Let it gooooo, let it goooo

Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the Lord Almighty at Shiloh,where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord.  Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters.  But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb. Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat.  Her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?”

1 Samuel 1:3-8

So I’ve started reading 1 Samuel and the first chapter really had me thinking about some of the women I know who seem to be holding on to feelings of worthlessness or inadequacy…kind of what Hannah was going through in this chapter. Back in those times, a woman was measured in worth by how many children should could give her husband, so if a woman was barren she was looked upon as basically worthless. Even though her husband Elkanah would give her a double portion of meat from his sacrifice to God, she couldn’t even eat and enjoy it because of her inability to produce children. This is one reason why holding on to worthlessness is dangerous.  (it causes us to develop tunnel vision for a blessing we think we should have, thus resulting in a blind eye to the blessings we are already receiving.) 

If that wasn’t enough, the other wife Peninnah would constantly taunt Hannah for not producing any children, adding insult to injury. You know women can be oh so petty towards each other. Second reason why it’s dangerous to hold on to worthlessness (The enemy will recognize your feelings of worthlessness and constantly remind you of what you don’t have, adding fuel to its fire. We give him power to strengthen that feeling the longer we continue to hold on to it).  

Hannah’s husband loved her dearly, in fact, in those times when you were offered a double portion of meat from a sacrifice it was a symbol of endearment. He didn’t do this for his other wife, but she still felt worthless nevertheless. It had gotten to the point over the years where Elkanah pleaded to Hannah “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” He felt that even though he was going over and beyond for her, her worthless feelings toward herself prevented her from appreciating his offerings at all because it wasn’t what she desired the most. Third reason why it’s dangerous to hold on to worthlessness (it can cause us to take God and his blessings for granted, we won’t appreciate the things he does for us because it’s not that ONE thing our focus is stuck on.)

Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s house. 10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. 11 And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth.  Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk  and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”“Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.  Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.”Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.”

1 Samuel 1:9-20

After years of holding on this terrible feeling she finally decided to let it go and give it to God! She walked in the temple and completely poured her heart out to God, so much so that Eli thought she was drunk. She didn’t care how she looked to whoever seen her, she wanted to get in the face of God because she recognize that’s where she needed to release. All the years of built up frustration and fatigue from carrying around that burden of worthlessness released with a heart felt cry to God…and he heard her! Hannah went home, made love to her husband and became pregnant with a son whom she dedicated back to God before having even more children. She went before God and presented her whole heart, and he blessed her with her request of a child AND then some with more children!

I believe God has things stored for us that exceeds our own desires and requests, but our hearts have no room to receive them because we continue to hold on to feelings of worthlessness deep within us. God wants our whole heart, not a piece of it while other portions are stuck on the things we wished we had, money we wished we made, or that person we wish we were with. Release those burdens to God, go to him and give him all of you in prayer. Prepare your heart and spirit to receive the blessings of God. 

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So I creep

 

“If a man divorces his wife
    and she leaves him and marries another man,
should he return to her again?
    Would not the land be completely defiled?
But you have lived as a prostitute with many lovers—
    would you now return to me?”
declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 3:1

Have you ever had someone try to come back into your life, but because they have been involved with so many people apart from you that you view them differently? Not as attractive, not as appealing, the initial glow you noticed about them has suddenly dimmed down? Often times the thought of someone we cared about indulging themselves with many other people makes them almost disgusting or defiled.

Defile means: to make foul, dirty, or unclean; pollute; taint; or debase. To make impure.

In the world we live in today, it’s really not hard at all to slip out of a relationship with God every now and then to start flirting with outside sources. T.V watching, social media, work, sports, money, sex, drugs, people, admiration and many other things can quickly move God to the back seats of our lives. They tend to give us a “fulfilling” feeling until the feeling tank runs on E and we run to it again to get another dose. Sliding God to the back burner for these temporary pleasures is equivalent to leaving someone you love, sleeping around, and then running to them hoping they take you back. We actually become like a spiritual whore, jumping from lover to lover hurting the only person that loves us unconditionally.

These actions will cause a division between us and God to form. We become distant spiritually, which produces a disconnect in his power in our lives. We become less like him and more like the things we run too that replaces him in our lives. We leave the protection of his presence and expose ourselves to the dangers of sin and confusion. God becomes increasingly like a stranger while these idols in our lives gain power. I know personally, I knew God was faithful to forgive me so I would run to anything that felt good because of that. But this hurts God and you cannot claim to love God on Sunday, when you blatantly ignore him Mon-Sat. That’s not love and God is certainly not a fool, he knows who’s real and who’s far from him.

God IS faithful to forgive a heart that’s true in repentance, however, purposefully creeping on God should’t be a daily activity for anyone who loves him. Matthew 15:8 says “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me“. Creeping on God can leave us defiled with feelings of guilt, shame, and sorrow. Let’s not give him the run around, keep him first and stay faithful….as he constantly does for us. Such an undeserving privilege.

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Broken heart

Staying Free

When someone is released from prison, the feeling of finally being on the right side of freedom can be overwhelmingly powerful. But, freedom comes with a responsibility, for we know if that same person violates a law, they could end up right back in prison. Obeying the laws to remain free is mandatory , and obedience takes discipline.

Galatians 2:18 “For if I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker”

Paul is telling us something that is KEY to remaining in the freedom of Christ…we cant begin to dwell back into the bad situation we prayed deliverance from! A person who goes back to the habit that Christ pulled them from is described here as a lawbreaker, and the consequences of breaking the law is prisoner to that same habit. Often I would find myself constantly praying to Jesus to destroy certain prisons I was trapped in (Lust, selfishness, pornography, laziness, etc.) and he would answer! But a few weeks following, I would begin to gather the bricks, putting some together, and before I knew it I had rebuilt the prison I wanted so desperately to be freed from! Jesus died so that we could leave the prison of sin and walk in freedom, but its up to us to stay obedient to remain free.

There is no long lasting freedom without obedience, only temporary visitations from prison. You won’t walk free from fornication if you keep doing the things that lead to it, you won’t walk free from selfishness if you refuse to give, you won’t walk in freedom from pride if you refuse to humble yourself. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17).  Follow Jesus in obedience and you’ll always be in the presence of freedom.

“Obedience is the substance that freedom is made of”

Prayer of Deliverance

Father, in Jesus’s name, I loose myself from all relationships that are not ordained by God. All relationships based on the flesh and not the spirit. Relationships based on lust, deception, control or manipulation. I loose myself from the effects of all horrific and painful memories of the past that hinders me in the present or will try to hinder me in the future. I loose my mind from all spirits of confusion, passivity, knowledge block, lust, and evil thinking. I loose all members of my body, including my eyes, ears, tongue, hands, and feet from sexual impurity, uncleanliness, promiscuity, pornography, fornication, uncontrollable sex drives, and burning passion. I loose myself from all evil inheritance including inherited weaknesses, attitudes, thought patterns, sicknesses, poverty, and addictions. I loose myself from the spirit of laziness, rejection, fear of man, and people pleasing. I am free from all guilt and shame because I gave my life to the victory and freedom of Jesus. I am free, I am powerful, in the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

A metallic chain with an explosed link.
Break Every Chain.

Bible Daily Devotional – Strong and courageous: Joshua 1

ChristianBlessings

Strong and courageous: Joshua 1

image

“How do I find the courage to do the things I know God wants me to do?”

Many times we know God’s will but lack the conviction to carry it out. It takes courage in the face of opposition, or perceived danger, or in light of drastic changes we must make to our way of living. Joshua needed courage to undertake the invasion of the Promised Land, and here’s how God undergirded his courage.

The Need for Courage

“Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.”

Joshua’s mission was leading the Israelites as they took over the Promised Land. He needed to be strong in order to inspire his people. You and I may not be national or military leaders, but we are on a mission…

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One step too close

Proverbs 7:7-27

I saw among the simple,
    I noticed among the young men,
    a youth who had no sense.
He was going down the street near her corner,
    walking along in the direction of her house
at twilight, as the day was fading,
    as the dark of night set in.

10 Then out came a woman to meet him,
    dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.
11 (She is unruly and defiant,
    her feet never stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the squares,
    at every corner she lurks.)
13 She took hold of him and kissed him
    and with a brazen face she said:

14 “Today I fulfilled my vows,
    and I have food from my fellowship offering at home.
15 So I came out to meet you;
    I looked for you and have found you!
16 I have covered my bed
    with colored linens from Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed
    with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning;
    let’s enjoy ourselves with love!
19 My husband is not at home;
    he has gone on a long journey.
20 He took his purse filled with money
    and will not be home till full moon.”

21 With persuasive words she led him astray;
    she seduced him with her smooth talk.
22 All at once he followed her
    like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer stepping into a noose
23     till an arrow pierces his liver,
like a bird darting into a snare,
    little knowing it will cost him his life.

24 Now then, my sons, listen to me;
    pay attention to what I say.
25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways
    or stray into her paths.
26 Many are the victims she has brought down;
    her slain are a mighty throng.
27 Her house is a highway to the grave,
    leading down to the chambers of death.

I used to characterize sin as an image of something evil, gross, or extremely unappealing. While those adjectives fit nicely around what sin truly is, if you are only looking to avoid things or situations that fit this description from an outward perspective, you’re going to find yourself falling in traps.

Consider the Venus Fly Trap. It comes in all different beautiful colors and designs, while containing a sweet smelling sap at the center of its death trap. To an insect, it’s just another harmless plant containing a quick snack, when in reality the insect is the only snack in the equation. The sweet smelling substance becomes more of an irresistible urge the closer the insect inches towards the center of the plant. This plant will remain perfectly still and in a state of harmlessness until the insect takes that one step too close, triggering the trap to close and digestion begins. The trap reacts so fast, when the insect realizes and tries to react, it’s already closed!

Sin, more often than not, looks extremely harmless and appealing to the eye. Sin smiles, smells nice, feels great, and looks amazing…but it’s only true result with interaction is destruction. Don’t be fooled with “tip toeing” around sin and suffering no consequences, the insect has to land AND walk around the trap before taking a step too far. Sin can produce that false sense of security just so you will be easier to slip and fall in it’s trap. The only reward for sin is death, however, by being watchful, mindful, and steady in prayer you can spot the traps before walking into one.

“…If I were you I’d take precaution
Before I start to leave fly girl
You know ’cause in some portions
You’ll think she’s the best thing in the world

She’s so fly, she’ll drive you right out of your mind
Steal your heart when you’re blind
Beware she’s schemin’, she’ll make you think you’re dreamin’
You’ll fall in love and you’ll be screamin’ dreamin’…”

Haha, this song has some hidden Gems

Have You Been?

There’s this place, a weird place. Different.

Not a place as in walls, doors, and a roof. But it might as well have been a dressing room, because my appearance changed from entrance to exit. Went in with my regular outfit, but came out wearing something new. Something about this place fills me up, yet places a hunger inside at the same time.

This place, its so comforting that even the first time I visited it felt like something so familiar. The energy within this place makes me cry when Im not sad, shout when Im not angry, and even knocks me down without touching me. This place, strips every strand of distress and confusion from your heart, rips hopelessness out of your spirit, and make even the worst moments of pain in your life seem insignificant. This place, instantly turning your weaknesses due to fatigue from failures into unimaginable strength without pushing a bar or lifting a weight…just your hands. Destroying chains that have been placed on you by the things you used to enjoy, this place frees us from bondage yet traps us into a place the world just cant get into. Where words from those around you cant penetrate the walls. Where you drown in the fragrance of boldness while being washed of any spot of fear that tries to hold on. Where *can’t* breaks up the *’t* and can is your new favorite word, and although you’ve been denied every logical way to your destination, this place seems to feel like EXACTLY what you’ve been looking for.

This place, its accessible anywhere…at anytime. Its not a church building, its not bible study, its not reserved to a certain dress code, age group, or social status…..Where is it? How do I get there?

The presence of God is where you experience this small taste of glory, and the one way road to this place is worship.

If you’ve never felt God’s presence through worship…..you’ve never felt God

James 4:8 “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you…”