Dear God, thank You for life. In the midst of a difficult season, what may even be considered as a storm, I am blessed to have You on my boat. God, I just want to say thank You. There are things right now that I am dealing with that only You can fix. God I know that there are people who will read this, that need that same grace and mercy. God I know that it will follow us for the rest of our days. God I ask that You heal that room and everyone in it. I ask that You touch and anoint everyone that comes in contact with this room. Whether visiting or working, God please give them the wisdom to do Your will. God, I thank You for being with us in the midst of the storm. Forgive us for our sins. For Your glory, Amen.
“The sun’ll come out Tomorrow Bet your bottom dollar That tomorrow There’ll be sun!”
These words have rang in my mind for weeks now. As I have found myself in a dark moment for these past few weeks. While looking for the sun, I remembered something crucial to my faith. Even when I do not have the sun shining in my life; I still have the son in my life. Everything that I could ever need comes from Him. In the moments that my life is dark, He is my light. Rather the sun comes out today, tomorrow, next week or next year… I can rest in knowing that the Son is with me.
But Who Are You As You Wait On The Sun (Son)?
Within these past few weeks my mind has been all over the place. While waiting on the sun, I have felt weak, sad, hopeless… But God. The one thing that has kept me grounded is my faith in Christ. Faith that has replaced my fears. I am stressed, but I am reassured in those same thoughts. God is so good, that He breaks through those negative moments and fills them with positivity; things like love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. He gave me fruit. Random Bible verses that I have put into my spirit, come to the forefront of my mind as I struggle through the days. God was with me. God was for me.
God has proved that even when waiting on Him, He is still there. His grace and mercies are new everyday. God is good to those who wait on him, because something happens when you wait. I cannot explain it fully, but what I can do is use moments my life as a testimony. As I have waited on God, I have learned just how dependent I am on Him. I was trying to make sense of this feeling that helped me stay content, even though I was going through a storm. Then God put Lamentations in front of me. This verse sums up everything that I had and have been feeling God do for me each day. Lamentations 3:22-25 says, “22 The steadfast love of the Lord NEVER ceases; His mercies NEVER come to an end; 23 they are new EVERY morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him.” 25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.”
When you look into the mirror, trust and believe that you are looking at someone who is given new grace and mercies everyday. Trust that even when the sun is not out in your life, that the Son is still in the midst of everything that you have going on. He is with you and He is for you!
You got this pops! Love you dad!Joy is coming soon. The sun will come soon, but until then remember that the Son is with us. Wait on the Lord pops, He will renew your strength!
Dear God, thank You for giving me another opportunity to create for the Kingdom. God I ask that You allow this to minister to people. Allow this to meet them, wherever they are. God let them know that they are here on purpose. God, You are never not enough. In every moment, for every situation all we need is You and that is all we will ever need. God help me as I continue to work hard to do the things that, I am writing about today. First and Most. May this be used for Your glory, to show to the world how much we need You. Forgive us for our sins, in mightiest name I know, Amen.
I just got into an argument with my significant other. I pick up my phone and pull up Facebook, because I love that they do not have a character limit. (I can say exactly how I feel and it can be as long as I want it to be.) All these thoughts in my head, I MUST GET THEM OUT. That will help me, right? Anyways, I start typing everything that we have been arguing about for the last hour. People will understand that from my side, right? Anyways, I add a little bit of how I feel to the post, even though I did not say it in the actual conversation. I needed to get it out though, that is all that matters right now. Even if it does not really help anything… at least I got it out, right?Oh well it is, what it is… I just posted it now let me screenshot it, so I can put it on my other socials.Wait… why do I not feel any better? Where are the likes, the comments? Why are people not sharing my thoughts? This was supposed to fix it, why did this not work? You know what, maybe I just need to pray about it.
To be insufficient means to be not enough; inadequate. I am not saying that you are insufficient, but what may be insufficient is the source that you take your problems to. Depending on your social status, you may post things on social media and be met with people who agree with your side of the story. Yet, somehow though you were “right” you still felt the same. You may share your problem with your friend that agrees with you, but even when they agreed; you still felt the same. Your source did not offer peace, it only offered support. It gave you the support to feel “right”, but then you realized how unimportant being “right” is. You realized that the source you have been using is insufficient, so what do you do now?
The most important relationship that you can cultivate is one with God. The reason is that only God can be everything that you have been trying so hard to get people, social media, and other vices to be. Your partner may never be enough, but it is not because he or she does not want to be. It is because they cannot and are not supposed to be. Stop trying to place people, in the void that only God can fill. If you don’t do it now… that is okay, because you’ll soon realize that your source is insufficient. Some sources make you feel better, but it’s temporary until they let you down. Now you’re stuck needing a new source. Let’s do things differently. Gone are the days that we depend on others to fill us up, because we have realized that we come back the same or even more empty. Try Jesus. Not out of obligation, but because you have came to the end of yourself. You have been doing it your way and you know it is time to try something new.
Go To God: First and Most
Let me go to my pops favorite scripture, Matthew 6:33 (ESV) reads, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” In this Chapter from verse 25-33, Jesus is teaching that there is no need to be anxious about anything, when you seek God first. You do not have to be anxious about your next meal, about how you will get clothed, because God will take care of it all. Not only will God support, but He will also replenish. He will refill you and the things that you are needing. In fact, Jesus is curious how His disciples can see what God does for the birds and the land, and still not understand how much He will do for them. We serve a God that wants to do for us, what we cannot do for ourselves. That’s what His love looks like. He gives even though He knows that we will NEVER be able to fully return the favor.
Many time we do not realize how important the way that we initially handle our problems is. The truth is we will not realize this until we notice just how much we need God. Then we will understand that we do not only need to go to Him first, but we need to go to Him the most. Life is tough and we constantly face situations that will bring us back to God, but the question is will we go to Him first or will we try to handle things our way? He is there and He is waiting to fulfill all of the things that we need.
This week let us try to go to God in prayer, the moment that we feel anything; good or bad. As we learn to go to Him first, we will eventually start going to Him the most. Then we will feel the switch of reliance on ourselves, to full reliance on God. I’m not sure about you, but things in my life seem to work a little more efficiently when God has His righteous hand on it. My life seems to feel a little more stable, when I take my mess to God and not social media. Trust me it is doable, but it will take commitment. If you are like me then, you may have to break the cycle of running to social media or people in an attempt to be refilled. You may fall a couple times, but you can still do it! Do not give up on God and do not give up on yourself.
Can I pray for you?
Dear God, thank you for your guidance through this blog. Today through you, I have challenged my readers to try to put you First and Most. God, I know that they will need you to provide them strength and courage. Help them fight the temptations of doing things their way. God step in and allow them to feel Your presence over each of their lives. You have never failed and You will not start with them. God for the person that is battling depression, help them know that things will be okay. Help them understand that they are enough. God I ask that You place people in their lives that are their just to remind them of their worth. God there is someone who is struggling with abuse, both physical and mental. Give them the courage to leave that situation, be their peace. Allow them to feel Your love and warmth. God for those who are dealing with anything under the sun, remind them like you did in Matthew 6, that You got them. Lastly, Lord, I just ask that You help them put You first. If nothing else gets received in this post, please help them come to You first. Help them realize that only You can fill that void that they feel. You are the only sufficient source that exist. Thank You God for simply being God. Forgive us all for our sins, in Your might name I do pray, Amen.
I love you and want to see each of you succeed with God. I think one of the fundamental ways to do so, is to learn to put Him first. Until next time remember, Go To God: First and Most.
Dear God, first I just want to say thank You. I want to thank You not for what You do, but for Who You are. God, You have been better to me than I deserve and the beauty is that You will never change. You will keep on loving me and that alone will always be enough. God as I journey through life, I ask that You direct my steps into Your will. One day I will meet You face-to-face and it will be such a joyous day. Until then Lord, cover my life. God I pray for those who will read this today and find a word that resonates in their heart. God step in and do what You do. God thank you. God today I pray that you guide us. God I pray that you help us find community. THIS FEELS SO GOOD… THANK YOU! Forgive us for our sins. For Your glory, amen.
Community according to my search engine of choice Google, is defined as a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
Yet in a day that is filled with social distancing restriction, loneliness, and mask. It has become harder to not only find community, but simply be together. The beautiful thing about this is that we serve a God that specializes in connecting the dots. To be a Dot Connector, in today’s society is to be a person that is well connected. A person that is so connected that people trust their references, when looking for new networking opportunities. Again I want to emphasize that if you are Christian, you know and have the connection with the best Dot Connector ever. The G.O.A.T. of all Dot Connectors, Jesus Christ.
Collected Then Connected
To be completely, honest we are all just dots, though unique and purpose filled. We are floating, waiting to be collected then connected like one of my favorite arcade games, Pac-Man. What does it mean to be collected then connected? As you play Pac-Man, you notice that once Pac-Man collects the dots, you do not see them again. Once those dots are collected, they are all connected just from being collected by Pac-Man.
Let’s put it in terms of Christ. As a dot, we may serve a different purpose, but it is not until we are collected that we can understand the power of being connected. It is when we believe in Christ, that we become collected by the connector. In Romans 12, verses 4 and 5, you will see that we become one body in Christ, when we become Christians. “4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.”Regardless of race, sex or class as Christians under God, we become one. (That will be a tough pill for some to swallow.) We are collected through God’s grace, then connected by our faith. We are not collected to be separate. We are collected to be connected. You have to understand the importance of this concept to fully grasp why it is so important to be connected and have community. Jesus, God the Son connects us to God, the Father. Then through God, the Holy Spirit, you feel the presence of God. (Remember the Holy Trinity is the beginning of all things John 1:1.God sent His Son for us, that when we believe we will be filled with the Holy Spirt. Romans 8:9, 2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13.)
So Are You Gathering In His Name?
God promises to be in the midst of those that are gathered in His name. You want change, you want to be more like him, you want to feel more connected… then you may need to check who and why you are doing the things that you are doing. Community is one of the most important things that God gives us. My community helps me stay connected through sermons, songs, and Biblical truths from the Word of God. I trust that when we are together, God is in the midst, because I know that we come together in His name. We are not in competition for who is the better Christian, we just want to be better in general.
If I can be honest though, all of my relationships have not always been like that. I have had relationships that did not involve God. (The beautiful thing was that He was still very close.) This verse is about the intentionality of inviting Christ into every situation. God can be in the midst of your car ride with your friends. God can be in the midst of relationships. God can be in the midst of your talk with a stranger on the street or the bus. God cannot be in the midst of somewhere that you do not invite Him into. He knows, but God gives us free will.
HE IS THERE.
What Would You Do? One of my favorite songs of 2020 from Elevation Worship, Graves Into Garden project, focused on the emotion that we would have if God walked in to a room that we were in. At the end of the song, Zeek (Isaiah Templeton), sings, “He’s here right now.” As we gather in His name, let this verse remind us that He is here. God will always do His part. God will be there. He will not let us down.
2020 helped me realize that this verse goes further than the four walls of the church. In fact, it reminded me of something that Mrs. Margaret Hickman, used to remind us often in Bible Study and Sunday School: You are the church. After I heard and believed that thought, these lyrics gave me chills, “Lord prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true.” These lyrics ring out in my mind, reminding me of how important it is to be connected to Christ.
Remember, we are collected then connected, by the greatest Dot Connector of all time, Jesus Christ.
Dear God, thank You. Please allow this to resonate with people, so that it may mold their lives. Gone are the days where we let the pressure of being perfect weigh us down or distract us from our true purpose. Your Word, says that You use all things for those who love You. God help us realize that it is all being used for our good and there is no need to fake it any longer. For Your Glory, forever and ever. Amen.
When you look back at your life, how do you want to remember it? Would you want to remember it as a life that seemed beautiful from the outside, but internally faced turmoil OR as a person that was honest about their ups and downs? They both will have an effect on your life, but one feels like freedom while the other feels like a burden.
The Burden of Faking Perfection
This may step on some toes, but that is okay. To become aware is the first step of change. Faking Perfection can be one of the worst burdens to carry. It adds pressures to your life that only God’s grace is equipped to cover. You become fixated in developing the character that you are betraying. In return, you lose focus on the purpose that you were born to fulfill. Wait, you do know you were born with purpose, right?
I asked that question, because the devil tries to destroy, distract, and discourage us. He wants you to feel like you do not need God to be the best version of yourself. He is trying to lead you to your demise. That is the danger of committing your life to faking perfection. You are allowing the devil to take you away from who you are truly supposed to lean on. In fact, 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6) You may not realize it, but the reason that you are faking perfection is, because you do not trust the one Who is perfection. You are depending on yourself to fix those things that you lack, which leads to the inevitable… NOTHING CHANGING! Yet as a person who once cared that people thought I was perfect; I know that even when nothing changes… I could trick myself into making it feel like things were getting better. Again, it all came with committing to the fake character that I wanted people to see.
Are you to blame for people wanting to fake perfection? Allow me to address the judgmental Christians real quick. You play your part in people feeling like they have to be perfect or they will be condemned. The church is supposed to be more like a hospital than a courthouse. Yet, when people walk into the church as they are, they are avoided or belittled, by you. Little do you know that your interaction may have been what they needed to not only feel better, but meet God. I heard something the other day from Jonathan McReynolds, he said, “As Christians we feel like we have to make Jesus more famous, but really our goal should be to not make Him infamous.” As Christians ask yourself, would someone who does not believe in Christ, see your life and think, “Man, I see how (insert your name) is living and if that is what being a Christian is about, then I am good.” or “Man, I see how (insert your name) is living and what he is doing, I really want to get to know Christ for myself.” Are you leading people to God or giving them a reason to stray further away? (Luckily for them God will open up their heart, but you could have been the spark… BUT YOU WERE TO AFRAID TO STAIN YOUR REPUTATION AT YOUR CHURCH.) I felt led to really speak up for those people who fake perfection, because they are fearful that they will be invalidated for being real about their journey.
Remember this walk is a journey.
The Freedom of Showing Progression
Showing your progression is not always easy. We live in a day, where people do not value the steps as much as they do the outcomes. Social media shows perfection, stunting, and the highlights of people’s life. Don’t get jaded in thinking that the highlights matter more than the moments of progress. Without failing, falling, and losing would any of us truly know what it takes to succeed, get up or win? As I have grown; I have learned the importance of transparency. There is a certain freedom that you get from being the authentic version of yourself. Guess what sets you free–31 Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?” — the truth. I found it ironic that this verse talks about knowing the truth, not telling the truth. It is when you know Christ, that you are free. So, it is in knowing Christ, that you are free to tell your truth. Yet, in this verse the people thought that the only way to be enslaved, was physical. Unfortunately, you can be in a mental prison, in a faking perfection prison, or in the prison of feeling like you cannot be who you were made to be. I have good news though, just by knowing and believing in God, you are set free!
Why should you be okay with showing your progression? Allow Romans 3:23 to explain, “23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The reason why, is because we all have fallen short. From the pastor to the person on the corner, from the jailhouse to those in church on Sunday’s for worship. We all have sinned and fallen short. The beauty of telling your testimony, is that you allow for God to get the glory. You allow for His power to be seen. You also get the devil off of your back. The devil tends to go after the things we try to hide (though there is nothing that you can hide from God.) In knowing that we cannot hide anything from God, who’s opinion matters most. Why do we still allow ourselves to fake perfection? Why are we fearful of showing our progression? How else can we expect people that do not read the Bible, to understand how great God is?
So today, let’s hold each other accountable. I have your back, if you have mine and regardless of that God has both of our back. Today let’s agree to start showing our progression. Show it even if it is only inside a notebook or notes that you stick on your mirror. Sometimes the person who needs to see your progress the most, is the person that stares at you when you look into the mirror. Once you grow past that, start publicly sharing the power of the God, we serve. Remember your testimony could be the spark. Also, let’s vow to no longer fake perfection, but instead give it to God. Allow him to fill those areas that you feel incomplete.
The Cycle of Faking Perfection vs The Transformation of Showing Progression
More importantly than anything that I have written, by chance that you do not have a relationship with Christ today, say this aloud:
I now believe that Jesus Christ is Your only begotten Son, that He came down to our earth in the flesh and died on the cross to take away all of my sins and the sins of this world. I believe that Jesus Christ then rose from the dead on the third day to give all of us eternal life.
I now confess to You all of the wrong and sinful things that I have ever done in my life. I ask that You please forgive me and wash away all of my sins by the blood that You have personally shed for me on the cross. I am now ready to accept You as my personal Lord and Savior. I now ask that You come into my life and live with me for all of eternity.
Father, Jesus – I now believe that I am truly saved and born again.
Thank You Father. Thank You Jesus.”
Maybe you had a relationship with God, but life happened. Today is the last day that you will allow yourself to fake perfection.
Say this aloud:
“Father, I come to You in the Name of Jesus Christ. I confess that I have fallen away from You. I confess that I have sinned against You by backsliding away from You, Your ways and Your Word. Like the prodigal son, Lord, I humbly ask for Your forgiveness for the evil I have done. I repent and turn away from this evil life that I have lived. I miss You so much!
I now recommit my life to You, Lord Jesus. I just want to come home. I want You to be the Lord of my life now and forever more. Please forgive me for wandering and walking away from You. I’m so sorry that I have hurt You. I ask that my sins be washed away by Your Precious Blood. I thank You for the price You paid so that I can be cleansed from all my sins!
Lord, fill me once again with Your Holy Spirit that I might live unto righteousness with You. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me O Lord. I choose on this day, a new life. As for me and my house, I choose to serve the Lord!
Thank You, Father, for restoring me into fellowship with You. Thank You for the Blood of Jesus that has cleansed me. Thank You that, like Peter, I am restored to fellowship with You, and I ask Lord, that we would continue our walk again. Flow through me to advance the Kingdom every day of my life. I ask all these things in the Name of Jesus. Amen and Amen!”
If you said either of these aloud and you believed it in your heart. I would love to personally congratulate you and welcome you to the family. He led you to this post for a reason. He used it to open your heart and ease your burden. Never forget that He loves you and has plans for you, that you have not even planned for yourself. Let Him use you. Yield yourself, so that He can show you the plans He has for you. All it takes it just a little trust, in Matthew 17:20 the Bible says,“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Dear God, thank You for another opportunity to grow Your Kingdom. I never take these opportunities for granted. Today, I want to remind people that the evil in the valley does not win. God, I personally want to thank You. You keep showing yourself in my life. Allow me to be what those around me need in order to see Your light. You are God from beginning to the end, the Alpha and Omega. This will always be for Your glory. Forgive me for my sins. In Your mighty name, Amen.
“It Happens In the Valley”
What is the cause of your valley? Is it the test you failed, losing your job, spouse, or maybe even a close friend or relative? Is it the circumstances that you were born into? How many of us know that sometimes it is not even our fault that we are in the valley? The reality is: it is much easier to feel like you are in the valley, than it is to feel like you are on the mountain top. The fall feels much faster than the climb.Think about the buildup of the big drop on a roller coaster. It takes minutes to build up the suspense for a five second drop. Maybe you have never rode a rollercoaster. Think about the fear that an upcoming situation may have caused you. You were nervous for 72 hours about a 30-minute event.
The beautiful thing about this verse and about those moments that you find yourself in the valley, is that YOU ARE REASSURED THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Fear is human nature, but to remain in fear is a choice. To remain in fear, is to choose to believe that we cannot handle something more than we believe that God can do all things. Sometimes we remain in our valley simply, because we settle. The valley is not meant to be the destination. In fact, many times the valley feels like stagnation, but I believe that God uses the valley as preparation.You are not waiting, you are loading.
Sometimes it takes being in those low places, to truly appreciate that moment you reach the mountain top. You have to understand that in your valley, God, is there with you. In the moments, that you feel the darkness trying to pull you, lean on him. In the moment that the valley wants to steal your joy, lean on him. You can’t start a verse with “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,” without having supreme confidence in the God that you serve. Even though I am sad, even though it looks bad, even though I have been here before… Lord, you are still with me. Say this aloud: I know that with You, I can make it through the valley. I know that with You, I am being built up within the valley. I know that the devil thinks that the valley is supposed to kill me, but I have you Lord, to comfort me.
In fact, if you are able to read this blog then I know you have been through a valley. Guess what? You are still here, and you are still being protected. Maybe you are in a valley as you read this, and you are unsure how God will help you through this one. At this moment, I want you to try something that will take courage. Give it to Him. Put your faith to the test. If you do not know how, first just allow Him in. Allow God to be a part of those dark times, just like you shout Him out when you are winning. Let Him really have control and watch how He reassures you. Empty your hands and watch how He refills them with what you really need.
Many times, the valley is made to walk through, not run, not skip, but walk. It’s when you move too fast, that you miss everything that God, wanted to do. You move so fast that you start to lean on your own understanding. Society makes us feel that we are behind the curve. It feels like you should be in a hurry or we need to catch up. What happens when we start moving too fast is that we take our immature mentality, into a place that is meant for a mature mentality. The valley is made to cultivate those areas that we need to grow, so that when we reach the mountain, we are equipped with everything we need to make it to the top. It does not happen after the valley, IT HAPPENS IN THE VALLEY!
Thank you for taking time out of your day to read this blog. It means more to me than anything, to know that I was able to share the Word of God with you. It would greatly be appreciated if you would share something from this blog that resonated with you. Share it to someone, to your social media, share it anywhere that you see fit. Make sure that when you share it, you let them know that: It Happens In The Valley.