Accepting God’s Will for Our Lives, Even After He Tells us to Wait

Changing directions in life doesn’t always have to cause defeat if we will remember that the Lord allows change to empower us to be fit for his use.
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 2).
“Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; While it is said, “To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. …So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:12-15,19).
Change brings challenges, but we must embrace change and continually be thankful even when our hope is bleak. On the surface we look at our circumstances and we feel powerless to defend ourselves against the ones who would try to destroy us. Sometimes we may wonder if God truly cares about us, or if we are going to continually struggle while others breeze through life, unhindered. There is a place of restoration in Jesus that the world may never experience.

When we get wrapped up in the cares of this life and forget that God is able to deliver us because he’s still on the throne just remember: “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord will lift up a standard against him.” “The Lord sitteth upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever. The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace” (Psalm 29:10-11).

It’s not that we don’t have the same desire or the will to reap the blessings of God and to watch others be blessed. We are committed and we still have a strong desire. However, we get caught up in the routines of our daily existence and we procrastinate allowing every other pressing task to take precedence over doing the will of God. We feel trapped by agendas and responsibilities. The Lord is calling us to set our house in order. When we learn how to call on God to give us wisdom and to allow every area of our life to revolve around God’s will, our families will thrive and be blessed. When we make decisions we’ll decide with confidence if we pray.

Yes, the world will still come in like a flood because there is sin in the world and we are God’s people. But we can know that we can have confidence in God that no matter what challenges we face, that God will never forsake us or leave us comfortless. “My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart” (Psalm 7:10). The enemy that tries to destroy may be the one who God will use to strengthen you. After you have overcome, then you will be stronger and more blessed than you ever thought possible. He is opening doors that you do not know of, and we must learn to trust in God. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him?
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou has put all things under his feet:” (Psalm 8:3-6).

In this week’s Lattereign, we are reminded that there are no limits to what God can do.

No Limits-God has shown us light

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I Choose Life, Health, and Happiness!

There came a time when I had to make a decision: do I trust God enough to seek his face in prayer, or am I willing to stay in the same situation that drove me to pray in the first place? When I was growing up,  words mattered. If I heard someone say, “you will never be able to do that,” my first reaction was to fire back, “watch me.” I made a choice to prove them wrong. Other options might have been to give up and yield to defeat and depression, but for me, that was not an option. You see, my whole life I have been in survival mode. Life hasn’t always been so easy, yet I wouldn’t trade my upbringing for anything, because it taught me that I could depend on the Lord for every need. It didn’t mater how minor it seemed, if it was a concern to me, then it was important to God to honor my petitions.

It never even occurred to me that I was building a lifetime foundation of trust. The many small and insignificant prayers that I prayed were just as important to God as the great big out there prayers that would be prayed later in life.

Step by step, I kept walking with the Lord, until one day I started walking through the darkest time in my life. It was as if I couldn’t find God, no matter how diligently I prayed. My wilderness experience lasted over a decade. It wasn’t until I had exhausted all of my options, that I was able to see that the whole time I was in the darkness, that God was leading me through it. When I came to a place that I could no longer go on without him, I slowly found my way back to him.

Psalm 121:1-2: I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

Being faithful didn’t keep me safe in the church, being generous didn’t stop me from wandering outside in the dark. The one thing that kept me through it all, was and is prayer. It is our weapon against the world of naysayers. When you reach out for hope, you will find it through prayer. There is no sorrow, or pain, or heartache, that can’t be healed through prayer. When life gets real, I have a God who becomes even more real for me as I learn to seek his face in prayer.

My hope is in him; my life is in his hands; my joy sustains me as I learn to trust in the Lord. In this week’s Lattereign, I ask a simple question:

Will you choose to believe?

 

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In Every Season, There is Much to be Thankful For

It’s easy to give thanks when everything is going well; however, not so much when life blindsides you. You are what you dwell on. If I continually tell myself that I am tired, rather than attempting to begin my day, I will never begin my day. We have power in our tongue, and when we do not choose our words carefully, we could find ourselves struggling to get the victory.

On the other hand, if we choose to have a great day, our attitude will change so that we will have a great day.

It doesn’t matter how much we tell the Lord thanks for all that he has done; it will never be enough. Do you realize that he could have left us without a savior? His love for us is greater than all our sins. I am thankful that I can call on his name, and he will hear my petitions. Living for him, gives us a peace that passes all understanding.

I know that I can never repay the debt of love that I owe, but I will do my best to live for him and give him the honor due unto his name for the rest of my days; yes, I am thankful because I know who I used to be and how Jesus came into my broken life and gently began to restore my soul. I was lost, but now I’m found.

Being thankful is made out to be difficult in much of society, but if we want to truly live free from bondage, we must give thanks, so with that in mind, this week’s Lattereign gives the Lord the thanks that he deserves: Thanks for all you’ve done.

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Who Will Praise Him? I Will!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad.  O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together” (Psalm 34:1-3).

Why is it that we wait for a specific time of the year to say thanks for your service, when we should be grateful every day for the ones who put their lives on the line for us? They may not even know us, yet we matter enough to them that they would be willing to make sometimes the ultimate sacrifice. Then, I think about how Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for us at Calvary. He could have called ten thousand angels (as the old hymnal goes) to come to his rescue, but he spoke not one word. The Lord mastered the art of silence. There is power in the tongue, and what we speak can come into existence when we speak it in the name of Jesus. Sometimes we use our tongue to speak doubt and hurt into another person, and even to ourselves. I admit, I have had many conversations with myself at the mirror, that did nothing more than criticize the one who was staring back.

I know that God is able to meet every need in my life. I trust him to do as he said he would do. Unfortunately, my own commitment may be lacking at times, and my desire to serve the Lord is great, but in reality, the cares of this life can block us from moving forward in victory if we do not learn to submit ourselves to his will. It’s God’s business, his finances, his provision, all his, and he generously allows us to have 90 percent, while only requiring 10%. So why can’t we trust him?

What will it take for us to put our faith and trust in a God who loves us unconditionally? I know that we have a limited view of his greatness, as we are in a fleshly body, but really, is there anything too hard for the Lord to do? It is I who puts limitations on God, but when I learn to trust him, and to not lean to my own understanding, my life takes on a whole new dimension. It is one of praise and worship. I can find peace and rest in his presence.

I know that my redeemer liveth, because I feel his presence in my very soul. Nothing can take away the love that he has for us, and if we lose our joy, it is because we have allowed it to leave us. The bible says, “Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)” (Hebrews 10: 23). If you want to keep your victory you must take a stand, and never let it go. The Israelites were to go and possess the land that was promised to them. Sometimes the Lord desires to know just how committed we are to treasure the gifts that he has given to us.

Are we haphazardly stumbling through our lives on the off chance that maybe just maybe the Lord will have mercy on us and give us a trickle of his blessings? He desires to pour his righteousness on us, but why are we so faithless as to settle for less than all that he has for us? I am his daughter, and it’s time that I remember that he loved me enough to go to Calvary willingly for me.

I am humbled that he loves us so much, that even when we didn’t deserve such love, that he would be willing to die, so that we could live with him forever. Today, I will allow my thankfulness, to overshadow my fear. Perfect love casteth out fear, even the fear of the unknown. When we go through situations that we have no control over, we can still speak his word:

“By his stripes we are healed, Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” (1 Peter 2:4)

Let’s not forget that we are a chosen people, and in this week’s Lattereign, I write that If no one else will, I will praise him.

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“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalm126:5).

If we are to see God move on our behalf we must learn to give ourselves to prayer. There are no other shortcuts to calling on God. You can think about praying or even talk about praying, but the Lord is waiting for those who are willing to just pray.

What do we usually do in a crisis? Unfortunately for some people, it may mean that they do everything but pray, often leaving prayer as a last resort. Just as the old saying goes, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink,” so it is with prayer. The conditions must be just right, right down to the proper chair, comfort, and position, and by the time those steps are taken, time set aside for prayer has be stolen.

We may be one who drops in for prayer long enough to say, “Thank you Jesus,” or “God is good,” yet never really move beyond the barriers that try to keep us away from his presence. Distractions abound when we think about prayer. Many times the distractions win to take us away from the wells of salvation, and we are pulled away and left thirsty.

What do we lose when we don’t pray? Our joy in the Lord, our direction, our peace of mind that the Lord has everything in his control. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” He knows the plans he has for us, and yet we still manage to stumble along in a desert place, thirsty for the refreshing rains of his spirit to wash over our soul; always feeling lost and empty, but never realizing that in order to be filled, you must lift up your heads in prayer.

When we can commit to pray, God will intervene in our lives:

I surrender all of my will to you Lord. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit in me. I have made mistakes with good intentions, so help me to overcome them, and learn to lean on you for the path that I must take, and as you said you would do, I pray that you never leave me nor forsake me.

3 John 2, Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” There is a direct correlation between our prosperity, health and prayer. If we pray, we build up an immunity to Satan’s lies that tell us that we will never measure up to the world’s standards, and we have a chance to take a good long look at the mirror of our soul. The Lord sees us differently than we see ourselves.

The more we pray, the closer we draw nigh to God, and the more we are able to shut out the voices that tell us that we aren’t worth saving. I am so thankful that the Lord thought that I was worth something. He sees beyond my many flaws, and if I will choose to stay close to him in prayer, he will restore my desire to do his will, and give me the confidence needed to follow through with his plans for my life.

In this week’s, Lattereign, we are looking at the Call to Prayer and Intercession.

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Where are the Worshipers?

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God is not looking for talented people to fulfill his purpose; he is looking for those who will do his will and worship him in spirit and in truth. All of our righteousness is as filthy rags, yet the Lord desires that we follow him. If you do have natural abilities that can be put to use, that is great; however, having those abilities will not be enough. It is not about us, or how wonderful we think we are; it is about having a humble spirit, that recognizes without Christ we can do nothing. Without his anointing, our efforts will not matter.

There are multitudes of churches filled with accomplished musicians, singers, leaders, etc.; yet, if that is all they have to offer, it is not enough. We must consider how often we focus on the performance, instead of focusing on why we are there in the first place, to lift up the name of Jesus. The Lord desires that we worship him in spirit and in truth. I want to feel God’s presence in a service, not crowd him out with my lack of worship.

In his presence is fullness of joy and at his right hand are pleasures forevermore. When the Lord is present, lives can be changed by the power of the Holy Ghost. The church worships in unity, just as in the upper room, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1).

The Lord desires our worship and praise. If we approach him with a sincere heart, and submit to his will, we’ll see his hand at work in our circumstances. It is his good pleasure to give us the desires of our heart; isn’t it time that we offer up a sacrifice of praise to the one who is worthy of all of our praise?

In this week’s Lattereign we find that There is now no condemnation.

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“Set Your Affection on Things Above…”

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As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, through the storm, he did not sink when he got out of the boat to walk to Jesus, but when he looked at the circumstances all around him, instead of looking on the one who could speak peace be still in the storm, he began to sink. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. (Colossians 3:2)

We live in challenging times where keeping our eyes on Jesus will be the only way to be victorious. Our flesh often searches for material answers, when we should be seeking a divine intervention. We have absolutely no control over the future, so it’s important to place our lives in God’s will. He promises to uphold us with the right hand of his righteousness.

I know that at times seeing the turmoil in our world can often bring us down. We may even feel hopeless if we look at the situations that arise. Feeling like we are powerless does not help us to manage our emotions, and yet, we still have a way through the challenges we face: it is through prayer. Our situation may even stay the same after we have prayed; however, our perspective will change in that we learn to trust in God and to not lean to our own understanding. He alone is the author and the finisher of our faith. He has written out every chapter of our lives, and it’s up to us to do the best that we can to stay in the middle of God’s will, so that we may find peace in the midst of our storm.

Trials will come into our lives; yet, God will see us through them. I know that some days it feels that the Lord is no longer listening to my prayers, so in those moments, I keep on praying. It is his pleasure to give us the desires of our heart, but we must acknowledge him in all that we do.

It used to be that I would put other things first in my life besides prayer and communion with the Lord. It was during those times that I was the most miserable and I felt that something vital was missing from my life: after many days of defeat, I realized that I had surrendered my joy. After seeking the Lord in prayer my life changed because the more I prayed, the less defeated I felt. As my prayer life was restored, so was my faith that the joy of the Lord is my strength.

In this week’s Lattereign we learn that Keeping God first in all we do, will help us to stay in the middle of God’s will for our lives.

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God has Not Given us a Spirit of Fear!

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? (Matthew 6:25-26)

Have you ever wondered why the more technologically advanced we become, the more complicated our day to day lives have become? It used to be that on an afternoon everyone met outside under the oak tree at the picnic table to shuck corn, or shell beans, or just to enjoy a lemonade or an iced tea. The world didn’t stop spinning because we made time to be with family. I can never recall even one time that I was flustered because I was missing an event on the computer (non-existent); a text from my cell phone (what phone? we walked about a mile down the road to a telephone booth. When I close my eyes I can still remember what the inside of a phone booth smells like); yet, we managed to have a good living.

I remember going to Herman Park in Goldsboro, NC, and getting my feet wet in the wading pool. Then, we went to the center of the park to the fountain. It had an overpowering smell of roses that were long established. Often, usually once or twice a quarter, our Sunday School class would have a hot dog roast in the park. We used to see just how high we could swing in the wood swings. I don’t recall, worrying about what might happen in the future. It was a time to live and appreciate the present. The bible teaches us in Philippians 4:11: “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”

Somehow, we must find a way to redeem some of those precious memories for the next generation. Will they ever know how much fun it was catching fireflies (lightning bugs) at night in a mason jar; or making a bottle cap, rock and stick, fortress for an imaginary family; or drinking straight from the water hose? We survived our childhood, and today, we may feel that we are truly missing something important in our lives; what we could have done, or should have done. Past regrets, are just that: in the past.

When adulthood consumes your life, why is it that we start to doubt ourselves, and we become afraid of the future? The bible continues to help us see that God is in control:

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, [shall he] not much more [clothe] you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. (Matthew 6:27-32)

It is easy to look at all of the chaos in your world today and become fearful. It is a blessing to know the peace of God which passes all understanding. God never intended on us to fail; he invested too much to make sure that we could have access to the throne and eternal life, and if he thought it would be a failure, do you think he would have robed himself in flesh to become our salvation in the first place? The answer to that is, yes, because he loves us, unconditionally.

Here is a well known principle to find God’s favor and get your prayers answered. It is simply to seek the kingdom of God, first, before you have lost another second of sleep over worrying about those things that may not ever come to pass:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof. (Matthew 6:33-34).

I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. I will trust him because he has promised to never leave me, nor forsake me. In all of my circumstances, God is, a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.

Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah. (Psalm 61: 2-4).

No matter what the circumstances, I choose to trust God. In this week’s Lattereign, we can be assured that our enemies will fall in his presence, so  I Will Praise thee, O Lord, With my Whole Heart.

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Finding Treasure in the Valley

It would be so easy to become fretful after we listen to the onslaught of troubles around our world on a daily basis. I know that if I focus on those events that are devastating too much, I take my eyes off of Jesus who has the peace that I need. I have a limited view from where I stand. I am thankful that God is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent, and he isn’t limited by time or space. He sees the end of the matter. He knows the plans that he has for me, he knows what it will take to encourage me to turn towards him and not get too focused on the world. It is devastating what is happening in our world, both locally and abroad, yet God is in control. If I can’t feel useful in any other capacity, there is one thing that I can do that will make a difference: pray.

Never feel that your prayers are insignificant or unable to touch God. He inhabits our praises, and our prayers are a memorial to him. He loves when we seek him, because he knows that he is the answer to our every need. Unless we pray, we may not release an answer from God. We have not, because we ask not. The bible tells us in Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:” It takes a step of faith to get our prayers answered, and sometimes, God is waiting on us to take that step. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

I want to please the Lord. The only way to do that is to trust him and believe. This sounds so simple, but because of our limited perspective it may not always be the easiest thing to do. I have found that I always want to be in control of my life, and sometimes it’s hard to surrender my will to his will, when he leads me to let go of the reigns so that he can drive the chariot for awhile.

I have a choice to make: I can keep barreling towards the rocks up ahead, or I can surrender my will to his will, and give the Lord full reign in my life. You see, in those moments where I wanted to charge ahead on my own, the Lord had to block my way, and sometimes even say, no, to the prayers I had prayed.

What I didn’t see was the cliff that I was about to run off of, but God did see it. My obedience and submission to his authority, saved me from utter destruction. You may feel that the Lord is saying no to you more often than yes, but have no fear, because he is working all things out for your good. In this week’s Lattereign we look at Finding Treasure in the Valley.

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Lest we Forget, God is in Control

No matter how much I would like for everyone that I know to live for God, it is the Lord who decides the right timing for that to happen. I am called to pray, and that is what I can do. I must pray and trust that God will draw souls to this truth. Sometimes we get so closely connected to those who we want to be saved, that we forget that the Lord even listens to the desires of our heart. We could get discouraged thinking that maybe God is not hearing our cries, but he knows what we desire.

Are we willing to accept the answers that he gives, in the time that he chooses would be the best for us to receive it? If I had every prayer answered in the time frame that I had laid out for myself, I would probably not be here tonight writing this blog. My life would have been so different if my plans had been fulfilled. Not everything that I have prayed for has been entirely selfless; I admit, so it finally dawned on me that I had to change my whole perspective:

God has to be in the center of my plans for me to be in the center of his will; as a result of waiting on God, he has fulfilled my life in ways that I never dreamed possible. I can be effective in the writing ministry, because I strive to put God first.

Am I satisfied with where this ministry is? I am content; yet, I am still seeking God for opened doors, and I know that God is in full control of that, so all I have to do is trust him to work his perfect plan in my life, and stay in the middle of his will, while he does it.

When situations arise that are difficult to resolve, I can pray and wait for the Lord to let his will unfold in my life. He is never late on fulfilling his promises; but I must pray daily that I’ll not get impatient while he works on my behalf. I used to stress out when the answers I sought didn’t happen, instantly; now, I have chosen to trust in his perfect will to be done. I don’t need to worry needlessly about life in general; all I need to do is take it to the Lord in prayer, and he promises to meet every need.

It is good to be reminded that God is in control. So many people are calling out to the Lord for help; and the Lord is a very present help in the time of trouble. Trust in him; he promises to never leave us or forsake us. No one is exempt from going through trials and tests of our faith; however, I’d rather go through it with God on my side, than without God directing my steps.

In this week’s Lattereign we are called to make preparations for eternity. Sooner or later we will all face it: Don’t Delay Prepare for Eternity I want to be ready.

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