Archive for February, 2014

“‘Lord if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.'”

– Matthew 14:28 NIV

On my way to the place called ‘better’ my season of empowerment and fulfillment transitioned into the season of ‘progress, success and prosperity.’ For the woman with the issue of blood to get from the place where she spent all she had for a condition that got worse to where her faith made her whole, she had to be willing to move towards the place she believed would get her to something she envisioned as better. Her faith made her sojourn despite her condition and, though it may have been difficult, she persevered. Faced with the obstacle of the crowd pressed against Jesus, the external and internal forces that could have easily deterred and dissuaded her from progressing towards the ‘better’ place, she pressed through, pushed forward and persevered beyond the reality of what opposed her until she broke through to the proximity of the miraculous and the impossible!

In contrast, Peter was in the place called ‘comfort,’ ‘security,’ and although the storm surrounding him and the disciples made them feel they were facing the threat of death, logic would say they were in the ‘better’ place inside the boat. All of a sudden, Peter is compelled to desire to be out on the water, in the midst of the storm (a place called ‘uncertainty’) in closer proximity to Jesus than to remain in the ‘comfort zone’ of life. Walking by faith challenges me to find my security in my proximity to Jesus instead of trusting in the element of my surroundings externally. Faith challenges me to take the risk of stepping out into the unknown, being willing to dwell in the realm of what is ‘unfamiliar’, ‘on ‘unstable’ ground, and be at rest in the world of ‘uncertainty’ believing my close proximity to Jesus is better and will bring me into something greater, better and new!

The ‘season of progress, success, and prosperity’ taught me to embrace uncertainty, dark days, and difficult moments as a means to transition from what was to the places in God that represent something greater, better, and new! Like Peter, I had to be willing to step out of the comfort, security, and ease of what was familiar and be willing to move with God, through faith in Christ, towards what He declares as the ‘new thing’ He announces He will do for those who believe! Faith compels me to declare, as God does, that what is not, will be, and what is dead will be made alive!

May God bless you and help you to declare new seasons and learn to take the necessary steps of faith that will bring you into the new things God announces in His word to do for us to experience the fullness of life Christ came for us to have.

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‘To this end I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.’

– Colossians 1:29 NIV

Have you ever looked back over a difficult season of your life where it was dark and difficult and later felt there was a benefit to the season you just transitioned out of despite how you were feeling while you were going through it? I had this encounter recently as I peered back over the past 9 years since 2005-2006 when I officially separated and divorced. Though I regret the circumstances that led to the experience of being separated and divorced, I do not live in regret. Though there was a period of great remorse, guilt, shame, and sense of unworthiness to God, I no longer reside under the great cloud of condemnation that came with that season of my life. I abide in the shelter of the Most High in the shadow of the Almighty!

It was during that time I resolved I wanted to get to a better place. I was inspired to start journaling and began to declare ‘new seasons’ despite the condition of my current circumstances. One of those seasons was called the ‘season of empowerment and fulfillment.’ I have since arrived to what I would call the ‘better’ place I desired so many years ago. The season of empowerment and fulfillment was about adopting the mindset that would equip, enable and empower me to get to the better place I desired in my heart. There were two biblical characters that were inspirational to fueling me with the energy I would need to allow the Holy Spirit to move me from what was to where I desired to be. The woman with the issue of blood and the encounter the Apostle Peter had with Christ when he steeped out of the boat on the sea of Galilee remained with me as I sought to sojourn with God to the place called ‘better.’

Coming out of that season I have understood: 1) God was with me, 2) never gave up on me, and 3) helped me to get to where I am currently in my faith walk with Him! I learned about His grace, favor, and compassion He has for those He loves to provide, protect, and preserve them. I can relate to the woman with the issue of blood who had invested all she had in seeking to get well and, yet, in all she did things got worse. Her faith in God inspired her to resolve within herself that a closer proximity to Jesus would heal her of her infirmity! Walking by faith is teaching me that there is an intimate, personal proximity to God, through faith in Christ, that allows us to encounter the miraculous and experience the impossible. Empowerment is about allowing God to work in me and through me in the way He desires for me to experience the fulfillment of what He declares in His word.

May God bless you and help you to encounter His grace and favor in a manner that empowers you to experience the fulfillment of what He declares in His word that allows you to experience the fullness of life Christ came for us to have.

“For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was still a boy, he began to seek the God of his ancestor David, and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the sacred poles, and the carved and the cast images.”

– 2 Chronicles 34:3 NRSV

What would be the greater demonstration of God’s presence and power, what He does around me, or within me? No one existed when God spoke creation into existence. The challenge of the believer is to see the same God who displayed His power in creation is present with them to display His power in them and through them. It is easy to see, think, and believe God is with me when everything is going well, but in the face of great adversity when it appears all hope is lost is when I need to be confident and assured God is present with me to display His power!

If faith the size of a mustard seed could move mountains, do I believe faith in God can move me from the condition of my current circumstances towards something greater, better and new? As a boy, it is recorded that Josiah made a conscious, deliberate decision to seek God, just as Jesus commanded in Matthew 6:33. Josiah’s sincere effort to pursue God empowered him to affect change in the environment around him as change was affected within him. Beyond salvation, God desires that we allow His presence and power to affect change within us that ultimately affects change around us!

The same God who spoke light into the darkness of the universe and established order in creation wants to speak light, life, and hope into the heart, mind, and souls of sincere believers. Words that will catapult sincere believers into an intimate encounter with the Creator of the heavens and the earth and experience the extraordinary wonders of life beyond salvation He promises in His word. Beyond salvation, God wants to equip, enable, and empower us to ascend and transcend beyond the reality of the troubles of life. To do this, as Josiah did, we must walk in the authority of His word and the anointing of His Holy Spirit in a way that allows His presence and power to work in and through us to impact and influence others to experience Him as we do!

May God bless you and help you to encounter His presence and power in a way that empowers you to ascend above and transcend the reality of life’s troubles and experience the extraordinary fullness of life Christ came for us to have.