Stop and Do a Spirit Check

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Habakkuk 2:2-3 – “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets; that he may run who reads it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”

Sometimes, I feel like a failure…inadequate for the calling that God has placed upon my life. It’s rare, but it still happens. I’m a planner, and when the plan doesn’t come to fruition, or takes significantly longer to implement than I’d expected, I can be pretty hard on myself. The journey towards the fulfillment of the vision God has given me, despite all of my planning, has truly been a years-long struggle; and sometimes, I just want to throw in the towel and take the easy road…the road of least resistance…abandon the call and do something that’s just not so…HARD.

It’s in those moments that I do a spirit check. Meditating on the Word and praying about whether I truly believe that God has called me to accomplish the task at hand. Did He really choose flawed, unprepared me to fulfill this seemingly huge undertaking?? The answer is always the same—a soul encompassing, resounding YES. I can’t avoid it! Every time, I come to the same conclusion. With this certainty in mind, I pull up my bootstraps and get back to work! Walking away is no longer an option, and I move forward confident in my purpose and knowing that in time, the vision WILL be fulfilled.

Life purpose

Delays, difficulties, and setbacks can easily deter us, and occasionally discourage us, from fulfilling our purpose and the calling on our lives. I think that we often assume that if it’s something God called us to do, it will all come easily and quickly (I’ve definitely heard that opinion several times). And sometimes it does! But other times, the long journey to the fulfillment of the vision helps to prepare us for the role we must ultimately play. Just look at Joseph, who had a vision of his future as a boy, but had to endure betrayal, enslavement, and incarceration before he saw it come to fruition. What about David? He was anointed to be king as a youth, but went from being a renowned hero to a fugitive running for his life before he ascended to the throne. The important thing to remember is that even in the midst of, and despite, these trials, both men maintained their faith in God and in His promises; and in time, they moved into their God-ordained positions.

Has God called you to a certain role, ministry, or form of service? The road to fulfilling that calling may not always be easy; but in those moments of difficulty and doubt, just do a spirit check. If you know the work is something God has called you to do, know also that, in time, the vision He has given you will come to fruition. Learn the lessons along the way; be open to grow and develop; and above all else, trust that God is with you, moving and working in ways we cannot see to ensure the ultimate fulfillment of the vision He has placed upon your heart.

A Hopeful Heart

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HOPE

Job 6:8 – “Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for…”

Joyce Meyer reminded me this morning of the importance of maintaining a hopeful heart. So many areas of my life are amazing right now, but there is one aspect that has been like the proverbial thorn in my side. For YEARS now, I’ve been asking God to move in this area, while also seeking guidance and wisdom if God is actually waiting on me to grow in a certain way first. While I do actually see God working in the situation, the wait for His full move has definitely been challenging on a number of levels; and to be honest, I’ve begun to numb myself to the disappointment of the delay. But Joyce called me out this morning—cautioning against the danger of losing hope or becoming emotionally numb during the waiting period. She reminded me that God’s timing is always perfect, and that if He deems that I should wait, then I should do so with a hopeful heart, believing in God’s promise and provision and waiting expectantly for Him to move.

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I’m grateful for this reminder, and have determined to start each day with new hope in my heart for the resolution of this ongoing dilemma.

Are you waiting for God to move in a certain area of your life? I know it gets hard sometimes (believe me, I know), but don’t go numb; don’t lose hope. Let’s vow together to face the day with hearts full of hope; with faith that God is always moving and working in the background in ways that we can’t yet see;  and with the certainty that in the end, He will work everything our for our good and His glory.

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Shine your light!

See Also:

Jeremiah 29:11  – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Romans 12:12 – “Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times.”

Lamentations 3:24 – “The Lord is all I have, and so in him I put my hope.”

Thoughts, reactions, or testimonies? Leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!
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You Are Royalty

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IDENTITY

1 Peter 2:9 – “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”

I love God—with all that is within me; but I have to admit that for a good portion of my life as a Christian, this notion of being a part of His royal priesthood never really took root in me. I don’t really know why; I just never thought of myself as royalty or as a “royal priest.” But there it is in black and white! It’s what I am; it’s part of my identity in Christ, and it’s a key component of who He calls us to be.

A royal priest…What does that even mean? Well, according to Peter, we, as Christians…all of us…are the chosen people of God; and as his royal priesthood, we to be holy, set apart. As we receive the love and favor that He imbues into our lives; we are to be an example to those around us, showing His love to everyone we encounter, extolling His goodness, and lifting our voices in praise.

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This is a vital role that God calls us to fulfill, but it is so easy to prioritize the other roles and facets of our identity that beckon to us in this world and cause us to put God and our kingdom work on the back burner. It’s so simple to abandon our praises as we forget God’s goodness in the hustle and bustle of the daily grind. It’s so easy to forget His charge to love one another as we endure the slights of those who don’t know Him. It’s so easy to just ignore this calling. So simple…

I guess the question we have to ask ourselves is, do we want to follow the ways of the world or the ways of God? Do we want to go our own way, do our own thing, or fulfill the role and calling that God has placed on our lives—the call to be holy, set apart, separate from the ways of this world…to live a life that is worthy of God’s Royal Priesthood?

You are royalty. As a Christian, you are one of the chosen people of God, and as such, you are a part of His royal priesthood. But you have a choice of how (and whether) you will fulfill this role. What will you choose?

Thoughts, reactions, or testimonies? Leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!

Shine Your Light!

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Lovely images obtained from

  1. https://render.otoy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1814
  2. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/c2/ec/00/c2ec0008c259720b7b66f4739f34f132.jpg
  3. https://artofthechristianninja.com/2014/09/09/be-the-frame-not-the-picture/

Be Free

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Galatians 5:1 – “It is for freedom that Christ set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

I have such mixed emotions when I read this passage! It warms my heart ❤ when I think of all Christ has done to set me free! It’s a shame, though, that I don’t always embrace that freedom. Christ died on the cross to loose the spiritual shackles that kept me bound—He made the ultimate sacrifice for me. As a result, freedom is mine if I want it! But despite this truth, I often find myself slipping back into old habits that don’t serve me or making decisions that move me backwards into metaphorical bondage instead of forward into freedom.

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In Galatians 5:1, Paul reminds us that Christ set us free for a reason, and that we are now to walk confidently in that freedom, never again allowing ourselves to be “burdened by a yoke of slavery.” This verse has served as a reminder for me on countless occasions that God has a path for me and a purpose for my life, and that I cannot fulfill that purpose when I fall back into old habits and behaviors that kept me bound in the past. I WANT to be FREE! I want to be unhindered and embrace the freedom that Christ bought for me with His sacrifice; and I want to use that liberty to fulfill God’s purpose for my life. But in the end, it’s all up to me. And so, I must stand firm and make the decision (sometimes multiple times a day) that I am not going backwards. I am moving forward. I will not be bound. I. Am. FREE.

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Has God delivered you from something to which your flesh keeps pulling you back? Determine today that you are FREE and that you will not go backwards. Be free! Fulfill your purpose. BE. FREE.

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John 8:32 – “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

Song: Israel Houghton – Moving Forward

Thoughts, reactions, or testimonies? Leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!

Shine Your Light!

Agape Love

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LOVE

(I thought I’d re-post this one from 2014 in honor of Valentine’s Day)

Romans 8:38-39 – “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Reflections: Have you ever felt truly loved? I’m not talking about that fly by night, flash in the pan, fleeting love; I’m talking about everlasting, AGAPE LOVE, where you are seen and known and cherished unconditionally and beyond measure…the type of love that, in reality, you can only find in the heart of your Heavenly Father…

Our souls long for this love, our hearts yearn for this connection; but far too often…

We seek it in all the wrong places

In a sea of blank faces

In the company of false friends

Winding up at dead ends…

…And ultimately, we end up feeling unfulfilled, because THAT love—that soul-fulfilling, heart-wrenching, mind-blowing, never-ending love—is only available in one place: the arms of our almighty God.

As Valentine’s Day draws near, and we are surrounded by people consumed by the pursuit of love, know that you don’t have to look far to find it. You have only to look to the Father, who waits for you with open arms and an open heart to hold you close, take away your cares, and give you peace and love that surpasses anything you’ve ever known.

Happy (Almost) Valentine’s Day! (You are truly loved!)

Song: How He Loves Us by New Breed (Original)/How He Loves Us by Anthony Evans (Remake)

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Giving Your All

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LOVE

(Our theme for this month! ❤️😊)

1 Corinthians 2:9b – “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

I read this passage the other morning, and it made my heart smile to think of the abundant life that God wants for us. He wants to give us so much, and all He asks for in return is our love. We’re not talking about that love that simply gives lip service to our relationship with God, we’re talking about truly LOVING Him—with your heart, mind, and soul. It seems like such a small request when compared to what He promises in return—blessings the likes of which we have never seen or heard, and of which our minds have never even conceived. This is what He has in store for us if we would only fully surrender our hearts to Him. He doesn’t promise that the road will always be easy once we surrender (in fact, Jesus assures us that we will experience troubles), but throughout it all, we know His promises; and we can be assured of the abundant, unimaginable blessings that wait for us on the other side of life’s valleys.

Above all else, as you move through life’s highs and lows, know that you are loved beyond measure; that you are never, ever alone; and that what God has in store for you is better than anything you’ve ever dreamed of!

Shine Your Light!

Thoughts, reactions, or testimonies? Leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!

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