Free Will!

“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17 NKJV

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.” Genesis 3:6-7 NKJV

Many of us know the story of Adam and Eve. We know God’s warning to them, their disobedience and the consequence of their action. Yet, many miss God’s compassion towards them. Genesis 3:21 says that God made clothes for them. I don’t believe it was just to cover up their shame, but also to protect them from the sun and harsh conditions they may face outside of Eden. They were still His children.

I wonder if Eve ever asked God the question that I have found myself asking God at times concerning tragic things in life. “God, why did you let this happen?” The truth is, God gave the warning. We disobeyed and we let “this” happen!

Did God ever give you a warning but you thought doing it your way was better and you found out real quick that you should have listened to God? Our Heavenly Father is a good Father and because He knows our future and has already gone ahead of us, He will usually bring a warning to a specific area in our life to keep us from making a tragic mistake. The thing about this warning is, it’s up to us to take heed to it because God is not going to force us to comply or obey.

While God is a God who is in control, He is not a controlling God. He does not manipulate or force people to do the right thing. He is not The Puppet Master! He is a loving Father who has given us free will. He gives the loving warning and then it’s up to us what we choose to do with it.

What I love about this same Father God who brings warning and correction is the same Father God who gives forgiveness, love and acceptance through a heart of repentance. The Father corrects those He loves. Hebrew 12:6 says, “because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

While there are consequences for disobedience, there is also healing, comfort and renewal that follows when we turn from our ways to His. “Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God. “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, That her warfare is ended, That her iniquity is pardoned; For she has received from the LORD’s hand Double for all her sins,” Isaiah 40:1-2 NKJV. This is the loving kind of Father that I have come to know….the Father who disciplines those He loves, yet comforts them and loves them to life!

While God does allow room for mistakes and even failures, let’s not have to take the long, hard road. Let’s stay on the Highway of Holiness through obedience. “And a great road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-minded people will never travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways; fools will never walk there”, Isaiah 35:8.

Let’s take heed and obey what our loving Heavenly Father tells us because He knows what’s best for us. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that according to Psalm 51:17, the sacrifices of God are a broken and contrite (remorseful) spirit. Lord forgive me when I have disobeyed Your voice. I come to you in sincerity and I repentant (to turn from, change one’s mind), from my own ways of doing things. Lord, lead me in all Your ways. Thank you for Your love and acceptance and the renewal of the days and paths ahead of me. In Jesus Name I pray, amen!

I Get To Live!

“So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus.” Matthew 14:29 NKJV

Is God calling you to come to a deeper place in your walk with Him? Do you believe He’s calling you to do some things you’ve never done before? I understand that sometimes staying in the shallow, where there’s no depth can seem a whole lot safer. It’s not so scary!

I’m a person who absolutely loves the water! When I was a young girl, I was at the beach with some church friends and I slipped off my inner tube and fell in, what seemed to be a deep hole! No one got to me right away and I felt like no one even knew I was in the hole or drop! I honestly thought to myself, “This is it, I’m going to die at a young age. I won’t get a chance to grow to be an adult”. While I thought this, there was a calm in me. For some reason, I was not afraid. Eventually and finally, someone came for me! “I get to live!”

After that encounter, guess what? I still love water and I’m not afraid of it! I love being in the water and I don’t mind the deep waters so much. I actually prefer it over shallow waters. I can swim and float more easy and do things in deeper water that I can’t do in the shallow end, like flips (smiling). Let’s talk a little about other aspects of deep v’s shallow.

Staying in shallow ends means we don’t have to be all the way in. It’s safe there! Not too much expectations, no hard work, and we don’t have to give too much of ourselves there. In the shallow end we don’t have to worry if we succeed, or if we fail. We just feel safe and comfortable there….yet, there’s a sense of unfulfillment and “there’s got to be more than this!”

However, in the deep places there’s more at risk! It can be costly. Being in the deep places with God or in places we’ve never been before can take us out of our comfort zone, out of our safe place and sometimes into the unknown. It means you are no longer depending on self, but totally dependent on God! You’re willing to trust him completely, with your whole entire life!

Remember Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples? Jesus was walking to the disciples on the water and called out to Peter to come to Him. Peter took a step of faith! I’m sure it was scary for Peter to walk on water with the winds and waves surrounding him. In a matter of fact, just for a moment, he took his eyes off Jesus and he went under the water. But he was not alone. Jesus was there to lift him up! Peter got to live! Peter got to live so that God could fulfill His purpose in him. (see Matthew 14:22-33)

No matter the depth Jesus is calling you and me to, we can be sure that He is there. We get to live! We get to live so that God can fulfill His purpose in us! He desires to do things in us that we never thought we would do, and take us places we never thought we would go. He desires to super-exceed all of our expectations!

If you’ve ever failed at something, don’t be afraid to try again. I could have been afraid of the water after being in there for a time, thinking I was about to die….yet, I don’t allow that memory to keep me from enjoying water. We all may be in different places in life, but just like the person God used to lift me up out of the water, and just like Jesus lifted Peter up out of the water when he fell in, God will lift you up if you lose your step in those deep places. Trust God with your life, go deep and live!

Prayer: Lord, today I refresh my commitment to You to not play it safe, but to trust you as I take deeper steps of faith. Fulfill Your purpose in me, Lord. In Jesus name, amen!

Palace Favor!

And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.” Genesis 41:41 NKJV

The Lord had given Joseph some dreams that represented what his future would look like (See Genesis 37:5-11). When Joseph spoke his dreams, it didn’t set well with his family. Though his Father had pondered Joseph’s dreams within his heart, his brothers were jealous of him. Being sent to check on his brothers one day, Joseph’s brothers conspired to throw him in a well. Afterwards, they sold him to slavery.

Genesis 37:3 reads, “Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors.”

Eventually, After being sold into slavery, Joseph found favor in the house of Potiphar. However, after being wrongfully accused by Potiphar’s wife, he was placed in prison! “God, could the dreams I dreamt really have been from You? Look at all that I’m going through. This looks nothing like what You showed me!” This is probably what some of Joseph conversations with God was like.

If you think about it, a lot of what we go through in our times of process looks completely opposite from the dreams God has placed in our hearts, or prophecies that have been spoken over us. The question is, will we remain faithful? Will we trust God in the process of what we don’t understand? Even in the prison, God was still able to use Joseph. He remained pliable in God’s hands.

Even in the prison, God was still able to use Joseph. He remained pliable in God’s hands.

I believe Joseph kept those dreams in his heart. The favor of God led him from the prison to the Palace! He went from trial to triumph! He was set over all the land of Egypt, being just under Pharaoh! His dreams came true before his very eyes. His dream came true before his family. His father, Jacob (Israel) lived to see it too!

I love the story of Joseph as well as so many other stories of the Bible. They remind me of God’s faithfulness and His Character. They remind me that God will do exactly what He says He will do. We just need to remain faithful, pliable, and trusting in Him. God’s favor can shift your position in a year, a month, a week, a day, or even in an hour! Keep the dreams in your heart God has given you as He leads you closer to them one day at a time. Believe that you have Palace Favor and what He did for Joseph and so many others, He can do for you too!

Keep the dreams in your heart God has given you as He leads you closer to them one day at a time.

Prayer: Lord, I may not always understand the process. So many times, my situations look different than what You have shown me in my heart. But like Joseph, I will continue to trust you and believe that everything I experience in life, whether good or bad, is working for my favor. It’s working for Palace Favor! In Jesus Name, Amen!

Everything I experience in life, whether good or bad, is working for my favor. It’s working for Palace Favor!

A Prayer For Generational Blessings:

We have the riches & treasures of heaven available to us!

Almighty Father, I praise You & declare Your faithfulness from generation to generation! I decree generational blessings over our families. Every work of curses, wickedness & darkness is broken, shattered, destroyed, dismantled & overturned in Jesus Name! I proclaim the heavens of God are opened over our lives, families, ministries, businesses & we have the riches & treasures of heaven available to us!

We are more than overcomes!

I decree & declare healing & restoration over our families, cities & communities from any & all setbacks, delays, failures, poverty, breakdowns, meltdowns, & mishaps, assigned against us in Jesus Name. I decree that the light of Jesus Christ within us will pierce the darkness & what’s in the darkness will be exposed by the LIGHT!! We are more than overcomes! Thank You God that we rule & reign with Your Son Jesus Christ from the Heavenly Places forever & ever. It’s in the matchless name of Jesus Christ whose never ever lost a battle and Never will! Amen!

“Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments;”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭7:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

We rule & reign with Jesus Christ forever & ever. Amen!

A Healthy Gardened Heart!

The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing. -Isaiah 51:3

I don’t know too much about gardening except planting some flowers and watering them, but I do know a little something about weeds, they are irritating! It’s a plant considered undesirable and they grow in places they don’t belong. Some may look pretty to the eye, but many are not good for flowers, grass, fruit and vegetables. Weeds compete for water, sunlight, and nutrients, leaving non-weed plants to starve and not allow proper growth.

Some may look pretty to the eye, but many are not good for flowers, grass, fruit and vegetables.

There was a time I was going through a healing process and the Lord showed me that I couldn’t cover up or hide my issues and the pain and hurt which were producing weeds in my life. I had to deal with some issues in life that I had deep in my heart and had covered up. What we hide will eventually show up above ground level and will be exposed. If these issues are not dealt with by the roots, (the issues of life), they will keep showing up and will damage any good growth that we are trying to produce in our lives. These undealt with roots don’t just affect us, it affects everyone and everything around us. Our hearts are like a garden. We must maintain it diligently and plant good things and deal with the things that do not belong that irritate and compete with that which is good.

Our hearts are like a garden. We must maintain it diligently.
Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it springs the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23

Along with exercising prayer and allowing God’s Word to take root in your life, seek God’s wisdom on how you can maintain a healthy gardened heart. Allow Him to lead you to the right person or people and place that can help bring healing to the deep issues that have perhaps left you feeling, at times hopeless and helpless. God desires to heal us and make us whole so we can produce good things in life.

God desires to heal us and make us whole so we can produce good things in life.

Prayer: Lord, show me the things that I need to deal with from the root so I can produce good, healthy fruit and allow your Word to take root in my heart. Please provide the tools, resources and even people I need to maintain a healthy garden heart. In Jesus name I pray, amen!

Worth The Wait!

“But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 NKJV

Are there promises or desires that you have been waiting to be fulfilled? Perhaps these are promises or desires you thought would have been fulfilled months or even years ago. I know the wait may seem long overdue, uncomfortable and drawn out, but the truth is, God desires to give us His very best! Having God’s best sometimes means having to wait longer than expected or longer than we want to. However, as we wait, He will renew our strength, as states in Isaiah 40:31.

Those who TRUST in the Lord will SOAR!

When a woman is pregnant we know that it’s important that she comes to full term in order for the baby to be fully developed. If the baby is born too soon, the baby may have serious health problems at birth and in the future. It’s the same process for anything that we desire worth coming to full maturation.

We are pregnant with promise, but if we give birth to that promise before it’s appointed time, there can be a spiritual miscarriage of that promise or the premature birth can be unhealthy for you and those around you. This can happen by trying to get ahead of God and doing things before it’s proper time. When we try to do things in our own ability and strength it leaves us feeling frustrated, anxious and sometimes wanting to give up.

Pregnant with promise!

There’s a process in the waiting physically as well as spiritually. When the promise comes to full term, you will say, “That was worth the wait!” That’s what most mothers say after looking at their precious babies they just gave birth to. When we wait on God to make a thing good, it will be better than expected and better than what we were able to accomplish in our own strength and ability. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” We can’t get ahead of God for the sake of having something NOW.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV)

Do what you can now with what you have until the promise or what you desire comes forth. I believe that God always supersedes our expectations!

Prayer: Lord, may my strength be renewed as I learn to wait on Your timing. Forgive me for the times I’ve tried to get ahead of You by doing things my own way. I trust and believe you will make all that you have said to me more than good and that it will be worth the wait. In Jesus name, amen!

Sand in my shoes!

Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it springs the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23

A man named Peter Jenkins wrote a book in 1973 called, “A Walk across America”. It became a bestseller because he had an incredible experience. He walked five thousand miles all the way across America. It took him five years to do it. He carried a 70 pound back pack and he walked throught the Appalachian trail. He walked through the New Orleans and West Texas. He walked through Rocky Mountains. He walked through blizzards and went through the heat in 120 degrees desert. He was attacked by animals, he was attacked by dogs. He was bitten by snakes, he was hit by a car. His dog that was with him was run over by a car. He was mugged once, he was stabbed once. He was cheated. You name it this guy went through it. Then, he was asked this question, “What in all of your experiences was the greatest thing that made you come the closest to giving up and stopping your walk?” You won’t believe his response! It was, “Sand in my shoes.”

“What in all of your experiences was the greatest thing that made you come the closest to giving up and stopping your walk?” You won’t believe his response! It was, “sand in my shoes.”

After everything this man went through, you would have thought he would have said, when he got stabbed or mugged, robbed, extreme temperatures or his dog got hit by a car. No! Out of everything that happened to him, the very thing that almost made him quit the journey was, sand in His shoes!

He goes on to say, “The thing that almost made me quit was I would get grains of sand in my shoes and some of those places I would walk for weeks and have to camp out. I couldn’t get any more shoes and that sand would grind, that little sand would get in and grind at my feet. It wasn’t the big things. It’s wasn’t the huge things. It was just the little grains of sand.” You see, the grains of sand was grinding at his feet, making it hard to walk and continue the journey.

In many situations, it’s not always the big things that want to get us to quit in life, sometimes it’s the small things. Sometimes it’s the little things that can have the bigger affect on us. The things that no one may be able to see but us and God. It’s the small things in life that can rub our hearts the wrong way, leaving roots of bitterness, offense, unforgiveness, jealousy, contentions, discouragements and so on. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it springs the issues of life.”

Sometimes it’s the little things that can have the bigger affect on us. The things that no one may be able to see but us and God.

Our hearts are worth guarding. Our hearts are valuable, being a wellspring of life. We guard those things that are valuable and important to us. Our hearts are the essence of who we are. Our authentic self and the core of our being. It is where our dreams, desires, and passions live. It is that part of us that connects with God and others. King Solomon said, it is the “wellspring of life.” In other words, it is the source of everything else in your life. Your heart overflows into thoughts, words, and actions. Don’t allow the grains of sand, “the little things in life” to rub you the wrong way causing you to fall for the bigger things in life because perhaps you were not careful with your thoughts, words or actions.

Prayer: Lord, I lift my heart up to you today. Help me to protect and guard my heart with your word and right thinking so I do not allow the small things in life to trip me up, causing me to lose balance and sight of my journey and path ahead. Lead and guide me. Help me to make right choices and to catch the little foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom, (Song of Solomon 2:15). In Jesus Name I pray, amen!

Perfect Peace!

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3 NKJV

One of the most important things in my personal life that I always attain for is PEACE; (freedom from disturbance; tranquility, calmness (Just to name a few definitions). No matter what is happening around me or what is happening to me or even in me, it’s always important that I have and keep the peace of God in my heart and life. Peace is one of the gifts Jesus left to His disciples and He also left it for us as well.

Peace is one of the gifts Jesus left to His disciples and He also left it for us as well.

I love what Jesus told His disciples when He was in the earth, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid,” John 14:27. The MSG Bible says it this way, “I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. (Deprived, or robbed, lacking something needed), So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.”

In the peace of Jesus there is wellness and wholeness. In verse 26 of that same chapter, Jesus told His disciples that the Father was sending the Holy Spirit. He called the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. When the Comforter, the Holy Spirit lives within us, having perfect peace becomes possible, and believe it or not, it can even become the norm. How can this be possible, having perfect peace even in the mist of crisis?

Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” This verse states two things that keeps us in perfect peace. 1) Whose mind is stayed on You… 2) Because he trusts in You.

Let’s look at number 1. (Whose mind is stayed on You) – To have God’s perfect peace, our minds must be stayed on Him. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, pure, lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Our minds stay in HIS perfect peace when we are thinking the right things. When we are thinking on the Word we are actually thinking on God, (our minds are stayed on Him) because John 1:1 says that God IS The Word. Psalm 1:2 says, “….who meditate on His law day and night.” We must keep our minds on Jesus, the One who left us Peace.

We must keep our minds on Jesus, the One who left us Peace.

Let’s look at number 2. (Because he trust in You) – To have God’s perfect peace, we must trust in Him. One of the definitions of “trust” in the Merriam Webster is, “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” When we place assured reliance on the ability, strength and truth of Jesus, we are no longer leaning on our own understanding or on our own way, but we are acknowledging HIM and following HIS ways. When we follow someone, it’s because we trust them. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”

No matter what is happening around you or what is happening to you or even in you, keep God’s perfect peace in your life by keeping your mind stayed on Him and trusting Him with complete, confident assurance. It may take time and patience to attain this but keep in mind that the more we practice something, the better we become at it. Practice meditating on God’s Word, follow Him and keep trusting Him. Remember, the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, is here to help you!

The more we practice something, the better we become at it.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I come to You in the name of Your Son Jesus, and ask You to forgive me for allowing worry and anxiety to take root in my life. You are far greater than any fear my mind can conceive. Thank you for leaving me the gift of peace! As I meditate on Your Word and place my trust in You, I believe that You will keep me in perfect peace. Amen!

Prayer: Lifting Our Eyes Of Faith

Heavenly Father, I thank You because You love Your people and we have confidence that You are taking care of us and those we love and pray for. We lift up our eyes of faith to You, the Author of our lives. We thank You that our help comes from You, the Maker of heaven and earth. You watch over us and will neither slumber nor sleep. Therefore, we cast all of our cares upon You, for You care for us and like a Good Father, You know how to care for us.

Therefore, we cast all of our cares upon You, for You care for us and like a Good Father, You know how to care for us.

You will never abandon your children. We trust Your plan to give us the future we hope for. Lord, may our minds and hearts be filled with Your thoughts towards us. We put on the helmet of hope of salvation and we shut down the voice of despair Now in Jesus Name! We shut down every lie of the enemy that tries to bring hopelessness, fear, anxiety, depression and every hindrance against our lives and those we love!

We speak, decree and declare Your healing Power to those who have been infected and effected by anything negative, spiritually as well as naturally and we Speak LIFE to them Now in Jesus Name! According to Psalm 107:20 He sent out His Word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave. According to Jeremiah 30:17 “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD”. According to Jeremiah 29:11 (MSG) I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”

Father we thank You for Your Mercy and Grace. We lift our eyes of Faith as we continue to bless and praise You. We know that Your Word is true and You cannot lie. You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive Glory and Honor and Power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being, according to Revelation 4:11. We pray this all in Jesus Mighty Name, Amen!

Prayer of Protection

Heavenly Father, God of mercy and grace, I thank You for Your Word that brings us comfort in our times of difficulty. I thank You that according to Psalm 91, as we dwell in the secret place of You, The Lord Most High, we will abide in Your Almighty Shadow. You are our Strength, Refuge and Fortress, so in You we will put our trust. We trust You to keep us from any and every deadly thing. You said in Your Word according to Isaiah 54:17, No weapon formed against us shall prosper.

Lord, we trust Your faithfulness to hide us in Your wings and shield us from any and all terror, arrows of the enemy, diseases, disasters, confusions, turmoil, setbacks and every diabolical thing the enemy would try to form against Your people. According to John 10:10, The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. Lord, Your purpose is to give us a full, rich and satisfying life.

We are confident that You will command Your angels concerning us to guard us in all of our ways according to Psalms 91:11. Because You love us, You will rescue us. You will protect us, for we acknowledge Your name that is above every name. We will call on You daily, with full assurance that You answer us and are working in our favor. You will be with us in trouble, You will deliver us and honor us. With long life You will satisfy us and show us Your salvation according to Psalms 91:14-16.

Thank you Father that according to Philippians 1:6, the good work that You have begun in us will be carried out to full completion because You know our end from our beginning! We rest in Your Word that says in Isaiah 46:10, “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”

To the Only Wise God our Savior, Protector and Comforter, be Glory and Majesty, Dominion and Power, both now and forever. We praise and thank You now for Your protection. In Jesus Mighty and Matchless Name we pray, Amen!

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