While reading this morning Exodus chapter three again, a question and a statement came to mind. The question was “What came before the Exodus?” And the statement was “you need an encounter with God before your exodus out of whatever it is God wants to deliver you from.” So, what is an exodus? An exodus basically means mass departure or going out. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word itself is derived from the Greek word Exodos which literally means “the road out”. We know that in Exodus three that God commissions Moses to lead His people out of years of oppression and suffering. God saw and heard His people and He said to Moses, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering (Exodus 3:7 NLT). He then goes on to say that I have come down to rescue them. This is where Moses fits in and gets welcomed to join God in His mighty work.
Does God See Our Tears?
Exodus had to remind me that God hears and He sees. Often, many of us saved or unsaved cry out that God does not see all of the suffering in the world or even in our individual lives. He does. He is aware. That is why He sent His Son to bring His Kingdom here on earth and bring salvation and reconciliation. We now have an opportunity to one day no longer suffer and be in agony and turmoil.Moreover, as I read Exodus three, it dawned on me that some things preceded the exodus of the Israelites. For one, Moses had an encounter with God. And some other things took place also but first let me encourage you that God sees your suffering and He hears your cries.
Circumstances Don’t Have The Last Say
Circumstances in life, especially ones that won’t let up, won’t let you sleep, and keep popping back up, will make you feel like running and throwing in the towel. I have had days where my conversations with God are full of tears, pleas and cries of wanting to just give up. However, a Bible plan I read left me with the impression that God will either deliver you from it or see you through it. The line in the Bible plan actually read “that sometimes God doesn’t deliver you from the trial. Instead He saves us through it.” In my struggles with anxiety and fear as well as other circumstances presented in my life, I sometimes think that this would be a lifelong struggle that eventually I would lose. But the devil is a liar. And John 16:33 reminds me that Jesus has already overcome the world, and therefore, He has already overcome the issues that plague it too. We may lose some battles in our human experience but Jesus overcame the war. I may deal with anxiety for the rest of my life, but I know one thing God is teaching me through all of this, and that is to trust Him one day at a time.Shoot, the second thing He is teaching me is that He sent me a helper, the third person and He is called the Holy Spirit. He is my Comforter and constant, unparalleled peace in the midst of any storm. Three, I must surrender all to God. I must surrender to His love and lordship. And four, God does want to deliver me. There will be times I will be afraid and anxiety will rear its ugly head to challenge me to run and hide, stand still and give up, or tremble and fight. But the Holy Spirit will help me to get to the point where fear will not control me. And I will take my focus off of fear and anxiety and put it back on Jesus. I will live in the presence of God. The spirit of fear will not choke out my destiny or become my identity. The spirit of fear will not dictate the quality of life I will have or shall I say lack thereof. God did not give me a spirit of fear, but that of power, love and a sound mind. I will receive the life and life to the full Jesus came to give me. I will see myself the way God does. I will experience the joy that comes from God here on earth instead of believing I have to wait to experience it in heaven. The joy of the Lord is my strength. I will be fulfilled by only the One who can fulfill me and that is God. Life is not and will not always be comfortable. In fact, storms come and go. But I can walk in the freedom and wholeness of God, knowing that in His presence and with His grace, I can live simply, fruitfully and purposefully.
What Comes Before An Exodus?
Now back to what comes before the exodus.
- God heard and saw. He sees your suffering. He feels your pain. He acknowledges what you’re feeling. Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. Exodus 3:7 NLT
- God remembers His covenant and promises. “Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me. He told me, “I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you. I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt. I will lead you to a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.”’ Exodus 3:16-17 NLT
- You have an encounter with God. One day Moses was tending the flock of his father-in-law, Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock far into the wilderness and came to Sinai, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the middle of a bush. Moses stared in amazement. Though the bush was engulfed in flames, it didn’t burn up. “This is amazing,” Moses said to himself. “Why isn’t that bush burning up? I must go see it.” When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, “Moses! Moses!” “Here I am!” Moses replied. “Do not come any closer,” the Lord warned. “Take off your sandals, for you are standing on holy ground. I am the God of your father —the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” When Moses heard this, he covered his face because he was afraid to look at God. Exodus 3:1-6 NLT
- God invites you to join Him in His mission. Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them. Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” Exodus 3:9-10 NLT
- You get His instructions and encouragement. Then the Lord told him, “I have certainly seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries of distress because of their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. Now go, for I am sending you to Pharaoh. You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.” But Moses protested to God, “Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?” God answered, “I will be with you. And this is your sign that I am the one who has sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God at this very mountain.” But Moses protested, “If I go to the people of Israel and tell them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ they will ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what should I tell them?” God replied to Moses, “ I Am Who I Am . Say this to the people of Israel: I Am has sent me to you.” God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you. This is my eternal name, my name to remember for all generations. “Now go and call together all the elders of Israel. Tell them, ‘Yahweh, the God of your ancestors—the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—has appeared to me. He told me, “I have been watching closely, and I see how the Egyptians are treating you. I have promised to rescue you from your oppression in Egypt. I will lead you to a land flowing with milk and honey—the land where the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live.”’ “The elders of Israel will accept your message. Then you and the elders must go to the king of Egypt and tell him, ‘The Lord , the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So please let us take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord , our God.’ “But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand forces him. So I will raise my hand and strike the Egyptians, performing all kinds of miracles among them. Then at last he will let you go. And I will cause the Egyptians to look favorably on you. They will give you gifts when you go so you will not leave empty-handed. Every Israelite woman will ask for articles of silver and gold and fine clothing from her Egyptian neighbors and from the foreign women in their houses. You will dress your sons and daughters with these, stripping the Egyptians of their wealth.” Exodus 3:7, 10-22 NLT
Lastly, I would like to say that God is right there with you in your healing journey. He is our Shepherd and we have all we need because He cares for us and He will always provide for us. He never lies and never fails. Before our exodus, we must also come to let our flesh die daily. This means that with God’s grace and prayer, to humble ourselves before God and surrender to Him as well as keep renewing our minds with His word to transform our hearts. We must take time to spend time with God and make sure we keep our prayer altars lit. Let Him guide us and prepare us for each day as well as our deliverance, however that deliverance looks like to God. God is an amazing God and He loves us so!Tannika Nikeya 🙏🏾
Happy Thursday! This throwback originally published on September 9, 2016 is a must read for this season. We must remember that we are in a battle whether we want to be or not. Please read this throwback and make sure you put on daily, besides your mask, the full armor of God.
Did you know that 40 million adults in the U.S. suffer from anxiety? And 25 percent of children suffer from an anxiety disorder (Anxiety and Depression Association of America).
Anxiety can be so limiting, frustrating, scary, and overwhelming. I have dealt with it for years, not initially recognizing what it was and how much it has affected my life. Yet, I serve a mighty God despite what anxiety may say. This may be a process and it may be day by day, step by step, but I will overcome. As I grow and heal as well as learn to trust God, I am also learning to cope with anxiety.
And this year has brought on more stress. So, I am sure more people are feeling anxious. People who have suffered from anxiety prior to the pandemic, you may be even more anxious. So, how do we cope with anxiety?
10 Ways To Cope With Anxiety (These are not in a specific order)
1. When you are anxious, don’t fight what you are physically feeling, don’t try to pause the pain, or suppress your emotions. Often times when I was anxious or having an anxiety attack, I would try and fight it with the intent to hurry and make it go away. But it would only make me feel worse. You are trying to fight your anxiety attack from rising when your body is already in fight or flight mode. Sounds crazy don’t it but I would do just that. After finding such tip on another google search and practicing it, I found not fighting it helped me to calm down much more effectively and quicker than it would have fighting it. Sometimes, we try to avoid what we feel. Feel it. Then take a deep breath and release it.
2. Rest. Don’t just take naps. But for people who are constantly busy and rarely take naps, every now and then we need to incorporate nap time. Get some sleep. I realized my lack of sleep or lack of quality of sleep also triggers my anxiety. Even lack of healthy eating and lack of eating adequate meals can trigger anxiety. Ok so back to rest. Pause to pray and play. Enjoy the moment. Embrace the present. Catch up on self-care, family time, organizing and even doing some things God has laid on your heart to do that you have wanted to do for awhile. Rest means pausing to be productive and present.
3. Practice deep breathing. I am still learning how to properly do this but it helps to tell your body to calm down by releasing adequate oxygen in your body through your blood and a calm order to your brain. And it is helping. It lets me tell my body “ok, I feel you.” “Im paying attention. We are going to be okay.”
4. Watch something funny and laugh daily. Mass consumption of reading and watching videos of what’s going on right now can be unhealthy. I was reading something recently about a new rare symptom or so in kids getting Covid and I could feel my eyesight get blurry and head start to hurt. It was overwhelming. Fear is increasing in the land. God did not give us a spirit of fear but that of power, love and a sound mind. So, remember that and laugh away. Laughter has been a good distraction and great medicine.
5. Pray and read the Word of God. His Word is alive and active. God’s promises and Word still stand. He is God Almighty and the prayers of the righteous availeth much. Keep praying. Keep reading His Word. I will read His Word and God will pinpoint something to pray regarding a situation. Let us involve God in every area of our lives. He cannot fail. He will not fail.
6. Take one day at a time. Don’t worry about tomorrow. You are not there yet. Focus on today. Don’t rush the process. And trust God one day at a time. Be patient. Be patient with yourself. Be patient with others. Be patient with God after all He is patient with us.
7. Practice self-care and add it to your calendar if you have to. You’d be surprise how some people with anxiety are consumed with worry and meeting the needs of others that they tend to neglect their own care. And sometimes it isn’t the physical care they neglect, but the mental and emotional care.
8. Get therapy and seek God. It is okay to get therapy. Talking with someone who is neutral, is not directly involved in your pain and personal business, and is trained in guiding you towards self-awareness, identifying the trauma and guiding you to solutions as well as identifying choices you have to heal and move forward is a great resource and support. Moreover, seek God, for His wisdom is not of this world. He created you and first loved you so He has, and knows, and wants what is best for you. He has the solutions you need. And He wants you to be free from the spirit of fear.
9. Do your healing homework. What triggers your anxiety? Why are you worried? Upon prayer and the Holy Spirit’s counsel, I found that a particular workplace was one of my anxiety triggers. I was then able to pray concerning such and delve deeper as to why I would feel anxious there and begin the work to have a better experience in that environment. Things changed and you know what, the change started in me first. I had to learn to see the people in this environment the way God did. I had to, well am still learning to, learn to see myself the way God sees me also.
10. Learn effective coping techniques. What are some things you can do to manage your stress and anxiety? What are some things you like to do to relax or have fun? Are they healthy and effective? Like listening to some good old music. I know someone told me they have been listening to Stevie Wonder. I listen to 90’s music and sometimes just worship music. Sometimes, I watch funny things like a comedy sketch. Laughter is good medicine as I mentioned before. I love taking walks. I journal sometimes. I also take time to acknowledge how I feel. Being transparent with myself and others helps me as well as others. Moreover, I am learning to be more transparent with God. Not that He doesn’t know, but sharing the matters of your heart with God is refreshing and empowering. Reading books. Cooking. Sharing a meal with family and friends. Helping someone else helps take your mind off of you for a short while and blessing someone else blesses you. I also have recently started praying in tongues more in the morning. I wake up a lot of mornings with anxiety so praying in tongues and worshiping God has been a great help. It takes my mind off of me and puts it back on God.
What are other ways one can cope with anxiety?
Disclaimer: I am not a therapist or expert on anxiety. These are merely tips from research and from my own experience and are not intended to cure, treat, or diagnose medical conditions.
Recently, a couple of my family members and I were having a discussion (and argument) about hurt that we have and are experiencing with one another. Letting someone know that their actions and attitudes are causing pain can be difficult as well as hearing that your actions and attitudes are hurting someone can be uncomfortable. Hearing how someone feels or hearing truth can be unsettling, discouraging, and maybe even embarrassing if we are honest. It can even make you mad and respond back with more hurt. That is why healing is so imperative. When we face truth, God wants us to be able to respond from a place of love and eagerness for allowing God into every area of our lives, including the painful ones. Sometimes we put up barriers and shut down. Oh, I know that all too well. I would also shut down even when someone offended me or if I disappointed them in some way. Conflict was difficult for me. But thank God for His constant teachings, His grace, and therapy even with Him. I still have a ways to go but He has brought me a long way.
This morning, as I read one of my Bible plans and it discussed repentance, I began to also repent for the times I wasn’t totally honest with people in fear of how they would respond. I subsequently thought about the woman at the well and how she could have responded to Jesus during their dialogue. Jesus was frank with her although He preceded in love. He drew her in by validating her existence and showing her respect despite her reputation and although Jews didn’t deal with Samaritans like that. And he continued with addressing something she had to face. She had been married several times and her latest boo wasn’t even her husband.
Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). So he left Judea and returned to Galilee. He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?” Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.” “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her. “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied. Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!” “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?” Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.” The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus told her, “ I Am the Messiah!” Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?” The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So the people came streaming from the village to see him. Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.” But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.” “Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other. Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.” Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”
John 4:1-42 NLT
Notice though that she already knew the state she was in. Hence she traveled to the well at such an uncomfortable time so she can avoid others who looked down on her (dummies.com/religion/christianity/the-bible/spiritual-rebirth-the-samaritan-woman-at-the-well/). And she clearly states that she is not married. She also knows the “messiah (Christ Jesus) is coming and will proclaim all things to us.” However, what intrigues me when I read this story is how Jesus was so frank with her and how she did not run away from Him in despair or offense. She received the truth about the sin in her life and her thirst for a savior. She was so excited about such revelation, Him knowing what was going on with her. She was also excited about the fact that He can meet the need of eternal salvation and fulfillment, whether she fully understood it or not. She ran boldly in to the village and told others about Jesus. This resulted in many of the people believing that Jesus is the Savior.
Much of healing is discovering truth, truth about what’s going on inside of you and your heart. As God exposes some things for you to face, repent from, and heal from, don’t run from God in despair or offense. God wants you to heal. God wants to have a relationship with you. God wants you to know He loves you and He is here to fulfill you. And God will give you the grace and strength to endure this part of the healing process. Don’t avoid the pain, the emotions, the truth, the forgiveness, the repentance, and the Savior when He comes waiting for you at the well. Let us face the Truth–Jesus.
Help us to allow You to bring those things to the surface in our lives that You want us to face and we have been so afraid to deal with. It is uncomfortable and disheartening at times but give us grace to hear the truth and face it. More importantly, let us receive the Truth, the Life and the Way which is Your Son, Jesus. And help us to see ourselves and others the way You do. Your grace is sufficient and the joy of the Lord is our strength. Renew our minds and let us begin to heal. But first we must seek ye first Your kingdom and righteousness and we will have all we need including the things we need to heal and grow. Comfort us too and envelop us with Your unfailing love. Help us to give You all of our failures, fear, disappointments, traumas, and heartbreaks. You love us beyond measure and You care for us with Your omnipotence and mercy. In Jesus’s name, amen.
Hey loves, please watch, share, and like my new video/recording of my new poem Bring It To The Surface.
Click on the link below⬇
I came and sat down at the table
Carrying what I had made in my hands
So excited and pleased
I wanted to show Jesus what I had made
But it fell apart as I set it on the table
It was destroyed and I was crushed
I looked at Jesus, who was sitting across from me, with my eyes wide and full of disappointment
Tears began to slide heavily down my cheeks
Jesus got up, came and sat closer to me
And put His hand on mine
He looked me in the eyes and said don’t worry,
We will rebuild it together
I know what it takes to build it right
And to make it last
He sat there with me
And with a smile
We talked and laughed
He comforted me and
He let me pour out my heart to Him
And I felt safe
He worked with me
And guided me through
The careful rebuilding of what I brought to the table
It looked different
It looked new
He breathed on it
And it came to life
He spoke to it
And strengthened it with His might
It was my life
And as I surrendered mine and received His
I knew then I was going to be alright.
Ever had a time when you were so frustrated by your circumstances? (Raises my hand!!!) Trouble and their makers seemed to follow you everywhere you went. Every turn you made, they were right there to annoy you, derail you, and distract you.
Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her. When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.” The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. Acts 16:16-33 NIV
Anxiety, trials and tribulations as well as trouble makers may arise and follow you throughout life. They may make you feel so alone, hopeless, and even tired and annoyed. However, after reading these scriptures for the second time, I realized, thanks to the Holy Spirit, three things you can practice to lead your annoyance towards godly action. One, as a believer of Christ Jesus, I am in covenant with Him and therefore, I have authority over every demonic force (Luke 10:19, Luke 9:1). He (the Holy Spirit) that is in me is greater than he (the devil) that is in the world. Two, troubling circumstances are also opportunities to put my trust in God and keep my focus on God. Let me fix my eyes on Jesus for He is the author and finisher of my faith. Three, these are also opportunities to pull out two of my weapons (prayer and praise). Besides meditating on the Word of God, prayer and praise are other weapons to aid me in my battles. Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God instead of latching on to their despair.
Victory will come along.
Just keep on.
And stay focused on Him too.
Keep praising God,
For He will see you through.
What has you in despair or frustrated? What things have you learned to healthily cope? What godly actions do you take to combat against your trials and tribulations? Why is it not a good thing to just avoid issues and circumstances? How does God want us to face them?
Surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God. I am the God above all the nations, and I will be exalted throughout the whole earth.
Psalms 46:10 TPT
Tears slid down my cheeks as I walked hopelessly to the bus stop. It was another day of routine coated in restlessness. Another recognizably minor event, yet heavy and familiar enough to cause anxiety and allow the enemy to usher in doubt and lies that nothing will change, bombarded my morning. Feeling defeated left me in sobs and asking God “what is the evidence of what I am doing that it is actually working”. You may be saying the same thing and looking for evidence that your trying to remain faithful in the things and pursuit of God is not in vain. You may be striving for things and progress to make something happen that God can make happen in less time if you learn to trust and obey Him. You may be looking for evidence that God sees your pain and barrenness in the midst of your faithfulness and much sowing. And in all of this you may have spiritual relapses and doubt and sin may be creeping in. Thank God for His mercy and forgiveness. He wants your undivided heart, not perfection, which is false and aimed for in our own strength. We can do nothing apart from God and God wants us to instead aim for spiritual maturity.
But as I walked on, the Holy Spirit patted me on the soul and comforted me to the bus stop. It was at work, tears no longer present, heaviness tucked away, and after my morning greetings with “how was your weekend” that God would answer me. Someone asked me if I was familiar with excel sheets and from there as I proceeded to try and help with her document, I realized again that God listens and answers, and even moreso He cares. She informed me that as I stood next to her desk that she was being led by God to encourage me. Some of the things she said was “you are not going to please everybody, God wants you to balance and know who you are.” And she also told me that I need to stop beating myself up. I teared up as she expressed what I knew what was God answering me through her.
Have you been feeling defeated? Are you having a hard time learning to rest in God? Are you realizing you haven’t been seeing yourself through the eyes of God? Are you beating yourself up and experiencing condemnation?
Know that God is listening to your heart, collecting your tears, and wanting to dialogue with you about everything that doesn’t just concerns His heart but your heart also. Know that there is a Comforter that brings you comfort and healing, guidance and hope. Know that the efficacy of the blood of Jesus still works and is efficient to do all what it was shed to do, and that is to save, protect, and deliver you.
While receiving this knowledge through the Word of God, proceed to take one day at a time and pray. Catch, check, and change every thought that does not line up with God’s word about you or your life. Hold on to your faith by the Word of God and the love of Christ. Press forward. And learn to be still at the same time. He says, “be still and know that He is God” (Psalm 46:10). That means recognize who our holy, faithful and sovereign God is. And that means to stop striving and trying to run the universe; you are not qualified to do so mentally, physically, spiritually, or emotionally, etc. It doesn’t mean to be passive or unproductive, but it does mean to learn to depend on God. Moreover, that also means learn to rest in Him for He will give you power, love, and a sound mind in the midst of busyness, trouble, chaos, distractions, and feelings of emerging hopelessnes.
Trust God and Set The Captive Free:
Seasons come and go but God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. And He is good and faithful, periodtt.
What question(s) are you asking God today? Have quiet time with God and ask Him. And expect an answer.
This is one of my fave posts, I wrote several years ago for a blog titled EmpowerMoments. Writing and editing for EmpowerMoments was so awesome and it pulled so much out of me. This one particular post is when God made me aware of how I was holding on to my life through a movie scene. Check it out below! And to reread the original post and to watch the video of the scene, here is the link: Holding On Too Tight!/
A while back, I was thinking about the lessons and messages that I have been receiving about surrendering. At that very moment a movie scene popped up in my mind. It was a scene from a comedy/drama/romance movie called Ghost (1990). In this particular scene, con-artist Oda Mae (played by Whoopi Goldberg) is instructed by Sam (Patrick Swayze) to give a FOUR MILLION DOLLAR check to nuns because Sam wants to make sure the money is used for good and out of the hands of his former friend/colleague Carl.
With clinched teeth, a forced smile, and a tight grip, Oda Mae has a hard time giving up that check. I like to give, but I probably would have a hard time releasing that check too. Four million dollars! Watching this scene is hilarious, but the Holy Spirit helped me to realize that Oda Mae responds like many of us, and particularly me, with our lives.
If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it. (Luke 17:33 NLT) Maybe we grip our lives because we want to continue holding onto the control of our lives and do things our way. Maybe it is because we want to obey and surrender only when it is convenient. Perhaps we think that if we surrender, we are going to lose our lives physically. It is possible that we believe that God doesn’t want us to have joy and fulfillment or just maybe we think life is satisfactory the way it is. Even more, we are probably focused on pursuing worldly things or we lack patience and trust in God to do what He says and has proven He can do. In any event, we are afraid to let go and give control to God.
I must remember that when God created me, He didn’t intend for me to live independent of Him. Therefore, in order to move forward in my Christian walk, I must fully SURRENDER!
I have been gripping my life like Oda Mae gripped that check. I have been gripping everything that God wanted control over or wanted me to release. I have been gripping my many plans, my fears, my money, my concerns of what others think about me, my dating/love life (or lack thereof) and my need to do everything and be everything for everyone. I have also given Him areas of my life and subsequently I have taken them back. I’d say I believe and then the next minute I don’t believe. Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “‘If you can’?”said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:21-24 NIV)
Since I have been alerted to my lack of surrender to God, the Holy Spirit has helped me loosen my grip on my life and those areas that I gave God little to no access. I have also surrendered plans that were of good intentions because it wasn’t what God wanted me to do at the time. I have finally severed the last means of communication between me and my ex-boyfriend/first love; I am going to trust in God to bring a God-fearing, handsome man along just right for me. I have learned that I have to seek God’s counsel in everything I do. I have also learned that I can’t be everything for everyone. It is okay to take the ‘S’ (Superwoman) off my chest unless that ‘S’ stands for SURRENDER (everything to God).
Through the testimonies of Hannah and Ruth, I am reminded that when you trust God and let go, you gain so much more! Hannah, who yearned and prayed fervently for a child, gave her son back to the Lord. She promised God that if He gave her a son she would do this so she took him to the priest and allowed the priest to raise and ready him for his destiny. (1 Samuel 1:1 – 2:10) She made him a coat and visited him every year but she had to let go. Ruth left her family to go with Naomi, her deceased husband’s mother. She surrendered to God and a new course for her life. Consequently, she married again, gave birth to her first child, and was able to also bless Naomi—her mother-in-law.
Surrendering my life doesn’t necessarily mean I lose it physically. Instead I will gain my life, the life God designed for me all along with peace, fulfillment, and deeper intimacy with God. Surrendering my life doesn’t just benefit me, it benefits others too. Oda Mae didn’t get that money but she was able to help bless the nuns and their charity as well as help Sam unite with the love of his life, Molly, and save her from danger.
Thank You for pruning me, defining my character, and setting me apart. It is not easy to go through this process, nor is it easy to render control of my life to You. But please help me let go! Help me to trust You and remember that my life is no longer my own. I am here to glorify You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, today I EMPOWER you to trust the Lord with your lives. After all, He knew you before you were in your mothers’ wombs. He created you and knows your purposes. He has your best interest at heart and will never fail you. So, don’t worry about your children. Put them in God’s hands. Release that person with forgiveness and God’s Love. Let go of that relationship He doesn’t approve of. Seek Him before you make plans. Let go of always needing control. God is qualified to manage your life more than you. When you let go, you’ll experience God’s liberty and peace!
What areas of your life do you need to surrender to God?