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Posts Tagged ‘God’s Promise’

When I decided to go on a 10-day fast in January of 2014, I expected to grow closer to God and to be able to understand His will for me with greater clarity. I asked myself what I needed most from Him at that time, and my answer was two-fold: I needed clarification and guidance. I wanted to hear His soft, undeniable voice internally whispering His will for me. I wanted to feel His spirit and confirmation.

 I began my fast hoping to receive clarification about a situation that I had been feeling guilty about. It was a circumstance that I had no control over. Still, I could not shed the burden of guilt and I continually tried to make amends for the ill behavior of others. I was reminded by my sister in Christ not to force doors open that God had shut. Yet, somehow I felt it was my duty to make everything right for everyone.

 During the first day of my fast, God blessed me with a revelation. He showed me that the burden had never been mine to carry. Although I knew this to be truth, somehow I had been unable to grasp the concept. While fasting and praying, God helped me to realize that if He had wanted me to take care of it, He would have made the provision for me to do so. But He hadn’t. I understood. Not only was the door shut, it was locked. And finally, I was able to relinquish an unnecessary burden.

 There was another kind of guilt that resurfaced while I was fasting. This one revolved around a particular television series. I had allowed it to entertain me with all of its profanity and behavior. For one hour each week, I found myself firmly planted in front of the television set ready for the drama the show was sure to bring. I was so attracted to the performance that I made sure I had my DVR set to record the entire series in case I missed an episode. That was my vice. It was like a soap opera, always ending on a cliff-hanger. But it was an ungodly cliff-hanger, and deep down inside I knew better.

 This type of guilt did not require fasting. This one simply required me to obey the word of God and diligently protect what my eyes see and what my ears hear. Watching the weekly program had always produced a twinge of guilt in me, and I would promptly try to eradicate the feeling by justifying my actions. But how do you justify not obeying the word of God? The guilt would not recede, and I questioned myself – did I really want to invite this negativity into my home every week? I had to confess that I did not, so I made the decision, while fasting, to stop watching it.  

 The guidance I sought from God was of a financial nature. Although working part-time, I pondered if I should decrease my hours even more. My logic was that this would give me more time to dedicate to my love of writing, and explore other avenues of the craft as well. The answer did not come quickly. As a matter of fact, it did not come at all while I was fasting. But God had a plan. It just hadn’t been revealed to me yet.

 Eighteen days after the fast had ended, I reached out to a literary agency inquiring about an intern position as a content editor. The owner told me that she had recently received several projects and had been praying to God, telling Him that she needed more help. There was my guidance. God, in His omnipotence, had devised the master plan! I had my answer. There was no need to decrease my hours, and I could still expand my writing and explore other avenues of my craft. 

 Through fasting, I found peace of mind, deliverance, and direction – everything I was seeking. I know my path is determined by wherever God leads me. My only desire is to recognize when He is leading and to follow Him. Much like spring is a time of renewal, so too is fasting. And by the grace of God, I will be renewed, reviewed, rejuvenated, and improved – not just once a year, but whenever needed through the power of prayer and regular fasting.

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Faith requires action. Otherwise it’s useless. The Bible tells us, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” James 2:26 (KJV)

As Christians, we claim faith in God but some of us continue to live a life full of worry, stress, anger, fear, or depression. Of course, there are situations that sometimes cause these legitimate emotions to appear. But we should not continuously live in such an emotional state.

Psalm 23:4 reads, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” (KJV)

We must put some work behind our faith, and believe in God’s promise to protect and comfort us during our period of trial and tribulation.

For God is not a liar.

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Surrender

This little survey is meant for everyone to take a look at his or her own soul.  You take a look at yours, I’ll take a look at mine.

1)  What is the #1 most important thing or person in your life?  Is it God?

2)  Have you made up your own beliefs about God?

3)  Have you ever used the phrase, “Oh my God”, in a casual way (i.e. you weren’t even thinking about God when you said it)?  Or have you ever used the Holy name of Jesus Christ as part of a filthy cuss word?

4)  Have you ever dishonored or disobeyed your parents?

5)  Have you ever acted hateful or thought hateful things about someone else?

6)  Have you ever lusted after someone?

7)  Have you ever stolen anything?  (It can be as small as a…Suzy Q or as big as a car.  If it wasn’t yours, and you took it…that’s stealing.)

8)  Have you ever told a lie?  (This includes little “white” lies)

9)  Have you ever wished that you could take something away from someone else or wished you had what they had?  That’s called covetousness.

If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions you are GUILTY!

And so is everybody else.

“For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”  Romans 3:23

But what is sin?

“Every one that doeth sin doeth also lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.”  1John 3:4

Therefore, sin is the breaking of God’s law.

So, if you answered “yes” to one or more of the questions above like I did, that means you have broken God’s law, which makes you a what…?  Sinner – that’s right.

BUT

Jesus Christ paid for our sins when He suffered and died on the cross!

I surrendered my life to Jesus, and I was forgiven of my sins.  God said He would remember them no more.  He has sent a helper, the Holy Spirit, to help me live a life that is pleasing to Him.

And what did I have to give up?  What did I lose?  Let’s see…cussing, acting in a hateful manner, lying, stealing, fornicating, disrespectful behavior.  Hmm…aren’t those all the things that have the world in the messed up state it’s in now?

For all of those who are saved, and all those who know God’s commandments but do not obey Him, it’s like crucifying Jesus Christ over and over again.  I asked this question before:

How long do you think God is going to keep waiting on you before He says times up?  It’s over!

I, myself, am not willing to take that chance.  I live my life for Jesus Christ, and I am living.  Once I decided to drop the anger and the attitudes, to forgive and not hate.  I became free.

Sometimes, because I am still a work in progress, I speak too quickly when I should be listening.  Sometimes, I form an opinion without adequate facts.  But the marvelous thing about having Jesus in my life is that He let’s me know in my heart and conscience when I have done, said or thought something I should not have.  I pray for His guidance, and I can count on Him.  And He has  NEVER let me down!

You can be free too – if you want to be.  You don’t have to live with attitude.  You don’t have to be weighed down with hatred and anger and whatever else plagues you.  You CAN have peace and direction.

That’s what God wants to give you…and more.  That’s how He meant for you to live.  But you have to trust Him.  You have to surrender.

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