Speaking the Word That Lives Within Us

Heb 4.12 formatted

I was reading one of Shade Akinbiyi’s blog post on her website Prophetic Voice when I realized she is doing what all believers are called to do.

I can honestly say every time I’ve visited the Prophetic Voice, I have left with an encouraged and uplifted spirit.

That is not to say that every time I visit I am in a state of discouragement, although at times, I have been dealing with some tough life issues.

However, even while I’m trolling through the tulips of life, when I land on her page, I find encouragement and weapons I can use to strengthen my walk in Christ.

Shade’s blog is just one of the many faith-filled blogs I visit and find strength for my soul.

Just as I am encouraged by reading faith-filled blogs, I believe every believer is called to speak encouraging words to those who are experiencing difficult times, to the hurting, to the lost, and even to those who are experiencing much joy in their lives.

As believers, we should always have a word in our mouth, God’s Word, ready for every occasion of life.

Not only does this apply when speaking to others, but it applies to speaking God’s Word over our own lives as well.

As such, our tongues are as ready writers (Psalm 45: 1), filled with words fit for every occasion.

I remember at my oldest daughter’s high school graduation open house, I spoke the words of Jeremiah 29:11 which states God knows the plans He has for her. Plans to prosper her and to give her a hope and a future.

What a word to speak into a graduates future!

What words are you speaking in to those you encounter at the grocery store, in your neighborhood, to your loved ones, and to total strangers?

Are they words filled with hope?

Words for overcoming trials and life’s difficult moments.

Words of affirming faith and trust in God.

Words of healing.

Words of love.

What does your words say about you?

What does your words say about the God you serve?

After reading and/or memorizing a verse of scripture or reading a daily devotional, do you often think you are to share those words with someone else?

The Word of God is not only for our own strength and encouragement, but for those around us as well.

We have the Living Word, Jesus, moving and breathing on the inside of us to draw others unto Him.

The Word is not locked up on the inside of us, bound in chains hidden from others and ourselves, only released when we get to heaven.

No!

His Word is available to us today and is an ever-present help in time of need!

His Word is alive and always ready to perform!

When I think of the power words have, I think of how God spoke everything into its existence.

I envision words hitting targets hard like arrows hitting the bull’s-eye.

Depending on who or what the target is, that could be good or bad.

For example, if speaking words of faith for healing, then it is very appropriate to target an area of the body that needs healing with what the Word of God says about healing.

What does the One who lives on the inside of you say about healing?

When speaking to someone who is experiencing hopelessness, then it is very appropriate to speak words of hope to the individual to target the hopelessness he/she feels.

What does the One who lives on the inside of you, the God of all hope (Romans 15:13), say about hope?

Just as positive words affect others and ourselves positively, words of negativity have the opposite effect.

 Negative words, whether spoken to target oneself or to target others, can hit bull’s-eye and have a damaging and lasting effect.

I suffered with rejection and low self-esteem for many years because of negative words.

They were words the enemy spoke to me through others as well as words I spoke over myself.

Negative words I used to speak to myself included “I could never, I can’t imagine, it’s too difficult, that’s impossible, I don’t deserve”.

Now I speak that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Nothing is too difficult or too hard for my God.

With God, all things are possible.

In my sinfulness, I deserve nothing. But because of Jesus and the completed work He did on the cross, I deserve and am worthy of love, favor, respect, honor, and to be treasured.

I deserve to enjoy the life He’s given me and live my life more abundantly.

Believers should always be ready to speak a Word to those around them as well as to themselves.

Isiah 50:4 states “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.”

According to this verse, we are already equipped with the Word to speak to others in whatever season of life they are experiencing.

We have the greatest weapon, Jesus, who is the Word of God on the inside of us, to combat any issue we may face as well as issues those around us may encounter.

Therefore, celebrate life with those who are celebrating by speaking words of joy and celebration into their futures.

Uplift the hurting.

Speak life to the lost.

Speak words of healing to the sick in body.

Speak love to the broken-hearted and contrite spirit.

To the fearful and insecure, speak words of peace and security.

To the shameful, speak words of renewal and wholeness.

To those who are experiencing difficult trials, speak of God’s faithfulness and how He causes us to overcome.

Stir up the Word on the inside of you to speak life into others as well as to yourselves.

May God’s love overwhelm you,

Marilyn J.

The Power of the Blood

The Cross 2014

Have you ever felt so confident of who you are in Christ Jesus, but then a situation happens that causes you to question your confidence?

A similar situation happened to me one night after I returned home from work.

Something so simple happened on the job which really hadn’t bothered me…until I got home.

As I replayed the events of my day, the enemy reminded me of the rejection I felt on my last job in federal government.

I was reminded of the years of torment I endured from my manager and how I allowed it to effect my performance for years, until I determined I was working as unto the Lord instead of my manager.

Then the water works began.

One simple task that I didn’t accomplish on my job caused me to rethink my past and get overwhelmed and flooded with emotions.

I said a simple prayer and went to bed.

The next morning, I was determined to not be in a funk, so I did what I know works for me…put on some praise and worship music.

As I sang myself into a better disposition, the words of one of the songs really pierced my heart.

The title of the song is “Still Believe” by Kim Walker-Smith.

In the song, she sings of the power in the blood of Jesus.

As I continued to sing, I was reminded the blood “is the same yesterday, today, and forever”.

When hearing or singing about the blood of Jesus, many automatically refer to its miraculous, healing power.

However, while singing I heard a small voice reminding me “I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and the power of my testimony”.

And as always, the waterworks began.

But this time, it wasn’t because I was sorrowful.

I cried because I thanked God for revealing to me who I am in Him by the blood of Jesus Christ.

His Blood is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

His Blood continues and will continue to cause me to overcome and triumph, even in the midst of adversity and trials.

His Blood continuously washes me from all of my sins.

His Blood heals me from all sickness, iniquity, and disease.

As the old hymnal says, “There is power, power, wonder working power in the precious blood of the Lamb”.

I am so grateful for the shed blood of Jesus.

There is so much more to His blood than we could ever imagine!

One of the most powerful verses in the song “Still Believe” is so simple, yet packs a powerful punch to my spirit.

It simply says “I still believe your Blood is sufficient for me”.

Wow!

Jesus’ Blood is all sufficient for everything we encounter in life.

Simply amazing to me.

Revelation 12:10-11 states “…Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.

These verses of scripture remind me that the enemy, the accuser of the brethren, will attempt to make me lose focus and dwell on past failures, pain, and rejections.

It’s his job.

However, from this time on, I will remember the power of the blood to overcome.

I pray you will too.

To watch Kim Walker-Smith perform “Still Believe”, please click on the video below or copy and paste link into your web browser.

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May His love overwhelm you,

Marilyn J.

Why I Had No Desire In Catching the Wedding Bouquet

Wedding Bouquet

Over a week ago, I packed my bags, car seat and stroller for my granddaughter, and she and I headed to the airport.

After two airports and two airplanes, we landed safely in Michigan to visit with family and my two children in college for a couple of days.

Then we packed cars and drove to Indiana for my brother’s wedding.

While driving, I felt the anticipation rising of seeing my brother on his wedding day.

I imagined him decked out in a tux standing at the altar waiting on his bride.

My brother has a gentle smile and easy demeanor that is so sincere and calming to all who love and know him.

His marriage to Lisa, his bride, is his second chance at love.

I am grateful to Lisa for choosing to share her life and love with my brother.

At the reception, I found myself overcome with emotion as they sang words of love to each other during their first dance as husband and wife.

As I wiped the tears from my eyes, I laughed at how God created me, so full of emotion. I cry at weddings, when babies are born, when people commit their lives to Jesus, at baptisms, at funerals.

Probably any life-changing event will cause a faucet of tears to pour a steady stream from my eyes.

As I was heading out to change my granddaughter’s pamper, the time had come for the bride to toss the bouquet.

As always, people looked around the room and pointed out those of us who are single to convince us that our chance at love had finally come.

A few family members at my table chimed in “get up there Marilyn”. I politely nodded no thank you as I and my granddaughter made our way through the crowd to attend the pamper issue at hand.

I totally agree that lining up to catch the bouquet is fun to watch and participate in, especially if you’re the one who catches the bouquet.

In the past, I would have joined the women in shouting “It’s mine” and “I got this” in reference to the bouquet.

Before you think I’m the party-pooper girl at the wedding who doesn’t know how to have a good time, let me explain.

I once looked for love in every opportunity that arose in life, even in catching the bouquet.

If  invited to a party or a wedding, I used to think maybe the love of my life will be there and I’ll finally find love.

I took all the advice of relationship columnists, book authors, and therapists (radio and TV) about getting “out there” and making myself available.

I was told I’d meet him in a laundry mat while washing my comforters. In the grocery store while picking out vegetables. At the car wash while vacuuming my car.

I was told I had to always dress to impress, even if going to the gym for a workout.

 Smile and don’t be afraid to greet guys while walking in the park or the mall.

Whew! It sure was a lot to do just to find Mr. Right.

And for those who are looking, it may seem like good advice.

But for those of you, like myself, who are not looking, I’m here to say: there is absolutely nothing wrong with you.

Many may think I’ve completely given up on love. Absolutely not!

However, I am so content in my singleness during this season of my life, that if a mate should come my way, I’d have to get signs from heaven that “he is the one”.

Since the time I decided to stop looking, I’ve tried many new things, traveled,  graduated with my Master’s degree, connected with some awesome Christian people, and became more involved in things I’m passionate about, such as protecting the unborn and supporting pregnant women.

I stopped looking and waiting on Mr. Right to find me to begin enjoying life.

Most importantly, I realized Jesus’ love for me and it has been the most amazing, life-changing experience.

I was a Christian who was looking for a mate.

But now, I am a Christian fulfilled by the One who loves me most.

For those of you who are still looking, I have two questions for you.

What if:

1) It was against the creative order for a woman to look for her husband? Did not God prepare Adam for a wife? Additionally, he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor of the Lord (Proverbs 18:22).

2) It is okay or good for a woman not to have a mate? In Genesis 2:18 God said “…It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” God spoke this before Eve was ever created. In fact, Eve was created out of Adam’s need for her. She was created on the resource side or as a help meet for Adam.

God knew many women (and men) would not have mates while here on earth.

Accordingly, while single, our love relationship with Jesus should be our focus.

I am grateful for my singleness, whether it be for a season or for a lifetime, because as a result, I have become so focused on strengthening my relationship with Jesus.

In the same way that I cried when my brother sang to his bride during their first dance as husband and wife, I sometimes cry while dancing and singing praises to my God.

I cry because, like many brides, I feel like the luckiest woman in the world.

To have the One who is so mighty and awesome and holds the whole world in the palm of His hand, yet He loves me and sings loudly over me (Zephaniah 3:17).

When God speaks of His church, He calls her His bride.

He speaks of Himself as our Husband and our First Love.

For those reasons alone, I feel I am lacking nothing because as a woman, I am the direct representation of the bride of Christ.

Therefore, woman, don’t feel lonely because you don’t have a mate to call your own. God knows the desires of your heart and may bless you with a mate of your own someday soon.

But until then, it is okay to enjoy life and live life abundantly.

People sometimes laugh at me when I say I’ll be so hidden in Christ that a man will have to search for me with all of his heart AND a big flashlight to find me.

Although they laugh, I am serious.

People assume I am “this way” because of past relationships, because of my divorce, or they believe I’ve hardened my heart towards men.

Is it possible that I’ve grown to really accept the love Christ has for me and in turn I earnestly pray He anoints me to love Him more?

Could it be that I realize that every desire I have is in Him, the God who can do exceeding, abundantly above all that I ask or dare to think,  therefore He’s all I’ll ever need? (Ephesians 3:20)

Ultimately, marriage is for our enjoyment, pleasure, and for procreation. But who were we really designed for?

I’ve heard testimony after testimony from married couples who realized they still had to maintain their relationship with Christ to have any real fulfillment in their marriage.

So, aren’t they right back where we all have to begin our relationships, in Christ.

Whether I marry again or not, He will still and always be my #1 love.

I am created for Him and the focus of my being is His reality.

I am His and He is mine…hallelujah!

Like Paul, I pray Singles seek “to know the love of Christ,which passeth understanding that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19).

Although I didn’t attempt to catch the bouquet at the reception, me and my granddaughter’s dancing on the dance floor captured a lot of laughs.

I believe capturing the heart of Jesus by desiring more and more of Him brings him joy and laughter as well.

Yes, Jesus already loves me and demonstrated His love for me when He gave His life for me (and you) on the cross.

But to capture His heart is about the intimacy it takes to be in relationship with Him.

It’s about spending time with Him and recognizing the distractions that keep me from growing closer to Him.

Just like a husband who waits in anticipation for his bride to walk down the aisle to meet him at the altar, Jesus is waiting on you in the same manner.

His desire for His bride is unmatched as He patiently waits for her.

So if you desire is to marry, first commit to the marriage you were created for.

Then allow God to bless you with a mate, in due season.

 

May God’s love overwhelm you,

Marilyn J.

The Light That Pierces The Darkness

light

Lately, I’ve come across many articles, blogs, and even current YouTube videos of Christians discussing a season of being in the “fiery furnace”. I assume it’s because of the season I’m in (but sort of coming out of…I think) that I’m noticing this subject more.

That’s the thing about trials. You don’t know when you are out of them completely until you’re out of them completely. I know it doesn’t make sense, but it doesn’t make sense to me either, if that makes you feel any better.

Some Christians say their trial began the week of the Blood Moon while others, like myself, found themselves in a trial long before the Blood Moon appeared.

However, I am sure things are looking better for me now than they did a couple of months ago. I told my brother that I may build a stage in my home (actually just stand on my living room table), throw on a Dianna Ross wig, and croon to her song “I’m Coming Out”.

I am so grateful my life is looking better. However, I can’t help but believe that my kicking and screaming and endless nights on my knees praying to Daddy broke His heart so much so that He allowed some relief to ease my pain through my struggle.

He’s just that good and loving.

While praying, I said to the Father, it’s a good thing He knows me because He created me. My emotions didn’t freak Him out and send Him packing. He stayed right in there with me, comforting me by the Holy Spirit and reassuring me that He’s in control of the furnace.

My season of the fiery furnace reminds me of when a drug addict goes through detox. His body experiences all sorts of pain and discomforts and yet he fights through it all to rid his body of the toxins that controlled his life for far too long.

When it’s over, he is a new being, with the ability to see life more clearly as well as the old habits that harmed his life. His life is a testament to others who struggle with addiction.

I remember when I began to feel the pain of the trial and I heard in my spirit that “these things can’t go into the next level of faith that I’m taking you to”.

By “things” I mean the toxins in my life. The unproductive fruits strangled by dead branches and leaves. The obstacles that prevented the manifestation of the character of Christ in my life and skewed my vision of myself and my life in Him.

One of the lessons I learned in this trial is I will always have a need, whether it be physical, financial, emotional, or spiritual. Having a need sustains intimacy with the Father and strengthens my connection to Him.

God sent two ministers into my life within three days time to speak this message to me through the sermons they delivered. Thank you Pastor Tommy Barnett from the California Dream Center and Katherine Ruonala,a Healing Minister visiting from Australia.

It may sound simple, but I really didn’t understand that by my actions, I was telling God I didn’t need Him. I was praising Him for my life and for the things I had accomplished in my life, but my life was going as I had planned, not the way He planned it for me…until I hit a brick wall.

As I was praying this morning for the Father to complete the work that He started in me during this trial, I remembered my memory verse from yesterday.

Phil 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ“.

I realize that this season of testing is just one of many to come. I will always need God to sustain my life. Therefore, He will continuously produce fruit in my life through the lessons I have to learn.

While continuing in prayer this morning, suddenly a saw a picture of what looked like one of the gold statues entertainers win at the Oscars and a hand was polishing it. I believe it was God’s hand polishing the gold statue as it came out of the fiery furnace.

As I continued to pray I realized that the fiery furnace is not only to produce the character of Christ in our lives, but it’s also to make us shine so bright in the darkness that we become the lighted path leading the lost to our Savior.

I imagined a picture of Christians along a path and the Light from within them shined so bright that it lit up the path leading to Jesus. Some stood along the path and some were the lighted bricks in the path itself.

Additionally, our light shines Truth in the darkness because we have the Light of Truth living on the inside of us. John 1: 4-5 states “In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (emphasis mine).

Our world continues to deny the Truth. They run from the Truth until they begin to believe the lies of the enemy. However, no matter how far they run, we Christians will be there to shine the Light of Truth that pierces through the darkness.

Unbelievers will seek us out for answers because our Light will shine bright in this dark world.

The bible says in 2 Cor 4:6 “For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ” (emphasis mine).

When unbelievers need peace and hope, they will seek us because we have the God of all peace and the God of all hope in us which emanates Light. Even now, they are confounded as to our strength and our hope in God and they desire the same which will eventually lead them on the bright and narrow path to Christ.

It is an honor and a privilege to be a chosen vessel, used by God, to lead the lost to the Light. Nevertheless, we are created for God’s glory, the same glory that leads unbelievers to Jesus. The bible says that we were chosen before the foundation of the world and I believe it was for this very purpose.

Ephesians 1:4-6 states “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

The fiery furnace burns up the toxins so that we are holy and without blame before God. The fiery furnace is teaching us to love which will draw unbelievers to the Light which is His will for our lives.

We are the hands, the feet, and even the mouthpiece of Jesus to lead the lost to Him by the manifestation of His love pouring out through our lives.

We are not our own, but we were bought with the precious blood of Jesus for this very purpose. It’s not about us, but it’s all about Him and leading the lost to Him.

If you’re experiencing a season of testing in the furnace, allow God to complete what He’s started in you for this season of your life.

One thing I realized during this trial is that I had to be an active participant in the trial. Fighting God and begging to get out instead of focusing on what He was doing in me only prolonged my trial, in my opinion.

Once I began to say, okay God, no matter how bad this hurt and the fear of not being in control of my tomorrows is whispering in my ear everyday, I’m going to trust You. Then the blessings began to flow to me.

That’s why I’m able to say I believe I’m coming out of this trial.

Also, during your trial, do whatever it takes to protect your love connection with Jesus. The trial can cause you to become frustrated and angry with God. That’s okay. He’s a big God and can handle it. He won’t run when you get emotional. :)

However, get over it quick and run back to the Father. He’ll be there waiting on you with arms open wide.

Offense in our hearts towards God creates blockage, like a clogged artery, from our heart to His which prevents us from getting close to Him.

We need to feel His heart beat in us when we are in the furnace. We need to know He’s there, even though He always is.

Therefore hold on. Don’t give up. God will finish what He’s started in you so that God’s love in your heart will shine bright through you lead unbelievers to Jesus Christ.

Prayer:  Father, I pray that every woman (and man) who is in a season of testing will do whatever it takes to defend her love connection to Christ. I pray Lord that You will complete what you started in her life, so she will become one with the Light that shines in the darkness. Let her light so shine before men that it draws all men unto You, bringing glory to Your Name. Father, when her knees buckle, help her to find strength on her knees in prayer. Holy Spirit, comfort her through the tears and the pain that she may come forth as pure gold. In Jesus Mighty Name, Amen.

May God’s love overwhelm you,

Marilyn J.

 

 

 

 

The Lure of Insanity Dating

The Lure of Insanity Dating

Have you ever heard a word and it triggered a thought about a time or an event in your life?

Last week, I was riding along in the car with my brother having an interesting conversation, like many other interesting conversations we’ve had in the past. We discussed how certain behaviors and/or bad practices cause harm to individuals when practiced repetitively.

During the discussion, my brother began reciting the definition of insanity. I chimed along in perfect synchronization “doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results”.

Although our conversation topic did not involve dating, the definition of insanity triggered thoughts of my past dating habits.

Oh yeah, I was an insane dater! I went from one bad relationship to another. As the definition states, I continued to expect different results.

Because of the years of rejection I suffered, oftentimes, it was very difficult for me to end a relationship. I found myself staying in relationships longer than I intended because I didn’t want to face the pain of rejection.

After my divorce to my husband of eight years, I determined to focus on my relationship with God.  Also, I told myself not to get sexually involved with anyone and to not get in a serious relationship unless the person was seriously saved and marriage material.

The very next relationship after my divorce lasted six years. My determination grew wings and flew the coop. As expected, the no sex mantra in a six-year in a relationship ran right out the door. As for marriage, I loved him more than I loved my ex-husband, but I noticed some changes in him that I couldn’t understand. Then the Lord gave me a dream about him.

The dream revealed a destructive path he was on that would effect me if I remained in the relationship. As a result, I was able to end the relationship, which wasn’t as painful as I initially thought it would be.

I continued to date during those years, but I continued to choose men who were more interested in having sex with me than marrying me.

Some said they were Christians and attended church. However, that usually was the extent of their faith. They had no substantial relationship with Christ.

But by the grace of God, I eventually began to recognize their true intentions for me beforehand, which saved me from getting involved with them.

Over time, by reading God’s Word, I began to understand my worth and the enemy’s plan to keep me bound to fornication.

By the Holy Spirit, I began to realize that I was actually self-rejecting myself by constantly choosing the wrong men who I knew were not good for me.

I wanted to please God with my whole body, especially since I had given away such a precious part of myself to men for most of my life.

I wanted to gain back control in that area of my life and offer my body as a living sacrifice to God.

Therefore, I knew I had to stop dating the same type of men and expecting to get different results, because the men I dated generally only wanted me for my body. Thus, ultimately, effecting my walk with Christ.

Take the time to look back at your past dating habits. Have you found yourself dating the same type of man, time and time again?

If you answered yes, you too, have fallen prey to the lure of insanity dating.

Break the cycle by recognizing your worth. You are a precious gem to the Father, so much so that He sent His only Son to die on the cross for you.

He loves you with an everlasting love. Unlike man’s conditional love, God’s love for you is unconditional. You will never be able to do anything to stop Him from loving you. You are always on His mind.

The bible says in Isiah 49: 15-16 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.”

I love the Amplified version of  verse 16 which states ” Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands; …”

Can you imagine an imprinted (tattooed) picture of yourself on the palm of God’s hands? Gives me goosebumps just thinking about it!

Come back to the Father. He knows how to love you exactly the way you need to be loved. After all, He is your Creator and the One who loved you first.

Father I pray for every individual who is caught in the vicious cycle of dating outside of Your will for their lives. Father, reveal your love in their hearts. I pray every woman reading this prayer will be able to comprehend the breadth, the length, the depth, and height of Christ’s love for her. Lord, expose every plan of the enemy sent as a distraction and a hindrance to furthering the original plan and purpose You have for her life. In the Mighty Name of Jesus I pray. Amen!

Check out this video by one of my favorite poets, Janette..ikz,  titled “I Will Wait For You”.  It will make you laugh and think.  If it does not appear on your screen, please click on the link to view it.

The video is courtesy of YouTube.

May His love overwhelm you,

Marilyn J.

 

Spring, The Season Of Renewal

Spring

Spring is here!  Although it may not feel like spring yet in many places, I am determined to acknowledge its existence every chance I get.

 I understand your wish for winter to move out of the area to make way for spring. I don’t like long winters either. I moved from the North to the South with expectations of enjoying early springs after living in many years of extremely long winters.

Spring is my first favorite season of choice and fall is my second.

I love watching everything bloom, especially this year because of the difficult winter we’ve had to endure. Despite the cold nights here in the Carolinas, I awaken to flowers blooming on the trees and on the ground and I am hopeful.

Spring resurrects life on earth in all of creation including mankind.

I imagine the flower in all of its determination and might, inching its way to the surface and bursting into the atmosphere, gasping for air as if it was holding its breath under ground all winter long. Its petals are raised in adoration and praise to God for being given another chance at life.

I hear the birds singing a sweet melody that resembles “good morning Jesus, good morning Jesus”.

The river is no longer hidden beneath the ice, but it glistens in the sun, sparkling and trickling a song of refreshment to God for its freedom in Him.

Joggers emerge from hibernation, embracing the sun and all of its glory, determined not to allow their bones to settle and become old.

The laughter of children playing has its own tune and melody, yet very familiar to every one who hears. Their laughter is like a new song to the God who created laughter.

I suppose I love spring so much because this season resembles me in some ways.

I remember the cross, Jesus’ shed blood, His death and I am overwhelmed by His love for me. As I celebrate His resurrection I am filled with anticipation of being like Him and really seeing Him as He is.

Like the flower that sprang up from the ground because it refused to die during the winter, I too refuse to die during the winters of my life and declare “O death where is thy sting? Oh grave where is thy victory?

Like the birds who sing a morning melody to Jesus, I too am reminded that there is  power in my praise and there’s power in my shout.

Like the river, I glisten in the Son because His love flows like a river from His heart to mine. It reminds me of my freedom in Him and is refreshing to my soul.

Like the joggers, I come out of hibernation and am awakened to embrace the Son and all of His glory, determined not to let my bones settle to complacency in God. Like Ezekiel prophesied to dead bones, I prophesy to dead dreams and visions because I am reminded that greater is King Jesus who is alive on the inside of me, than he that is in the world.

Therefore, I can do all things through Christ Jesus.

Like the children whose laughter fill neighborhoods, my laughter is familiar to my Lord and He remembers me. It is a form of worship to Him and a sweet melody to His ears.

Spring is amazing because its filled with new life, new hope, and new beginnings.

We can begin new eating plans, new exercise routines, and even practice having new mindsets by renewing our minds with the Word.

Seek the Lord in this season for something new.

Also, inquire to seek what is on His heart in this season. What can we agree in prayer with the Lord about today…our government, Israel, Ukraine, etc.

He may want you to spend some time fasting, ministering to others, etc.

To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.

May God’s love overwhelm you,

Marilyn J.

From Faith to Faith

From faith to Faith

From faith to Faith

My granddaughter, Mikaylah Grace, means the world to me.  She has big beautiful eyes, a contagious smile, and she gives the best hugs and kisses ever.

It’s amazing to watch her as she discovers her new world which, unfortunately, includes getting into Nana’s things and much more around the house.

I have a beautiful Calico cat named Kati.  Mikaylah loves to watch me pour the cat’s food and water into the bowls during feeding time.

She watches everything I do.

Recently, Mikaylah began dumping the cat’s food on the floor so she could pour some more into the bowl.

Oh my.  After doing this a couple times a day whenever she visited, I decided that I had to put her in her play pen without any toys and let her remain there for a little while as a form of discipline.

Oh, you should have seen the tears and how she held her arms up for me to take her out of the play pen.

It hurt me to my core to see her in such desperation.

After my heart couldn’t take it any longer, I reached into the play pen to pick her up and the biggest smile came across her face.

Then she grabbed my neck and hugged me so tight until I felt like the best Nana in the world.

Now, whenever she goes over to the cat’s bowl, she looks at the bowl, then she looks at me, and the cat is looking at me also as if to say “are you gonna let her destroy my meal again?”.

I can see the wheels turning in my granddaughter’s mind .

She’s remembering her discipline and how it made her feel to be so isolated from Nana for the longest 10 minutes (or maybe 5 for my lack of discipline) of her entire almost 2-year-old life.

In the same manner that I had to discipline my granddaughter, the Father has disciplined  me so that I may recognize  sin, repent of the sin, and discontinue it’s effect in my life.

When the Father wants to bring to light a behavior or sin that we’ve committed, he may allow trials to invade our selfish lives to get our attention.

The bible says that the Father discipline those He loves.

At other times, trials may be used to test our faith and trust in our Sovereign God.

We can proclaim our faith and trust in God as loud as clamoring cymbals, but when trials comes, do we withdraw our proclamations? Or do we hold fast to what we believe?

Take a look with me at the book of James.  In James 1: 2-4 the bible states “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing”.

As I read this scripture, I’m reminded of the lessons I learned during a particular trial.

During the trial, I realized how impatient I had become.  The questions of “why, how, and when” crept into my mind many times throughout those days.

Patience requires waiting on the Lord.  However, waiting does not mean we are not to exercise our faith.

Faith is like a muscle.  The more we exercise it, the stronger it becomes. While working our faith, patience is perfecting the Word and character of Christ in us.

Therefore, when our faith is under pressure and squeezed under the heavy weight of testing, what is inside of us will eventually come out of us.

So, during the early part of the trial, I prayed and confessed and did all I knew to do to hear from God.

But during that time, like a teacher who doesn’t talk during the test, God was quiet for a time with me.

After some time, the Lord began revealing some things about my character that was not in alignment with His.

One particular sin was so hidden in me that at its revealing, I simply brushed it off and ran straight into the comforting arms of denial where I’d hide out for awhile until this ugly truth passed.

Or so I thought.  But even there, God found me and took me to the scriptures and reminded me of incidents in my past where I had boldly displayed this sin.

Consequently, I began to understand why I was in this particular trial.  Like my granddaughter, I was standing in the play pen, void of my toys or pleasures of life, with my arms held high in the air waiting on my Daddy to deliver me from His discipline.

You see, I thought that somehow I was “showing off God” in my life.  I thought that I was showing others that if you serve my God, He will do for you what He has done for me.

In reality, the Lord showed me that I was not bragging on Him, but on myself.

Yes, God had done some awesome things in my life.  However, my arrogance had made others feel as if God favored me only.

The bible says that pride (arrogance) goes before the fall or destruction of man.

The apostle Paul sent out a warning against pride in the 2Corinthians 12: 6 – 10.  As Paul stated in verse 7,  “And to keep me from being puffed up  and  too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn (a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack  and  buffet  and  harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted.” [Also found in Job. 2:6.].

Paul had many things to brag about.  But he abstained from boasting to keep him from becoming too puffed up.  Additionally, he was given a constant reminder (thorn in flesh, messenger of Satan) to keep him humble.

Oh saints, let me tell you, I have been humbled.  Consequently, the trial was not just about my arrogance, but about my faith and trust in God as well.

Luke 8:13 says “And those upon the rock [are the people] who, when they hear [the Word], receive  and  welcome it with joy; but these have no root. They believe for a while, and in time of trial  and  temptation fall away (withdraw and stand aloof).

He’s saying to me, do you really trust me (the Rock), even when the heat is turned up? Will you continue to have faith in me? Does your faith roots go deep, or is it surface faith?

There are things that God revealed to me that He is saying cannot go in the next level of faith He’s taking me to.

My faith is being tested, refined, strengthened.  In all of that, the junk is being burned up too.

Not everything is meant to be shared, and I struggled with sharing this so publicly.  But any of you who follow my blog know that I’ve written many posts about the ups and downs of my life to somehow encourage others.

Therefore, when faced with trials:

  • Praise God for them because He’s doing a work in you.
  • Exercise your faith by speaking the Word of God only over your life.  If it’s in the bible, speak it.
  • Seek God with all of your heart and He will be found of you.
  • Ask the Lord to give you a Word and/or provide you with dreams and visions.  He will make a way of escape for you by providing peace, strength, and even direction while you’re in the trial.
  • Finally, remember that Jesus is at the right hand of the Father cheering us on, the Holy Spirit provides encouragement, comfort, and peace, and the Father knows what He’s doing because He will never put more on us than we can bare.

May God’s love overwhelm you,

Marilyn J.