Monday, May 20, 2013

What Did You Expect?

2 Kings 5:11-12 NLT  But Naaman became angry and stalked away. “I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!” he said. “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the Lord his God and heal me! 12 Aren’t the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than any of the rivers of Israel? Why shouldn’t I wash in them and be healed?” So Naaman turned and went away in a rage.

Here's a little background: Naaman went to Elisha to be healed of his leprosy.  He went to Elisha's house and waited at the door for him. Instead of coming out, Elisha sent a messenger giving him instructions on what he must do to be healed: wash seven times in the Jordan river. As you can see from today's meditational verses, Naaman became angry because he thought he would be healed in a different way. He thought that things would play out differently.  Doesn't this same thing happen to us as well?

We seek God for a closer relationship with him, new careers, new opportunities, financial stability, etc. and He answers us.  But what happens? The answer comes in a way that we didn't expect.  We've prayed about this thing for so long that we've already come up with how God is going to do it! Right?  Then all of a sudden, we're in for a big surprise! We become frustrated, angry or even disappointed.

Just because things don't happen as we thought they would, we shouldn't get discouraged. God's thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. (Isaiah 55:8) I encourage you to be receptive to God's answers to your prayers even when they don't come in the way you expected. God knows what is best for you and His plan for your life is far greater than anything you can imagine!

Be encouraged and have an awesomely blessed week!

*Read the entire chapter in your free time*

Thursday, May 16, 2013

First Things First

1 Kings 22:5 NLT Then Jehoshaphat added, "But first let's find out what the Lord says."

When you're troubled and need an answer from the Lord, it is perfectly okay to go to someone and have them intercede on your behalf.  However, it is even more important that you go to the Lord, praying and seeking His face.

The Lord is your savior and you must have a relationship with him.  Even if someone comes to you with "what the Lord has told them about you," you still need to go to the Lord on your own.  Do not allow intercession or prophets to take the place of you seeking the Lord for yourself.

Remember that the Lord always confirms His word and His sheep know His voice.  I encourage you to spend time studying God's word to learn His voice and His ways.  Always consider what the Lord says about every situation that you're in. I can assure you that He will never get tired of hearing from you because He desires to have a relationship with you.

Wishing you confidence in your walk with God! Enjoy the day that the Lord has made!

*I encourage you to read the entire chapter when you have time. This should encourage you even more to always seek the Lord.*

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How Much Longer?

1 Kings 18:21 NLT Then Elijah stood in front of them and said, “How much longer will you waver, hobbling between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him! But if Baal is God, then follow him!” But the people were completely silent.

There are obviously many different distractions the enemy uses to get us off course.  However, it is up to us to remain steadfast and faithful to what God has called us to do and who He has called us to be. 

In the text, Elijah was challenging the people of Israel to follow the Lord because at that time, many of them were following another god (Baal).  If you continue reading throughout this chapter, you will note how the followers of Baal were doing all sorts of silly things to themselves to invoke a response from Baal to set fire to the altar.  They shouted unto Baal from morning until noon and cut themselves with knives and swords until blood gushed out.  Guess what? Nothing happened. Silence from Baal.

Elijah goes on to prove that the Lord is God, the only true and living God. He had them drench the altar with water, prayed to the Lord and the Lord set fire to the altar.  This was done solely to prove that the Lord is God.

James 1:8 reminds us that "a double minded man is unstable in all His ways."
You may not be serving Baal but you may have some other thing(s) in your life that you elevate to the position of a little god. Dismiss it! You cannot serve it (them) and the Lord!  I challenge you today to choose the Lord, spend time getting to know His ways and live the life you have been destined to live.

Have a truly blessed week seeking to become all you were created to be!

Friday, May 10, 2013

The In-Between

1 Kings 17:22 NLT "The Lord heard Elijah’s prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he revived!"

Have you ever found yourself "in-between?" You were obedient, you received your blessing and then it seemed as if during the time you were enjoying your blessing, you were cursed.  The period of the curse and before the restoration is the "in-between?"  Have you ever found yourself there?

In 1 Kings 17:8-24 (read when you get time), a widow experienced this very thing.  In this particular story, the widow and her son had very little to eat and Elijah comes to her asking for food.  She explained to Elijah that she didn't have any food but only a little flour and oil to make the last meal for her and her son because afterwards they were going to die for lack of food. Then Elijah gives her instructions from the Lord (v. 13-14) to not be afraid but to use what she had to prepare a meal for her and her son but to feed him first! As a mother, my initial thought would have been "I have to feed my child first!" I don't know what her thoughts were but the bible says that she did as she was told. She was obedient. (v.15).

Because of her obedience, she was blessed!! She received exactly what was promised to her. (v. 16).  Then there was a sudden turn of events.  All was well until her son became sick and died. (v.17). Lord, you have been faithful and have done just as you said. Now, you're taking my son away?  Those were her thoughts. She questioned what Elijah did to her and why he came there. (v.18). 

But the Lord is faithful and gives restoration! Although her son died, Elijah took him upstairs to pray for him. (v.21). The Lord his prayer and returned the child's life back to him! (v. 22) Praise God! Isn't that an encouraging story?

Oftentimes, we can too be in a similar situation where we're obedient and then receive the fruit of our obedience-the blessing.  Just when things are going so well, something can surely go wrong.  However, while you're "in between" and waiting on God to restore you, just remember that He is faithful! Continue to seek Him in all that you do!

Have a blessed weekend and give a Mother a hug! My book is now available as an e-book. You may download it here:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Be Certain

1 Kings 13:21 NLT He cried out to the man of God from Judah, “This is what the Lord says: You have defied the word of the Lord and have disobeyed the command the Lord your God gave you.

In 1 Kings 13, the Lord sent a man of God from Judah to Bethel to speak of the Lord's disapproval of Jeroboam and his policies.  The Lord gave the man of God specific instructions not to eat or drink anything while he was in Bethel. The Lord also instructed him not to leave the city the same way in which he entered.

In verses 8-10 and 16 he held fast to the Lord's command and did not eat or drink anything in Bethel.  Well an old prophet approached him and requested that he come to eat and drink with him and he changed his mind after the old prophet announced that he too is a prophet. He proceeded to lie to the man of God by telling him an angel gave him a command from the Lord instructing him to bring the man of God home to eat and drink. After hearing this, the man of God conceded and went with him to eat and drink (exactly what the Lord instructed him not to do).

I find it interesting that after the man of God was given explicit instructions from God regarding what not to do in Bethel, he changed his mind and did those things just because someone else said they received a message from God regarding Him.  He seemed pretty sure of himself before but what was it that made him change his mind?  Was it because of who the old prophet announced himself to be?

When you receive specific instructions from God to do or not do something, be careful not to waiver because someone else (regardless of who they are) comes to you and tells you about some message that God gave to them for you.  You're ultimately responsible for the decision that you make especially when you've already been given specific instructions (when you know better).

It is very important to seek the Lord for yourself and to spend time learning His voice and instructions. His instructions are written in His Holy Word.

Be encouraged to know that God loves you enough to lead you in the path that you should take in life. Do not allow anyone else to attempt to lead you otherwise.

Take a moment and read 1 Kings 13:1-26.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Who Are You Talking To?

1 Kings 12:13-14 NLT But Rehoboam spoke harshly to the people, for he rejected the advice of the older counselors 14 and followed the counsel of his younger advisers. He told the people, “My father laid heavy burdens on you, but I’m going to make them even heavier! My father beat you with whips, but I will beat you with scorpions!” (Read the entire chapter when you have time)

Take a moment and consider who you turn to for advice.  You may have different people in your life whom you talk about certain things with.  For example, if you need financial advice, you would probably talk to someone who has some type of financial background or who does really well managing their own finances.  If you need marital advice, you would most likely talk to someone who has experience in that area as well.  You wouldn't ask a friend who has never been married to give you marital advice (at least I hope not).  If you need parenting advice, you would probably talk to someone with experience in parenting, etc.

The commonality regarding the examples that I listed above is this: experience!  It is only wise to take advice from a person who has experience with what you're dealing with or has some type of expertise in the area.

Let's take a look at today's key scriptures.  King Rehoboam took the advice of his younger advisers--those he grew up with--who had just as much as experience as he did. Although what happened was part of God's plan to tear the kingdom away from him, the lesson here is very important. We must be careful about who we seek advice from.  King Rehoboam received wise advice from the older advisers, who were also advisers to his father, King Solomon. They had experience and experience oftentimes breeds wisdom.

As you go about your week, remember to seek and use wisdom in all areas of your life. Proverbs  8:11 NLT says, "For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it."

Have an awesomely blessed week! Remember that God loves you far beyond measure!

Friday, May 3, 2013

What Does the Lord Require?

Micah 6:8 NIV He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

I mentioned earlier this week that the Holy Spirit speaks to me a lot when I'm dealing with my two-year old. I'm often reminded of how much more God loves me and is so much more patient with me when I'm not acting the way that I should.

If you've had children, you know how most two-year olds are! Stubborn!  There are many times when I'm trying to get her to do something and she just really isn't cooperating.  Well, one particular day, I think I may have been asking her to pick up something off the floor. She continued to be stubborn with her usual "no's" and "I did it already" but then she turned right around and asked for a snack or to watch something on tv. I can't quite remember because this is pretty constant. She's usually asking to watch Mickey Mouse, The Princess and the Frog or some other Disney show. If it isn't that, the request is for something like a freeze pop, Cheetos, etc.

Back to the story: So we're in the kitchen and she's being rebellious but yet she wanted whatever it was she was requesting at the time. I said to her: "You cannot continue to be disobedient and expect to get what you ask for all the time!" Immediately, it was as if I heard the Lord repeating those exact same words to me! However, He reminded me of His faithfulness and mercy to me even when I don't deserve it!

Oftentimes, we are not being the person whom God has called us to be and yet we continue to ask Him to bless us and do all of these things for us in our lives.  Although, God often grants our requests when we haven't done what we're supposed to do, our scripture today reminds us of what is required of us.   There are also many scriptures throughout the bible that reminds us that God wants our obedience.  When our prayers aren't answered, we should also check ourselves to make sure that we are doing all that God has called us to do!

I pray that as you go about your day today, you truly seek to be obedient and think about how faithful and kind the Lord is to you even when you do not deserve it.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

No More Bubbles

Proverbs 4:13 NIV Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding

My toddler loves bubble baths.  Mommy does too! Well for some reason, when I'm taking my bubble bath, I cannot get her out of the bathroom. She is essentially soaking up her clothes because she is too busy reaching over into my tub full of bubbles attempting to blow them into my face.  Recently, we had a "bubble fight" and I blew bubbles into her eyes. I wiped the bubbles off with a dry towel and we continued to play. Well, apparently she enjoyed it because she then started rubbing bubbles into her own eyes (on purpose)!

I, of course, requested that she stop but she would rub bubbles in her eyes and then say, "ouch mommy, it's itching."  She continued to do this about 3 times until I distracted her by sending her out of the room to do something else.

Most of her shenanigans cause me to say something to her that in return, the Holy Spirit speaks to me.  In this particular instance, I thought about how we as Christians, continue to put "bubbles" in our eyes even when we know that it will cause some level of discomfort.  We often know what the outcome will be when we do things like overeat (gluttony), procrastinate, lie, hold grudges, etc. but we continue to do them anyway?  Why do we keep putting these "bubbles" in our eyes?  Why do we continue to do things that will pull us away from God? Why do we not spend time reading our bibles, studying or praying?

Whatever your answers are to those questions, I pray that you recognize them for what they are: excuses and ploys of the enemy to keep you right where you are.

I pray that as you go about your day today, you refuse to put any more "bubbles" in your eyes and that you are encouraged to walk along the path that God has created for you! Once you know better, you should do better. Walk in wisdom!