We are not grasshoppers

Have you ever faced a situation in life where things just seemed out of your reach, and believed it to be in an impossible situation?

If so, I found some encouragement from the book of Numbers where Moses sends out 12 men to spy out the land of Canaan with specific instructions.  

Image by 용한 배 from Pixabay

Num 13:18  and see what the land is like: whether the people who dwell in it are strong or weak, few or many; 19  whether the land they dwell in is good or bad; whether the cities they inhabit are like camps or strongholds; 20  whether the land is rich or poor; and whether there are forests there or not. Be of good courage. And bring some of the fruit of the land. Now the time was the season of the first ripe grapes.

Verse 20 stood out to me. Moses wanted the first fruits of the land. It was the season of the first ripe grapes.  To me, this says quite a bit. The Lord was giving them a harvest of firstfruits.

When the 12 spies returned they submitted their report. A land flowing with milk and honey, and the evidence, the fruit of the land.

The report also said stong people, fortified cities, descendants of Anak, in other words, giants lived in the land.

Num 13:33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.

Joshua and Caleb were the only two out of the 12 that saw an opportunity and were ready to take possession.

Friends, we are not grasshoppers. We are not small, we are not insignificant. We cannot see ourselves as a bug that can be stepped on, we are much better than that.

While you are scouting your land, there will always be those around you that do not see or ask what God has for you. The won´t pray for you nor offer prayer but will be quick to show you their ¨concern¨ when you are dreaming big.  

Many times we need to see beyond our natural ability and tap into what God´s future is before us.  Yes, there will always be giants in our land, they will never go away. We each have our own giants to deal with, but God is bigger.

If the Lord is sending you into a new land, it is for you to conquer, not to fail. God does not set us up for failure.

God loves to answer in extraordinary ways.

He loves to surprise us.

I would like to encourage you to scout or spy out your land if you do not already have one.  Maybe your land is a new move, a change in work, ministry, or something else.

Don´t see yourself as a grasshopper, but see this as an opportunity for God to slay those giants that stand before you.

The power of Jesus is working through you

In Luke chapter 7, Jesus and his disciples left Capernaum where He healed the centurion’s servant and entered the city of Nain.

By now, not only Jesus and his disciples were traveling with him, but also a large crowd.  Upon arriving at Nain, He sees a funeral procession. The word says it was a widow’s son. In those times, this woman means of support was her husband, and if widowed, her son would provide for her.  So not only did she lose her son but also her sustenance. I cannot imagine her grief, as many things probably went through her mind. One of those could be she would need to resort to begging. Not a pretty picture.


When Jesus saw the widow, He had compassion on her and told her not to weep, and touched the open coffin and commanded the young man to rise.

When Jesus touched the coffin, it was a ceremonially defiling act. But it’s defilement did not taint Him; rather, His power immediately dispelled the presence of all death and defilement.

I noticed Jesus was not asked to raise this young man, He did so on his own initiative.  When we come across situations that we can be of service, do we watch or act?

Just a few days ago, I needed to ask for forgiveness for not fulfilling my role as a leader, for not acting and speaking up upon situations that needed to be corrected.  When I did that, I felt fear leave and a new boldness come upon me.

Jesus could have just walked away, but that was not in his nature, neither should it be ours.  We are called to serve, help, speak out, correct, exhort and extend His kingdom.

Did you know we have the power to raise the dead? This is something I am believing for, and I choose to believe this will happen in my lifetime.

What we touch will not contaminate us because of the power of Jesus working through us

Did you know Nain means beauty? The people saw the beauty of life being restored to this young man, and to his mother.

When God touches one area of our life, it also affects other areas for good.

Believe in the power of Jesus working through you, and you will be filled with compassion, gifts, anointings and the defiled things of this world will not contaminate you.

Be blessed.

 

Scripture reading: Luke  7:11-17

Shout a little louder

Do you tire waiting for your prayers to be answered? I confess, I do. In reading about the account of blind Bartimeaus, I learned something.

We read where Jesus and his disciples are arriving at Jericho, and encounter a great multitude. One particular guy stands out, named Bartimeaus.

When Bartimaeus heard Jesus was in town, he began to shout: ¨ Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me.¨ He was asking to be healed.

Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

Bartimeaus was ignored and told to be quiet, he then began to shout even louder.

Jesus then asked for Bartimeaus and made his way towards him. In front of Jesus, he was asked a simple question. ¨What do you want me to do for you?¨ He answered to receive his sight, and he did so.

I noticed a few things. Bartimeaus father´s name is Timaeus, which means the unclean. His father was unclean, and he was a blind beggar. It did not look good for him.

He knew Jesus was in town because he heard people around him talking, and he did not stop shouting for Jesus and shouted even more when told to be quiet. Maybe there are times I need to get a little loud in my prayers, what do you think?

Bartimaeus threw off his garment, or his beggars cloak. It was most likely very worn out and smelled. I see it as ridding himself of his past identity and walking into the future that awaited him. Get of rid of the smelly past.

He walked toward Jesus, Jesus did not go to him. Now remember he is blind, and only had the sound of the voice to guide him, and on top of that, there was a multitude. Am I hearing the right voice when it comes to my prayers? I want to go directly to the source and ignore the other voices around me.

When he asked for his healing, Jesus did not lay hands on him, so Bartimaeus felt nothing. He heard the words of Jesus, believed and was healed.

In summary:

  • Shout, pray louder or longer
  • Your bloodline does not matter. Jesus will cleanse it with his blood
  • Get rid of your past and any false identities placed upon you
  • Walk toward the voice of the Lord calling you
  • You may not feel anything, but receive in faith

When your prayer is answered, continue following Jesus on the road with all your heart.

Bible reading: Matthew 10:46-52


I forgive, but I still hurt

Colossians  3:13 Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you. 


Forgiveness is a commandment in the Bible, and it´s a choice. As believers, we know we must forgive those who have hurt and wronged us, but to be honest it can be difficult.

We know we are to forgive because we have been forgiven, and it´s supposed to bring healing to us, but I still felt pain.

But what happens when we forgive, and still feel that sting in our hearts, like we need to do it again?  I have been there, forgiving the same person year after year because I felt I have not forgiven him. Every time his name surfaced, I felt anger and pain, and my cycle of forgiveness would start all over again.  

I often thought to myself, If I forgave, why do I feel I need to do it again? What I later realized is that I needed inner healing for these painful feelings to go away, because my hurt was not healed.

I did the following steps listed below, and this took away the pain and feeling of unforgiveness. You don´t need a professional for inner healing, you can do this on your own, and it does not take very long.

Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and for Jesus to be present.

Go back to the event, feel it and see Jesus in the midst. Ask the Lord what emotions have not been healed from that particular event. Write down the hurt/damaged emotions. Take your time, don´t rush. You may receive more that one emotion.


Ask Jesus to heal the wound in your soul that was caused by the negative emotion, and let Jesus move freely during the event.  If it is a traumatic event, you don´t want to relive it. Just go to the end of the event.


Tell the Lord you receive His healing and ¨see¨  Him healing you.  For me, he was pouring the balm of Gilead on the wound of betrayal, it was powerful!

Next, forgive the person who caused the pain.
Bring the memory back again to your mind, don’t just think about it, feel it and see Jesus.  If there are no emotions coming to the surface, you are free.

Now ask the Lord the show you the truth about this event.  For me, when this certain event happened in my life the Lord showed me a deep frustration this person had at the time, and I just happened to be in the crossway of his fury at the moment.

My emotion was betrayal, and I asked the Lord to replace it, and he did with goodness.

I brought the memory again to check if there were any other emotions that had not been healed, and repeat the process if there are.

After doing this exercise, I finally felt that yes, I have forgiven this person and the hurt was gone. I knew this because I brought the memory up, and had no emotion.

If you would like to know more about inner  healing, consider purchasing the book Emotional Healing in 3 Easy Steps by Praying Medic

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Be blessed.

Gratitude makes the heart happy

Have you ever spent time with a person or family that are going through a difficult time?    I have at certain times, and always try to help in some way with either an encouraging word, a prayer, some cash or even food items.

A few weeks ago a friend and myself went to visit a family going through a very challenging time in their lives.   We did not know them, and  were asked to visit  as they needed some prayer and hope.    It did not take long to figure out what their main problem was.

We were with this family for over five hours with prayer and guidance, and not one time did we hear anything positive come out of their mouths.   When we asked them to give thanks to the Lord for something, anything, nothing could come out.  We received blank looks.

It´s important to find the good in all circumstances and give thanks.

The last part of Luke 6:45 says   For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Their hearts were filled with frustration, disappointment, heartache.  I am not minimizing their current situation, but giving thanks  is vitally important.

If the worse comes out of our mouths constantly, the enemy takes advantage of that and then we don´t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

We had to explain to watch their words and begin declaring victory. With their words, they need to begin to turn the tide. With their words they need to give thanks, to praise the Lord, and listen to worship music.

This brings me to the season we are in where we celebrate life.  The life that Jesus gave for us, his death on the cross to take our shame, our sins, our guilt and give us eternity in heaven with Him.

Living in a developing nation has his drawbacks in many areas, but there is always something to be thankful for, and I look for it.  If I look for the bad, I will find it.  If I keep looking, I will find more bad things to complain about.  But I choose to look for the good.

Look for something to be thankful for, even in the small things and begin to praise and thank the Lord.  What we have is salvation, and that alone deserves our praise.

One thing I am thankful for, the view from my home.

The view from my house

 

How to be bold and courageous

Have you ever been in a place where everything around you was in complete disarray, and all you wanted to do was escape to some tropical beach?

I have many times.   During those difficult moments, besides wanting to run away the words would escape me to explain or confront said situation.  All I could do during my prayer times was God, please remove so and so.  God, please get me out of this situation.  God, I need a miracle.

Being shy and insecure during those time did not help much either.

How to be bold and courageous

 

I really did not want to face what was in front me.  Obtaining a tan was my best option.

I  found out this is the wrong approach. God was teaching me life lessons on growth, maturity and even speech.  Be ready in season and out of season came to mind.  We will face situations that we are uncomfortable in, and running away will not help, nor will we mature and learn from it.

I have learned to ask for boldness,  (not hesitating)  courage, (being able to face difficulty) and eloquence of speech when needing to confront or deal with something I am highly uncomfortable with.

In Acts Chapter 4, Peter and John were facing prison and beatings because in the previous chapter they prayed for a lame man since birth, and he was instantly healed.   Everyone knew this man and he was over 40 years of age. This tells me he was a permanent fixture at the entrance of the Gate Beautiful.

Now that he was healed, Peter and John found themselves in a dilemma.

Peter and John prayed for boldness, and the council had no choice but to let them go.

I found out the words I do not say can become a prison to those that need to hear the truth.

As Peter and John prayed for boldness, I now do the same, whether there is a difficult situation or not.  It´s best to be prepared for when it does come upon me, I will find myself to be ready.

Instead of asking God to take everything away, I pray for strength,  courage, wisdom, boldness, stamina, and grace to continue.

After a prayer like this, I find myself energized and I know God is with me.

Can you imagine if:

  • Jesus did not face the cross
  • Moses did not go up Mount Sinai
  • Noah did not build the ark
  • Saul/Paul did not accept the call to follow the Lord

There are many more examples, but you get the picture.

During difficult moments in life, it´s who you become in the process that counts.

Don´t give up, keep asking God to gird you and He will not fail in His promise to keep you and give you wisdom.

 

 

What does it feel like to be sifted?

Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.”

There are certain times in our walk with the Lord that will include sifting.    We will have trials, difficult moments and tests,  all of which is part of God’s plan for our life.  The sifting has a definite purpose.

The process:
In order to sift out the edible grain from the chaff, the wheat was thrown on the ground. This process is called threshing.   The ground was most likely stone and the wheat was beaten with a flail.

A flail consisted of a metal rod with chains on the end. Sometimes the flail had a ball with spikes.   The word itself means to strike with repeated blows.

The next step in sifting is called winnowing.

Here the workers would throw the wheat into the air and the breeze would separate the chaff from the grain.  The grain which was heavier would land back on the stone floor, and the chaff would be taken by the breeze.  The chaff would land farther from the original stone.

If you notice, Jesus identified Peter as wheat and not chaff. He knew that he would land on the stone or rock, and be fruitful once the process ended.

Sifting is important for several reasons.   We are purged from self, from pride, and we learn not to rely on ourselves but on God. The chaff in our life will be removed, and at times you will feel that you have been thrown on the ground and beaten up.

When the sifting is complete, you will be strong enough to encourage and strengthen others, move on and uplift your friends and family when they are going through difficult times.

Peter was shaken, tossed, beaten in his faith, but guess what.  He landed on the rock, (Jesus) even when he denied Him three times.

Perhaps you have had a time in your life where you feel that you have been beaten repeatedly and then tossed into the air, not knowing which direction you are going in.  Just like Peter, you too will land on the rock!

One thing is certain, the sifting ended and the work was complete in Peter, and it will be for you too.

When the sifting in your life comes to an end,  you will come out stronger and wiser, and your faith and trust in God would have increased, as well as your relationship.

There is a purpose for everything!