Do You Remember the Time?

If your around my age or older, I wouldn’t be surprised  if Michael Jackson popped in your head after seeing the title. Lol. These past two weeks I’ve been diving into the book of Joshua and I have camped around chapter 4. In this chapter  God is getting ready to bring the Israelites across the Jordan river so that they can take refuge in the Promise Land. I urge you to read chapter 4 and all of Joshua when you have a chance. The purpose of this post is to focus on an order God gave Joshua for the Israelites. He ordered them to remember.

“and Joshua said to them, “Cross again to the ark of the LORD your God into the middle of the Jordan, and each of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Israel. Let this be a sign among you, so that when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ then you shall say to them, ‘Because the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.’ So these stones shall become a memorial to the sons of Israel forever.””
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭4:5-7‬ ‭NASB
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 I had to read this chapter a few times before it finally registered to me the significance of the memorial. Often times in my walk with Christ, I hit hard times and completely forget His goodness. I cry out “woe is me” and ask why I have been forsaken. If I don’t refocus myself on thoughts that are good (Phil 4 vs 8),  hopelessness will consume me.

I know I haven’t been forsaken, but I want things a certain way and in my timing. But when I look back at the victories in my life, they have all occurred when God was in control. His timing is perfect and I have plenty of proof in my life to validate that. And it is when I look back to when I was in the valley of the shadow of death, that I remember his staff was totally there. Joy did arrive in the morning. My old battles are now songs of victories. These are memorials I must hold on to when I’m prepared to cross the Jordan river. What’s dope about God is that he divided the Jordan so that the Israelites crossed on dry land.

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Every time I have been through the valley I always come out stronger, maybe a little sweaty but unharmed. I hate to admit this but our trips into the valley will be constant in our walk with God. Valleys are in between hills. This means as we reach one hill aka “victory”, we gotta go through another valley to get to our next victory. But as we build memorials for each victory, we have something to hold on to and provide us strength as carry on until we reach our final destination. Eternal life.

I am in the valley right now and I’m sure some of y’all are here with me. Let’s find some stones and start building a memorial. Let’s start praising God for what He has done and where He has gotten us. I’d rather be in this valley now than down in the pit of hell later. In valleys there are usually rivers and where there is water, there is life.

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Thank you God for the many victories I have won. Your right hand is over me and over anyone reading this. I praise you because of your goodness. As I look back at the memorials along my path, I remember that you are always by my side. I thank you for what is in store for me and as I walk through this valley I will lean on your rod for comfort.

With peace and joy,

✌🏾Liz

Where have I been?

As I snuggle in bed with tea in my hand, I ponder on where I let the ball slip with this blog. So many things have taken precedence over writing which, for me isn’t good because writing keeps my mind stable. I have been balancing work life, wifely duties, being a momma to a not so little kid and being a student. I need to emphasis I am not a good juggler; so one can see how I could drop the ball trying to balance so much with just two arms.

I’m tired. I’m always tired. Lol.  But I’m so happy. God has been good in the midst of this season. He has been overfilling my cup with joy and reminding me to rest. He has been patient with my stubbornness and revealing areas in my life I need to work on. I’m learning to let go and seeing the fruit of trusting God. He’s so faithful and loving. I’m in awe that He could love such a broken mess.

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I’ve got issues y’all. I’ve got issues loving people. Now let me explain. I love people and enjoy learning about them. But I also have scars from past experiences where I have been hurt by them. People including myself can be finicky. It scares me to rely on people because they do not always live up to our expectations. While trying to deal with old wounds, I am reminded that we are in debt to love. We love inspite of hurt because love is unconditional.  Specifically we are to love our enemies. Loving unconditionally brings freedom from people bondage. We must continue to be Christ like in our actions regardless of how we feel and are treated.

I fail at this daily but I choose freedom. I choose to live by the spirit and bear fruit. I choose joy and peace. I believe the consequences of unconditional love far outweigh the battle wounds you will endure. In the words of Paul keep up the good faith.

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Stay strong my warriors! We have already won the battle. Halllelujah! We have won the victory!

 

Prosperity & Obedience

I am afraid  of feeling vulnerable. Being transparent gives people the opportunity to criticize your life . As a someone who is weaning off the need to please others, I feel anxious knowing that people are watching me. This blog was beginning to feel like a burden.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭2:10‬ ‭NIV
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I cannot choose disobedience because I’m afraid. We are created to do good things. Walking in our purpose goes hand and hand with prosperity. He will bless us with all that we have and more.

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The Lord is calling me to be transparent for the body of Christ. I am to sharpen iron with iron and fight the lies of the devil with truth. The truth is we cannot fail in Christ. Choose Christ and be prepared to watch blessings rain down from the heavens when we walk according to His ways. I love how Psalm 1 compares our relationship with Christ to a tree planted by streams of water. We will lack nothing we need. And if you are lacking then seek it. But do it with confidence.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1:5-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Be bold for Christ and gentle in our ways! Love you all for supporting this blog. Let’s walk in the will of God and expect a life filled with prosperity.

The Ugly Truth

It has been awhile since I’ve posted. Lots of changes has occurred forcing blogging to take a back seat. I’m excited to get back to writing and sharing my experiences on this blog!

Since my last post I have started a new job and a masters program. This has been a huge adjustment for me but a chapter I’m excited to start. It feels so good to be on a journey where I’m excited to see the fruit of my labor being produced. I’ve never been more involved in my future than now. As things are taking place, I see endless opportunities and goals  I never envisioned for myself.

img_0530This year my greatest desire is to become more intimate with God. I want to know  His voice and hear  Him speak in my life. I want to know Him personally and not rely on the testimony of others to know his attributes. Testimonies are powerful and are shared for the glory of God to be revealed. Often times we hear what God is doing in the lives of other people but don’t use the testimonies as fuel to draw closer to God. If my testimony doesn’t set fire into your soul for the Lord then it is in vain. I desire less of myself and more of God.

I have seen that this desire of intimacy with God has revealed some ugliness within me. It has shown me a side of myself that is not glamorous but full of envy, anger and aggression. Drawing closer to God isn’t as glamorous as I imagined. I have been more disgusted with myself and embarrassed. But I know He makes all things new!

img_0531 I invite you to join me in this new chapter of my life. Im learning more about myself and it is forcing me into a humble position. Choosing to draw near to God means I will not always like the woman I see in the mirror. This woman has not always chosen to be led by the Spirit. This woman has chosen anger over peace and has found countless ways to justify her selfishness. This sounds depressing but there’s no other place I’d rather be! I’m in a perfect place for transformation.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭NIV
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May the joy and peace of the Lord overflow in your life.

What Living In the Spirit Looks Like

I spent last night apart from my son. My husband and I wanted to spend time with each other and also catch up on tasks that we were dragging  behind. We decided it would be best for our son to spend the night with my mother-in-law. As I began preparing for the night, doubt emerged from unseen places. What if something happens to him and I’m not there to comfort him? What if he doesn’t want to come back  to me? Am I even a good mother? These questions left me feeling anxious and uncertain about my decision. I knew it was important for my husband and I to have undivided quality time together. I also knew that I needed to be rejuvenated and recharged so that I could continue being the mother Josiah needs. As I began praying, I was led to Psalm 1.

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭1:1-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The Lord reassured me that as long as I walk in His ways and I plant myself underneath Him, I will be prosperous as a mother. He will give providence over the life of my son. It’s so important to cast our cares unto the Lord because He truly and deeply loves us. (1 Peter 5:7) He desires for us to trust Him in all  areas of our lives. As I surrender my emotions,  I am able to be led by the Spirit.

Now I can’t say that being led by the spirit is easy. It does not FEEL good. If you are like me, then life is filtered through emotions. Emotions are healthy and allow for self expression; but when they are not controlled they can overwhelm us and keep us apart from God.

For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

A life led by the spirit is full of conflict! It involves serious meditation and reflection of the word. It demands us to go against what feels normal. I did not feel peace as I packed my son’s overnight bag. I did not feel peace on the car ride to my mom-in-law’s house. Peace came to me after I kissed him goodbye. In spite of how I felt I pressed into God. This simple event shaped my understanding of living in the Spirit. I wrestled with my flesh and spoke the victory I have  already acquired  over my life.

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There is great reward to a life led by the Spirit. We are assured life and peace. We can enter into rest. I could have dwelled in my emotions and allow worry to hang over me. If I allowed my emotions to control me then  I would not have been able to laugh and indulge in fruitful conversation with my husband.  I would have missed my chance to enjoy time for myself.  Most importantly I would have missed time in the presence of God. Being led by the Spirit opens us to His presence.

I pray that you and I daily choose spirit over flesh. As we deny ourselves and lift Christ up,our ultimate goal of eternal life becomes clear.

May you live in the Spirit and be rewarded with His joy and peace.

 

A Message From an Ex-People Pleaser

 

Although I identify  as an ex-people pleaser, how others perceive  me still plagues my mind. I wrestle with perfecting myself in the eyes of human beings rather than believing who I am through Jesus Christ.

I have always tried to sound politically correct. My words are dipped in sugar to ensure they don’t ignite controversy. I am drawn to acceptance and can be easily crushed if I find that people  do not approve of me. I marinate for hours on words I fnd offensive. These shackles have been very hard to break free from. It just seems no matter how much I pray and rebuke these thoughts, I still see myself through the lenses of others.

In the midst of this battle, I have stumbled upon these verses.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

  • My struggle is not with people but rather Satan. Satan has made it his mission to undo what God has already established upon my life. He has planted lies into my heart and I have entertained their company.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:14‬ ‭NIV
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  • Even with my flaws, there is greatness within me. God knows me better than anyone else. He has looked at me and said I am good just as I am. I am perfect because Christ is perfect and dwells within me. I should be encouraged to make myself better so that I may be a temple pure and worthy  of the Lord’s presence.

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬”

  • In the midst of struggling with self acceptance God has deemed me perfect and is working towards completing that perfection in me . The more I dive into the word of God, the easier it will become to see myself through Christ. He has overlooked my flaws and chose to die for me while I was deep in sin.

“So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.”
‭‭John‬ ‭12:10-11‬

  • As a believer of a Jesus Christ, I am an enemy to this world. I will receive retaliation and should expect opposition.

“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him,”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:29‬ ‭NIV

  • Jesus told his disciples that they will suffer on account of him. This world does not care for Jesus because it is ruled by Satan. Satan knows he has lost the battle and wants to bring down as many people as he can. He does not want us to find joy,peace and rest.

Daily I seek the Lord and He has shown himself faithful. I do believe there will be a time when I will pass this test. In the mean time I will sing praises to God and rejoice in my victory. In my weakness the greatness of God is seen!

To God be all the glory!

My World is Safe in the Hands of God

img_0508Lastnight Josiah had one of his crying spells. Lately he has been waking up more frequently throughout the night. I am troubled because he is also teething so I know he is dealing with a lot of discomfort.

As my husband tried to put him back to sleep, I remained in our bedroom and began praying. I prayed for the armor of God to surround Josiah and my husband. I requested the angels to surround every inch of our house. I asked God to rain peace so that Josiah could fall asleep. Slowly my prayers transitioned to cries of praise. I felt songs surface up and I began to thank God. The lines “I’m not afraid, my world is safe in your hands” from Israel Houghton’s song  “You Hold My World” flowed from my mouth and tears started streaming down my face. I felt a shift in my spirit. I became confident that the Lord would bring peace into our house. As Josiah’s cries became louder,my praise got stronger.

This was my first time experiencing praise this way. I did not realize I was praying in fear until I felt a push to just praise. It was difficult at first because I was focused on Josiah. But as my mind shifted to the wonder of God I felt my feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15). God had already answered my prayer. I had to receive it. To receive it I had to give praise.

“Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.

Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭128:1-2, 4‬ ‭NIV
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Praise is the receipt for your prayers. It is confirmation that the Lord has heard us and is working in the atmosphere. It is crucial to praise God in our personal walk with Him because it seals our faith. Praise diverts attention from our issues to the splendor of the king. How amazing is the glory of God! I’ve wasted so many prayers begging God to be with me when he has always been there. It’s like crying for food when the plate is sitting in front of you.

I am excited for the blessings I will gain access to because my mind has been renewed. Glory to our Lord Jesus Christ!

May you all receive the grace and peace from our Lord Jesus Christ. It is already yours. Just use the key of praise to access it.