At the beginning of the year I made a goal to write at least once a year. At 11:58 pm on April 30th I remembered.
I could’ve said oh well! But here I am keeping my word. Cheers to being inspired and late while persevering.
Keep on Keeping on!
At the beginning of the year I made a goal to write at least once a year. At 11:58 pm on April 30th I remembered.
I could’ve said oh well! But here I am keeping my word. Cheers to being inspired and late while persevering.
Keep on Keeping on!
13 As for you, if you redirect your heart and lift up your hands to Him [in prayer]- 14 if there is iniquity in your hand, remove it, and don't allow injustice to dwell in your tents- 15 then you will hold your head high, free from fault. You will be firmly established and unafraid. 16 For you will forget your suffering, recalling [it only] as waters that have flowed by. 17 [Your] life will be brighter than noonday; [its] darkness will be like the morning. 18 You will be confident, because there is hope. You will look carefully about and lie down in safety. 19 You will lie down without fear, and many will seek your favor.
I’m in physical therapy for an irritation in a very tiny ligament in my right hip. 95% of my day I am great. During the other 5% I am in excruciating pain. The pain comes when I throw my body into or out of a certain position while sitting. I have gotten into the habit of being careful how I move, but in the moments that I forget about this condition of my hip I trigger the pain.
This is also what I do with issues of my heart and mind. I often times throw my thoughts into a direction (usually away from the direction God’s Word instructs us too) and I trigger anxiety, anger, or my arch nemesis, resentment. Over the course of my conversations with God, relationship with Jesus, and quality time with the Holy Spirit I’ve learned that there is always room to grow and I am constantly being molded into the woman He sees.* I have very high expectations of the people in my life (family and my inner circle), which must be countered with great amounts of compassion. Every so often I am reminded of my impetus to resolve that ‘I don’t need a particular person’ or that it would be ‘better if we had some space’. Now, I don’t usually say these things, I do them. I become short in conversation, I ignore calls or messages, and find other ways to create ‘kind’ wedges so that my feelings don’t get hurt and expectations aren’t thwarted. (Can you imagine if God treated us this way? No, thank you!)
I usually realize I’ve yet again thrown myself into the rabbit hole of “I’m better without you” when I have a moment to breathe and check in with Holy Spirit. He gently embraces me while letting me know that’s not the way He has intended me to use the gifts of relationship. So… I take a deep breath and nestle into His embrace by coming into agreement. Agreeing that I shouldn’t write people off and take the stance of “I don’t need you”. If God has brought them here into my life, there is something that He wants me to have. If he wants me to have it, I want me to have it. I resolve to see things His way and I keep my heart soft.
I resolve to stop throwing my heart , decisions and emotions into positions that cause excruciating pain for my spirit. A pain that distracts the affection that I have for our Heavenly Father. An affection I hope you’re inspired to curate by walking through each moment with Him, my friends. Ease into His way of doing things. Be careful with yourself and ease into His loving redirection when you sense it.
Be Inspired Again.
*I know, I know, they’re distinct while being three in one, this illustration helps me embrace God’s complexity and closeness all at one time.
God is doing miracles right now. Miraculous activity in your life and in mine. Both as I write this and long after you read this God will be working the miraculous. Right before your eyes. There are miracles, signs and wonders that go unnoticed, because we aren’t tuned into Him.
The Earth is the perfect distance from the sun in order for life to thrive. The temperature of where you are is habitable, the air is breathable and you’re functioning in a manner that allows you to read and comprehend.
I just want to encourage you to be still in this season that you’re in. It may seem like nothing is going on, but God is there. What we see as mundane is an opportunity for God to show you His face. If we position ourselves in His righteousness, not our own, we can witness the beauty of His presence. Rest in whatever pace God has you in. If it’s not a pace that God has put you in, ask Him to rewire your focus. If you are drawing near to Him I guarantee you that He is doing the same.
"You draw near to those who call out to you, listening closely, especially when their hearts are true.”
Psalms 148:18 TPT
He is amazing. Amen?
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday my church asked a few of our church family to share about how Dr. King’s sacrifice has inspired and impacted them directly. It was a gentle reminder that I have so much to be grateful for. I was overwhelmed with gratitude. This time, it went beyond Dr. King and directly to God for what He did through Dr. King, my grandparents and the oceans of people that lived through the civil rights movement. It made me think about the freedom that I have to worship in the same room as people from a myriad of cultures. I have the immense privilege of serving alongside some pretty incredible people and my heritage only makes my experience richer. I sit at tables and have conversations with people that are interested in my point of view and value it. My skin and the culture it represents have been respected and as time goes on I grow fonder of God’s decision to create me as a woman with profound roots, a rich heritage and a beautiful culture.
I am grateful.
I didn’t know that I was disappointed.
I am disappointed.
I know that you’re not done. Just like the woman with the single jar of olive oil in 2 Kings. I vow to take what I have and request what I don’t. I’ll use what I have to fill what you give me. I’m supernaturally equipped. I’ll keep pouring. I’ll pour out your love and patience. I’ll pour out worship, gratitude and thanksgiving.
I still believe you. I give you my disappointment. I’m seeing the weight of my perfectionism crushed by your will. Your will is to cover my imperfections with your perfection. I surrender to it.
In your name, my love.
Amen. It is so.
“This is amazing!... As his servant, I accept whatever he has for me. May everything you have told me come to pass.”
Luke 1:38 TPT
Sometimes I hear scriptures like Psalm 91:4 that say “His massive arms are wrapped around you, protecting you. You can run under his covering of majesty and hide. His arms of faithfulness are a shield keeping you from harm.” and I think about how that must be a great place and I can’t wait to be in that place. Holy Spirit revealed my skewed perspective and I’ve realized that I am there. And Sis, if you are navigating loving Him according to the Word of God, in Christ Jesus... so are you.
As I look around my bedroom that I have slowly decorated and saturated in prayer, singing (on and off key ha!), crying, waiting repenting, soaking in God’s presence, I see how everything is a love letter to me. It beats flowers at my desk and sweet nothings in my ear, although those are quite nice. 😉 From the hummingbirds on my wall to the pink chair I prayed and searched for. The board with my one way ticket to New York from July 30, 2013, the letter from my Dance student, and my UF degree. The canvased paintings that I found at Marshall’s in very challenging seasons. The unicorn lamp that was a gift and the sheets from my granny that carry love and a legacy of care. It’s a collection of God’s love for my natural eye and for my spiritual eye.
I don’t have to wonder. Because I’m here. Here in His arms.
I am indeed wrapped in His arms where He is protecting me. My life’s purpose, our life’s purpose, is it to run deeper and deeper into the covering of His majesty. His arms of faithfulness are wrapped around us.
As I purpose and navigate towards knowing Him in a more intimate way I am finding more and more rest in knowing that He is my refuge. I am wrapped. I am covered. I am consumed.
You are wrapped.
You are covered.
You are consumed.
In Jesus’ name, Amen,
The potency of black culture is not a sporadic phenomenon. I believe that the influence of the African Diaspora as a whole is because of the seeds of sorrow and perseverance planted by our ancestors. It’s not spooky or creepy. It’s real, beautiful and has been centuries in the making.
The Bible teaches us that we find the beauty of Jesus and unlock different layers of His goodness and treasures of peace and love when we endure trials of many kinds. Even when we emerge from the aftermath of oppression with gratitude. That’s not just on a day to day individual basis, but on a generational premise. Some inherit wealth while others inherit property. As a part of the diaspora here in America we have inherited a joy, a beauty, a sass, a strength, an endurance that could only have been compressed from the toil and troubles our people endured. It’s in our music, our dancing, our clothing designs, our childhood hand games. It’s embedded in the parts of our braids, the coconut oil and Shea butter in our bathrooms. It surfaces in our exclamation of “Hey girl!” and our contemptible “Oh no, he didn’t”. It’s in the passion behind our protests and our restless fight for equality. What the devil has intended for evil, God intends for good (Genesis 50:20). Every single time. On every fundamental and complex level of life.
When I got to Spelman in 2010 and learned that the Bible was used to support the enslavement of Africans I was crushed. I began to question the authenticity of my faith. I couldn’t understand how God could allow this to happen. It took years of asking, seeking, praying and hoping for me to understand that it was not the perfect will of God that there should be this type of suffering. It’s not God’s will for anyone to suffer. But within the intertwining of wills and the will of fallen humanity God was able to redeem the purpose of black people throughout the world.
My prayer is that through the celebration of Black American culture you are empowered to celebrate yourself and the roots God has given you. Black girl Magic, Black Boy Joy, and Black Lives Matter, among countless others, are all movements to empower and enlighten you. I challenge you to expand your expectations as a lover of Jesus Christ. Also, believe that God is moving and using the Joy that's being planted into the black community in order to help shift the entire world in the direction of the Kingdom that God originally intended. Blessings aren't simply meant just for the receiver. It’s also for those fortunate enough to witness it.
I am the flower buding from the aftermath of their pain and joy. To say that I am grateful is an understatement.
Hey!! I'm excited to share this with you!! God's joy is a mighty mighty weapon. I hope that you're encouraged by this! And pleeeeaae bear with me as I learn how to change these video thumbnails. ha!
Thank you for being amazing. Thank you for being my rock. Thank you for carrying me over and through. Lord, as I linger on the precipice of a different season I ask that you protect me from any distractions and anything that would disguise its self as being from you, but is actually from the enemy. Lord, help me heal in the deepest places where no one can see. In the places that have been cracked open. The deeper places. Please give me tunnel vision. Father, this cup, please take it, but nevertheless, not my will but your will be done.
I vow to praise you. Even when it hurts like hell. I’ll praise you when I don’t understand it. I’ll praise you when everyone around me expects otherwise. I’ll stand firm on your word. You’re my only solid foundation.
As I have to endure time, I ask that you encompass me with your grace and that your Holy Spirit moves in and through me more profoundly than ever before. I need you. We need you. Have your way, father. Your way is the best way. I trust you and give it all to you. Every ounce of desire. Every memory, every moment of happiness and sadness. I can’t do it without you.
Thank you for a peace that surpasses all understanding. I now know what it’s like and I’m blown away by the creativity of your provision. Complete your work in me. The way that only you can. Silence the doubt. Drown it. Kill it. I don’t want anything to get in the way of you being pleased.
Father, as you abide in heaven, your name is without blemish and today I pray that your will and your Kingdom flourish in the realm of my heart, home and every sphere of my life, the same exact way that it is in heaven. Today, give me what I need and forgive me for I am not perfect by any means. At the same time, help me continue to forgive. Everyday and every moment. God, please lead me away from the temptation of anything that would divert your hand in my life. Deliver me away from the enemy's hand and his plans to distract, hurt or harm me. All the power, honor and glory belong to you, God. Holy Spirit be stirred up and occupy what’s yours.
In Jesus, name Amen
I am awestruck at God’s ability to move in my life even while it feels like I’m doing everyday mundane tasks. In this season of life I am fascinated with the Holy Spirit and my relationship with Him. Some of my friends and I have been diving into Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer and it is helping transform my walk with God. I have been learning about how the Holy Spirit inhabits our lives as we allow him access to every part of our being. First our spirit, and then eventually our f (mind, will and emotions) and body. This amazingly beautiful gift of access to God’s Spirit makes me wanna throw confetti! It means that with time we are able to hear and perceive Him more clearly. Luke 12:48 in the Message version of the Bible tells us that “Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities!” This gift of the Holy Spirit comes with a responsibility that I have taken lightly for a very, very long time.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t always want to do what God asks me to do. Sometimes I feel more inclined to do what I am more comfortable with or I feel inadequate and unequipped, which is a LIE from the enemy, but we’ll save that for another day. The Bible tells us that even when we feel this way, when we are in a constant state of surrender to Jesus, or when we are committed to working out our salvation (Philippians 4:12), and the Holy Spirit is inhabiting our lives, this constant state of surrender keeps our will malleable. Philippians 2:13 says, “It is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” The beauty of this particular verse is that GOD is at work in us. Ain't that good? He is a “good, good Father” and understands that our spirits are willing but our flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41).
Now let’s be very clear. As God is at work in us, our state of surrender is not passive. It is active. Surrender for us as lovers of Jesus Christ means that we keep watch and avoid the enemy's schemes. Ask God what that looks like for you in this season. Matthew 26:41 tells us to “watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation…” Right here Jesus makes it crystal clear that we fall tempted to cleave to our own will when we are not alert.
You can rest in knowing that God will reveal your next steps and give you the grace to do it. What seems unbearable at first will become your heart’s desire if you are surrendered to Christ and living under His Lordship. Rest in knowing that your relationship with Him is active. Work your faith and know that He will give you ease even when your pain solicits tears and when the relationship or job falls apart.
Trust the Holy Spirit within you and be intentional about listening. Listening will reveal His will, but more so it will build your relationship with Him. There’s no love like the love of Jesus. In your journey of being led by Him, let searching for God in His word and the community of believers around you encourage you to strive on.
With Sisterly Love,
A dear friend of mine, Amber, lives by the motto "Do It Afraid." These 3 words are enough to give the devil and his minions a run for their money. We often allow fear to paralyze us from moving forward and seeing our lives as God does. Whole. Inspiring. Brave.
What does it mean for you to be fearless? Is being fearless the absence of fear? Or is being fearless doing whatever "it" is while you are hesitant or afraid. I recently took a huge leap of faith and when I jumped in I was scared out of my mind. An opportunity that I'd prayed and fasted for over a period of years... dare I say the last decade, presented itself. I cried, tried to find a way out of it, and reasoned that it wasn't the blessing it appeared to be. Nevertheless, I moved forward and kept my eyes on Jesus. I don't regret it. Three loaded but simple guidelines to follow when afraid are
1. Stop and Ask God for help!
2. Meditate on God's promises. The Bible is a weapon against the enemy and a balm for our souls (Read Isaiah 44:1-2; James 1:2-4; Joshua 1:9; Psalms 121:1-2; Ephesians 6:10-12;)
3. Listen and keep an eye out for God and His answer to your prayer for help. Expect God to show up in an amazing way! Every single day is loaded with opportunity to encounter God more profoundly than the last.
I hope that you're encouraged and that today is more amazing than yesterday!
Be Inspired Again!
As I write this I'm full of emotion. I've had a tremendous surge of Gods presence and revelation. Then in the next breath my community has lost a dear friend and Spelman sister. I'm processing the grief, but I'm also reminded of the importance of being in God's presence. It's not me running away from the reality. It's me jumping into the arms of God because I don't understand how to process the ebs and flows of life. The sadness. The disbelief. This song talks about choosing to worship, surrender and stand in awe of God. Read the lyrics, watch the video, tune into Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/track/1ed3wNCecRIp6SugyR0w2J). Dive in and tell me your thoughts.
So Will I
God of creation
There at the start
Before the beginning of time
With no point of reference
You spoke to the dark
And fleshed out the wonder of lightAnd as You speak
A hundred billion galaxies are born
In the vapor of Your breath the planets form
If the stars were made to worship so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You’ve made
Every burning star
A signal fire of grace
If creation sings Your praises so will IGod of Your promise
You don’t speak in vain
No syllable empty or void
For once You have spoken
All nature and science
Follow the sound of Your voiceAnd as You speak
A hundred billion creatures catch Your breath
Evolving in pursuit of what You said
If it all reveals Your nature so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You say
Every painted sky
A canvas of Your grace
If creation still obeys You so will I
So will I
So will IIf the stars were made to worship so will I
If the mountains bow in reverence so will I
If the oceans roar Your greatness so will I
For if everything exists to lift You high so will I
If the wind goes where You send it so will I
If the rocks cry out in silence so will I
If the sum of all our praises still falls shy
Then we’ll sing again a hundred billion timesGod of salvation
You chased down my heart
Through all of my failure and pride
On a hill You created
The light of the world
Abandoned in darkness to dieAnd as You speak
A hundred billion failures disappear
Where You lost Your life so I could find it here
If You left the grave behind You so will I
I can see Your heart in everything You’ve done
Every part designed in a work of art called love
If You gladly chose surrender so will I
I can see Your heart
Eight billion different ways
Every precious one
A child You died to save
If You gave Your life to love them so will ILike You would again a hundred billion times
But what measure could amount to Your desire
You’re the One who never leaves the one behind
Songwriters: Joel Houston / Benjamin Hastings / Michael FatkinSo Will I lyrics © Capitol Christian Music GroupFeedbackShow lessVideos
My dearest. My beautiful one. You were our prayer before the planets were set in orbit. We talked about how we would make you the perfect shade and height. We talked about the tears you'd shed and how we would use them to show you that we loved you. We talked about the other hummingbirds that we would send your way as demonstrations of our affection toward you. We took into consideration love, loss, death and life. We knew what your pain and joy would be. We knew that there would be a serpent bent towards destroying our harmony. This love we have for you is so strong that it shines through the deepest heartache and confusion. From the perching Hummingbird to the love and presence it's sent to remind you of... we are here. We always have been and always will be.
With Deepest Affection,
Before a flower becomes an integral part of a brides bouquet or a jewel in a field it is a seed. Before our lives burst with life seeds are planted. Some are solicited and others aren't. Some seeds are smaller and seem more significant than others. Some seeds survive and others don't. It's up to us to decide what we do and do not water and fertilize. We can choose to invest in the God ideas or the fear projected by our flesh. God is speaking and spewing seeds into your life.
“My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.”
Keep your eyes on God.
There is an invisible enemy bent towards thwarting you from all that God has for you. He will do any and everything to destroy, or get you to destroy, what you've been given and trusted with. An amazing attribute of God is how He takes the ashes, defies the science of our logic and creates beauty from the perils of life... both the "large" and "small". If we are distracted we can miss an aurora borealis or sorts. Once we take our eyes off of God we miss the tapestries of beauty he is weaving in plain sight. We sense unintended anxiety, confusion and spend time trying to concoct a solution when everything we need is saturated in the act of locking our spiritual eyes onto Jesus'.
Read His Word.
Pause and pray.
Go and pray.
Tell the thoughts they don't belong to you.
Recall His faithfulness.
Shout it from the rooftops.
Take the day off.
Get back to Work.
Whatever you do do not take your eyes off of Him.
Now Playing: "The Garden" by Kari Jobe
I have to start off by saying "thank you!" Thank you for welcoming me back so warmly and allowing me to share in the journey of your lives from 7,973 miles away. I am sure the time leading up to your graduation has and will be filled with wisdom, gifts, excitement and maybe even fear of the unknown. I would like for you to know that what you are feeling has been felt before. It has been survived before and because of that you will be stronger than before. Please don’t ever forget that you deserve the best. Not only because you will be a graduate of OWLAG, but because it is your right as a young woman. Sometimes the “best” may not be the most luxurious option and it may stretch the limits of your humility, but it will be safest for you spiritually and physically.
My hearts prayer is that you never forget that you are loved. I flew down to celebrate with you and regardless of whether I get to sit and spend time with each of you individually I hope that you see the value in your presence. One of the fundamental principles I live by is that from time to time the best thing for us to do in life is to show up and be present. It may be through a phone call, a surprise visit, or giving a listening ear. So, my little sisters, don’t forget to "be present" and "show up" as you journey through this next season of life. This blog is not much, but it is my way of "showing up." You will be happy to know that you and your OWLAG sisters inspired me to start blogging and helped fuel my dream of creating "Be Inspired Again." You are lovely and this is how I know that you are equipped to walk through the joy's and challenges that are ahead of you.
Be Inspired. Again.
Do you remember being a child and learning that only male lions have the large brown mane? I do, and I was so disappointed. I also remember writing her off as weaker, because she didn’t have the crown of hair that resembles a blow dried Afro. As an adult I have come to learn the contrary. The lioness is confident, resilient fierce and majestic. One of my favorite speakers, Lisa Bevere, has triggered my obsession with “embracing my inner lioness.” I once heard Lisa discuss how the lioness uses the same teeth and paws to kill prey, and nurture her babies. Lioness’ hunt together and provide for their pride. Isn’t that amazing?
The same way I viewed the lioness is the exact same way we see ourselves and other women. Without the manicured mane and nails or latest trends it is our nature to write other people and ourselves off as less than. Instead of not judging a book by its cover, lets think about not judging the lioness by her mane. Let’s embrace all of the facets of our womanhood, no matter what society and our culture may tell us. Here are a few ways to embrace your inner lioness.
1. Tell yourself that you’re stunning and answer, “I know.” Instead of waiting for validation from others, validate yourself. I realize that some of us may not believe it 100%, but with every self proclaimed call and response you’re building yourself up.
2. Don’t let fear and failure stop you. The lioness is indeed strong and ferocious, but she does not succeed at every attempt to catch prey. Imagine the decline in the lion population if they gave up after an Impala managed to escape the hunting pack. After we don’t succeed at something we must regroup and go for it again. There are people that need you to keep going. Your pride is counting on you.
3. Build Community. The lioness is cute and all, but she wouldn’t be as majestic on her own. She needs her pride and so do you. Find value in keeping a group of people around you that believe in what you’re doing and know what you are capable of. It can be family, a friend, co-workers or business partner. There is power in numbers and you’ll thank yourself.
The next time someone says “you fight like a girl” tell him or her that you know and give them a nice growl. I’m joking about the growl…maybe, but remember that your femininity is synonymous with strength, gentleness, fierceness and compassion. The same mouth that sings lullabies and cheers on her counter parts is the same one that you use to rebuke and speak up for what you believe in. Hold your head up, embrace your power and show the world what resilient and beautiful strength really looks like from the inside out.
A few months ago I had the incredibly humbling experience of attending and serving at the Hillsong Conference in New York City. I've attended our conferences before and I've always left with an empowering sense of "floating on air" & "God is so in love with me". This year, however... The experience and encounters with God didn't translate as soft and delicate inclinations as they have in the past.
When my pastor, Carl Lentz, hit the platform I felt a major wave of CONVICTION, not guilt, confront my spirit. With widened eyes and a heart fully awake I knew in that moment that this wouldn't be like past conference experiences. In this particular session Pastor Carl explained that we don't have to pray for boldness to share our faith. We just need to do it. Get out there and do it. It felt like my heart stopped.
Was I ACTUALLY equipped to do all of the bold declaring of God's glory that I felt responsible for. Could I ACTUALLY share my faith anywhere, everywhere, and in everything? Were my excuses ACTUALLY full of rotten, processed, leftover Bologna? Yes. Yes they were. This meant that I had/have the ability to take action right away.
As the conference sessions rolled on, I made an attempt to take in every moment and hear every word with a steady and opened heart. Going into Conference I knew that God wanted to speak to me about surrender and to help me understand the depths of the term in regards to our relationship with Him.
Prior to Conference I had a Luke chapter 5:1-10 (NLT) moment. It reads:
1One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. 2He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. 3Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there.
4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”
5“Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” 6And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear! 7A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.
8When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m too much of a sinner to be around you.” 9For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. 10His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.
(Emphasis My Own)
Before the conference I was ready to pull in one of my "nets," wash it out, place it in an airtight Zip-Loc bag and toss it under my bed with suitcases around it. I was D.O.N.E. with the idea of hoping and waiting for this particular net to be full of "fish". I concluded that I do not need the future contents of this "net" and life would be fine, peachy keen, "A" okay. I concluded that being I.N.D.E.P.E.N.D.E.N.T ('do you know what that means’, ha!) of this particular "catch" was the life for me.
Low and behold this was the very thing God used to show me just how deep His love is. There is a massive amount of strength and nobility that comes along with waiting on God’s timing. Instead of retreating, as I normally do, God was pushing me to "believe again" with a new boldness and renewed faith. Surrendering in this instance looks like believing God even when it may hurt. It is putting on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:11) and digging into the trenches of my emotions and personal will to gut out my flesh.
On the last night of Conference I was worshiping and as clear as day the Holy Spirit reminded me of the story of Abraham and how he had to wait YEARS, before God's promise of Isaac came to pass (Genesis 12-22; Romans 4:18-19). Am I any different than Abraham? Do I not have to surrender to God's way of doing things on his timetable? In the moments that followed, Pastor Steve Furtick proceeded to speak about Abraham. God had prepared my heart and spirit for what He was about to teach. My jaw dropped when I heard what he was saying and I knew that God was calling for my full attention.
"Maybe it's not buried... it's planted" - Steven Furtick
Steve proceeded to teach how the most insignificant things are where we are called to be the most faithful. When we "plant" seeds of faith whether it's turning down every guy who comes into your life because he was not lined up with who you knew God wanted you to be with or moving to New York City against your 'better judgment' and budget, we must keep them in the soil and make sure the sacrifices progress naturally. Surviving the soil is critical. Post Hillsong Conference I am reminded that we have to be steadfast and finish out what God has given us. God is definitely doing a new thing (Isaiah 43:19), but He will also finish out the good works that He has started in us (Philippians 1:6). Don't abort your mission. Listen to what instructions God is giving you about your “net.”
"If God has not given you anything new, be faithful with what is in your hand." -Bobbi Houston.
After any period of concentrated amounts of the studying the Word, worshipping and fellowshipping in God's presence one of the fears can be losing what we have gained and not being able to hold onto that experience. We must trust that if we are truly bent towards diving deeper into God's presence and having His Kingdom Come, the experience and knowledge gained will absorbed into our spirits. The Holy Spirit will call it to your memory when it's needed and it doesn't hurt to meditate on it.
This isn't a season of comfortable faith for me. So, if you sense the same calling then grab your heavy duty boots, fatigue print v-neck, your Bible and your favorite lipstick (or chap stick) and get to work.
Be Filled. Again.
This is the first of what I'll refer to as "Vintage Inspiration." Posts from my previous blog that still inspire me. I'm hoping and praying that they do the same for you.
February 23, 2016
Originally Titled " One Teeny Tiny Opening For One Teeny Tiny Thought"
On my way home the Lord reminded me that the enemy will do any and everything he can to make us forget who we are in him and thus distracting us. We get confused, flustered, overwhelmed and our dreams become warped in the enemies lies. When in reality we ARE sons and daughters of the King. We have been renewed by the transforming of our minds (Romans 12:2). We have our feet fitted with the Gospel of peace and joy (Ephesians 6:15), not anxiety and sadness. We have access to the yoke of God and don’t have to carry our own, so there's no need to feel overwhelmed. We have the power to break out of the patterns the enemy may have us running in. For all of us he knows what distracts and ushers us into a place where we may feel distant from God. He can’t take the power from us, but he may lead us into forgetting that we are powerful in Jesus.
This past month or so I have been “attacked” or bombarded with heavy anxiety about relationships, forgiveness, my identity in Christ and self worth, my faith. While I am grateful for the tons of amazing things that have been happening, I allowed my mind to meditate on the medium sized red dot of awfulness on the canvas of my life instead of the white space that has been left untouched and fruitful. It took me to a mental space that I don't know I've ever been in. It was almost impossible for me to worship with this built up anger I had. THIS is when I knew that something had to give. After a train ride with one of my dear friends and sisters I was reminded that this is NOT what it appears to be. It's not a battle of flesh and blood, or these issues that are trivial in comparison to eternity. It is in fact the father of lies and his stooges that we are up against (Ephesians 6:12). And yes, it really is that deep. When we don’t see how deeply rooted some of these issues are and come to terms with the deep roots, we target the fruit of those lies with prayer and fasting instead of the root of it. Satan, Damian, Lucifer. Whatever he’s going by these days, he has a hand in it, we water it and allow it to grow, but all he needs is one teeny tiny opening for one teeny tiny thought. All the while, we have more than enough strength, backup, support and power to serve him and his demons a cease a desist ordinance. But if we can be distracted they’ve got us.
On my walk home tonight I got a glimpse and reminder of who we are in Christ and the power that comes with that. Every single thought has to be taken captive. His attacks have become more advanced than what I (and some of you) have experienced before, because God is using us for even greater glory in this season and it's a transition into dreams that are going to bring people closer to Jesus.
All it takes is one teeny tiny decision to trust God and His Humungous Awesomeness. Well, maybe it’s not a teeny tiny decision, but it’s just the beginning of great things in Christ.
You are beautiful. Psalm 139:14
You are loved. Zephaniah 3:17
You are Victorious. 1 Corinthians 15:57
You are above and not beneath. Deuteronomy 28:13
Put on your armor. Again. Ephesians 6