Day 10: Full

I know I’m late with this posting, but I just came in from church service. The spirit was really high and I’m full off of God’s word. Truly the message was a blessing.

God is getting ready to do some great things, but there are still some areas that need cleaning up, some mindsets that I still have to change. God is telling me that I keep telling myself that some small habits are “ok” and that I still don’t do some things I used to, but he’s saying THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH! He expects more from me because he’s put more potential in me. He says I’m getting too comfortable, thinking that I’m doing “ok”, when really I’m settling. I’m not pushing myself like I should be, I’m not challenging myself like I should be. It’s time to clean up and adjust to God’s standards.

Honestly I didn’t even get a chance to read my scripture for today. I had been out running around all day, and basically went straight to church. For Day 11 post I will have to do two scriptures to make up for me missing out today. But I will share with you all the scripture from tonight’s service and pray that it’s as much of a blessing to you as it was to me!

Psalm 119: 63-73 and Luke22:31-32

Lord, where do I begin!? It seems too much to sum up. I’ll just list a few key points from my notes tonight

*Although we may never be perfect, we can strive to have a “perfect” heart. A heart of flesh that listens to God when he speaks and takes heed to his word without resistance. The devil will try to make you strive to be perfect, something you’ll never be able to attain anyways, because NO ONE is PERFECT!

*All the pain and hard times we go through are to help cultivate our heart in God. He’s molding us on a journey, making us into who he needs us to be in order for us to be used for his purpose.

*Sometimes we need the affliction or the trouble we go through to tame our flesh. The tough times are to whip the flesh and get it in order with God’s purpose. “Hurt me to help me grow God.” You can’t grow until you’ve been through something yourself to really KNOW!

*God speaks future. He calls you by what you aren’t, even though you’re destined to be it and may not be it right now. He sees where you will be, not just the start you’re in right now.

*The Lord will wrestle with you to bless you. He’s not giving up on you until he gets you where he needs you to be.

*Covenant relationships are joined together for God’s purpose. Everyone has their place and plays their role. There’s an order that follows through this kind of relationship. Anytime it doesn’t follow, dysfunction occurs. When people don’t understand the role God gave them to play in the relationship.

*In Luke it talked about how the devil asked for Peter, and God simply prayed for Peter’s faith to not fail. Your faith in God is what pulls you through the tough trials. Steadily depending on God despite everything else that may be going on good or bad.

*Matthew 13: 24-30 (an extra scripture my pastor referenced)  talks about the wheat and the tare, how at some point they both look alike. But it’s not until after they’ve grown together at the end that God will harvest the true wheat and the tare will be left behind to be burned. But it takes time. Some things if we ever wonder if it’s God, we should just sit back and let things flow and slowly God will weed things out and show you what’s him and what’s not. But patience is key. Can’t always be in a hurry.

*Sometimes when God says no, it may mean “No, not right now”. He still may have some working to do on you before he allows that door to be opened. He doesn’t want you to get ahead of yourself, so he slows you down for a moment. God can’t be rushed when he is doing his work!

*Ultimately God wants an eternal yes from us. This begins with getting a love for God’s word and nothing else.

I wish there was some way I could stream live tonight’s service. There was so much wisdom and word to soak up and take home. I know that sometimes he does recordings of his messages. So maybe if I buy that CD I could upload it on here… I mean my notes are good, but hearing it for yourself will just  truly be a blessing.

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Day 9: What kind of “seed” am I?

Another day down in the 21 day challenge. 9 days in and God continues to show me  just who he is. The more I read the more God shows me my own areas to clean up and get together. It’s all a work in progress.

Today’s scripture: (I stayed in Luke) Luke8:5-15

In this scripture Jesus tells a parable where he talks about the 4 different kinds of seeds that a sower tried to plant in his garden.

*God’s word is the SEED* The 4 types of seeds:

1. “Along the traveled road” (Verses 5, 12): These kinds of seed represent people who have allowed the devil to steal God’s word from their hearts so that they may not believe in Him and be saved.

2. “Upon the Rock” (Verses 6, 13): The seeds that fell on the rocks, are people who may have received God’s word, taken it in but the word didn’t fully take root in their hearts. So whenever a real test or temptation comes, they fall away.

3. “Among thorns” (Verses 7, 14): These seeds represent people who have heard they word, but have been choked by the cares of the world and have become caught up in worldly pleasures. They’re seed is not able to mature.

4. “Good soil” (Verses 8, 15): These seeds are the people who have heard God’s word, taken it to heart and live their lives accordingly in order to produce and be fruitful through Him.

At some point we’ve all been one seed or another. We all have certain stages we’ve been through with God during our spirtual journey. No one ever said it was a “walk in the park.” But we should always be striving to be the seed planted in good soil, so that we are fruitful through God’s word. Only when we are fruitful can God get the glory in our lives. Having read those verses the first question that came to my mind was :What kind of seed am I? After thinking upon that, I also asked myself what a I doing with the spiritual knowledge God has given me? (These are also some good questions to ask yourself, if you’ve been following along the 21 day challenge with me.)

The main reason I ask the last question is because in verse 9-10 it talks about how the disciples asked God what was the meaning of the parable he told about the man sowing the seeds. In verse 10 God says something that sticks out to me the most in all the verses,

Luke8: 10  (amplified Study Bible) “He said to them, to you it has been given to (come progressively to) know (to recognize and understand more strongly and clearly) the mysteries and secrets of the Kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that, (though) looking, they may not see; and hearing; they may not comprehend”

Reading this showed me that God doesn’t just reveal his word to us just to reveal it. There’s a greater purpose in who God reveals himself to.  He reveals his word so that we can be fruitful in it and grow to develop a mature relationship with HIM. This also is relevant to the fact that in order to know God, you have to know his Word first.

Unlpugging and finding a balance

I swear 24 hours in a day is never enough time to get everything I want to get done. Especially with my writing and blogging. Lately I’ve found myself so caught up with blogging and doing research for my writing project that I’ve had to force myself to “unplug” for a few hours and literally walk away from my computer.

Talk about how hard it is to log off, but still have blogging and writing on the brain! At times it seems frustrating. I wish I could post and write a lot more than I do for my other blogs. Although my postings have picked up, if it were possible, I’d love to do a post a day at least. 2-3 would be ideal because I have soooo many ideas!

If I could get paid to sit home, behind my computer screen and blog all day about fashion, music, life and entertainment..that would be ideal…but not realistic. I think my biggest problem in trying to find a balance between my day to activities and blogging is that I tend to want to write about too much in one day. I want to get all my thoughts out and share them, but it’s not going to happen in one day. I have to remind myself not to be overly ambitious about my writing and to set simple day-to-day goals.

Setting day to day goals helps make things seem a little less overwhelming. At least for that day I might have 2-3 tasks I want to accomplish. (Originally I started out with about 5 or 6 in a day…but from experience,it wasn’t realistic) Like I’ve mentioned in one of  my previous post, it’s nothing for me to get caught up with my writing and forget about EVERYTHING else in this world called “REAL LIFE.” It’s like when I write I get in a zone and my mind goes on auto pilot.

I know I’m not the only blogger who suffers with this problem. If you love to write as much as I do, it’s almost inevitable. What I’ve been trying to work on in order to find the balance is: scheduling blogging around my daily activities and not my daily activities being scheduled around my blogging…if that makes sense. I don’t want my writing to dictate my day to day activities. But a lot of the times my writing consumes me without me even realizing it. Maybe my blogging is more of an addiction than I thought?

 

Day 8: Wrong is wrong

Week one…DONE. Whew!! Day 8 continues of the 21 day challenge

Today’s scripture: Luke13:1-9

To sum up these verses, the first 5 are Jesus asking the people who’s sin was greater, and then telling them it doesn’t matter what the person did but that in the end repentance is a must. The verses left are of a parable where a man has been growing a fig tree for 3 years and yet it never produced any fruit. Instead of chopping it down, the person taking care of the vineyard ask that the plant not be chopped, but given another chance to try again once it has been pruned some more.

Today’s devotion was pretty simple. The first 5 verses are basically saying that all sin is wrong; no matter how big or how small. No act of sin is greater than the other. Even the little stuff we may think is small and insignificant, God looks at our wrong doing all the same. Whether we robbed a bank, or killed a person, wrong is wrong. What matters is that regardless of what the sin may be that we commit, it’s important that we repent. By repenting we change our minds for the better about our actions to fully come into alignment with God.

Verses 6-9 was a parable. Ultimately this represents us and God. We are the plant that hasn’t yielded any good fruit. Even though God has given us everything we need. For whatever reason we keep falling short and fail to produce fruit. In this parable, instead of getting upset and immediately cutting the tree down, the vine keeper who represents Jesus, still has faith in the tree. He hopes that after a little more grooming it will finally produce fruit. Instead of giving us our full punishment when we’re disobedient all at once, God actually has faith in us. He’ll give us the benefit of the doubt, to come back and pour more into us and groom us more, hoping this time around we’ll produce something different.

God’s patience and mercy are GREAT!

Day 7: What about me God?

Day 7, almost a week into the challenge. 21 day challenge continues..I hope others are getting something from my post, I am. And I hope maybe I’ve inspired others to join the challenge.  Reading the scripture daily is something we should do regardless on a daily basis and it should be something continued beyond the 21 days.

Today’s scripture: Haggai 1:2-7, 9

2″Thus says the Lord of host: These people say, the time is not yet come that the Lord’s house should be rebuilt (although Cyrus had ordered it done eighteen years before)”

3 “Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet saying”

4 “Is it time foe you yourselves to dwell in your paneled house while this house (of the Lord) lies in ruins?

5″ Now therefore thus says the Lord of host: Consider your ways and set your mind on what has come to you”

6″You have sown much, but you have reaped little; you eat, but you do not have enough; you drink but you do not have your fill; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he earns wages has earned them to put them in a bag with holes in it”

7″Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways (your previous and present conduct) and how you have fared

9 “You looked for much (harvest), ad behold, it came to little; and even when you brought that home, I blew it away. Why? Says the Lord of host. Because of My house, which lies waste while you yourselves run each man to his own house (eager to build and adorn it)”

I think a lot in this scripture is self-explanatory. “Consider your ways” it can’t be any clearer.

But also realize and KNOW that God must come first. He should always be our #1 priority. We can’t put our own desires before God. The people had wasted 18 years of being disobedient and not following God’s instructions. The longer we wait to obey God, it leaves room for the devil to play in our lives. We should be eager to obey God when he gives us instructions.

I never realized how procrastination can cause you to miss out on your blessings. If we wait to obey God, it truly waste time. The people spent 18 years in disobedience. A lot can happen and progress in 18 years! God could havebeen blessed them sevenfold, if they had done what he said, WHEN he said it.  We tend to waste so much time doing our own thing only to reap nothing in return.

18 years..God even gives us leeway to straighten up. Time on our own to come to our senses. During this time he sends plenty of warning. During this time we can either heed the warning and get it together, or choose to ignore it and eventually suffer. This is why God says consider your ways. As in, ok you had your chance to do you, I gave you what you thought you wanted…now what? He’s showing us that without him we can’t prosper. Why should we prosper or grow when our relationship with him is unkept and sloppy? We must evaluate our behavior in the way God sees us through his eyes. To us, some things might not seem too bad, but God has another whole standard we must consider.

Handle God’s business FIRST. The people built their own houses up instead of doing what God told them to do first. Again we can’t put our interest above God’s.  We can’t be so caught up trying to live life that our relationship with God is put on the back burner. We’ll get so caught up “doing you” until we forget to give God where his credit is due.

Again, our disobedience causes us to waste time; time we can’t get back. When we could be moving forward, we cause our own selves to move backwards.

Don’t procrastinate in obeying God. Even when it doesn’t seem to make sense, we have to learn to follow God regardless. Follow him even when he hasn’t revealed the whole plan to us. There are some things God may not want us to know for our own good. In the end God wants us to move swiftly in our obedience to him. The quicker we move the better. This way it doesn’t leave any room for the devil to play around and it helps our relationship with God grow and develop at a consistent rate.

So the next time God ask you to do something and you spend time procrastinating, wondering “what about me” and “how this plan gone work Lord”…stop trying to wrap your NATURAL mind around things and allow your faith in God to guide you thru to swift obedience.

 

 

Day 6: Souled Out

Day 6, and the 21 day scripture challenge continues. Everyday reading more of the word leaves me feeling refreshed and my spirit renewed.

I’m still on Romans6:6-11. This time when I read it, i also listened to some praise and worship music in the background, and it took things to a whole new level. After I worshipped with God, my spirit felt refreshed. I’m not saying I feel 100% peace, but I just feel “lighter” in my spirit so to speak.

I began to realize that in order to attain this unbroken fellowship with God, I will have to be souled out. (Hezekiah Walker “Souled out”) I have to get rid of all the old me to leave room for God to pour into me. As he pours into me he’s restoring my soul. Being souled out also brings about a certain freedom in the fellowship with God.

In verse 7 it talks about how man is free from the power of sin because of Jesus’s death. But it’s freedom in having an unbroken fellowship with God. A fellowship where he speaks to you and imparts great things into you. When I listened to the old Donnie McClurkin song “Speak to my Heart”, I want that from God. I don’t want God to simply “visit” my life, but find a sacred place in my heart where he speaks to me everyday.

Freedom is found in this unbroken fellowship with God. Through this fellowship God is giving me life. There’s a certain sense of freedom in knowing God is the source of all my strength. I don’t have to be burdened by all the things that used to be. I want to be able to give God the highest praise in my fellowship with him and not hold anything back.

I’m realizing that THIS is what I have to want more than the writing. I have to want a relationship with God MORE than I want to write for whatever the reasons may be, even if it is a gift from him. At the end of the day, my gift can be taken away, but my relationship with God will remain thereafter. And maybe this is why God sort of has me at a stand still about where he’s trying to take my writing. He needed to remind me, that writing is a gift he gave me to ultimately please HIM.

I think I had gotten so caught up in my writing, that I was starting to get away from him. I’ve taken off before without God and I prayed that I wanted him to actually help sustain me this time so that the vision can come to birth. And sure enough, God is tugging on me letting me know to slow down. It’s just time I listened and waited for his answer before making any moves.

Day5: An Unbroken fellowship part 2

The 21 day challenge continues and truly it is a challenge. Everyday God is digging deeper into me and shaking some things up that need to be changed. But I accept the challenge.

Today’s scripture: Still on Romans6:6-11 (I felt the need to meditate on this scripture longer)

Today the 6th- 7th verse is where my focus was really at. It says: ” 6.We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that (our) body (which is the instrument ) of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin. 7. For when a man dies, he is freed (loosed, delivered) from (the power of) sin (among men).”

In my previous post when I talked about having an unbroken fellowship with God and asking what will it take for me to reach that point, within these verses is my answer. As long as I continue to do what I want to, contradictory to the path God is trying to lead me down, my relationship with God will be ineffective and inactive. I won’t be able to fully tap into my relationship with God as long as I keep him at a distance in certain areas of my life where I still want to “play around.” And as long as I have sin in me and I’m not allowing that area to be addressed, my purpose will remain ineffective and inactive. It will be blocked and put on hold, because in order for me to fully take in what God has for me, I have to let the old me go. Nail the old me to the cross. Surrender that area of my life to God and allow him to clean me up how he sees fit.

Today in church service I realized I reached a place where, I’m having a hard time hearing God clearly. It’s almost as if I’m at a stand still. In a sense I feel like I’m almost stuck. I’m listening and I don’t hear him, and if I even think I hear him, it seems muffled, like whatever he’s trying to tell me isn’t coming through clear all the way.

And it goes back to the scripture. The reason I’m not hearing God clearly is because I still have some things in me, making my relationship with him ineffective. These are the things clouding my ear and keeping me from being able to fully hear God.  I need to allow him to fix those areas if I truly want that unbroken fellowship with him. I need to allow him to do his work.

The scripture also talks about being “alive in God” (Verse 11: Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive in God (living in unbroken fellowship with Him) in Christ Jesus.”)

When the scripture says “ineffective” and “inactive” that equates to a spiritual death. I may be living physically, but spiritually in those areas, I’m dying. And even though it seems like I may have other areas of my life under control, I can tell that the areas I am struggling in are starting to slowly creep into those areas I thought I had under control. I just feel “off” a little.

To attain an unbroken fellowship is going to require me allowing God completely into my life and trusting his guidance 100%. Not just in the areas I want him in; even the areas I’m struggling with. Clearly my way isn’t working, no matter how much I’ve told myself I can will myself to let it go. It takes God putting a whole new spirit in you to get you where he needs you to be.

A place of peace, a sweet fellowship with the Lord…if God doesn’t allow me to ever get another car, or bless me with more money..I still want to find that great peace with him in being part of  true unbroken fellowship.