Fog of Doubt

Sometimes we, as Christians, become so focused on what God is not doing in our lives that we miss all the things he is doing for us.  We have all heard and probably said God works on his time not ours, but this can be hard to accept when it is your problem or project.  While we believe and know this is true we start letting doubt slip into our minds and in our thoughts.  We let this doubt start to seep in to all areas of our lives and we lose clarity on what we need to do.  This doubt sets in like fog around us and we can’t see where we are going or even the path we were on.  We have two options when this happens to us, stay in the fog or get out.

When we stay in the fog of doubt we can’t see anything else that God is doing for us.  God maybe performing miracles in other areas of our life that we can’t even see, because we have singled out this one thing God is not doing on our time.  Our prayers become just questions of why and not sincere admiration, thanksgiving, and praise that He deserves.  We have now let the fog of doubt not only take over our minds but our prayers.  The fog of doubt will take over our time in the Word. We begin to search out our own message, to make ourselves feel better, instead of receiving the message God has for us as your read his Word.  This fog of doubt will now steal our joy and we will become disheartened and discouraged.  This fog of doubt can overtake us if we are not careful. Depression, insecurities, anxiety, and fear feed on the fog of doubt.

The good news is we can get out.   We don’t have to stay in the fog of doubt.  All we have to do is call on the name of Jesus and that fog of doubt disappears.  We regain our focus and continue to move forward in our purpose.  We are reminded that God told us to trust in Him.  Our faith grows stronger as we know God is going to provide the way.  Our confidence is restored and our determination increases.  We may have been knocked down but God said it is not over.

I pray today that we all come out from the fog of doubt.  If you feel God is not moving on a certain issue or project don’t give up.  Don’t let the fog of doubt move in and cause you to give up.  During this time, God may be conditioning and preparing you for the victory that is coming.  If you are following His directions and staying the course, you will be triumphant.  His Word tells us to follow him and to seek him diligently. God didn’t put us here to fail but to glorify Him in all that we do.

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Hobo’s for Jesus

I was thinking this morning about friends, family, and acquaintances that say they are Christians, but there is no evidence of Jesus in their lives.  Some may attend church occasionally, but even that is a chore to them. The only time you hear them mention God is when they are in trouble or things are falling apart in their lives.  They jump on the Jesus train when they are in trouble but once things settle down in their lives they jump off the train again.  They have become Hobo’s for Jesus because they have jumped on and off the Jesus train so many times you don’t know where they are at any given time.

I spend a lot of time in prayer for these people because I believe they are going to die and go to Hell.  I believe they have been convinced by the world that they are saved and when they die they are going to be shocked that they end up in Hell.  People believe because they recited a prayer or felt a few chill bumps that they were saved, and this is a lie from Satan.  If you have been truly saved there WILL BE change in your life.  You can’t continue to live the way you always have if you have been saved.  The Holy Spirit and Satan’s demons cannot reside in the same place.  When the Holy Spirit comes into your heart there is a visible change in your life.  I am not saying that you are perfect because no one on earth is but there is a change.  Your thought process changes immediately.  Things that were important are no longer at the top of your list.  Your desire to serve God and to tell other about Jesus Christ becomes overwhelming in you.  You want to talk about and hear about Jesus, because you have a desire to learn more about Him. You look for ways to serve Him and to glorify Him.  God takes over that number one spot in your life and your priorities change.

Others have turned away from God, better known as backsliders, when things got hard.  Some think when they get saved that everything is going to be easy in their life and that bad things won’t happen in their life.  God tells us over and over in His Word do not fear.  If your life was going to be a piece of cake then He wouldn’t have to tell us this.  His Word says if we follow Him we will be persecuted.  Satan and his demon army will come against you.  This is where your faith and trust in God comes in, and you know that when it becomes more than you can handle, that God will step in and all you have to do in that moment is be still.

I believe that preachers and teachers of the Word are partly to blame for both of these scenarios.  We have become so worried about offending people or filling church pews that we only want to preach or teach the good stuff.  We don’t want to preach or teach about the sacrifices we will have to make to follow Jesus. We don’t want to preach or teach about the Wrath of God on sin and how much God hates sin.  We only want to preach or teach about the love of God because that makes everyone feel all warm and cozy.  Yes, the love of God is real and it is warm and cozy but the Wrath of God is also real.  The Bible says God is a just God and shows no partiality.  He is not going to turn a blind eye to sin in order to not offend you.  Sin in your life that you do not repent for, will send you to Hell.

I pray today that we stop sugarcoated the Word and start preaching and teaching ALL of the Word of God.  We are assisting in sending people to Hell by not doing this.  If we knew Jesus Christ in the physical was sitting in our church services or reading our material would we preach or write it the same way that we do now? I pray for the strength and courage to do this today,  because I had rather offend people with the truth than to send them to Hell with a lie.

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We sing a song in our church, that I love, called Different.  It says, I want to be different, I want to be changed until all of me is gone and all that remains is a fire so bright the whole world can see there’s something different, so come and be different in me. I was listening to this song on the way to work yesterday and a question came up in my Spirit, do we really want to be different? The word different means not the same as another, unlike in nature, form, or quality.  Most of us have comfort zones that we live in.  We may step to the edge of this zone but we rarely step outside of it and when we do we spend very little time there before returning to what is comfortable.

As Christians, we pray for God to change us and mold us into what he wants us to be but very few of us ever really allow him to do this.  We are okay with him changing us as long as we are comfortable with that change.  We are okay with his changes when he gives us a better paying job, a new car, or a better home but when it comes to internal changes we shut him out.  We say things like God knows that I can’t do that and we convince ourselves that we can’t do these things.  Everyone loves to quote Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, until it involves something we don’t want to do.  The Holy Spirit that lives in us cannot complete its work in us with a “can’t” mentality.  I believe our transformation as Christians is much more than just giving up the obvious sins in our lives.  It is about spiritual growth and giving the Holy Spirit full access to our hearts and minds.  We shut the Holy Spirit out of certain areas in our lives because we don’t want to deal with those things.  Maybe these things are past hurts in your life, things you have buried so deep and tried to forget. Maybe these are things that you don’t want to give up that you keep as your little secret and the Holy Spirit wants to get them out of your life.  By limiting the Holy Spirit you limit your growth in Christ.  You limit your ability to be different in him.

I pray today that each of us are willing to give the Holy Spirit full access to our hearts and minds.  I pray for courage to allow Him to break down those walls and barriers we have built in our hearts and minds, to keep those things hidden that prevent us from moving closer to God.  I pray today for strength for us to be different not only in the world but in the church.  I pray that we embrace the changes the Holy Spirit brings into our lives and that we get rid of the “can’t” mentality once and for all.  We can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens us, we just have to be willing to be different to do it.

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Don’t Give Up

I want to give you a  word of encouragement this morning.  God has not forgotten or abandoned you and he will not be defeated.  Whatever you are struggling with this morning, just know he is there.  If you are following him and your project or ministry is not going good, don’t give up.  This struggle is part of your journey.  I have had my own pity parties with God this week in prayer, asking why does everything have to be so difficult? This morning, while loading the dishwasher, a peace came over me that I cannot explain and it came up in my spirit, this is part of my journey.

I was reading in Acts chapter 5, where the council was trying to figure out what to do with the Apostles and Gamaliel said to let them be. He said because if they are of man they will eventually fail and go away but in verse 39, he says if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it, lest you even be found to fight against God. What you are going through right now may be part of your training from God or maybe it is Satan himself coming after you either way take shelter in this verse this morning. If it is of God, you cannot overthrow it and Satan cannot overthrow it!

I begin to think about the men and women in our military and how when they are training for a mission or during basic training it’s not easy on them.  They don’t enjoy this training but they know it is part of their journey.  They understand that without this training their lives and the lives of others could be in jeopardy.  The same is true in our journey with God.  We are being conditioned and trained as members of God’s army. Not only do our lives depend on our training but the lives of others.  What you are going through right now is to strengthen you and create endurance in you so that when someone else is at their breaking point, you will be strong.  You will be able to encourage them to continue in their walk with Jesus and to not give up.  Your strength from your training will come through in that moment.

God wants a mighty and powerful army of Christians that are not only willing but able to endure the task ahead. God is conditioning and training you for your purpose on this earth. Trust Him, follow Him but most of all don’t give up on Him.  He will not give up on you.

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Genuine Christians

I was reading I Timothy Chapter 1 this morning and in verse 7 and 8 of the NKJV it says, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love.  The word genuineness stood out to me.  I looked this word up in the dictionary and it means sincere or authentic.  As I prayed over this verse it same up in my spirit that God is looking for genuine Christians.  He is not looking for Christians who are following the latest fad of what is trendy and popular.  He is looking for sincere and authentic Christians. Christians who follow him when no one is looking.

The world around us has programmed us as a society that we must fit in with everyone else.  We judge success by how popular someone is rather than how authentic they are.  If you have a successful ministry in the eyes of man it is based on how many people attend your church, how many likes you get on Facebook, or how many people follow you on Instagram or Twitter.  We compare our ministries to other people’s ministries and then call ours a failure because it is not likes theirs, what is authentic about that?  You can’t be authentic or genuine trying to be like other Christians.  We were called to be Christ like not like other Christians.  Every Christian has a ministry, a way of spreading the gospel to others, that is uniquely yours and given to you by God himself.  We need to be willing to do that ministry to the best of our ability and not try to change it.  Give the reigns over to God and let him lead your ministry and follow him.

You may say you don’t have a ministry but the way you live your day to day life is a ministry.  People are watching you to see if they see God in you.  They are watching to see if you are sincere and truly changed or if you are just another person to jump on the Christian train and will jump back off in a month or two when things get tough.  These people do more damage than good, because there was nothing genuine in them.  There are people who die and go to Hell everyday because of fake people who aren’t genuine in their walk with God.  People are searching for something real, so if you are not going to walk the walk, please don’t talk the talk.

Let’s start being genuine Christians today.  Christians who are real and aren’t copying someone else but walking in their own journey with Jesus Christ.  We all make up the body of Christ but have different purposes.  God has given you a purpose don’t throw it away by copying someone else’s, be genuine and authentically you.  God didn’t manufacture duplicates but created each of us uniquely different, why?  Because each of our purposes and ministries is uniquely different but all for the glory of God.  The world tries to tell us to be copycats not the Bible.

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Stir Up Your Gift

In II Timothy chapter 1 Paul is talking to Timothy and in verse 6 he tells him to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  As I continued to read this chapter my mind kept going back to verse 6.  As I prayed over this verse a question came to me, how many Christians are scared to stir up the gift that God has given them?  Am I personally afraid to truly stir up my gift in my own life?  Why are we afraid to do this?  What would it take for us to stir up our gifts? What type of impact would this have on the world around us?

I think the majority of Christians are scared to stir up their gift from God.  This is evident in the world around us. There is not a strong presence of Christians in the world today. Some will live their entire lives on this earth and never even know what their gift was, because they weren’t open to receiving it. Some of us may dabble in our gift but the minute it pushes us outside our comfort zone, we pull back or stop.  We put limits and reigns on our gifts out of fear.  Fear of what others may think or say about us or just fear of the unknown.  Our minds cannot even comprehend where God wants to take us in our gift or calling.  We can only serve Him as big as we believe.

So, what would it take for us to stir up our gifts?  First, you have to know your gift. You have to let God show you what your true gift is, you don’t get to choose your gift.  I believe your gift is given to you based on what God’s purpose for your life is. You can’t stir up a gift that is not yours.  You have to quit worrying about what everyone else’s gift is and if their gift is greater than yours in your eyes, and walk in your gift.  You need to keep your eyes on God and stay focused on your purpose.  He has a plan for you and you were created with purpose but you have to be willing to accept your purpose to grow in your gift.  Spend time in prayer and in his Word and he will make this known to you.  Then, you have to be willing to follow him no matter how scared or alone you may feel.  You may have to leave other people behind to complete your journey, but God will bring new people in your life along that journey.  People who will pray with you and for you, that will encourage you, and lift you up to God when you are under attack.  The unknown is scary but God will be there, you just have to be willing to go.

II Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. If we just applied to verse to our day to day life and walk in our gifts, what a mighty army we would be for Christ.  There would be no stopping a church or Christian, on this earth, that truly believed and lived this verse.  God is waiting for each us of to realize this.  Pray for strength and courage today to accept your gift and purpose from God today.  Pray that we, as Christians, begin to stand in his power and show the world his love.  Let’s stop looking weak and unsure of ourselves, when we serve a mighty living God. There is no other like him.  He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.  We need to stop acting as though we serve and ordinary God and realize we serve the only God and what a mighty and powerful God he is!

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Action Required

I was reading a familiar verse this morning in Matthew 7:7, Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. I begin to think are we asking or seeking anything from God, when it comes to our relationship with him? Are we even knocking for it to open for us or are we just standing there in contentment?
Do we ask God for strength to follow him so he can take us farther than we have ever been in him? Do we ask him for courage to fight the things that come against us and that prevent us from moving forward in our relationship with him? Do we ask him to fill us with love and compassion for our fellow man, so we can love others the way the bible instructs us to? Do we ask God to break down those walls and chains that hold us back in our faith, like fear and anxiety?

Do we seek God in our day to day life?  Do we look for ways to serve God on a daily basis? Do we seek his wisdom and power to defeat our flesh? Do we spend time in his Word, because we want a deeper understanding and a more powerful relationship with our Lord and Savior?  Do we spend time in prayer seeking his guidance?

Do we knock on the doors in our life for God to open them?  Do we knock or bang on the walls we have allowed Satan to put up in out lives for God to destroy them? Sometimes I think we are afraid to knock fearing the unknown.  We become content behind the doors and inside the walls because we don’t have to face what is on the other side.  God can open a door that has been nailed shut by you and by Satan with ease, but you have to be willing to walk through it.

The thing that stood out to me in this verse is that each of these words Ask, Seek, Knock all require action on your part.  God is tired of lazy Christians.  Christians who are wanting to be spoon fed the Word because they are too lazy to read it for themselves.  Christians who want everyone else to pray and seek God for them.  Christians who want to tell everyone their problems but God.  They are looking for pity not resolution.

God is looking for Christians that are ready to take action for his name sake. He is looking for Christians that have a hunger for him and his Word.  He is looking for Christians who are ready to stand up against Satan and the things of this world.  Christians who are willing to be an outcast for His name sake.  Christians who will serve Him, no matter the cost.  God is on the move and we need to be willing to move with him.  Quit waiting on everybody else to do something and do it yourself.  Ask God what he wants you to do on this earth to further his Kingdom,  seek him in everything you do, and knock on the doors that are preventing you from moving forward.  Don’t keep God waiting, time is running out.

Thank you for reading and I hope you have a Great day in Jesus Christ!!

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Giving Your All

As I was reading II Corinthians 9:7 this morning, So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.  I know this is quoted a lot regarding paying tithes or giving of money, and I agree that we should do these things cheerfully. I believe that what you spend your money on shows what is important to you.  I believe that is why God wants us to be cheerful when doing this because only then are we giving from the heart. However, money was not what God laid on my heart with this scripture this morning.

I believe our time is also valuable to God and that we should give it cheerfully.  A lot of times people will give money before they will donate their time.  We, as a society, value money so much that we often overlook people who donate their time and only give recognition to the people who make monetary donations.  The person who donated their time may have given all they had.  They gave the one thing they can never get back, their time on this earth.  Maybe they spent time cleaning or taking care of projects at their church to ensure everything is clean for you to arrive on Sunday morning, maybe they spent time working in their own ministry to help others that are in need and to share Jesus with them, or maybe they spent time in prayer praying for you and I to defeat whatever may come against us this week.  I believe these things are just as important to God if they are done earnestly and cheerfully.  God wants us to be eager and excited about serving him whether we are giving money or time.

God is looking for the person who is willing to give their all to him.  Just like the widow in Luke chapter 21. Her gift in man’s eyes was much less than the gifts the rich were giving, but Jesus said in verse 3and 4, Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had. Let’s start giving Jesus our all today.  Let’s quit putting monetary value on everything and start giving from our heart, all that we have.  Stop looking at what others are doing or giving and start focusing on what you can do and what you can give.  Each of us have a purpose and God wants us to fulfill that purpose.  It doesn’t matter how big or small you think your purpose is, God just wants you to give it your all.  Stop comparing your purpose or your gifts to someone else’s purpose or gifts and just give it your all.  God is looking for total surrender and commitment from us to love and serve him only.

Thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day in Jesus Christ!!

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Spiritual Backsliding

I was reading in 1 Timothy chapter 4: 1-2 this morning which reads, Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron. I began to think how do we depart from the faith?  Is this a conscious choice or does this happen little by little?  I started praying and asking for insight on this because I know people who were once on fire for God and are now so cold in their spirit.  They flee at the mention of God’s name in a conversation.

While for some the decision to walk away from God was a conscious choice, but for the majority I believe it subtle changes in their day to day life that cause this.  I have often read that if Satan can’t make you sin, he will make you busy.  I believe this is where it starts for most people.  They become so busy with work, children, taking care of their homes, and other social obligations that they begin to spend less time in the Word.  Spending less time in the Word begins to affect their prayer life.  They aren’t praying for guidance or a deeper understanding of God’s Word anymore.  They are no longer growing spiritually. The excitement they once had to serve Jesus in their church, community, or around the world is gone.  Their prayers have become quick memorized prayers they recite to keep from feeling guilty for not praying.  They begin to miss church services.  One or two become three or four missed services and before they know it weeks have now become months.  Before long not attending church is the new norm.

Now that they are not in the Word, prayer, or attending church they begin to justify sin.  They let the deceiving spirits and doctrines convince them that certain sins are not sins anymore.  They begin to slowly partake of things of the flesh until there is no longer any resemblance of Christ in their life.  Some will say they are a Christian but there is no evidence or fruit of that in their lives and others will deny ever knowing him,  They can still quote a few scriptures but usually on the good ones about how much Jesus loves us.  They tend to forget the ones that would convict them of their actions.  The good news is no matter how far they have walked away from Jesus, all they have to do is cry out to him.  The minute they cry out to him, he is there with open arms, ready to forgive them.

As Christians we have to make a conscious choice everyday to follow and serve Jesus.  We have to make spending time in God’s Word and in prayer a top priority in our life. Let’s stop being hot or cold Christians depending on what day of the week it is.  Can you imagine where you would be today in your walk with Jesus if you remained as on fire for Jesus today as you were the day you were saved?

We need to pray daily for strength and perseverance to continue our walk with Jesus.  We  need to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ and encourage them on their walk with Jesus.  Let’s stop putting each other down for mistakes made and start lifting each other up in prayer.  We should support each other with love and compassion.  We should build each other up with encouragement to follow Jesus. The world needs more Christians not more backsliders.  So today lift up your brothers and sisters in Christ and pray earnestly for them to remain steadfast and strong.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great day in Jesus Christ!!

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