a breakthrough image

‘For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power.’– 1 Corinthians 4:20 NIV

A recent talk with my daughter has inspired my desire to post reflections from the content of those words shared. As I consider how to organize the thoughts in a context to be read in this post, my mind’s eye envisions me hearing from God in conversation with me on the subject of power, as I communicated these same thoughts to my daughter. As it is important to me my daughter takes ownership of the concept of being ‘powerful’ in who God created and intended for her to be in walking by faith, I understand it is His desire for me to take possession of this concept too.

When you hear the word ‘powerful’ in the context of walking by faith, or in association with being a child of God, what comes to your mind? How does one exemplify what it means to be powerful? Being powerful, from the perspective of Scripture, means I have power to do what? Why is it important to see one’s self as powerful? Does it really make a difference?

In reflection to the final two questions I posed in the previous paragraph, I will say this. In conclusion to the Bible study and discussion my daughter and I had on the subject of what is written in 1 Corinthians 7:34 regarding a ‘single woman’ being devoted to the LORD in body and spirit, her take away from the lesson was the reality of being powerful. The reading, reflection, and discussion from the Scripture left her feeling empowered with a sense of purpose and significance. Ever feel that way after spending quality, quiet time alone with God and His word? That Bible study and discussion led to a later extended conversation that, together, led me to consider posting those reflections.

Understanding the ‘why?’ behind my desire to post content on the subject of ‘powerful,’ I close with a story I shared with my daughter that aptly summarizes the theme of this content. I have a former student, I’ve known since she was in 7th grade, who is now a happily married mother of 3 darling daughters. She is a professional, who works from home, and enjoys being a wife and parent. As we were concluding a recent phone conversation from catching up on how life was going, she affectionately referred to her 3 daughters, one newborn, as ‘amazons.’ We laughed discussing how she had 3 minime’s to prepare for the world when she made the affectionate declaration of how she saw her daughters that resonated with me.

My explanation to my daughter was that conversation was inspiring to me, as often my talks with this former student have consistently been throughout, because it is a reminder and reinforces how parents should be preparing and training their children to go out into to the world. Empowered to go out and live, thrive, and conquer (be victorious). To make use of their god-given power to affect positive change and make the world around them a better place. To adhere to God and the power of wisdom and self-control, to live in a manner worthy of the Gospel and walk worthy in the calling of being a child of God. I passionately translated that dialogue with my former student, in conversation with my daughter, on the subject of the upcoming release of the movie Wonder Woman. An amazonian princess, born of the gods, who comes to earth and makes use of her ‘power’ to make the world around her better.

The discussion of Scripture with my children is a most enjoyable moment for me. Engaging them in dialogue about the principles of faith and learning to encounter an intimate, personal relationship with God is inspired from my personal faith walk I seek to leave as a legacy for them to pass on to their children. Even so, I am reminded of how much God desires for me to take to heart what I seek to pass on to my children so I may live, thrive, and experience the power of Christ in a way that allows me to be powerful as I desire for my daughter, my children to be.

Father, grant us the courage, wisdom, and self-control necessary to allow the power of Christ to manifest in, through, and around us in a manner that allows us to be powerful in the way You intended and created us to be.

OutOfTheDarkness Click the book to purchase your copy today!

Read to gain insights on experiencing the elevated, expanded, exponential lifestyle encountered walking by faith. Grow in understanding God’s plan, purpose, fulfillment, power, and glory revealed in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

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‘Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”’ – Exodus 33:18 NIV

What would it take to go in a way that is unfamiliar to you? What would be required to help you summon the courage to take a path that is filled with uncertainty and instability? What source of inspiration would help galvanize sufficient resolve within you to step out into dark circumstances believing light will manifest?

This is what is at the heart of the dialogue between God and Moses in the book of Exodus in chapter 33. In your faith walk, have you ever felt compelled to be direct with God about being assured He is present with you and His presence with you will result in what He promised? Ever felt within yourself the determination to be distinguished as one who lives for God? Has the thought ever entered your mind, or your dialogue with God in prayer declared, ‘Unless it’s of God, I don’t want it?’ All of this is involved in this intimate conversation recorded for us to participate in reading that occurred between Moses and God.

If you can identify with any of the inquiries proposed in this post, then rejoice in knowing you are in good company. During his sojourn with God in walking by faith to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land, Moses was willing to disclose from his soul what was most important to him in experiencing the fulfillment, reward, and outcome of what compelled him to follow God versus going his own way. In his final public speech, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, ‘It doesn’t matter what happens now. I just want to do God’s will.’ In the gospel of John, chapter 4, Jesus stated, ‘My food is to the do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.’

At the core of these two statements by Jesus and Dr. King, I hear the sound of passion. The same passion I hear when I carefully read and inspect the intimate conversation had between Moses and God. All 3, Moses, Dr. King, and Jesus, had a resolve that what walking by faith would allow them to encounter was of greater value, significance, and importance to the fulfillment they desired to see manifest in their life than anything else. They were driven by a passion greater than themselves to fulfill a purpose beyond their capacity to accomplish on their own. The journey towards the extraordinary, impossible, and the miraculous requires us to be fueled by a passion and filled with a purpose greater than our capacity to initiate in our strength.

My previous 5 posts involving the lives of Joshua, Gideon, the 3 Hebrew Boys, the sick woman, and Peter all share a distinguishable commonality. Each were in a context of improbability that, by outward appearances, would not have resulted in encountering something extraordinary, rewarding, or fulfilling. To move towards, experience, and encounter something greater, better, new, they each had to summon courage and demonstrate a resolve that did not waver in unbelief, but was established in confidence that God will do it.

What is God challenging you to be courageous in walking by faith to act, believing He will do it and show you His glory?

Father, grant us the courage, resolve, and passion required to continue our journey of walking by faith believing You will do what You promise to move us towards the fulfillment of experiencing something greater, better, new with You.

OutOfTheDarknessClick on the book to purchase your copy today!

Read to gain insights on how to experience the elevated, expanded, exponential lifestyle encountered walking by faith. Grow in understanding of God’s plan, purpose, fulfillment, power, and glory revealed in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

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And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.’ – Mark 5:25-26 NIV

To truly appreciate the story of the ‘sick woman’ immortalized in the Gospel of Mark and Luke, I invite you to take a closer look at her circumstances and her response to them that aptly describes the meaning of ‘walking by faith.’ I pray this will inspire you to keep going towards your breakthrough, blessing, and better place.

First, the reality of her current condition of suffering with her ailment for 12 years. Being ‘subject to bleeding.’ Some of us can identify with being subject to a condition that may have lasted longer, or maybe not as long, but consider the mental and emotional duress being subjected to anything undesirable for an extended period of time. Second, consider the feelings of despair and exhaustion, including feeling disillusioned, when you seek professional help, spending all you have in financial resource to invest in your recovery, well-being, and health, and the condition you were subjected to worsens instead of getting better. So now the emotion associated with the 12 year condition you are subjected to is complicated by the mental and emotional anguish of the conditioning worsening, you have no more access to resource to aid you in recovery, so your hope in resolving your circumstances dim and chances of healing are grim. Is there even a word to describe how this would feel? The probability of being in a better place is being overshadowed with the inevitability that things will never change, get better, or hope for improvement is waning.

Somewhere in the midst of this great darkness, the ‘sick woman’ has hope. I believe this, because the moment she hears that Jesus is within proximity to her, she moves with urgency towards her breakthrough. Though eternally, everything about her circumstances spoke of death, internally she was driven by the hope that ‘life’ was still within her reach. She refused to ‘accept’ that the current state of her life was all that she would know. She refused to believe that what she was subjected to would be all that she could ever know ‘life’ to be. She was driven by hope and determined to reach out for and possess the possibilities of what her faith in God and the power of Jesus promised.

This is important and significant to understand, because it’s not just that she got up, went to Jesus, saw Him and reached out for her miraculous recovery. In the Gospel of Luke, you have to read carefully, or you will miss the significance of the description of her journey to Jesus that led to her healing. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her.’ – Luke 8:42b-43 NIV The hope that sustained the ‘sick woman’ in being subjected to her condition for years empowered her to navigate her way through a crowd that almost crushed Jesus. How many times have we allowed a ‘crowd’ to deter, or discourage us from going to the store, to an event, to church? How many times has a ‘crowd’ of thoughts, or emotions dissuaded, or discouraged us from acting on faith? There was an urgency, hunger, and passion for what she desired that would not allow any obstacle to prevent her from her destination and destiny in encountering the extraordinary power of Jesus working in her life.

Father, bless us and help us to live with the hope, hunger, passion, and determination as the ‘sick woman,’ fueled by confidence in You and the courage to act to take possession of the extraordinary fullness of life Christ came for us to have.

OutOfTheDarkness Click on the book to purchase your copy today!

Read to receive insights on how to experience the elevated, expanded, exponential lifestyle encountered walking by faith. Learn more about God’s plan, purpose, fulfillment, power, & glory revealed in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

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‘“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.’ – Matthew 14:29-29 NIV

By age 16, or 17, I was invited to assume the role of ‘head counselor’ at the summer camp I began volunteering at age 14. The same amazement I felt then to be asked to assume such a great responsibility, I still feel today reflecting back on that moment. I was the youngest of the camp counselors and, in my own eyes, didn’t see myself as capable, or sufficient in my ability to lead people older than myself. I lacked the confidence in myself that others had in me to be offered the opportunity. No regrets, but an important life lesson learned.

In my post, Courage Fuels Faith to Act, I mention the dialogue Gideon had with God about God’s invitation to make use of Gideon to be a ‘change agent’ to encounter something greater, better, new, both for himself and his people (see Judges 6). Gideon didn’t see himself as sufficient, able, or capable in accomplishing what God saw in Gideon the ability to do. Although he could not see how he could do what God was inviting him to do, Gideon was open to and willing to engage God in the possibility of doing what would ultimately lead to Gideon, and his people, experiencing transformation, transition, and triumph.

During their great migration and magnificent journey out of Egypt into Canaan, even the Israelites, despite God’s intimate, imminent presence with them, felt they were diminished in their own eyes to be able to stand up, stand firm, and take possession of what God promised they would have. We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there.’ – Numbers 13:27-28 NIV They were able to go in and see that what God said He would do in bringing them to a better place, they did not believe they could go in and take possession of it. They lacked confidence in themselves, and indirectly confidence in God in His sufficiency to help them succeed. 

Walking by faith has taken me through a great season of transformation, transition, and triumph that leaves me in a similar context as Gideon and the Israelites as now one who aspires to launch a nonprofit and run a summer camp in the summer of 2017. My life has come full circle now, 30 some years since that summer I was invited to take my first role and position as a leader. The distinct difference between my younger self and now? I was not a Christian as a teenager as I profess to be today as an adult. Like the Israelites, I have taken a great journey over the years that has aroused within me a response similar to that of Caleb in response to those who were fearful of taking possession of Canaan mentioned in Numbers 13, ‘Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.’ – Numbers 13:30 NIV. In essence, Caleb was simply saying we are well able to do what God has promised us to take possession of. The same sentiment that inspired Peter to desire to walk on water.

Like Joshua, what is God challenging you to be strong and courageous about to do in your life as He did for Moses, Joshua, Gideon, and Peter’s, as He is doing in mine?

Father, grant us the courage to walk by faith, to take action, to take possession of the promises You proclaim in Your word so we can experience the fullness of life Christ came for us to have and inspire others to encounter the transformation, transition, and triumph through what You do in and through us.

OutOfTheDarkness Click on this book to get your copy today!

Read to discover insights that allow you to experience the elevated, expanded, exponential lifestyle encountered walking by faith. Learn more about God’s plan, purpose, fulfillment, power, and glory revealed in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

 

a humility image

‘If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.’ – Daniel 3:17-18 NIV

So my previous post reinforces and reminds us that though we may ‘feel,’ or ‘think’ that we are undeserving, incapable, or unable to experience something greater, better, new according to what God proclaims and promises in His word, it’s not true. One of the reasons for Christ coming to dwell, walk, and live among us was to show us and demonstrate what the outcome of faith would grant us access to. ‘The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.’ – 1 John 3:8 NIV

When you read the account of the 3 Hebrew boys and their response to the threat of death that was imminent, provided at the top of this post, is a great illustration of faith declaring what God can do. They understood anything is possible with God and what may be impossible for them to do in their own strength, God could do in His power. Beyond this, they also understood that even if God didn’t do it, doesn’t mean God couldn’t and it is His providential choice to do, or not to do. They believed, however, He would. Their expressed confidence in God, faith, and their courage to face persecution, for God’s glory, positioned them for the miraculous and the impossible. They displayed the proper posture, reverence and humility before God, that allowed them to encounter a greater source of power to experience victory, triumph, and deliverance from a great trial.

What trial, challenge, circumstance, or opposition are you currently facing God is inviting you to ‘declare an expression of faith’ in what He can do? What is causing you to ‘think,’ or ‘feel’ faith is insufficient to grant you access to the impossible, or the miraculous? Why would God allow Christ to die for you and withhold the blessings of the fullness of life Christ came for us to have from you?

Acknowledge in prayer the thoughts and feelings inhibiting and prohibiting your faith and courage to work for you. Write down and journal what you would like to see ‘faith’ accomplish in your life that would require God and grace, His power, to allow you to encounter the impossible and miraculous. Get in His word and identify the passages of scripture that will feed your faith and fuel your courage to take action in demonstrating the proper posture and position you need to see God manifest His promises to you.

Father, grant us the ability to demonstrate the necessary self-discipline and self-determination that allows room for Your Holy Spirit to work in us and through us to live, thrive, and experience the fullness of life faith grants me access to.

OutOfTheDarkness Click on the book to purchase your copy today!

Read and gain insights on how to experience the elevated, expanded, exponential lifestyle encountered walking by faith. Learn more about God’s plan, purpose, fulfillment, power, and glory revealed in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

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‘I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.’ – Joshua 1:3 NIV

The dialogue between God and Joshua is an intriguing and interesting one. Intriguing because when you consider what God did with Moses, God is saying to Joshua the outcome of your faith walk won’t be any less than what was done for Moses. Interesting because faith challenges us to consider the possibility that what was communicated to Joshua and accomplished in Moses’ life could also be my experience.

What would cause me to doubt that what is written in the Bible, according to what God promised, could not be intended for me too? If God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, then why not me? Why require me to read it and then say, ‘But the content of what’s written is not meant for you to encounter.’ So I am required to walk by faith, but the impossible and the miraculous are beyond my reach? Where would such thinking, or belief be influenced from? Are not Moses and Joshua human as I am? Didn’t God choose me for an intimate, personal relationship with Him as He chose them?

Gideon, in the book of Judges chapter 6, didn’t think he was significant enough to be a recipient of God’s grace in a manner that would usher him into a life filled with the fulfillment of miraculous signs and wonders as God said He would do for Joshua as he did for Moses. ‘Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.’ – Judges 6:15 Gideon did not consider himself worthy, deserving, or capable of experiencing God’s promise of a transformed life that brings with it deliverance, triumph, and prosperity. God’s persistent prompting and patience to instill courage in Gideon to act allowed Gideon to experience a fullness of life not previously known until his encounter with God.

Faith is a ‘call to action’ by God to experience the greater, better, new He has in store for us if we are willing to be courageous to act and trust God to fulfill what he promises in His word and perform what is spoken. Courage is my fuel to act on faith. Courage looks beyond the thoughts and feelings that inhibit and prohibit action and empowers me to move forward believing God is with me to help me and bless me. The word of God and His Spirit fuels my courage that drives my faith to act, live, and thrive. What does God want you to be courageous about?

Father, grant us the courage to walk by faith and not by sight so we may experience the fullness of life Christ came for us to have.

OutOfTheDarkness Click on the book to purchase your copy today!

Experience the elevated, expanded, exponential lifestyle encountered walking by faith. Discover God’s plan, purpose, fulfillment, power, and glory revealed in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

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‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’ – Joshua 1:9 NIV

When would you find it most difficult to ‘act on faith?’ What set of circumstances would make it difficult for you to ‘believe’ faith is enough to help you succeed? Have you ever come to a point in living your life, you didn’t think you would be able to go any further? Have you ever encountered a set of circumstances that suggested to you that there is no point in going any further?

What prompted God to say to Joshua to be strong and courageous, to not be afraid, or discouraged, and why did God have to reiterate that He commanded Joshua to do this?

Moses has since died. Joshua spent many moments with Moses in the Tent of Meeting watching him converse with God and now Moses is gone. Is it possible Joshua’s grief and loss is shrouding his confidence and courage to continue the journey Moses started? Is it possible God’s directive is speaking to the heart and core of Joshua’s internal struggle of the reality and responsibility he is now faced with in Moses’ absence.

Courage is the fuel that makes confidence act. Faith says, ‘I believe God can.’ Courage says, ‘I will act because God can.’ Continuing my journey of walking by faith, post separation and divorce, this post is my inaugural declaration of the application of courage and confidence needed in order to step into and take possession of what lies ahead believing there is something greater, better, new in store for me on the horizon.

Be blessed!

Father, grant us the courage to act, walking by faith, believing You are with us to bless us, help us, and usher us into the fullness of life Christ came for us to have.

OutOfTheDarkness

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