A God of WHEN

“When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed” (Psalm 126:1, NIV).

I received good news from a very dear friend of mine this morning. As much as there was (is) joy in my heart about what she shared with me, the Word and promise of God in Psalm 126, especially today, has really put me on a whole other level!

Verse 1 really touches my heart. Whoever wrote Psalm 126 didn’t say, “If…”, but “When…”, telling me that my God is a God in charge of time and timing. The problem is we do not know when His “when” is, which means that we have to wait for it, which is a problem for all of us. But, when God promises, He fulfills. When God speaks, it comes to pass. When God saves, it is sure. When God opens a door, it can’t be closed; when He closes a door, it can’t be opened. When God writes your name in the Book of Life, no one can take it away. “When” suggests to me a finality that only God possesses.

It’s not as if I don’t know the character of God; but the thing about the Bible is that the Holy Spirit teaches and re-teaches you things until you fully understand them and transform them into heart knowledge. By the grace of God, I have a different view to my circumstances (Romans 12:1-2). I am convinced now that my God is a God of when, not. As I was reading the chapter I kept telling myself that God will do what He wants to do when He wants to do it. I have accepted my breakthrough by faith!  When God does allow me to be fully funded… when He gives me a husband… when He gives me financial breakthrough… My victory is coming! In fact, it is here! That is the power of my God!

The chapter itself is just very encouraging! I implore you to read it and let it bless you! Apart from that word “When”, the other part that really caught my attention was “we were like men who dreamed” (Psalm 126:1, NIV). What that suggests to me is that perhaps they had lost hope that deliverance will actually come; perhaps they were only dreaming of a freedom they didn’t really believe in. But when it actually happened, I can just imagine them saying “We can’t believe it!” But, I’m here to encourage you today, friends, to believe that your Father in Heaven, when He delivers you and grants your requests, you will be like a dreamer. Hold onto your dreams and the vision you have for your life, marriage, finances, ministry, children, spouse, etc.

Because your God is One who does immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine, the joy and peace you will feel WHEN He shows up and shows off in your life will certainly be immeasurably more than you are even thinking at this moment!

God Does the Impossible

” ‘All the trees of the field will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish’ ” (Ezekiel 17:24, NIV).

I admit that I’m not really a fan of the Old Testament– but I will say that my journey through it has been very good. I have never read Ezekiel but this morning I opened to a random part in the Bible and landed on Ezekiel 17 and the last verse really stood out to me. In all honesty, I don’t even remember what the chapter was really about, but I have been thinking about verse 24 all day.

Before going to sleep at 3 am, I watched the trailer for a movie coming up next March. In it, this little girl was really sick but then something happened to her and she was healed; the mother asked how that was possible. I’m guessing the movie is about faith. Faith in God can do the impossible– but it’s not really the faith; it’s God working in the background and our faith receiving it.

So, I’ve been asking myself why. Why does God do the impossible? Why does God change the “natural” order of things?  The answer I keep coming back to is: Because He can! He is God and He can do whatever He wants. This pastor said in a sermon, that God can do eleven months’ work in a day and overwhelm you! He is God. He can even change the way things are supposed to be, according to the world and our own understanding. That verse really hit me because God Himself said that He will bring down the tall tree and raise the low one. I took that and I applied it to my own life. God can make me the president of a company one day; He can make me the manager of an organization one day; He can give me all my heart’s desires, especially for this year, today if He wants to. On the other hand, He can also allow me to experience what Job experienced.

But why would God do these things? I mean, He doesn’t have to prove Himself to us. I believe He does it out of love. You know, God’s love and faithfulness is everlasting! He cannot help Himself but love us! So, if God takes you from having $2 in your account to having $2,000,000 in a matter of 24 hours, it’s because He loves you! And if He decides to reverse that and make you go from having $2,000,000 to having $2 in a matter of 24 hours, it is also out of love!

So, why does God do the impossible? Because He can and because He wants to show His love, power, strength, faithfulness, majesty, etc. to me and you. One thing I have always loved about God, even before I gave my life to Him, is the fact that He doesn’t lord the fact that He is God over us. However, He is always reaching out to each of us, one way or the other. May we recognize His reaching out and accept Him!

Amen!

Dear Single People,

“He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord” (Psalm 113:9, NIV).

This post is not about parenting but I believe it captures what I want to talk about.

If you think you’ve been “barren” for too long, I want to encourage you today that God is able to take you out of that barrenness and make you flourish! That’s it. That’s the message.

But let me ask you: how many announcements of engagements, weddings, babies, etc. have you seen in the last month? For me, I can count at least 5. While you may be happy for these people, perhaps you’ve heard a tiny voice at the back of your mind asking you, “When will it be your turn?”  Please don’t entertain that voice; it won’t get you anywhere. Trust me, I know.

Yes, I do not know how long you’ve been waiting (and please know that I am not trying to be insensitive) but understand that God can even bring your spouse right now in He wants, so don’t lose heart. Waiting requires patience. I believe God is preparing you and your spouse for something great (and also challenging because marriage is no joke)! Look at the thought and beauty of Creation! God prepared things Adam needed before He created Adam. Imagine if Adam was created first; I reckon he would have been in the way, giving God his opinions on how things should be — why? Because that’s what human beings do; we try to suggest to God how He should do things… but I digress. Anyway, God saw that Adam needed a “helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:18, NIV), so He created Eve from and for Adam, and my dude said, ” ‘At last!’ ” (Genesis 2:23, NLT). In other words, Adam praised God for the special and specific beauty God created especially for him, even more than he praised God for everything else.

So, friends, relax! God knows when and why you need a spouse. When it comes to God’s timing, know that He is never late and never early but ALWAYS on time. Biological clock has nothing on you; ask Sarah! God is able, sisters! When your husband sees you, he too will say ” ‘At last! This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh!’ ” (Genesis 2:23, NLT). Wouldn’t you rather hear that than something else– like, “Oh… this is it? I expected more, God.”

Today, I have a new found knowledge, peace, and happiness. I want the same for you, friends! Getting to this point hasn’t been easy; it’s taken me almost a year! But I don’t want that for you. Although I haven’t been waiting too long, I’m secure knowing that leaving everything in my Father’s hands is best. He knows the best for me, so I ain’t go no worries! 🙂 🙂 🙂

My friends, when you leave everything in God’s hands, simply let it go. He’s able to do something great with it, for you.

Bring Your 5 Loaves and 2 Fish

” ‘How many loaves do you have?’ he asked. ‘Go and see’ ” (Mark 6:38, NIV).

The 16-Day Challenge is when you read the book of Mark for the first 16 days in November. It’s exciting to read Mark again; I’m re-learning a lot of things. Unfortunately, I haven’t been consistent with the days so I read chapter 6 today. When I read the part where Jesus fed the 5000 men (which may really be more like 20,000 people, considering women and children) I understood– more like realized–something: All we have to do is bring what we have and watch Jesus use it for His glory. 

I can hear some of my siblings in the Lord saying, “Duh! You just learned that?!” Well, I thank God for allowing me to learn this. Lets look at what the Bible shows us. Jesus had compassion on the people, He spent time with them and taught them.The best part is that Jesus didn’t send them home because they were filled with the Word! He understood that while we are in these mortal bodies, we still have basic necessities that must be met. What really strikes me is that Jesus could have rained manna down from heaven, He could’ve even turned the stones into bread; but He decided to involve His disciples in the process of this miracle.

I wonder why Jesus asked them how much food they had… because He must have known; they had been together, right? I believe Jesus asked them the question because He wanted them to realize that they didn’t have enough for the great “sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34); they couldn’t feed the multitude by themselves. I also believe that He asked them the question in order to show them that God is greater than the little they had and that He is far greater than the multitude they were facing. The Bible tells us that Jesus took what they had, gave thanks, broke it, and distributed it. And at the end of it, all glory went back to God, which is the way we should live our lives!

Friends, I encourage you today to bring your 5 loaves and 2 fish– watch God feed millions with it! God already knows what you have, and what seems little to you can be turned into something great in the hands of the great I AM! Is it your time? Give it to Jesus. Your money, your plans, your career, give it all to Jesus. The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) is a lot of work and on our own, we can’t feed the millions of souls out there– I think that the earlier we even realize that we can’t do it by ourselves, the faster the process will be (I don’t have any stats on that, however). So, give your little to Jesus and watch Him do the extraordinary with ordinary people like you and me. Let Jesus take what you have, honor God with it, break and multiply it, and use you to change your community!

Are you willing?

Changed

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own” (1st Corinthians 6:19, NIV).

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Testimony time! Yay!!! I love testimonies. Please allow me to share a quick one with you. God is good!

I’m just so grateful for what God has been doing in my life! Honestly, God is good and great and wonderful; His love and care for me still amazes me. When I think about the goodness of God, how far He has brought me, how much He has changed me, all I can say is THANK YOU, JESUS!

In the passage quoted above, Paul warns the Corinthians that their bodies belonged to God. Think about that: your body belongs to God– even when you get married, your body still belongs to God. What that means is that you just can’t do whatever you want with or to your body. God is holy, you belong to Him, therefore, you must be holy. What am I rambling about? I want to thank God for allowing me to realize that my body is His temple. I want to thank God for changing my life, cleaning my body, and inhabiting His temple!

This testimony is only a small part of a bigger testimony, but I want to thank God for saving me from sexual immorality– all forms of it. Before I gave my life to Christ I used my body for whatever I wanted to– because it felt good, because it made me feel like a woman, because I didn’t want to feel pain, because it made me feel desired, because I longed to be loved, because I was thirsty for something deeper, which I didn’t even realize… But my story has changed! Yesterday, I was alone in my house, watching a movie. At the end of the day the thought came to my mind that if it were last year, I would’ve been doing something else with my body; I would’ve taken advantage of the rare opportunity of being by myself– I was messed up, friends! But praise God for my victory!

No longer do I succumb to the temptation. I am reminded of the fact that I have overcome the devil and his temptations by the blood of Jesus Christ and by the word of this testimony I am able to give today (Revelation 12:11)! Praise God with me!

My friends, be encouraged! No matter what you are struggling with, please know that Jesus wants to make you whole, body, soul and spirit; so come to Him. Trust in His word, believe in His name, and watch how your life will be changed. If He can turn a filthy woman like me into His servant– one who is writing openly about her struggles, unashamed, to give glory to His name– then He can certainly change your life! And the whole world will see it and praise His name, the name above all!

Even When it Hurts

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“Take this mountain weight. Take these ocean tears. Hold me through the trial, come like hope again” (“Even When It Hurts”, Hillsong).

I woke up this morning with heaviness in my heart. I didn’t understand it because nothing prompted it. So, I did what I know how to do; I prayed. What was supposed to be a regular praying time with my Father turned into a bawling session with my Counselor. I admitted to God that I didn’t even know why I was crying. God being God reminded me of Romans 8:26, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (NIV). So, I just gave in, trusting that the Holy Spirit was at work. I was comforted that God knew what each tear represented. Did that make me feel better? No.

Once I start crying out loud, it is impossible for me to stop; I will continue until I am physically unable to cry anymore. As I cried, I kept thinking about the fact that I am hurting. This year has been one challenge after another, and I kept asking God this morning, “When will it end, God?!” I just want it all to end. I want to feel remembered by God. I admit to God that I felt like an afterthought on His list of people to help. I found myself saying, like David in Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (verse 1, NIV). Truth is, even while writing this, I still feel hurt. But the question I posed to myself is this: Does that somehow change who God is?

God is constant. When He promises, He fulfills; His words are yea and amen; His thoughts and plans for me are not to hurt me but to give me hope and a future; I am worth the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to Him… I can keep going, but it still doesn’t change the hurt I feel. Someone once told me that unfortunately for me, no one can help me or encourage me when I’m feeling down because I know the truth about who God is. I don’t want to be sad or depressed while knowing who God is and what He is about, but I am… Is that sinful? Is that bad? I don’t know.

While having my quiet time I only read Psalm 23, one of my favorite psalms. Verse 4 stood out to me, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (NIV). What this verse says to me is that just because I have a Shepherd doesn’t mean I won’t face trouble. The good news is that He is with me. My Shepherd has a rod– it is used to protect me from any evil that may want to come my way; it is also used to discipline me because my Shepherd loves me (Proverbs 3:12)– and a staff– this is used to comfort me and to direct my path. I should be comforted by these truths! I must be comforted by these truths!

I kept crying this morning, asking Jesus why He has forgotten about me– it seems to me as if everything coming my way is somehow delayed– but I had forgotten His promise to me that He will never leave me or abandon me ( Deuteronomy 31:6). What I need to do is get these truths to be heart knowledge. Walking is Jesus is HARD, friends! But if David can say even when– “when” means it will happen– he walks through the valley of the shadow of death, he won’t be scared; if David can say this and believe it, then I can too! I think it was Charles Spurgeon who commented on this thought and said that a shadow means there is a light somewhere, meaning that God’s light (Jesus Christ) is ever present, even in the midst of my storms and challenges.

What is the application for me? Well, I need to feed more on the word of God until my very being believes it, until the Word of God becomes my bread and livelihood! I want to be able to praise God even when everything is crumbling down around me! I want to look at the storms in the eye and tell them that they are just fronting because my Shepherd has overcome the world. This is not to say that I won’t feel hurt, but it means that I won’t dwell on that hurt and be depressed all the time. God remains God regardless of what I go through or what I do, and I don’t want anything to cloud my view of Him.

Throughout this day I have been reciting verse 4 to myself, becoming more real to me each time. God is with me and He is for me. So, even when it hurts, even when the storms are throwing me all about, yet will I stand and praise my God whose steadfast love never ceases.

Funny thing, though, is that God laid a song in my heart which says, “You turned my mourning into dancing again. You lifted my sorrows, I can’t stay silent; I must sing for my joy has come!” I wonder if this was the same song David that was in David’s heart when he wrote this psalm.pic