Tag Archives: encouragement

Our Struggle is Not with Flesh and Blood Part I

From the view of the underdog, it is very easy to believe that the fight we have is with flesh and blood, but the Bible teaches us of a more accurate truth. Our struggle is not with flesh no matter how dark or light their skin is, nor is it with blood, for though we know that the greatest enemy of mankind can often seem like those of our own household. The reality is we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Eph. 6:12) While the news will tell you the enemy is a woman or man, the posts on Facebook will tell you their black or white, the radio will tell you it’s the Republicans or Democrats. Whether it’s the internet or the television you can find someone who will feed to whatever your bend is. There is no shortage of sources that you can watch that could allow you to vacillate between the two, but the Bible makes this clear if this is your focus you’re wrestling with flesh and blood. If you can see your enemy, handle your enemy, put a name and face to your enemy then you’re fighting the wrong fight.  The enemy that Ephesians is exposing is unseen, the wickedness that exists in a higher place than where we are, we can’t reach it with our five senses. If we are using our manmade weapons of mass destruction we will miss the target.

The good news in this impossible situation just described is if we know who and what we are fighting then we can begin to consider what tools are available to reach the unseen enemy. Ephesians give us the answer on how we can fight this invisible enemy that operates in an area too high for us to reach. Ephesians 6:13 tells us to put on the whole armor of God. As King Saul did to David, so also the world wants to do to you, give you their artillery, even when it’s not working for them.  The world tells you the answer is a bigger gun yet those of us with the big guns still don’t feel secure against this war that is being waged on humanity. It is like Saul trying to suit up David for the run-in with Goliath. Yet, listen carefully to the response David had. He made it clear this isn’t going to work, I haven’t tried these things that you are trying to put on me. When I fought a bear and a lion I was successful with what I had. I’ve tried and seen that this works. (1 Sam 17:39) It is very important that you read up a few verses because you will see that David understood that the true power that he had was not in the physical weaponry, but in a clear trust through tried faith that YHVH would deliver him. David’s denial of King Saul’s armor represented a clear understanding that his tried faith in following YHVH using his slingshot and five smooth stones was more reliable than the untried armor that Saul’s soldiers used.

You don’t need what you think you need to fight the enemy of your soul, you need what God has faithfully used with you to get you through your battle.

David learned a lesson many of us have yet to learn, at an early age. Too often we discredit the gift God has given us thinking that our gift can’t measure up to the bells and whistles that the world would flaunt before us. Our gift of writing or our gift of music seems like a slingshot compared to Goliath’s sword, but the gift God has perfected in you is mightier then Goliath’s sword.

It Gets old

We are told in scripture to put on the full armor of God. What happens when your armor gets worn in the natural? Finding and assembling the perfect armor doesn’t come easy. David understood that armor wasn’t one size fits all and fancy doesn’t mean effective, nor guarantees comfort or function. Most things get worse with time.

I remember my first pair of SAS shoes and my first pair of skechers. They made me feel like I was walking on air and I wore them both until they could not be worn any more. Primarily because they were so comfortable, but I made the mistake many of us make after that first pair. I assumed that over time things would not change with them. That the same quality I received from the first pair would continue with my next pair.

Like a drug dealer things start out real cheap to get you started, but become real expensive once hooked. My skechers when I first bought them were $11, by the time I wore those out another pair would cost me $80. Yet the $80 shoe was not nearly as durable or comfortable as the $11 pair.

Start up companies tend to be that way they start out with the customer in mind, get you hooked then without notice it switches from customer focused to dollar focused. Not sure if manufacturer change as popularity increase or if companies really believe people are so stupid that if we’re drawn to a company based on quality that once the name gained fame the quality could diminish and we’d keep buying it?

Well I have been in search of that first pair of shoes from both companies, and my SAS shoes are way too expensive to make my first mistake twice so I have put them down altogether. Point I’m making is this, time doesn’t make things better not for people, not for products, not the world. A renewed mind can make for a better spirit man, but time insures that your physical state may increase, but your Spirit man doesn’t operate on that principle the potential for your Spirit to get better with time is great, as we build our armor with experience with God and understanding of his word. Your physical strength, your hair, your teeth, anything you use or have will continue to move downward. Yet we in the technological age would rather believe things are progressing. Contrary to scripture and nature itself we continue to believe things are getting better when the evidence just beneath the surface of the beautiful decor reflects the holes and cracks we so eloquently hide. Having no evidence to the contrary we believe the first millennium man was archaic and less advanced yet he lived 930 years when we barely make it to 70 and many of those who make it to that age suffer from health issues that suggests existence but barely could call it living.

The world needs Yah, a life without hope in Messiah YeHoSHua is just existence without purpose. We become days of output and put in like machines accomplishing something, but life having no meaning. We are lost, wretched and miserable without Yah. We are like those first pair of SAS shoes we start out floating on air in this life but with time we recognize we are in need of a new life and we make the mistake of thinking we can find that through our original supplier only to discover they are coming up short. Only the new man in Christ can have purpose, understand this nonsensical world and elevate to floating on air by a means beyond the natural man.

Thus we are admonished to put on the new man and to take off the old. Only in Christ is the remedy resolved by the new rather then the old, yet He has been the answer from the beginning and his remedy is not new, but we have to be renewed to see it.

Identifying the Leaky Faucets in Your Life

These days my life has been busier then they have in a really long time.  I believe God gives you these moments of refuge and retreat because he knows the road ahead is going to be so bumpy.  In the process though I have learned a lot about myself and have come to appreciate the importance of being very selective about who I share information with.  Many of us especially as women, but men have this issue too can before we know it be guilty of being the leaky faucet in the relationships we possess.  However, I am realizing that when we are most vulnerable and in need of help we can often share information with people and reveal confidences under a misguided belief that everyone is on the same page.  We don’t assess that some people use your information to hurt you, not to help you.  Then others with information can try to help you, but in the end only hurt you. An important attribute I am learning in this journey we call life is to be selective about my communication and provide it on an as needed basis.  My father has taught me well that not everybody is on your side, and thus not everybody needs to know your business.

Sadly, many of us don’t even know when we are being used by Satan, and unfortunately, that means others of us have to be mindful of how we speak and to whom we speak.  Again, not everybody has your best interest at heart when they are in your business.  One scripture that constantly comes to my mind since I have been in my home town this week is

Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

1Co 15:33

     So often people use your painful situation as their comic relief, making for sport your trials as the most recent gossip that they share with their friends, not realizing that loose lips sinks ships.  Forgetting that the seed they sow is the same one they reap.  Yet the contradiction of it all is the same people who feel so free to share your business, can be so abhorrent when it comes to theirs.  But in a society of hypocrisy this shouldn’t be surprising.   I say this with a heavy heart, but more then ever I realize that I am a child of Abraham, still looking for a city whose Builder and Maker is Yah and so thankful that I have no problems leaving my homeland to as far as I must go to get there.  Those courageous enough to let go of the dead weight that this system holds one captive to has truly been liberated to enter so freely into that space.  Guarding your conversation and to whom you speak I am finding is the best way to preserve a more simplistic lifestyle, and these days I am all about simplicity.

Overwhelmingly Grateful

I am always overwhelmed by the awesomeness of God.  Only He can orchestrate life in such a way that where He needs you, you will be.  After a trip of a lifetime, I had plans to share with my family my report of the land the bible says flows with milk and honey. Yah made it affordable and mixed with my faith that every detail of my return home from home would be completed in the most efficient way.  

Unfortunately, duty called my husband to work so the end of my adventure would be just me.  So after two days in Atlanta with my sister we traveled to SC for my Aunt’s 67th birthday party. A full yard arrayed with many people from all over coming to celebrate with her.  It was a high affair to say the least.  I was so excited to see both my mom and dad, but neither was on time.  This caused no alarm as this was the usual pattern.  Then something strange occurred. Apparently a friend of my dad’s was bringing him, but after strange behavior by him which she didn’t understand clearly triggered a response of frustration and confusion caused her to leave him in a condition I would later find was dire. 

When I found him on the floor conscious but shaking I asked if he was okay and why he was on the floor.  He responded slurring he was okay.  I knew instantly from previous experience he was having a seizure, but unlike before he had to have been in this position for longer than an hour and he wouldn’t or rather couldn’t physically grab my hand to get up.  So I called 911 despite his pleas not to, realizing he wasn’t aware of his condition.  

Let me back up a bit, driving to his house I prayed in the Spirit for Yah to prepare me and ground me for whatever I might see.  I wanted to be calm because the tendency to be emotional in such a situation can cause you the one needing to be rational to become irrational.  So I prayed with every decision and every step for guidance.  This served me well. But not going into great detail, the bottom line is we got to the hospital and he is in somewhat stable condition, though he hasn’t gotten up yet.  So your continue prayer for him to wake up fully would be appreciated.

However with all the possible negative things I could easily dwell on I am in awe that every detail was accounted for.  You see what happened to my dad could have happened if my plane from Israel didn’t just happen to layover in Atlanta which was key to me making it.  If my Aunt didn’t have this party I would have been in Louisiana.  If my sister wasn’t going she wouldn’t have been at the party to be alarmed that something was wrong, and probably I would have taken a megabus rather then drive which would have left me without a car.  And then if she wasn’t there she could not have told me, who having witnessed my dad’s seizure in the past to discern the urgency, and had my dad’s friend not told us what happened and the state he was in, plus leave the door unlock so that I could get to him, this alarm could have been a full blown tragedy. Even little details didn’t go unnoticed, I didn’t have any real food all day because the party was on the Sabbath I knew I wouldn’t buy anything to eat, and most of my snacks weren’t that healthy, so by that evening when we ate I made sure I got in the line and ate early.  The nourishment was essential to helping me stay well and had I waited I wouldn’t have eaten at all.  

So you see regardless of the outcome, I am grateful I was able to be there for my dad who is always there for me.  And overwhelmed that my heavenly Father who has allowed me to serve my in-laws when in need has blessed me to be able to serve my dad in his need. While I could ask questions about why he was left or if he was taking his meds, or why he didn’t have oh his life alert.  The bottomline is I can’t overlook the fact that Yah knew what would happen and made it possible for my dad NOT to be alone in his time of need and allowed me to be the one able to be there.  Praise YAH, only He can use weak moments in our lives to reveal His presence in every detail.

I share this hoping it will encourage my family to trust God has everything under control, but also to let others know the benefits of being in the kingdom of Yah.  The God of Israel neither sleeps nor slumbers and I am so thankful that I am in the family of God and get to reap the benefits of being in His kingdom.  HalleluYah

How to Acquire the Peaceable Life

In the wake of another shooting here in Louisiana where three officers were murdered, I would like to share my thoughts from the scripture as a citizen of Louisiana. As a citizen of color, I have just watched the press release from our officials, and was impressed with one particular speaker who hit the nail on the head concerning the issue we have in this nation. He made it clear the issue is not the ability to carry a gun, but the heart. I have heard people on both sides of the issue from black lives matter and blue lives matter, but what I am not hearing is how we can all live our lives in peace.  Which is clearly the agenda of both sides.  Yet scripture gives us instructions on how to obtain that.

 

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. (1 Ti 2:1-2)

 

I don’t know why there are people who believe that prayer is either doing nothing or being passive, but prayer is the most important weapon we can use in this hour. Before one of the greatest warriors went to battle and won victoriously he sought YHVH in prayer. This man even in the face of unjust threat of death by the King of Israel, didn’t pursue the death of the King. Not because of his respect for King Saul, but because of his respect for the Giver of the authority the King possessed. He didn’t just talk to God, but waited on God to give him the answer necessary to proceed.  This man’s name was David, and he would become King of Israel, and it was said of him that he was a man after God’s own heart.  (1 Sam. 13:14)  I perceive this is not just because he respected authority, but the reason he respected authority.  He respected the authority of the Almighty and that is what God is looking for.  Our love for Him. Jesus when questioned by Pilate stated he wouldn’t have no power except it was given to him from above. (John 19:11)  Once again recognizing that even in the face of an unjust system that the authority of that system comes from above, and as Messiah makes clear in that same context that no unjust deed on earth goes unpunished or unnoticed from our heavenly Father.  Thus, He tells us vengeance is His, and He will repay. (Rom 12:19)

No injustice on earth goes unchecked by the Almighty!

Realizing the severity of the punishment when He begin to repay should produce in us the same Spirit that was in Christ on the cross or Stephen who was being stoned.  In one word “prayer”.  It takes more strength to pray for someone who is doing you wrong or who you perceive is doing you wrong then to retaliate.  To hate them that hate you is as easy as it is to love those who love you.

This scripture in 1 Timothy is setting in place that order is important. Notice who these “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks” are to be made for first, “all men” and then specifically, “kings, all that are in authority”.

Is it possible that we are seeing the intensity we are seeing because we stop praying for those who are in authority?  Because we are exhorted to give our supplications (requests), prayer, intercession, and thanks for “all in authority” so that “we” might lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.  That word all doesn’t stop at just praying for the President, or for your own personal pick in congress, but requires we pray for those who we voted for and those who we didn’t vote for.  This includes our military and our police.   If we don’t do this, what you think the outcome will be? Turn on your news, we are seeing the product of neglecting to follow this exhortation.

Finally, there came a time where David did take out the authority of the world, we see this in him taking out Goliath, but under the authority only of YHVH could he be victorious. We don’t get to pick and choose who is taken out, this is only within the hand of the Almighty and based on His timing. King Saul was told to wipe out all of the people of the Amalekites, this included the King of that land. However, this was only based on the Lord’s clear instructions. Which is why it is so vitally important that we have the Spirit of YHVH operating within us. How do we know what we are seeing before our eyes is not of YHVH? God didn’t send his people on suicide missions.  When the children of Israel obeyed YHVH they didn’t lose their battle. Their victory was clear, and their loss of minimal if at all.  The only time the children of Israel lost a battle is when they went without the permission of YHVH. Without the Spirit of YHVH we will find ourselves outside of the will of God, and in opposition to Him. This is a dangerous place to be, yet where unfortunately many of our people are finding ourselves.

Let’s direct our anger against injustice, cry out for righteous rulers. Pray that the heart of the king will submit to the Almighty so that they will rule the land in justice, mercy, and right rulings. Pray for husbands and Fathers, local, state, regional, and national leaders, ministers, and our young men who will one day fill these positions of leadership. Our greatest strength will be in our submission to the will and word of the Almighty. Outside of this we are in danger, and we cannot fulfill His will without knowing what it is and who He is.

 

There are some principles in scripture that we as a nation better began to understand.  While we may pattern our military wisdom from studying the playbook of Alexander the Great.  The serpent was who our Messiah told us to turn to for wisdom as believers.  In this hour believers who don’t understand what Yahushah (Jesus) meant by this will be completely shaken by the world and the battle to come.  Isn’t it interesting God didn’t say be ye as wise as Solomon, though he was given wisdom unlike any other man.  Think about it, we are in the situation as humans that we are in because a serpent was able to deceive Eve.  We need to tap into the wisdom of a serpent from a heavenly perspective, so that we would be able to defeat the enemy of our lives with the wisdom that God has made available in the earth.  I will be sharing what I received from my study in my e-book. This e-book will show you:

  1. How the characteristics of a serpent can translate into wisdom for a believer and how we should walk in that wisdom.
  2. How to extract Spiritual principles from  understanding the natural character traits of how God created the serpent.
  3. Often times we don’t get what we need in our walk with Christ because we don’t ask the right questions.  The right questions in how we study can make a tremendous difference in its benefit for us.  It is insightful in that it will ask questions at the end of each chapter so that you can reflect on them and gauge if you are using this wisdom in your life.

The e-book is currently in pre-production, but you can fill out the form below to let me know that you are interested in reserving a copy.  The cost will be $5.00.  I am making e-books to save on the cost of printing.  If you would prefer a hard copy please let me know as you submit me your contact information, if enough people are interested in a hard copy I will provide print on demand, but the cost will be more.

Serpentwisdom

Our Real Struggle in the Flesh

Too many people are basing their love for Messiah on what other people are doing. There should not be one person who leaves Yahushah because of what the body does. For as Paul said, “was Paul crucified for you?” (1 Cor. 1:13) This same question we must remember when we are confronted with challenges in relationships with organized religious leaders, spouses, and parents. Our relationship with the Lord should not be hinged on those who represent or misrepresent Him. The failure of these key figures to mirror the example of Messiah for us doesn’t reflect on Messiah’s love for us, but rather reveals a lack of Messiah in those who don’t walk in the love he exemplified.

If my desire to be a Godly wife is based on my husband’s treatment of me or his reciprocation to respond as a Godly husband then I lose a great opportunity to walk like our Messiah. The example He set for us is that while we were yet sinners he died for us. We didn’t deserve, we didn’t love and we weren’t reverent. As the scripture also says we love Him because HE first loved us. (1 Jn 4:19) It took a love out of this world to come to this world to show us what love was. If it could have been found in a human being other than Christ then He wouldn’t have needed to come. Yah sought someone who could make a hedge between him and us and none was found. (Eze. 22:30)

By all means I encourage ministers, spouses, and parents to walk in the footsteps of Christ, that they lose not their reward, knowing that to whom much is given much is required. Yes, I implore you as leaders to walk and respond to others as Christ dictates because I truly believe that he meant exactly what He said concerning it being better for a millstone to be tied around one’s neck and they be cast into the sea then to offend one of His little ones. (Matt. 18:6) Nevertheless, we make a grave error if we allow abuse to be an excuse for turning away from God. We misjudge the longsuffering of the Almighty upon what looks like a person getting away with wrongdoing in this life. Living a comfortable life, with lavish things, and good health is not proof that someone walks with God, no more than being financially poor, sickly in health, or living in deplorable conditions necessitate that someone is not a believer in Christ.

Paul suffered poverty, lived in deplorable conditions at times, and suffered sickness, and was in the will of God when he was in these conditions. (Phil. 4:11-13) The operative word, the most important point of his discourse as it relates to this condition is he did it through Christ. You do yourself no favors doing it without him. Because whether in or out of the body you will go through something, but it is far worse to do so without Christ. The first attack that will come upon a believer when these sorts of challenges face them is against their helmet of salvation. Don’t allow yourself to get to the “why me?” syndrome, this opens the door to the attack. The enemy will send sucker punches to your mind to cause you to doubt your standing with the Lord. It is important at this time not to take off our armor, and certainly not to allow what man does whether it is leader, spouse, or parent to cause you to give your helmet to the enemy. Be resolved within yourself to let NOTHING separate you from the love of God, no matter how hard the challenge may seem.

If you are reading this and you have left the Lord because of abuse done to you in a local assembly, or because of a spouse, or because of parents not reflecting the love of God, come back to God. As stated earlier, abuse is no excuse to turn your back on He who never turned his back on you. Do not judge Yah’s love for you based on what others do, as Paul said, was he crucified for you? As he makes clear in 1 Cor. 11:1 follow him as he follows Christ. The implication being if he isn’t following Christ don’t you follow his example. This is a lesson for us all, as inspired as the men who wrote letters for us in the bible were, only One man was without sin, above reproach, and died for you, all else were subject to missing the mark. All else had struggles with their flesh, and so will you. As much as David was a man after God’s own heart, he missed it on several occasions. Don’t think that because you will miss it that you don’t love God, and don’t allow the enemy to cause you to leave your relationship with God because of what others do.

Now don’t misunderstand I am not saying you should make yourself a mark for the enemies target practice either. Loving someone doesn’t dictate that you give them ammunition to shoot you, if the situation dictates you removing your presence then do so. However, you don’t have to be bitter as you go, choose to be at peace when you leave. Sometimes opposition comes because God knows you wouldn’t leave otherwise, so he has to make you uncomfortable. Other times he may tell you to stay, to release you later, but make sure that whatever step you take it is ordered by Him and not by a whim. It’s not about trusting people anyway, because there is no scripture that tells you to put your trust in man, God wants you to put your trust in Him. This is the challenge that is placed before you. As with Messiah there were times he was to stand and face adversity, but there were also times he was directed to flee the situation. It is only as we walk with Him will we be able to discern which one we should do. But my friends think it not strange the fiery trial which is to try you. Don’t be deceived by ministers preaching immature messages that would lead you to believe that if you aren’t having your best life now that you are out of the will of God.

Paul didn’t have his best life now, Peter didn’t have his best life now, and certainly Christ didn’t have his best life now. What they all had was a life that fulfilled the purposes of God before they left and that is what a life following Christ gives you. He tells you, you will have tribulation, and he tells you to be of good cheer because he has overcome it. (Jn 16:33) He tells you, the servant is not greater than the master, and thus if what was done in a green tree by the “powers that be” took place to him do you really think you will escape the tribulation to come? (Luke 23:31) We like Yahushah, like Paul, Peter, John, Stephen, and a host of others will have opportunities to leap for joy if we stay hooked up and we follow His instructions. He will allow you to go through the fire, but you best believe you won’t be in it alone, he doesn’t always circumvent the lion’s den experience, but he is able to shut the mouth of the lion, and think not that it is impossible for you to be at the peak of your career yet be faced with the trial of your life. Is this not the story of Daniel who because of his faithfulness to God was put in a place of leadership when he and his people were under captivity? Was he not thrown in a lion’s den for following the instructions of Yah?

If you are going through some challenges in your relationships, if you have been betrayed, abused, or misused, don’t give up on God. Hold on to your faith, and know that God is for you, no matter who is against you. We put way more trust and faith in people then the scripture allows, and therefore we make sweeping generalizations based on human shortcomings. There is only one who died for you, and there is only one you can trust without waiver, and that is Yahushah. Politicians, religious leaders, or even family members should not have your uncompromised trust, nor should they have the power to separate you from the love of God. We can only overcome our flesh by walking in love, because while faith may waiver, where hope gets tired, love never fails.