Monday, October 15, 2018

How to have Faith

"Anything is possible if you have faith" Mark 9:23

We often hear in sermons that Christians must "have faith" but seldom are you given any practical steps to attaining it.  I thought that faith was something that you just pray for and God would just pour it on you.   However, it does not simply work like that.  

Each believer is already born with a measure of faith (Romans 12:3) but to increase it we must exercise it.  Mere prayer alone is not going to magically cause a person to have more faith.  When I say exercise your faith that speaks of doing something repetitive.  

Do you remember in elementary school having to write your spelling words 10 times each everyday for homework until testing day?  You may literally have to do something similar with the word of God to help you increase your Faith.  There are times where I have had to pick a scripture out of the Bible and write it down over and over until it is in my heart. This helps me have more faith because as I am writing the scripture I am imagining it happening in my life.  It is also causing me to memorize it and have my mind and heart focused on the Word of God.    

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Key to answered prayer: The Word mixed with Faith

"For to us was the gospel preached, as well as to them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with Faith in them that hear it".  Hebrews 4:2

I was recently talking to a friend concerning the subject of unanswered prayer.  This is a direction God has be taking me in lately, as I wonder why so many of us as Believers are not getting answers to our prayers.  

We begin to discuss how sometimes we do not mix the Word with Faith, meaning we can believe the Word of God, but may not act on it.   I was reading a book that stated that one of the keys to success in life is the ability to make decisions readily.  This does not mean that you act out of haste, but once you are well informed about a decision you should not hesitate to move on it.   People who are able to do that are more successful in life, so how much more would it be to apply this same principle to the Word of God by acting on it, believing that God would lead us in the right direction.

So let's say you feel a hunch that you need to move for a better career opportunity, but you have not moved on it.  You are settled in the town in which you are raised and don't want to leave family and friends.  However, on the other hand you feel drawn by God toward a new city hours away.  Can you see how you can become stuck in life because you do not act on that "hunch" to move?  

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Understanding Time from God's Perspective

The Lord is not slack concerning His Promise (2 Peter 3:9)

In this Christian walk, we often get bent out of shape concerning God's timing.  We may have been praying for a situation and become discouraged when it does not happen in a given time-frame.  What if I tell you that God is not concerned with "timing".  
Our understanding of time is a man made social construct. As we know in the Bible, God deals in Eternity.  Eternity is defined as a "state to which time has no application, timelessness".

We invent words like "early" "late" etc. to make sense of the chronological passage of time.  Unfortunately, we often put these same limitations on God, trying to fit Him into our little box.  We may want Him to manifest an answer to prayer in what we deem as a proper "time frame".  However, remember that one day is to God a thousand years and a thousand years one day.  (2 Peter 3:8)

Cultural Differences

 To understand time, let us look to history.  According to the Smithsonian Magazine, the national US standard time was adopted in 1883 because the railroads needed to work by common timetables.  Prior to this adoption cities kept their own local versions of "time" and did not want to use a standard clock.  Some cities such as Cincinnati wanted to use nature to keep time, relying on the Sun, Moon, and Stars.

In Western society (U.S. and Europe)  time is seen as fixed and unchanging, however in other parts of the world like Latin America and Asia time is more fluid and adaptive.  Their meaning of early and late are vastly different than ours, and they are more flexible concerning time.  You may a business meeting scheduled at 3 pm in some countries and it may be acceptable or even expected to show up hours later.  In America you will be considered unprofessional but in other countries they do not bat an eye.  

So let us not get so caught up in "time" especially when it comes to the answer to our prayers.  Let us keep the Faith and wait on the Lord.

Monday, September 17, 2018

God is not a magician

      Imagine being a business owner and you are driving in your car, listening to a sermon.  You are feeling down because your online clothing boutique has hit a dry spell.  It has been weeks since you have received any customers and you are wondering what are you doing wrong?  You have bills to pay, a roof to keep over your head and the cares of your business is weighing heavily on you.  

      As you listen to the sermon, the preacher start prophesying "There is someone driving in their car, listening to this message right now.  You are experiencing a dry spell in your business, and you are feeling down and discouraged.  But the Lord says, do not feel discouraged any longer.  I am turning it around.  I decree this is a new day.  In 30 days you are going to have customers from all over the globe, ordering your products.  What it took you five years to do business wise, you will do within 30 days".  As you hear this Word, you leap in your spirit knowing that God is speaking to you through the preacher.  

    You go home feeling on cloud nine and you turn on your television.  You flip through the channels and come across a woman promoting a book about how she became successful in her business through social media marketing.  You think to yourself, "That's nice, but I am waiting on the Lord to move". 

   Week after week you continue to wait on the Lord to move.  You wait and wait and wait but nothing happens within 30 days.  You are sitting there discouraged and disgusted.  What happened? Why didn't God move.     

   As you think back you remember distinctively that television program you saw with the lady's book.    Could that have been the voice of God speaking to you?  Was your breakthrough in her book?  Suddenly a light bulb comes on in your head and you run down to the bookstore to buy the book.  You apply the marketing principles that the book taught you and within a month's time you begin to see positive changes in your business.  Month after month your business continues to grow as you continue to apply the principles.
  The moral of this story is that God's' Word is true but sometimes we think that He is a magician in Heaven granting us our wishes without us making any effort to change.  We hear a word of prophesy and just sit back and wait.  We end up waiting for an indefinite period of time not seeing the manifestation.  

  However, when we receive a prophesy we must first test it by the Bible and once we confirm that it is from God we need to ask for His Wisdom.  How should we move forward in the prophesy?  Are there any action steps we need to take to see it's fulfillment?   Sometimes our answer lies in practical action steps that He wants us to take.  

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Overcoming Procrastination

Tero Vesalainen
Procrastinate- delay or postpone action; to put off doing something

Recently, I have been pondering as to why we as human beings procrastinate?  
One thing I noticed is that it depends on what we are procrastinating about.  Our reasons for putting off washing a load of laundry may be very different than putting off going to the dentist or talking to a bill collector.  

The motivation for not washing a load of laundry may just be simple laziness, while putting off the bill collector or dentist appointment may be rooted in fear.  Fear will cause us to put things off until we are confronted with  the situation in a dramatic way.  
The confrontation may manifest as a severe toothache which forces us to go to the dentist, or a threatening phone call from the bill collector which forces us to deal with that situation.  

Either way, in order to overcome procrastination we must replace bad habits with good ones.  One habit we should form is one of getting things done as quickly and efficiently as possible.  We should never allow things to linger in our life where the problem will grow and grow until it is unmanageable.  We must conquer it while it is something that is still small.   

We must also check our relationship with God especially if we use procrastination as a way to cope with fear.  Do we fully trust Him to work things out for our good?  Do we trust Him to lead us and guide us in our everyday lives?  

Know beloved that we never face situations alone because God is on our side.  God is a facilitator, he simplifies a problem, not make it more difficult.  Last but not least let us remember, "I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me" Philippians 4:13

Friday, September 7, 2018

Jesus' Yoke is Easy

Gerd Altmann  

Take Jesus' Yoke upon you because His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  In life we may struggle when we try to work things out in our own strength.  Sometimes we make life-changing decisions in our own reasoning which is limited and more often than not incorrect.  This causes us to toil in frustration, discouragement and shame.

I recently went through a situation where I was seeking man's advice concerning my business.  I did not consult God for wisdom, I just asked Him to bless what I was doing.  However, I quickly learned that the real blessing is in seeking His wisdom.  Not only will He show you what to do, but you will also reap the benefits.  

So one day I just was sitting still and God spoke to my mind as to what I needed to do.  It was an idea that I had not thought of, and once I implemented it I saw progress in that area.  And to top it off, the solution was so simple and easy that I was surprised.  I often looked at God as being a difficult taskmaster that you had to jump through hoops to please.  This mindset develop as I was a young girl in church hearing "testimonies" of how God had tested them with trials and tribulations and how they were going through.  So I developed this mindset to do things on my own because I thought it would be easier.  I thought that God's way was too hard, too mysterious, too much like a riddle.  Consequently, I led myself into "trial and tribulations" because I did not do things God's way.   

Now, I am learning that God is the opposite.  God's nature is that of Light, and the main purpose of light is to shine so that you can see clearly and not be in darkness.  God wants to simplify our lives if we will only seek His wisdom.  God is a facilitator, meaning that He wants to make life easier for us.  

Sunday, August 26, 2018

You are Altogether Beautiful

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you. (Song of Solomon 4:7) 

 Today I want to speak about self-esteem, beauty, and society. The scripture above is one of those verses in the Bible that just speaks to the heart in such a beautiful and poetic way. Here, Solomon is admiring the beauty of his bride. He is awe struck as if she is the only woman in this world. She is so beautiful to him that he sees "no flaw" in her. 

 Beloved, that is how Christ see's each and every one of us. When we were created, we were molded into the essence of God. We were not just some random group of cells from our parents. We are "fearfully and wonderfully made" according to Psalm 139:14. 

 Society likes to project their standard of beauty onto us.  This often leads to low self esteem and celebrity worship.  We become envious for their beauty and lifestyle.   However, we only see the image that they have decided to show us.   We do not see the body modifying surgeries, cosmetic procedures, and photo editing tools used to make the perfect image that is presented to us. So love yourself, and appreciate your own beauty that God fashioned.

How to have Faith

"Anything is possible if you have faith" Mark 9:23 We often hear in sermons that Christians must "have faith" but seld...