Ready To Level Up?

Ready To Level Up?

Have you given God glory for that undeserved gift He blessed you with?

Were you even deserving of it?

Had you prayed and fasted for it or was it a complete surprise?

God’s blessings are free to all His children. Some He just gives for no reason at all. Others we must put in some work for in order to receive them. In the Book of Joshua 5:12, it reads, “And the manna stopped.” Here we find the Israelites had become complacent in their receiving of God’s daily blessings of manna from Heaven. They had become lazy and expectant of just rolling out of bed, walking outside, scooping up the manna from Heaven and eating it. They were now too lazy to go in search of or to work for their own food/needs.

God had delivered them into the promised land and now He was going to do a new thing in their lives and take them to the next level in their faith. In order to do so, He had to get them to the next level in their faith.

Sometimes to take us higher, God has to pull out or allow our safety net to be pulled out from underneath us to grow us and kick start our independence. Much like the Dad who tells his maturing son that when he hits 18 he has to leave the house. Or removing that helicopter mom who can’t seem to stop hovered overhead and as such never trusts that child to live independently.  

Now preferably we have developed and guided our children enough that they are prepared for this transition, either by heading off to College, the military or employment. Why do we do this, to help our children get to the next level of maturity we have to challenge them so that they begin to depend less on us and more on God and the skills and preparation we have imbedded in them towards self-sufficiency and independence!  You see God needed to mature the Israelites in their faith by pulling the rug out from under them by stopping their dependency on His manna in order for them to stand on their own two feet. You see He was weaning them off their breast milk to ready them to go to the next level. That next level required putting in some work, or working out their faith. Now, they would have to till the soil, plant the seeds, tend to the fields in order to generate a harvest to sustain themselves. In other words, rely on themselves and the fruits of their labor to eat. At this ‘next level’ God could now grow their walk in other areas. Help them to now increase their prayer life as they had to turn to Him in prayer for a good harvest, nourishing weather and holding back pestilence. It was not that they would come to need God less, no!  To the contrary, they now needed Him in so many other areas of their lives until it was illuminated for them.

Our Christian faith can be compared to a video game. Video games are not meant to be conquered or completed. To the contrary, each level has challenges you must overcome to get to the next level of play. Each level helps the player become stronger, wiser, more confident while it teaches us and matures our faith as we grow stronger from the trials we have overcome, just like in the video games. And like the video games, our walk with God takes us higher and higher. We never complete our walk, we just keep advancing closer to His Glory.

Our faith grows as we grow from each trial we overcome!!

Never grow complacent or weary in your well-doing because you shall reap, if you faint not. It’s Biblical.  Steady and ready yourself for the never-ending journey ahead. He is perfecting you as you advance from each level to the next.. 

Are you ready to advance with Him, level up by and with Him?” How dedicated is your faith walk? Don’t expect something for nothing. Honor Him by working for His unmerited Favour. 

Father God, as we enter into this season of blessing — the blessing of Your birth — let us humble ourselves and, with a grateful heart, be more cognizant of all the little things we should be grateful for. A sound mind. Health. Forgiveness. The capacity to feel and give Love. Your direction. Your protection. Our spouses and children. Our parents both in the physical and spiritual realm. Our faculties. But most of all our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Move us God to show our gratitude for The Holy Spirit within us through obedience to Your Word, not man’s, sacrifice of daily praise, Loving and treating others as You have directed us in Your Word. Forgiving those who wrongly persecute, abuse us and use us. Guide and remove us from Satan’s traps designed for us based on our human weaknesses. Cleanse us and strengthen us along this Christian journey so that we do not go astray. Amen 🙏🏽 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽

The Dangers of Unfaithfulness

When God makes you a promise, there will be a process you must undergo to reach its manifestation. God’s promise is good, but the execution by us of what we must do to receive it is where we fall short. Because when we realize we have to do something to obtain the promises of God, we grow weary in following through and being patient. Why? Because doing something usually means we have to let something go. Were you receiving in permanence before you turned your direction to The LORD?
To receive we must let go of old ways, friends, beliefs, expectations grounded in and on the physical. We no longer live ‘primarily’ in the physical, but being spirits in this tabernacle is temporary. Where are you going? More specifically, where will you end up?
We have to acquire patience and discipline, we have to wait (be still and know that I am God! Remember that?) Some things are not in His will for you to have, our God knows all and He knows best. A situation, though painful currently in faith, will lead to blessings. We do not know, GOD knows all.Since the beginning of time we have been given ‘reasoning minds’, the ability to exercise free will. Even with free will were we made with a purpose. God created us in the image of the trinity (“Let us make Man in our image”) not as equals, but as subjects. We have shared a Lego Creator’s influence on his creation. “Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth Aven to the east of Bethel, and told them, “Go up and spy out the region.” So the men went up and spied out Ai.
When they returned to Joshua, they said, “Not all the army will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary the whole army, for only a few people live there.” So about three thousand went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai, who killed about thirty-six of them. They chased the Israelites from the city gate as far as the stone quarries and struck them down on the slopes. At this the hearts of the people melted in fear and became like water.
Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the Lord, remaining there till evening. The elders of Israel did the same, and sprinkled dust on their heads. And Joshua said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan! Pardon your servant, Lord. What can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies? The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. What then will you do for your own great name?”
The Lord said to Joshua, “Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.
“Go, consecrate the people. Tell them, ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow; for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There are devoted things among you, Israel. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove them.” Joshua 7:2-13
We are a part of The Creation. What is our part? Big question. Pray before and in each battle, trust The LORD in ALL. Simple things trip many up, when led through rough land, circumstances and situations. As we receive, receive with open arms and give. We so often seize the concept of “what is mine is mine.” Do we share? Bless others? What you receive are from gifts given to you to raise others up. Overflowing of blessings come from blessing others from your possessions. You are blessed! So give and share freely with others.

Be mature about rejection! Every closed door is a message that what lies beyond is not meant for you, hold on to your faith. Faith it! Your change is coming! Be in prayer and praise until it arrives.
Stop holding on to ‘relationships’ that are not meant for you (this does not mean go get a divorce. God abhors divorce as He holds marriage as sanctified. Do not sin or be misled and think that God will honor such disobedience by divorcing your spouse). Even in a time where, in a city smaller than Jericho city that Joshua and the Israelites just conquered, they lost the fight at Ai to a weaker tribe. They learned that life can change in a second and our victories can turn to defeat if we forget to praise God for our victories and pray to Him before we enter into battle.We are blessed to win all battles with Him by our side!. So in the first six chapters of Joshua the Israelites are enjoying victory after victory, but now in Chapter 7 the Israelites lost the battle to Ai. Let’s look at what gets us in trouble with God:
Things that can cause you to lose:

  1. When you Refuse to help the rest of us; it’s not about who is the greatest but it’s about sharing with those less fortunate
  2. Selfish people aggravate God
  3. The mark of Christianity is compassion. If you have no compassion, you aren’t a Christian;
  4. When God has been good to you and you don’t want to help anyone else. You see when He delivers you, He doesn’t just do it for you alone, but so that you would help lift somebody else up. You see it takes all of us working together to get to where God is taking us;
  5. We also get in trouble when we play with God. He is an all-knowing and all-seeing God and yet we still rob, cheat, lie and steal from Him. We take what is not ours and claim that it belongs to us, as with our tithes and offerings. Failing to give God what He asked for. Everything you get ain’t meant to be spent on you. Don’t be greedy;
    6.He is angered when we store for ourselves what He has blessed us with. The only way we get a harvest is by planting the seed in good soil not storing it up for yourself;
  6. He is angered by a lack of integrity. People who lack integrity will steal and misuse blessings and misappropriate them by acting as if they are theirs;
  7. We spend so much time fearing the evil one can destroy our bodies, but no time trying to please the One who can destroy both your body and your soul;
    9.When the people of God become unfaithful members, that Unfaithfulness makes us vulnerable to Satanic attacks;
  8. The weakness of one of us, leaves all of us vulnerable to the evil one. The stronger ones must undergird the weakest of us;
  9. God is also angered when we don’t pray. From chapter 1-6 the Israelites praised God after every victory and prayed before each battle. But by chapter 7 Joshua only prays after he loses the battle.You see Prayer pre-supposed that we NEED God and are dependent upon Him in everything in our lives, from the big to the small battles.
  10. By not praying we act as if we don’t need Him.

If it took God to win all those battles you need Him. Don’t take stuff lightly because it may be the simple stuff that defeats us. Stay in prayer and praise. The correct response is praise to God for surviving the last situation and prayer for what is yet to come. Never determine your need for prayer based on the size of the battle. When we pray to Him, He speaks to us about our current situation and through prayer He will speak to us about what’s yet to come.

Choose Christ

Satan seeks to misguide us and his mission is to separate us from The Truth, The Light and Our God. Demonic voices, spirits and demon-influenced people are all around us. Since birth, Satan assigned his demons to us, to study us, to know our weaknesses, our triggers, our sins we commit like being prideful, vanity, greed, sex, worldly pursuits, prestige, money, financial gain, control-freak, power-cravers, recognition/fame, pornography, pedophilia, homosexuality, lying, adultery, beastiality, orgies, divorce, abortion and much more.

But you don’t have to cave in. There is a way out. That way is through Jesus Christ.

The Bible promises that “whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). Therefore, after someone tells you words for salvation (Acts 11:14), you may believe and call on the Lord for it. However, the prayer is not what saves. Prayer is simply the first response of the heart that hears the gospel and believes on Jesus Christ.

Salvation is by grace; no one will ever deserve it, because we are all sinners. However, Christ makes salvation possible through faith.

If you want to be free, to grow in grace, and each day to sin-less and put your triggers under your feet. If you are tired of living a life without purpose or feeling like you have no direction or feeling hopeless. There is One that can wipe away all your sin. Cleanse you from unrighteousness and set you on the path to glory. If you believe Jesus can, pray this pray right now:

O Lord, I know I’m a sinner. I know I deserve Hell. I believe Jesus Christ died for me. And I believe with all my heart that He arose from the dead. I ask you to save me right now and give me everlasting life. I believe in Jesus Christ, and I trust you to save me. Amen! 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽

A Clamoring In The Band

As Christians, it is God’s desire that we live a life modeled after the example of Jesus Christ, whose ministry was that of Reconciliation. He came to reconcile us back into The Father and show us what true Love is so that we would reflect it in our lives, marriages, homes and in the world.

Jesus Christ is Love, Agape Love that teaches us how to walk in harmony, seeking peace, uplifting and praying prayers for one another that do not tear down or cause strife or confusion or seek to separate people, but prayers that will not bring judgement or condemnation upon us when we kneel before God.

Backbiting, gossiping, denigrating and being judgmental of fellow believers, seeking the demise of a person or the failure of a marriage or relationship is not only ungodly, but exposes who you are in both your spirit and in your heart. It diminishes your walk. It exposes you as an immature believer, it weakens your witness, it diminishes your testimony but more importantly it separates you, bit-by-bit from the God you profess to Love and serve. You have now become the noise in the band, the one out of step with those marching to God’s tune—His Word, the sound that is out of tune with the harmony and peace that God requires we walk in.

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

How does a God-fearing, Christ-professing, evangelizing, ‘spirit-filled’, servant of the Almighty get so out of step with God’s Word? How do they become the clamoring noise?

  1. A Weakened Prayer Life – Our prayer life is vulnerable to attack when your spirit is not aligned with the indwelling Christ. How does this happen? By having dislike, hatred or a judgmental spirit or feelings about another child of God. This is further compounded when you take Holy Communion knowing that you harbor those feelings and sentiments in your heart towards another. Those feelings are stewing/simmering inside of you. Your attempts to mask it by being a faithful steward, attending church regularly, working faithfully in the church, serving in ministry do not block that sin from God’s eyes. For He is an all-knowing, all-seeing God! The hypocrisy of taking communion without approaching that brother or sister in Christ, that in-law, neighbor or church member cuts you off from God until you ask God to forgive you and then go to that person, seek their forgiveness for harboring that sentiment and make things right. You are but a noise to God and in danger of having more demonic spirits attaching themselves to you!
  2. Having a Religious Spirit, and Not a Christ-Like Spirit – Religiosity is one of the easiest ways to become a clanging cymbal. It can lead to a judgmental spirit that opens you up to God’s Judgment. Criticizing others who may not dress like you or strictly adhere to the religious guidelines of your house of worship makes you noisy to God. Whispering/gossiping about others, saying who is worthy and who is not worthy to take communion or lead a prayer makes you a noisemaker to God
  3. An Unforgiving/Unaccepting Spirit – When we take it upon ourselves to say who is worthy to fellowship with us, eat with us, communion with us, pray with us, marry into our families, associate with our family, attend our place of worship you are a resounding brass noise to God’s ears. Clearly if you had lived during the time Christ walked the Earth, you would have been outraged that He accepted the adulteress (some historical documents call her a prostitute) Mary Magdalene into the fold.
  4. A Sense of Self-Importance or Self-Righteousness – Being unwilling to truly hear or open your heart to other Christians or feeling that it is your way or the highway or believing your own hype or praise for your service exposes your spirit to a prideful, boastful demonic spirit that will lead to your destruction. Here, being a noise to God’s ears is the least of your worries. This puts your soul and very salvation at risk.
  5. Living a Sin-Filled or Sinful Lifestyle
  6. Lying
  7. Being Unfaithful
  8. Being disobedient to God
  9. Knowing that their thoughts or actions are sin, but doing it anyway despite The Word of God
  10. Preaching The Word, but Not Living The Word
  11. Parsing out what Scriptures you will and won’t do and expecting God to honor your prayers

These are just a sampling of how we become a noise in God’s ears. As you can see, it is not as difficult as you may think and we are all susceptible and have at times been just that.

As we strive to live righteousness, to obey The Word of God, to live what we profess and/or preach, let us do always what we know to be right in the sight of Lord, abhor sin, accept Biblical correction and not offend the Holy Spirit inside of us.

Father God, we humbly approach Your Throne of Grace and Mercy. Speak to our inner man/woman daily, guiding us so we don’t go astray. Speak light into our darkness, our thoughts, actions and plans that do not reflect the God in us. Help us to sin-less, pray more, turn from evil and be wise enough to stop before we do or go wrong or afoul of You! In the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ we pray, Amen 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽

Give Love In The Face Of Hate

It’s funny the ways that God will challenge you as a part of His growing, maturing, elevating and teaching you. For instance, in the area of Love. Let us first refresh ourselves with God’s definition of Love.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. – 1 Cor. 13 (NIV)
God epitomizes Love. We are the recipients of His Love. He sacrificed a part of Himself for us – we, the vile. We the sinners. We the fornicators. We the adulterers. We the murderers. We the coveters. We the unfaithful. We the defilers of men, women, children and our bodies. We the suicidal and depressed. We the hot-tempered. We the arrogant. We the pompous and pretentious. We the cliquish and clanish. We the idol-worshippers. We that espouse hate. We the envious. We the liars. And the list goes on and on.
Yet, those of us who proclaim to be Believers – the ministers, evangelists, pastors, teachers, priests, church leaders, deacons/deaconnesses, choir leaders, saved – praising Him to the Heavens, sharing, writing, teaching and spreading His Word, are a blemish in His eyes when we allow Satan to overcome our hearts, our spirits and demeanor with feelings of hatred, dislike, envy, even despising those who we can see in the physical, while proclaiming to Love a God in the spiritual that we cannot see.
Taking Holy Communion, preaching, teaching or ministering to others God’s Word, while harboring ill-feelings towards a family member, inlaw, neighbor, church member, coworker, different ethnic group or race, you eat and drink damnation unto your very soul. Be clear…God sees all. God knows all. You cannot hide from God as Adam and Eve found out in the Garden of Eden.
So, if you are on the receiving end of someone’s hatred or dislike of you for no known rational reason or, if in their twisted minds they have rationalized a reason for their feelings, what do you do? How do you Love someone in the face of their hate?
You extend Love and prayers while leaving them and their animosity towards you at the foot of the Cross where a just God will deal with them.
God does not expect you to matyr yourself in seeking the approval, acceptance or friendship of the person, relative, inlaw, neighbor or coworker who casts aspersions against you. No, not at all.
Yes Jesus was ridiculed, tortured, spat upon, cursed, crucified for speaking the truth, teaching God’s Love, forgiveness and how to be reconciled back to the Father. Even while hanging from The Cross Jesus asked God to forgive those who wrongly accused, tried, beat and crucified Him. The lesson we learn hear is that we are to pray and extend forgiveness and Love to those who hate us and turn them over to God to do the rest of the work needed to save their souls from eternal damnation.
Giving Love in the face of Hate is a challenging act of selflessness and demonstrates the strength of your Christian walk and maturity in understanding the true meaning of The Word.
We are not to fear the hatemongers for they can do nothing to us for as the saved of the Lord, we are already overcomers. We have victory in Christ Jesus. We have a home prepared for us. A Father waiting for us. A promise of eternal life. The challenges of this world are merely to give us a testimony to not only help us while in this realm, but also to be shared to draw others to Jesus.
Loving someone in the face of their hatred and dislike towards you is both a challenge and a blessing! Imagine that God chose you to demonstrate to that person a Godly-love in the face of their hate. There is a saying, “kill them with kindness.” It is so true. When they are rude, you elevate your respectful manners. When they hurl insults, you remind them that they are in your prayers. When they refuse to get to know you or speak to you, you wave and speak even if they turn their backs to you. Use scripture to penetrate their hardened hearts. Sweet words to tame their turbulent souls. Smile at the demon that has taken control of their spirits, rebuking the demon while praying for the afflicted.
Then allow God to do the rest. That’s how you conquer hate with Love. When the demon in them can see that their actions are not moving or disturbing you, they will either relent or be further consumed by the demonic spirit that has attached themselves to that individual.
Remember to pray. Remember to be humble. Remember to retain your cool so as not to disrupt your witness. But most of all remember this…God is in control!

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.