There’s a Better Way to Fight the Battle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever felt completely worn down both in spirit and in body? We are sometimes overwhelmed with obligations, responsibilities, tasks that we may want to do, and tasks that maybe we might even dread a bit that are necessary so we just do them, obligations to family, church, ministry, employer, and the list goes on and on? Let me be honest, here: I have felt that way at times, and it is a challenging thing to go through.

For example, something as routine as washing dishes can get overwhelming. Really now, how hard can it be to wash two of everything for a meal? In my head I am thinking that maybe this once I can just fill the sink with soapy water and let the dishes soak. After all, I rationalize, I am so busy and too tired to stand there to finish the dishes, so here is the way that I overcome that urge to do nothing, every time: I get up from the table, and purposely gather all of the dishes we have used and put all of the condiments back into the refrigerator. I start to empty the sink, and run the water. I put some Dawn in the sink and begin to put the dishes in. By this time I’m committed. I might as well wash the glasses, and before I realize it, every dish has been cleaned, and it didn’t take too long to accomplish it. After I wipe down the counters and the stove, I am done.

There have been times I think, I tricked myself into taking care of dishes, or William will start running the water and we end up doing dishes together. Either way it wasn’t such a terrible task.

We can either allow Satan to become a stumbling block in our lives, or we can stand behind the Lord as he goes forward before us.

It may be easier to do nothing, but the consequences of doing nothing are great.

Without acting on our faith we lose our victory, and feel defeat.

We lose our strength to keep trying because we have lost our joy or more accurately, we allowed Satan to steal our joy from us. How can we keep him from stealing our joy? by praying in the Holy Ghost. It says that the Joy of the Lord is our strength. In Isaiah 12:3, it says “…With joy shall ye draw waters from the wells of salvation.” If we want true joy and strength, it requires action on our part. We must believe that the Lord is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we could ask or think, and by faith act on our beliefs.

No longer will we settle for table scraps when the Lord has prepared a feast before us. We must reach for it. We must desire it for the Lord to bring it to pass. In this week’s Lattereign, I challenge you to expect God to do miracles in your life. What do you have to lose? Are You expecting a Miracle

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Are You Ready to Come Out of the Darkness, and be Filled With his Light?

It is the Lord’s desire that we be established in the faith and that we grow spiritually. We need to grow beyond the infant stage (milk) and begin to desire (meat) of his Word. When we begin to get an appetite for the Word, and for Truth, we are ready to dig deep into our spiritual closets and allow the Lord to cleanse and change the things that would hinder us from serving him with our whole heart. When we search out the things that aren’t pleasing to God and get them under the blood, we’ll  have revival in Jesus’ Name.

Preparing for His Presence

The more you plan; the less you stress; so stay prepared to pass the test

Pray, and when you’ve reached the end, pray. YOU will, the victory win.

It’s up to you to take control of your life, your walk with God, your goals.

If they’re in line with God’s will, he’ll carry you every step up the hill.

Enter into this present joy, today, and give the sacrifice of praise.

He’ll fill you ‘till you overflow with blessings and the Holy Ghost.

Hold your head high and rejoice evermore, for your Savior is waiting,

he is nigh the door.

Enter into his presence and you’ll be forever changed

As you reach toward heavenly places

As you learn to call on his Name.

It’s not too late to seek his face, for he desires our worship in this place.

His mercy endureth forever, and his grace does much more abound.

When we offer up praises; he loves the sound.

It is he who will establish and strengthen us

As we follow on to know him and learn to trust.

We are well able to pass the trials and tests before us,

For he gave his best, lights the way, and adores us.

“Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily he shalt give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:3-4).

It’s not about us; but it’s all about him and his purpose for our lives is for us to worship him in spirit and in truth.

In this week’s Lattereign, we challenge you to trust God for It’s time to shine in the darkness.

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Resting in the Secret Place

It is probably one of the most neglected parts of our lives, rest. We tend to go at breakneck speed to the next hurdle we want to jump only to arrive still exhausted without even realizing why, or celebrating the small victories along the way. I saw an advertisement once that had different people who were so involved in texting or surfing that they would step off the curb into oncoming traffic, fall into the fountain, or barely miss a manhole cover that was off. People have more connection with their latest tweet or post than they do with the ones who are sitting right across from them at the table. I challenge you to spend time together.

We look at all the wonders of the world through the lenses of our cameras, and miss the greater picture. Nature is breathtaking, yet, we catch only a frame of what could be engraved on our memories forever. I’m all for taking pictures to capture moments and people in our lives, but I challenge you to take your picture then put your camera or other devices away and just be in the moment. It is about rest, and really being with the ones you love.

I don’t know about you, but it is exhausting trying to do everything without resting in the secret place and listening for direction. Where is a place that you may find peace and clarity in all of life’s confusing circumstances? It is in his presence. I know that you may be thinking that I don’t understand how busy you are. There’s not enough time to wait on God or pray before I start my day, and by the time I get home, I’m just too tired because I have xyz to do still.  The demands on my time and attention are overwhelming, yet you’re saying that I have to take the time to rest in his presence?

To that I will say that, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11). We can’t afford to wear ourselves out without finding a place to rest in his presence. It is there that we will find peace and restoration. Isn’t it time?

In this week’s, Lattereign, we learn that our place is Resting in the Secret Place  and abiding under the shadow of the Almighty.

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Do you Really Want to be Free?

tomato fruit1There is a story about a child who decided to run away from home. He was very young, maybe 5 or 6. He lived in the city, so he had packed a small backpack, and slammed the door as he got on his tricycle and started pedaling. He was determined that this was it, and he was never going to come back. He went around the block a few times until it became quite amusing. A neighbor was sitting on his porch, and after about the fourth time the little boy passed his house as he was going around the block, he stopped him and asked him what he was doing. The little boy explained in angry tears, “I’m just running away.” Curious, the neighbor said, “are you lost? You have passed by my porch four times.” The little boy looked up at him, and said, “No, sir, I’m not lost; I’m just not allowed to cross the street.”

How often do we pedal around the block in our lives and never take a step of faith to break out of our comfort zone? We are filled with determination, zeal, and maybe even enthusiasm about venturing into a new phase of our ministry, but it never goes beyond that stage, because we have convinced ourselves that we’re not allowed to cross the street. We set up roadblocks called fear of the unknown, and what little mustard seed of faith that we had begins to wither before it has had a chance to be nurtured and take root in good soil.

It doesn’t take long to put your desires in the back of your closet, and continually pile more pressing demands on the top of it until it is so buried that it’s forgotten. Wait. I pray that the Lord will bring those things to my remembrance. We self-criticize and agonize over what might have been if we had the courage to take that step of faith, and of course the enemy tells us that we are failures for even considering the possibilities of resurrecting those things that the Lord has spoken into our hearts.

Consider this: When a seed is planted in the earth it doesn’t grow to maturity immediately. There is often weeks or even months before you may start seeing signs of life. Do you think that the seeds that you planted are just dead until the day they become mature plants? No. That seed although hidden, is very much alive and growing. Often we expect instant results from our prayers, when the Lord knows that there is a time of preparation needed if that seed is going to thrive.

I would go on to say if you want to see your ministry thrive, it takes prayer, planning, and time waiting on God to prepare the field and get it ready for the harvest. You will not see results immediately for anything that you put your hand to. The Lord desires that you be faithful and that you learn to, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

I will never fully understand why some things that I have desired to do in my life are still in the hidden stage, while others have manifested into something tangible. So, as long as I keep moving forward and doing the will of God for my life to the best of my ability, I will let the rest of my desires rest in his care until such time that he says they are ready to spring forth into life.

It is worth the wait. We must learn to walk with God, and not get too far ahead of his direction. He has prepared the way, and he desires that we walk in it. Why? Because he knows the obstacles that we must go through to find victory. Unless you follow the path you’ll never reach your destination.

In this week’s Lattereign, I admonish you that  When it’s hopeless hold on to hope.

Do we really want to be free? Freedom comes with submitting ourselves to the Lord, and learning to lean on him. We have this assurance, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Have faith in God.

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Are You Ready to Open the Door?

 

“I know thy works, behold I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it” (Revelation 3:8). “Behold I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). Note that in Revelation 3:8 the door is open and by verse 20 the Lord stands at a door and knocks. He desires that we open the door.

We must have an open heart to receive the provision and build a relationship with God. He is always at the door no matter whether we choose to let him in or refuse to be in his presence. Being in God’s presence requires us to be committed to love, repentance, and worship and although the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us it is our responsibility to open the door and allow the Lord to sup with us. He longs to reach into the depths of our Spirit and shine his light.

Before a door can be opened it’s required that we turn the doorknob. In our walk with God, we are required to repent and turn our lives around as the Lord examines our heart with his spotlight. He sees the dark corners and knows that no matter how deeply he must search that if enough of his light enters into your room it will be illuminated. Not everything revealed by his light will be beautiful and the ugliness of sin must be purged before we can truly have the door opened wide.

It is required that when we allow God to open the door that we must be willing to go through it and step out in faith to believe and accept the unconditional love that the Lord wants to show to us. If we keep ourselves hidden in the dark, nothing will change. We will be in the dark along with our bitter spirit, hopeless ambitions and empty dreams. Why do people continue to wallow in the dark room of their spirit when the Lord is standing at the door knocking? If you are open to God, your liberty is only one door knob turn away and the door can only be opened from the inside of your heart.

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne” (Revelation 3:20-21).

The doors that we choose to open, holds the victories that the Lord will refuse to withhold.

In this week’s Lattereign, we learn that Giving thanks Never Goes out of Style.

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Father’s Day: (The Bike and the Man who Wouldn’t Let his Little Girl Quit)

“Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him, until he plead my cause, and execute judgment for me: he will bring forth to the light, and I shall behold his righteousness” (Micah 7:8-9).

When I was growing up, my enemy was my bicycle. Okay, I know that having a bicycle should not give me that feeling, but you don’t understand. After I had drooled every time I even thought about having a bike, and I had longed for it for over a year, I finally got one for my birthday. You would think that I would have been more grateful, and I was, until that first time I tried to ride it in the backyard.

I started out fine, and even was able to get up some speed and soar through the air with the wind blowing through my long auburn hair, but then, the oak tree root and loose dirt met my tire and I did soar: over the handle bars and flat on my back on the ground, and the handle bar fell on my neck. My prideful wounded self, got up, dusted myself off and got back on to try again. Not! I stomped my way to the back porch steps and sat down beside my daddy.

Daddy was quiet and gave me some time to compose myself, then he asked me a simple question: are you ready to get back on, now? Hot tears fell down my cheeks and I whispered a sobbing, no, my neck hurts, Daddy. We sat in silence a little longer. After what seemed a lifetime, my daddy asked me, aren’t you ready to try to get on it, again. I won’t make you get on it, you can park the bike under the shelter, or you can give it to someone else, but I wish you would try again.

Another long stretch of silence, and by that time I felt peace. Okay, Daddy, I’ll try it just for you.

Gone were my previous fears that I would fail at learning to ride that bike without any training wheels. It was replaced with the desire to make my daddy happy because he had saved up for over a year to get that bike. He kept it at his mechanic shop, gave it a fresh coat of paint, and rebuilt it from top to bottom. I could finally be like other kids my age. I could finally fit in. I don’t even know now why it was so important to fit in, because I already had my daddy’s approval and adoration. He kept me safe from all that may harm me, and no one could have loved me more in his own way.

After that day, I never fell off of the bike again. When I needed to learn to respect things, he taught me how. The bike had gotten a flat tire and I needed to get it patched. Daddy wasn’t moving fast enough for me, so I decided to help him out. I rolled the bike to the service station and got it patched.

What I thought was a good thing, became a lesson in obedience, because I disobeyed my daddy. As a consequence, he took the wheel off of the bike, and didn’t allow me to ride it for a long time. I learned obedience and how to wait. It was so long that I almost had lost interest in the bike.

I never complained about it, but knew that my disobedience had disappointed him, and I was willing to wait as long as it took. He fixed it on my birthday. That day I felt grateful and fully forgiven. The damage had been repaired in our relationship and in my bike.

Today is Father’s Day, and if he was alive, we would have carrot cake, and laugh about the beautiful bike and the little girl who learned how to not quit. It is important to remember those life lessons that shape us to be the best we can be.

I give honor to the men of God who pour so much into our young people, so they too can learn. In this week’s Lattereign, we learn more about Raising up spiritual leaders.

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All Things Work Together for Good

“The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29). “Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do” (Proverbs 29:9).

God’s got a secret? Absolutely. He chooses when and if he’ll reveal things to us. I used to think that I was the only one who ever questioned God, that is, until I picked up my Bible and started to search the scriptures. Since the beginning of time, mankind has questioned God’s motives, plans, and his will. I never will be able to figure out God’s complete purpose for my life.

It takes a daily walk to move with God’s Spirit and to be a blessing to others. I’m willing to do that, but at the same time, I try to explain my actions to others and that’s where I have difficulty sometimes, because it’s hard to explain something that you don’t understand yourself. For example, I know where God brought me to and the bondage that he delivered me from, and if I were God; I don’t think that I could be as merciful as he has been towards me.

Why is it that I have such a hard time forgiving myself or expecting that the Lord wants to bless me just as much as he wants to bless any other of his people? He doesn’t see us the same way that we see ourselves. We’re looking at our past through a narrow vision; while Jesus sees us through his precious blood that was shed at Calvary. I like his vantage point much better because it gives us a better view of everlasting life. While we’re critical of our own imperfections; God sees us as the repaired vessels that he has fashioned for his purpose. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. If God in his omnipotent power sees us only through his blood; then, why can’t I trust him to know that I’m redeemed—thoroughly cleansed from the sin that I was born into?

What a blessing to have a Savior who loves us so much that he’d be willing to die for us. I’m more than ever convinced that I am blessed. Sometimes I consider how awesome God is and I can’t figure out how he is able to bless us when all that we do is criticize and complain—but that’s okay—because he is God. All is well in the blessed realm of God’s love. So many times I am amazed of how the Lord reveals his secrets to us as he wills. Just when we think that it can’t get any better than this, living for God, he sheds some light on a new purpose, or I should say a continuation of an old purpose.

“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it” (Deuteronomy 30:15-16).

I know that he’s able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think; and once again, he’s gone far beyond my expectations. Thank you, Lord, for being my friend and a help to me. I don’t deserve it, but yes, I am blessed.

It isn’t up to me to know everything. Deuteronomy clearly tells us that if it’s secret, it belongs to God. God has given us the things that are revealed for our inheritance, and he promises if we’ll keep the law; that we’ll prosper in all that we do.  It’s time for God’s people to prosper. We’ve waited on the Lord for such a long time and now that he’s bringing his perfect will to pass, we mustn’t stop moving in the direction that’ll lead us to live in eternal security. We have to keep on praying, working, and doing God’s will; if we expect God to give us a revelation of his word.

We have an open door and God’s promise; who could ask for anything more? In this week’s Lattereign we look at how All things work together for good.

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It is Well With My Soul

The Lord leads each one of us in a unique way through our lives, and sometimes, the life that we are called to live may take us down a crooked path. Our journey through life may take us down roads that we never chose to travel, and yet, we find ourselves just trying to take careful steps to avoid the rocks and pits that would make us fall.

Who am I to question God’s wisdom in these matters? I am a servant, called to do his will and to be a witness for his glory. I didn’t bargain for some of the trials that I’ve had to face in my life; but at the same time, I know that I have a privilege to rejoice in the God of my salvation, who always causes me to triumph.

When I am sick; I have the Balm of Gilead. When I am thirsty; I have the fountain of living waters to draw from; when I am hungry; He is the living bread that sustains me. When I feel alone; He comes to me at the thought of his name; When I am weak, without the strength to carry on; he picks me up and carries me.

When I am confronted with the attacks of the enemy; He stands in the gap for me and he upholds me with his free spirit.

In the weakness of flesh, I may look at the storms of life and forget that he made the storms. He is always in control of every situation and we must learn to trust him because he is faithful to us. What may seem like a rejection, could very well be the Lord’s hand at work in our lives.

If you lose a job; you may rejoice, because you will find a better one. Don’t give up, for the Best is already here! You will never be able to have less than God’s best, because he is not an inferior God who gives us leftovers of his blessings. We will always have the best of everything because the Lord is our provider. He has made us the head and not the tail; and, we can stand before his throne boldly and proclaim that he is Lord. There is no second best with God.

He eternally supplies our every need, and when we feel that there’s not any hope left, God steps up to the plate and scores the final points. We win this game of life, if we will continue to trust God.

Don’t give up on your dreams, because they are your only hope to change the world for the better. “Without a vision; the people perish.” You’re invited to enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.
Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness.
O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.
For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou will not despise.
Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem.
Then shall thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall thy offer bullocks upon thine altar.” (Psalm 51).

In this week’s Lattereign, we learn to rest in the Lord, and no matter what circumstances surround us, we can be able to say, “it is well with my soul.”  Resting Under the Shadow of the Almighty

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Lord, Help us to Remember, and Never Forget

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

I am thankful today that I can enjoy living in a free country. Not everyone can say the same, so I wonder, have I become so used to being free that I take it for granted? Today, we remember those who have fought and given their lives for our freedom. Their selfless acts of loyalty to their country should be recognized. Knowing that I could have not been as fortunate as I am, makes me want to praise the Lord even more. He has spared me from many situations in life, and as a result, I am able to do the things that I need to do.

It is my prayer today that we are forever grateful for where the Lord has brought us from, and hopeful for where he is leading us to. He didn’t have to purchase our salvation with his own life, but he did. Today, we take the time out to remember our fallen soldiers in this week’s Lattereign. They paid the ultimate price for our freedom. May we never forget.  Memorial Day 2018

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If You Trust in the Lord you Will be More Than a Conqueror.

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (Hebrews 13:15-16).

On this journey that we are called to take, we may experience setbacks. It’s not always easy to trust and not complain when the pressure is on us. If we didn’t have a relationship with the Lord we could try to handle every situation on our own, and even start making the situation bigger than our God. In Hebrews, we are reminded that we must learn to focus on the good things that we do have, and less on the things that we don’t have.

The Lord already knows what we need. We must trust him; he promises us that he will never leave us or forsake us. He will direct our steps and instructs us to “Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:5-8).

At no time should I crumble when the enemy comes in like a flood, because Jesus promises that I can lift up a standard against the enemy. It is difficult to take a stand sometimes and our natural response to hurt is usually retreat. During the times of retreat we learn how to wait on God and to trust him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Being rejected isn’t easy to cope with, and living in the shadows tends to subdue our testimony and our effectiveness for the kingdom; but in God’s mercy we can be meek, and still be strong in character. It isn’t necessary to give up or give in to the world. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

It only took God’s spoken word to bring the world into existence. How great and mighty is the God we serve! I wonder why I limit God so when I struggle with the world? When will I begin to believe his word and act in faith without wavering?

Sometimes we place the greatest obstacles in our own paths without any help from those who would despitefully use us. Obstacles of doubt, unworthiness, fear, intimidation. Lord help us to get a picture of the great things that you have in store for us as a body of believers. Not one of us would be here today without faith.

To reap good fruit, we must sow good seeds, and to allow the word to work for us, we must act on the word and be in total obedience to the will of God. We can listen to God and stop his blessings from ever reaching us because we didn’t abide in his word. We could sometimes be identified as haphazard Christians: when everything is going our way, we don’t have time to read the word, and we enjoy the good life; on the other hand, when things fall apart in our lives, we turn to prayer and wonder why God allows things to happen to us while other Christians and the world in general are succeeding. In all fairness, I must ask what makes me so different than the next person down the road?

The Lord rains on the righteous and the unrighteous. He is no respecter of persons. He chose us to do his will, and we need to take a good long look at life from God’s perspective. We will see the mighty hand of God at work in our lives. Maybe not during the test designed to strengthen us, but after we have overcame the trial, and paused to reflect on the goodness and mercy of God. We shall see how God will arise and his enemies will be scattered. People may mean it for evil, but God is working all things out for our good. He cares about us for all eternity.

Take a leap of faith; make up your mind to trust God.

In this week’s Lattereign we are reminded that We are More than Conquerors.

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