Be Progressive!

My Project 292-001

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward,” Exodus 14:15, KJV

Have you heard of the phrase “two steps forward, one step back?” What if we could erase that end part? What if we could subtract from the equation the minus one step? What would the total sum of one’s life be if all they ever did was progress? If all they ever did was to add without factoring any negatives?

“Two steps forward, one step back.” It’s a phrase that I have used and I know you have, too. But, in reality, I actually think that we get too comfortable with that kind of mentality. Everything is not always going to go off without a hitch, but it’s almost as if we expect to move backward every time we try to advance forward. We are factoring in a negative from the very beginning.

In math, when adding, anytime there is a negative number that is bigger than the positive number it will equal a negative number. A positive number plus a positive number equals a positive, but a positive number plus a bigger negative number will equal a negative. Any time there is doubt in one’s advancement that will almost always sabotage one’s progress, taking away from all that they have done and gone through to move forward. Taking away and overshadowing the positive with that seemingly bigger negative.

Don’t get me wrong. I know that there are many hard trials and circumstances that everyone will face. I will not trivialize the hurt and disappointments that many face. But, what will happen if while we are on this journey, we try our best to look beyond the circumstances that we are in and move forward toward the promise? What if for once we could factor out the negatives of life instead of factoring them in? Despite the chariots and the enemies pursuing us, we could be more determined to pursue the goals that God has for us.

That is what I really believe God wanted the children of Israel to do. Stop looking for obstacles. To stop making excuses for why they can’t get to where God wants them to go. He had a glorious destiny for them. God had already shown them many, many miracles that led up to their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. Yet, as soon as a moment of adversity poked its head around the corner to spy on their progress, they stopped moving. Instead, they stayed in that unproductive state wallowing in self-pity: “Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness?” (Exodus 14:11, KJV).

God has a better plan for you than to keep you still, wallowing in the wilderness, in self-pity. That’s why He said, “Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward.” Stop crying about it and just go! Move! Make some progress! No more backwards! It’s time to go on in Jesus’ name! Move it or lose it!

Looking at the stuff one has been through and the possibility of hardship ahead can be very discouraging, but press on! There is a promised land for you and I to reach. That alone is enough to urge you onward and upward. So, go ahead – be progressive today. Say within yourself, “I’m going to make it this time!”

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“3 Things to Remember When Rising Above the Accusers of Your Anointing!”

 

Photo: Pixabay/Mary1826

Jesus was perfect in every way.  There was no fault found in Him.  He always had peoples best interest at heart in anything He did.  He never sidestepped the will or the purpose of God.  He never compromised or fudged the truth.  He never sought to hurt, harm, or destroy others.  Yet, despite His flawless nature, there were those who still sat in wait and watched Him suspiciously.  What did they watch for?  “They watched him . . . that they might accuse him,” (Mark 3:2).

Jesus was above sin in every way but He was still susceptible to the flapping tongues of people who didn’t believe in His ministry.  He had to deal with people who shunned the very idea that He was the Son of God.  He had to deal with people who didn’t believe He was anointed to do what He did.

Know this, just because you’re anointed, doesn’t mean people won’t try to find fault in what you do to accuse you.  If anything, they will look all the more.

So, Jesus had these men watching Him for the sole purpose of seeing what they can say against Him.  Nonetheless, Jesus could care less about their verbal attacks and suspicious thinking.  What He cared about was the soul standing in front of Him.  He cared about doing what He was anointed to do.

At that time there was a man in the synagogue with a withered hand who needed to be healed.  The problem the accusers had with this is it was the Sabbath day.  Therefore, they watched.  They purposely looked for a reason to talk about Him and to try to discredit His ministry.

No one is above the scheming knick picking of the naysayers.  If they sought to attack and accuse Jesus, what more will they do to His followers?

But, Jesus didn’t let it deter Him from His purpose.  First, He asked, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?” (Mark 3:4).  When they refused to answer He knew they were motivated by nothing but the “hardness of their hearts,” (Mark 3:5).  When your anointing is attacked you have to keep peoples possible motives into proper perspective (Jesus wasn’t the problem, it was the hardness of their hearts.)

Next, Jesus spoke to the man who needed to be healed and said, “Stretch forth thine hand,” (Mark 3:5).  The rest of that verse tells us when he did, “his hand was restored whole as the other.”  Jesus was anointed to heal this man.  In Luke 4:18 Jesus read and proclaimed, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.”  He was walking in the ministry God set apart for His life.

What is it God has called you to do?  Are we afraid to move into that area because of what people might say?  Please know, if they weren’t afraid to talk about Jesus, they will not be afraid to talk about you either.  Instead of letting it get Him down, Jesus continued doing what He was anointed to do.  He healed the man in spite of it all.  He knew their motives weren’t justified against Him.  He knew they were literally just looking for a reason to talk, Mark 3:2.  Does that mean we stop doing what God has called us to do?

Nay!  We are to rise above the accusers as Christ did and work the calling of God on your life. Jesus didn’t seek to justify Himself before their eyes, He just did what He was anointed to do.  More often than not one’s actions speaks volumes more than their words.

Does it mean it will stop them from talking and accusing?  No.  It goes with the territory.  It means in spite of what they say you do what God says.

I’m not going to say it doesn’t hurt when people talk about you, put you down, and speak against your ministry –  because it does.  No matter what they say about sticks and stones: words do hurt.  But Jesus even encouraged us in this area by letting us know, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you,” (Matthew 5:11-12).

Anybody who has done anything significant for His Kingdom gets talked about and attacked (see Daniel 6:4-5 and Acts 23:28-29).  Our job as individuals is to rise above the naysayers and accusers and do what God says; to be about our heavenly Father’s business no matter what. 

SO REMEMBER, if you are walking in the will of God, just keep these three things in mind when your anointing is under attack:

  1. JUST because you’re anointed doesn’t mean you won’t be attacked.
  2. KEEP their possible motives in perspective.  Often the problem isn’t you.
  3. DOING what God anointed you to do is what matters most, regardless of the accusers.

Therefore, it all boils down to one sure-fire way to rise above the accusers of your anointing:

JUST KEEP DOING!

“Not a Cookie Cutter!”

 

 

There’s more than one way to be a champion. 

There’s more than one way to use your gift. 

There’s more than one way to make a difference. 

There’s more than one way to create change.

His original design for your life may not look like everyone else’s.  For some to stand with their own earthly measuring rods to compare may have not taken into account the uniqueness that makes you, you.  It may look quirky to some, but to God, it looks like you are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” (Psalm 139:14). 

You are not a cookie cutter fabrication of the rest.  Nor are you a tired remodel of the “best.”  Just the best you is who you are with your offerings to the world.  So go ahead and step out in faith, in the way He has planned for you.  Show them what you have to bring to the table matters.  Show them (despite the stares of others and the being scared yourself) your voice, your calling, and the workmanship He has sown in you with great care. 

There’s more than one way to do a lot of things, but there’s only one way to be, – that’s you!

Photo Credit: Pixabay

“Remain Strong in God!”

 

One morning as I was making a cup of coffee I ran out of creamer and had to open a new container.  I unscrewed the top and picked and picked at the protective seal underneath to no avail.  I couldn’t get it to rip off for anything.  Finally, out of frustration, I reached into the dishwasher and grabbed a knife and punctured a small hole in the top of the seal.  After that it was easy for me to put my finger in the hole and manipulate the seal for its ultimate removal.  Coffee time!

This had me thinking on how the enemy works in our lives.  As long as we stay sealed up in Christ the enemy can pick and pick but our packaging in Him remains strong.  No wonder Nehemiah (Nehemiah 1-3) felt such a compelling urge to get the walls of Jerusalem rebuilt to their full strength once again.  Wherever there is a hole or a breach in any structure it allows opportunity to an enemy to poke his nose into and gaining access to manipulate the circumstances of life.  It makes his job easier.

Paul admonishes us, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord,” (1 Corinthians 15:58).  Our diligence will pay off after a while.  We must be like a wall without breach.  We must take our cue from Nehemiah to patch up any deficiencies in our spiritual walls.  We are the ones who have to be “steadfast and unmovable” to have our work count in the end.  If we stop building and maintaining our walls then they will fall to utter ruin and we will have nothing to show for our work.

We must work at the upkeep of all that God has given us.  “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not,” (Galatians 6:9).  Our press matters.  Our work matters.  Our walls matter.  We must continue forth with the mentality of Nehemiah when he stated, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down . . .,” (Nehemiah 6:3).  The enemy wants to thwart your work so that holes and weaknesses can be left for him to poke and manipulate.  But, if we want to “reap” then we must not “faint.”  We must push forth in doing good and leave the benefits to God.

Obtaining coffee creamer this morning was a struggle until I broke the seal.  Don’t let the enemy break your seal.  Stay covered in Christ and push forth until the end for your reward is coming.  Now is not the time to give in or give up.  If necessary, ask God to help you repair what is broken that you may be whole once again.  Remain strong in God!  You can do this!

Be blessed.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

 

“Have A Warmer Heart Than Usual!”

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“But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was.  And when he saw him, he had compassion,” Luke 10:33

I live in a good distance from the church I attend which means lots of driving and observing time.  Often times, on my way to church I look out my window and I stare.  Some may think I’m being rude, but it’s the exact opposite.  I look at that person sitting on the stoop or the one standing on the corner, and I wonder.  I wonder about what they may have gone through that day.  I wonder what it is that made that person look so sad.  I wonder about the mom on the bus stop struggling to get stroller, baby, and bags onto the bus.  I wonder.

How often have we really taken the time to see beyond the people to see the person, to really try to imagine you walking in the shoes of another?  To see what’s going on inside the person without judging the outside?  To show a tender heart instead of a wagging head, disapproving eyes and a simple tsk-tsk-tsk?

When it’s all said and done, “Mercy triumphs over judgment,” (James 2:13, NKJV).  Thinking beyond oneself is going to win out hands down every single time.  Why?  Because, that’s what Christ did for us!  He looked beyond Himself, beyond His own needs and hurts, and saw what the world needed.  The world needed a Savior.

Even during His earthly ministry it has been noted in the Bible, “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion,” (Mt. 9:36, NKJV).  To the leper: “Then, Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him,” (Mk. 1:41, NKJV).  To the mom who just lost her son: “When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her,” (Luke 7:13, NKJV).  To the world: “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours be done,” (Luke 22:42, NKJV).  To His enemies: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do,” (Luke 23:34, NKJV).

That’s how warm Jesus’ heart was toward people.  He had a genuine concern to look at people from the inside out instead of the outside in.  He saw the person beyond the people.  So did the Good Samaritan.  Despite the rejection and animosity he had faced down through the years at the hand of the Jews, this man needed his help.  He was not going to let those years of bitterness or even indifference change his resolve to help the one that needed him now.

Paul taught the church in Ephesus to “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.  Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.  And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us . . .,” (Eph. 4:32-5:2, NKJV).

Imitators of God are concerned with the person on the inside.  An imitator of God is warmed to the plight of the human in humanity and sees them for who they are.  They are someone that God is concerned enough about to allow His Son to die.  Shouldn’t we then have that same compassion for one another?

Photo Credit: Pixabay

“The King to My Rescue!”

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“Save, LORD! May the King answer us when we call,” Psalm 20:9, NKJV

 I am definitely a girly girl, to an extent.  I love the idea of love.  I can bury myself in stories of romance and rescue.  What is a lovelier picture than that of a knight in shining armor coming to the rescue of a damsel in distress?  I’ll tell what a lovelier picture is, when the King himself gets personally involved in the rescue.

As long as we live in this earth days of trouble are never far from any of us.  There will always be an occasion that we need to be rescued, be it mind, body or spirit.  We will never be the end all of every answer to every trouble we face.  There will arise at one point or another a situation or a trial where nothing and no one can help unless the most powerful in the land intercedes on our behalf.

“Save, LORD!” becomes more of a desperate plea than a battle cry.  When adversity has made itself too comfortable in your presence and you don’t know how to rid this awful pest, a plea to the King to answer our most urgent request comes forth from the lips, seeking a life saver to lift us up out of the drowning depths.

Our King is not too high that He cannot hear.  Our King is not so secluded behind palace walls that He doesn’t see the plight of His people.  Our King has granted us an open access policy to be able to reach Him when hard times are weighing us down.  “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,” (Hebrews 4:16).  Therefore, we cry out, “Save, LORD! May the King answer us when we call,” (Psalm 20:9).

“In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me,” (Psalm 86:7).  Over and over again we see the plea.  Over and over again we see the promise.  The King is waiting to hear from you and me.  Stop carrying the trouble alone.  Seek the King’s intervention in your life.

Sometimes a knight in shining armor just won’t do.  You need the King to come to the rescue.  Be blessed.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

“Recognizing Jesus”

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“And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him,” Luke 24:15-16, KJV

Can we even imagine what it must have been like for Christ’s disciples to witness His crucifixion? Many of them were eye-witness to the miraculous feats He did and the miracles He performed. So, how could it all end like this? He was the One, of this they were sure; why did this to happen to Him?

Dumbfounded and flabbergasted – just plain ole, “I can’t believe that just happened,” attitude. All of these emotions must have truly assailed the psyche of those who were closest to Jesus. There was so much hope tied up in who they believed He was, now all seems to be at a loss. “What more can we do?” With that, they carried their heavy laden hearts down the road, believing all to be lost for good.

It is sad to be in the presence of Jesus one moment, and the next, to be completely taken aback and wondering, “What in the world just happened?” If truth be told, we have all been there at one point or another. Everything is going peachy-fine, and the next, BAM! A side-blow of life has come and knocked our understanding of the way things were down.

These disciples were no different from most of us. Going through hard times of sadness and misunderstanding can obscure one’s view. Whether traveling with a buddy in this or going the road alone, it is sometimes hard to contemplate all the who’s, what’s and why’s of everything that has gone wrong.

Believe you me when I tell you, I know what it is to be sad. I know what it is to be hurt and confused; to be let down, disappointed and left to feel unloved, neglected and disrespected. I know what it is to be talked about and to have my name run over. Going through these particular events can leave us reeling with the same thought I penned to the disciples, “What in the world just happened?” And just like the disciples, sometimes it’s hard to see clearly.

Dealing with trials is like being in a crowd that’s taller than you and trying to see the main event. The crowd becomes all the things we put up with, and the main event, of course, is Jesus. We know He’s there and we know what He can do, but to view Him is hard because of the crowd; because of the trials. We jump up to catch glimpses; we try to push our way through, but the crowd is unyielding, blocking our way.

Jesus was there, walking and talking with His disciples, but they didn’t recognize Him. They couldn’t see through the events they just witnessed to recognize that this is Jesus, Him of whom they are speaking. Tragedy has shielded their sight. That’s why I’m glad Jesus stepped up when He did, lest they would have felt all hope was gone.

A clear vision of Jesus, no matter where we find ourselves in life, is imperative to our Christian faith. That’s why I love the Word of God! When no one else can comfort me or help me through times of sadness, His Word is unfailing! It gives me a very clear view of who Jesus is, helping me to recognize Him even in the hardest of times. All of God’s Word is inspirational. In every book I have found help to keep grounded in Him, but there’s something special about the Psalms. In it is praise and worship, but also the cries of the human heart when life seems overwhelming.

Jesus used the Word to help with the dismay of His disciples at this tragic time (Luke 24:27).  I attempted to pick a few favorites to list, but was unable. I have too many highlighted and each one speaks to me on a personal level. I admonish you to prayerfully go through them for yourself. Find the ones that speak to you and make them your own to hold on to. I guarantee that there is more than one with your name on it. God’s Word can help you to clear out the crowd so that you can see the main event; so that you can recognize Him when everything and everybody else is trying to get in the way.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

“Walk In Peace!”

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“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:because he trusteth in thee,” Isaiah 26:3

Peace is something that seems far out of reach for most.  It is greatly desired and sought after; yet, many will never lay hold of it.  Why is that?  The answer is because of where it is found.  It is found in a made-up mind centered on who He is and a devoted heart that believes in the promises He has made.  “Perfect peace” speaks of the character of God at work.  Wherever He operates and whatever He delves into is marked by perfection.  That means when He established something that He wants to offer to all mankind He does so without there being anything wrong with it.  No fault in it whatsoever.  And, He does here also.  As a matter of fact, the only thing that can mar this “perfect peace” that He is so willing to give is how man (i.e. the human race) accepts it.

When one’s mind is focused whole-heartedly on an idea, then that becomes the single vision of that person.  Once the vision of the mind’s eye is arrowed in one direction, that’s where one will be led to follow.  Now imagine a time of being in the midst of very hard and severe trials and tribulations.  Where there are sorrows and disappointments that seem to do nothing to encourage one’s focus on God, only working to tear away at one’s faith.  Yet, through it all, that person takes a stand within them and says, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8:31).

The person who is able to stir up his faith in this manner as a defense and a shield to his mind, using the focus of God at work in his life and the verifying of it through His Word, will be kept in “perfect peace.”  He has made an on purpose decision that no matter how bleak and dismal it may seem right now, God is greater than all and “His tender mercies are over all His works,” (Ps. 145:9).  “How is one able to do that?” you may be crying out in frustration.  I answer you with Abraham’s example as referred to by Paul in Romans 4:20-21, where it says, “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.  Simply put, as our verse in Isaiah 26:3 says, “Because he trusteth thee.”

2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” That is including, “perfect peace.”  All His promises are in His Word and the one who bases the foundation of all that he believes on that one rock solid truth will be upheld and kept through the worse of storms.

“Be a Promise Accepter!”

My Project 433-001

“For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him amen, unto the glory of God by us,” 2 Corinthians 1:20

 

We are in our countdown to back to school time around here. Each school year starts out brand new. New backpacks, new supplies, new clothes; along with new hopes and dreams with the anticipation of promise lingering in the air. This is going to be a wonderful year!

By the end of the first month of school, children and sometimes parents too, start looking forward to days off, delayed openings due to weather and such. The reality of the daily grinding and horse race schedules overshadow the promise that was once felt. Instead of realigning oneself to keep hold of the promise that was once felt in the atmosphere, we begin to gripe and complain. Looking forward to the end of the school year, or at least Christmas break for some relief, becomes the new goal.

Often times, we treat the promises of God in the same manner also.

He gives us this wonderful volume (the Bible), filled with sixty-six books. And in each of those sixty-six books therein is packed with “more.” God has “more” for you than this. Line upon line, and precept upon precept, tells us how much He cares for us, loves us, and wants more for us. The Bible starts way back in the book of Genesis with promise. And, it goes all the way through to the end of Revelation. How does it end? With promise! “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen,” (Rev. 22:20-21). That’s promise!

Unfortunately, as it is with the school year so it is in life. In the beginning, when the promise is fresh we are ecstatic. Then, as the everyday issues begin to settle in it starts to wear on the assurance that once was, leaving one to do nothing but constantly focusing on the end. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly,” (John 10:10, NKJV). He doesn’t desire for “life” to be something tolerated. Rather, He wants it filled. And with that, there is the anticipation of something better.

Promise!

Promise only works when one accepts it. You can quote it all that you like, but unless it is internalized as a hopeful thing in the life of each of us, it does absolutely no good. Many people can read of the promises but they can’t believe in them for themselves. Only seeing with the eyes but never touching. They never experience the greatness that God wants to do. That’s not God’s intention for you. “For all the promises of God in Him are yes,” (NKJV). Now, it may be just me but when I see the words “all,” and “promises,” and “God,” and “yes,” I get excited! If you are in Christ, God says yes to every promise that comes with that salvation. Yes!

Won’t you accept it today? Yes!

I don’t have enough space or time here to even begin to list what He has in store for us. And, the half has not been told. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him,” (1 Cor. 2:9). The promises are there in His Word. All you have to do is believe it and receive it!

Be a promise accepter today. Go through the Bible, find verses that speak to you right now, highlight them, and write them down or whatever you do to remember a verse, then, lay hold of it as your personal treasure. Let them be your source of strength when life doesn’t feel as “abundant.” Accept what He said anyhow. Step out in faith, holding on to those precious promises for dear life.

“There’s More Than One Way”

My Project 511-001

 

There’s more than one way to be a champion. 

There’s more than one way to use your gift. 

There’s more than one way to make a difference. 

There’s more than one way to create change.

His original design for your life may not look like everyone else’s.  For some to stand with their own earthly measuring rods to compare may have not taken into account the uniqueness that makes you you.  It may look quirky to some, but to God it looks like you are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” (Psalm 139:14). 

You are not a cookie cutter fabrication of the rest.  Nor are you a tired remodel of the “best.”  Just the best you is who you are with your offerings to the world.  So go ahead and step out in the way He has planned for you.  Show them what you have to bring to the table matters.  Show them (despite the sometimes judgmental stares) your voice, your calling, and the workmanship He has sown in you with great care. 

There’s more than one way to do a lot of things, but there’s only one way to be, – that’s you!