Devotional 7/5

“Hagar, servant of Sarai,” He said, “where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I am running away from my mistress Sarai,” she replied. Genesis 16:8

Hagar could not but admire the Lord’s mercy, and feel, Have I, who am so unworthy, been favored with a gracious visit from the Lord?

Matthew Henry

We may find that some situations in life make us feel that we have had enough; we are unable to cope, or fear that things will never change. Situations make us run away. Depression makes us run away. In general, life situations make us run away.

Hagar ran away from her ‘master’, Sarah who treated her with contempt. Maybe Sarah was bitter because she was barren, maybe she regretted allowing Hagar to sleep with her husband Abraham. But either way, she treated Hagar with animosity, and Hagar was sick of it and ran away. The lord had his eyes on her. He knew what she was going through, and met her where she was. He told her to return to her masters house, and to submit to her authority. He also told her she would bear a son: she would name him Ishmael and that he would be blessed (Gen. 16:10). Hagar, was technically not supposed to be important to God: she was an Egyptian, a slave and would mother an unruly child born from unbelief (Ishmael): still, God was an ever present help in her silent frustration. God didn’t exactly change Hagar’s situation, but He let her know that He was paying attention to her. Sometimes, all we need is to know how valuable we are to God.

The Lord God does listen to your cries and is aware of your circumstances: He is with you. And even if He does not change your circumstances, He knows you can endure the process. He will give you what you need so that you know that YOU are important to HIM!

Let’s pray:

Lord God, El Roi, the God who sees us, I pray that we all experience you in a different way than what we are accustomed to. I pray you open our eyes to see you work in our lives and open our ears to hear you speak. And may we testify of your faithfulness and goodness to others. May you increase our faith and convictions to rely on you as our present help in time of need. In Jesus name, Amen.

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Devotional 6/17

For there is a right time and procedure to every purpose, though a man’s misery weighs heavily upon him. Ecclesiastes 8:6

There are years that ask questions, and years that answer.

Zora N. Hurston

We all know the phrase “God’s timing is perfect”. But we should also know that waiting for that time is quite the challenge.

  • Ecclesiastes 3 days that there is a time for Every thing under the sun. everything means our actions and all that concerns us. When Solomon wrote these scripture the word for everything was actually, chephets, meaning delight or pleasure. God is sovereign and His providence arranges some of the details in our lives. The book of Ecclesiastes is one where Solomon speaks to the human experience of man on earth (the carnality of mankind). He alludes to the fact that God:
    • created this earth, us and all that’s in it
      gave us work to do
      wants us enjoy our time here

    People often ask me if their destiny is already set, and my response is a ‘no‘. Our destiny cannot be entirely predestined because God gave us free will. Every decision we make alters our destiny. And although there are certain things which God will appoint, He also takes on the responsibility of redirecting our paths (His sovereignty). Things like prophetic fulfillment, coincidences, divine encounters and appointments and God winks, are God’s way of ordering our steps. The word says He orders the steps of the righteous and has predestined works for us to walk in: but God is not a dictator and we are not robots!

    God’s sovereignty works all things for our good, according to the preexisting plan of His own design. We may fall, or slip, yet God’s sovereignty rearranged the pieces of our puzzle so that things could match. But in order to walk in God’s timing, we must be surrendered to His will. This means choosing God’s ways over our own, renewing our minds, crucifying our flesh and desires, closing doors to things which do not edify, ending toxic or destructive relationships and leaning in to God’s heart through the word and daily prayer.

    Let’s pray:

    Lord Jesus, we desire to walk in your Cairo’s. I pray for discernment, wisdom, strategy and conviction for each of your children. May you open the hearts of your people to receive and know the depths of your love and mercy. And may we be all that you created us to be and do all that you scheduled for us to do. In Jesus name, Amen!

    Devotional 5/8

    But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. 1 Kings 19:4

    There is no time so dark in life that God cannot reach out and wrap us in the comfort of His Love.

    Elijah had intimacy with God. He knew God. God used him. When Elijah prayed to the Lord, God did not only hear him, but the Almighty showed up on the scene! He called fire down from heaven, he opened and closed heaven so that it would or would not rain. But Elijah was a mere mortal, a man of frailties and passions, just like us.

    After God’s manifestation, Elijah killed all of the Baal prophets! He defied 450 of Baal’s prophets and 400 of Ashertot’s prophets: they were all slain! After this great victory, Jezebel looked to get even with Elijah! But he was tired. He was physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually drained and went into the wilderness for peace, protection and rest. We can experience battle fatigue, even after our greatest victories.

    While in the wilderness Elijah told God three interesting things: I’m done, I’ve had enough, take my life, and I won’t do any better than my forefathers.  

    • You may be tired but God reminds us that we are like Elijah- we simply need to eat and recharge.
    • We may want to end it all but God is waiting to take us our NEXT.
    • Your family may have been bound, but God is calling you to be free: Break the generational curses! You are enough! You are worth it!

    Elijah needed time to get his mind right: the fatigue made him unable to think clearly, but God knew he needed strength. The Lord understood: He let him sleep, and brought him food and drink. Elijah needed to rest and recoverWe are tri-part beings: our soul, body and spirit are interconnected. For instance, if we are emotionally drained it will reflect on our bodies and vice versa. Another example is when we’re sleepy, we become delirious or anxious. Exhaustion keeps us from having the correct perspective and it robs us of the strength required for God’s NEXT. 

    God is with you. He is with you during your struggle with poverty, depression, doubt, confusion. He is with you through it all.

    Let’s pray:

    Lord your word says that you have good thoughts for our future full of hope and prosperity. Help us to fill our minds with truth. Help us rest in the spirit in you, and give us the wisdom to rest physically as well. I pray you help everyone who is tempted to give up Lord, anyone who feels like they’ve had enough: may you give them rest Lord, please remind us that you have a NEXT level, a NEXT season, a NEXT blessing in store. In Jesus name, Amen.

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    Devotional 4/25

    Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 106:1

    Thank you is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank You expresses extreme gratitude, humility and understanding.

    Alice Walker

    Gratitude is more than a feeling, it is a virtue. It is like patience: nobody feels patient! Gratitude is a virtue that leads to action, and it can easily be replaced by default as well. I firmly believe that God does not mention anything in the bible to fill in the gaps, or to catch up to some word count. The word of God tells us repeatedly, to be grateful!

    Stress is a silent killer, and it is very common and almost normal in daily life. It causes muscle tension, fatigue, sleep deprivation, hormonal imbalance, and has been linked to cancer and heart disease. When we experience long periods of stress or sadness, our bodies release a destructive hormone called cortisol (research for yourself). And the antidote to cortisol is gratitude, because it reduces stress, and increases dopamine production.

    Gratitude is all through out the bible, it is one of God’s favorite reminders. Being thankful positively influences relationships and our personal emotional state. I found some articles stating that being grateful, expressing gratitude, or adopting an attitude of gratitude have some amazing results in our lives. Time magazine reported that gratitude reduces anger, builds a stronger immune system and reduces stress. An article in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research reported that feeling grateful soothes the body, and helps us sleep better. And a 2012 study from Personality and Individual Differences, reports that it increases positive emotions and subconsciously encourages people to be generous and compassionate.

    We don’t have to become victims of bitterness, envy, anxiety, indifference, sickness, broken families, criminal activity or any other thing. We have to be diligent in making gratitude priority and habitual in our daily lives.

    Daily Tasks:

    • take a few moments to focus on all that you have
    • keep a gratitude journal
    • spend time with family or loved ones to share things you’re thankful for
    • count your blessings (literally)
    • get creative with it: make a chart with sections of what your are grateful for
    • Savor your present blessings

    Let’s pray:

    Lord God, you deserve the praise, the honor and glory. I pray you help us be constant in prayer, and walk in a renewed mindset of gratitude. Help us be people of constancy in attitude and countenance regardless of what is going on in us or around us. Please forgive us for losing grips of gratitude. Forgive us if we do not thank you enough for giving us more than we deserve. Forgive us for allowing our vision to be blurred by feelings, circumstances or the challenges we face on a day to day basis. Forgive us also for becoming impatient with you, or even desiring other things or people, other than you. And finally I also pray you forgive us from going back to our default settings, and not pressing into our renewed minds. In Jesus name, Amen.

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    Devotional 4/18

    I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; And I will not remember your sins. Isaiah‬ ‭43:25‬

    Freedom comes when you accept the fact that God loves you extravagantly.

    Creflo Dollar

    God chose David because he was a man who went after God’s heart. David had deep reverence for God: but he also failed God, more than once. King David wrote Psalm 32, where he rejoices over being forgiven and released from the sorrow in his heart.

    Sorrow:

    • distress caused by loss, affliction, disappointment, etc.
    • an affliction, a misfortune, or trouble:
    • a cause or occasion of grief, sadness or regret.

    David suffered a lot. He was anointed to be king when he was a teenager, but was persecuted by King Saul. Saul was the very person who God destined for him to serve! Imagine running for your life for about 15 years! Then he finally became king, David committed adultery, and impregnated Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife: and set his friend Uriah to be killed at war. I could imagine that David was disappointed with himself, maybe felt like a fraud for betraying his friend and although he was finally king- there was sorrow in his heart. To top it all off, when their first child was born: he died! Imagine David’s heartbreak!

    It’s valuable to know that David was a man of great suffering, because he persevered. And it tells us that can also persevere: use past pain and seek God. David was relieved when he received God’s forgiveness, and he was released from the sorrow in his heart.

    It is a beautiful acknowledgement to know God can and wants to relieve us from guilt and release us from all sorrow. Will you receive His forgiveness? Will you forgive yourself?

    Remember, God cares about our emotional wholeness.

    Let’s pray:

    Lord Jesus, we thank you for your constant mercy. Thank you for your strength, for giving us joy and hope for the future. We thank you that we have a relationship with you and that your compassion and tender mercies follow us all the days of our lives. Help us all to live in transparent and genuine faith every day of our lives. Let us not be unforgiving towards ourselves or others! In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

    Devotional 3/31

    Then they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” John‬ ‭20:13

    When the flesh is dealt with, the kingdom of God comes in and the church is built up.

    The Lord had told them in various occasions that the Son of Man would suffer many things, but that He would resurrect. We serve the God of the resurrection.

    Angels: Angels still speak to people today, and they work on the earth on our behalf. Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected on the third day. Martha went and found an empty tomb, but angels greeted her, and their words comforted her. We are not to glorify angels, because they are ministering spirits created by God (Heb. 1:14). They rolled the stone away of Jesus’ tomb granting Him a way out. And in other biblical stories they also helped Lot and his family escape from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and opened doors for the apostles to escape prisons.

    Crucifixion: Some things in our lives have to die so that they can be resurrected. The Lord Jesus prayed 3 times for God to pass the bitter cup from Him, it was then that Jesus surrendered and said let your will be done Father and not mine. Our life is a reflection of God’s will. He wants us to be alone for a season so that we may surrender to His will. Jesus had 12 disciples, one betrayed Him, another denied Him and the rest scattered: they all left Jesus alone. They couldn’t even pray for Him during His darkest season! And it was God’s doing: not everybody can be with you when it’s time for your flesh to die. The disciples wouldn’t know how to pray anyhow, and would actually pray against God’s will, and seek to preserve Jesus life. Like many of our friends, would pray for God to have mercy on us, pity us or comfort us- meanwhile God wants us alone.

    Resurrection: The disciples saw Jesus be beaten, spit on, imprisoned and killed!Their expectations were shattered, their hope for a king to redeem and restore their land and people was gone. Martha speculated saying, they have taken the Lord’s body to another place. And the disciples did not realize that Jesus had told them what would happen beforehand, and that they were living witnesses in that very moment. In the same way, the people around you will also speculate about your come up. They may even question you as you walk in resurrection power. They may be confused because they saw you fall, they saw you cry, they heard the rumors about you, but God has risen you to walk in resurrection power, with influence and great impact.

    • Recognize that it’s God’s doing!
    • God knows what He is doing! 
    • God desires you to surrender to His will: kill your fleshly ways!
    • God will bring you back to life!
    • God will confound the people around you!

    Let’s pray:

    Father God, Lord Jesus, thank you for your word. Thank you for teaching and instructing us as we grow in you. Thank you. We give you praise, glory and honor. I pray today for each of my brothers and sisters who may be going through the surrender battle. May you strengthen us, give us understanding and deeper convictions of your will and our areas which need to be surrendered. Give us the strength to move forward, and to desire your will above our own feelings. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

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    Devotional 3/6

    But you have made me as strong as a wild ox. You have anointed me with the finest oil. Psalm 92:10

    Every accomplishment begins with the decision to try.

    Heavenly Father you are the Most High God, you are the eternal king, the immortal one. You are our ever present help, the lord of hosts, the all powerful and dreadful God. You are Jehovah Shammah the God who is always present, you said you will never leave us and never forsake us. We are thankful that you are mindful of us, and that you pay attention to us.

    I thank you for meeting all of our needs and for giving us the tools to live a godly life. I thank you for giving us wisdom and resources to live day to day. I thank you for opening our eyes and giving us a new day, may we maximize our days and the opportunities you bring our way. I thank you for taking our sorrows and giving us joy in the morning. I thank you for you strength.

    Today I ask you for strength and a calm mind. I pray that your peace which surpasses all understanding to dwell in our hearts. I pray for a fresh revelation of your love and a new strength like that of the Buffalo. I pray that when we are facing challenges today you would transform our fuel from worry to faith, frustration to peace and sadness to joy. The joy of the lord is our strength, and as we live to please you I know that you will show us your mighty hand in power. You never get tired God, and you are never weary invigorate our feeble knees and hands. Give us the strength to move forward, and with your consuming fire burn away all that binds and weighs us down.

    I also pray for those who have to make decisions concerning their futures, may you strengthen us to follow your will despite it all. I also ask you to give wisdom and insight to those who are battling with insecurity. May you heal their wounds and cause a shift in their paradigms. We know the flesh and the enemy resist doing your will, so I pray we can all push past resistance. In Jesus name, Amen.

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