 1:13

Get all prayed up first thing in the morning

I could talk about prayer every day because I think it is just phenomenal. My spiritual life took a turn for the best when I made prayer a daily priority. I started praying first thing in the morning, last thing at night and in between. I had no idea that prayer was a serene time with God. A time for developing our relationship with Him. To me it became essential and beautiful. I cherished my prayer time. There was nothing better than that for me when I got into it and I let it fill my heart and occupy my mind and spirit. Yes, prayer turned out to be an invasion. An invasion of the good kind. It overwhelmed my heart and it drowned my doubts and fears. I remember wondering why no one had ever told me how amazing prayer was. Before that, I had been given a somber and monotonous description of prayer. Prayer was described as a ritual, a rite of passage into sainthood but it was very repetitive and robotic. There was no life in it. It sounded so boring and so powerless. It was a memorized ritual and it was void of the Spirit of God.

When I decided to rededicate my life to the Lord, the first thing He showed me was the need to start the day with prayer and start prayer with praise. Why was praise and worship so important in my prayer time? Why couldn’t I just go straight to the bead of requests I was planning to string along a thread of words? The Lord is in our praises. There is an underestimated power in praise. Praise is where the house of the Lord can be found. If you are lost on the path of life, get into praise and you will find the house of love, joy and peace. Praise is God showing up and manifesting Himself. True and sincere praise brings the Spirit of the Lord to the scene. It is the most fantastic thing I have ever experienced. It is glorifying the Creator and lifting Him up. It is joining David in the choir of Hallelujah and the church of adoration. Praise is focused on Jesus, the centerpiece of our faith. When you put your mind and attention on Him, the atmosphere changes. Your fear melts away. Stress diminishes. Worry loses its grip and negative thoughts take a backseat. Praise and worship will give you easy access into a prayer time that will revolutionize your life. Praise before you pray and you will pray with the power of praise in your heart and the presence of the Lord all around you.

I used to wake up feeling heavy and burdened. I used to scan my day in my head and make stops in all the most negative places. I used to start my day with overthinking. It all stopped once I made prayer my ignition button for the day. I quit turning on the engine of fear that keeps the car of stress running all day. Prayer became my motor and it gave me the drive to stay positive and confident in the Lord. Early morning prayer changed my life. Early morning prayer impacted my life. Early morning prayer helped renew my mind. Early morning prayer gave a boost to my spirit. Early morning praise led me beautifully into prayer mode. When you praise and the Spirit of the Lord is vibrant, He will give you the words you need to pray. He will show you that repentance is good, conviction is necessary and adoration should continue all day long. He will amplify your heart of gratitude and increase your muscle mass of faith. Prayer will become this exchange with God that you will be looking forward to all the time. You can’t spend time with God and not come out unchanged. Prayer will transform you and it will transform your day. It has been many years now that prayer is the way I start my day. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Like I said, the morning angst has been gone. Prayer sets the tone for my day and the revelation and messages of the Lord during prayer time are like a light into my path. They lead the way and they comfort me at the same time. I pray that you get prayed up in the morning as you start your day. Get prayed up and expect love, peace and joy to accompany you all day so you can deal with anything that comes your way. Get all prayed up first thing in the morning with praise as your access point into the house of the Lord!

Suggested reading: Jeremiah 29:12; Psalm 22:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18