A Big, Big God!!

God has really used the current situation with my Pastor’s niece passing to get my attention and I have been able to focus on the things that are most important.

This morning before work I was able to have my quiet time with the Lord. It was partly sorrowful as I prayed for the Pitts & Evans family and then there was much gratitude and rejoicing. I’ve gotten back in the habit of journaling this year and it’s freeing to write out my thoughts and prayers to the Lord and release them and let them go. I was able to look back on the ways I have wasted the last 365 days wallowing in self pity and depression over things that I did myself or circumstances I had no control over at all. I thought I learned from losing my mother and my nephew to not focus on the minors of life, but to keep my eyes on the major things in life; building relationships, making memories, living life to it’s fullest, and doing life like there is no tomorrow. I made a declaration after my great depression with the loss of my mother that I would live and not die, just as God’s Word says. But I, like most people, allowed life to throw distractions and obstacles in my way. My focus got off. I took off God’s glasses and began to look through my human eyes again.

Death is tragic and the Bible says we should rejoice at death and mourn at birth. However, we typically do it the other way around. I totally understand why we should mourn at birth….part of me does with each one. These innocent babes are born into this dark, dark world and they will be faced with oh so much. And when there is a death, that person has stepped into the presence of the Lord and the cares of this world are no more for them. They are in perfect peace, a new body. It’s hard to think that way though when you are faced with it in that very moment.

What death has done for me over the past 8 1/2 years was to shake me by the shoulders to realize that tomorrow is promised to no one. Every breath is a gift. Not to sweat the small stuff. Trust God with EVERYTHING. and to Lean on God for all things and in all things. To stop being in such a rush. To focus on the people in my life that are more important than the things of this world.

I just heard a lady explain this and I am floored because of the truth that she spoke. The enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy. But the reality is he is not after our things, he is after our worship, and if he can get us to question God and accuse God for the things going wrong in our lives then he can say see they don’t love you and they don’t worship you God. But even in the loss of my Pastor’s niece, with the car accident and having to come up with the money to get the car fixed, with the delay in returning to VA, with a marriage that is broken and dead, with dreams that are dead, I will lift my hands and worship my Savior. He is worthy of my praise. My God is good even when all things around me are falling apart and I’m struggling with broken dreams, a dying marriage, delayed plans, finances down the tube, and questions swirling in my head. I serve a BIG, BIG God and He is in total control!! There is nothing He cannot do, there is no mountain He won’t climb for me, and no enemy He won’t fight for me.

Taking the Next Steps…

As I wait for the Lord’s provision for me and my family to move to Virginia, I heard something while listening to Kellie Lane of Warrior Nation Ministry.
“I’ve done all I can do Lord and I am now waiting on You”.
She was speaking on Joshua waiting for the next instructions from God in order to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. His mentor Moses had died and Joshua and Caleb were the only original Israelites remaining of those that had escaped from Egypt. Joshua was chosen as the next leader and the one who would lead them in to the land flowing with milk and honey. They were standing at the edge of the Jordan river. They were going to have to cross over in order to reach the Promised Land.
Could Joshua have felt like they were at a point where his back was against the wall? The only way to the other side was to cross the river. There was no way around it, they had to go through it. Could he have asked the question…What do we do now Lord? How do I get your people into the land you promised them and I don’t have boat or raft to get them across? Did he ask the Lord, How am I supposed to do this?
He listened to God’s instructions as He hands the baton to him to claim their territory and then he took the next steps. Once you have done all you can, you stand….and see the salvation of the Lord.
So here I am. Clearly having heard the Lord say during the 40 day fast, that He has already provided a job in Virginia and every provision needed to get there. For the past few months I have sat around in fear and trepidation. I have questioned, Lord did I really hear you or was that me projecting my own desires again and saying it was You? And yet, I have seen God work certain things out and heard Him confirm things so that there is no doubt that I did indeed hear the Lord correctly. I haven’t seen things pan out the way I would have had them to, but if I was able to do it in my own power, there would be no need for the Lord now would there.

As I listened to her speak, she said do the next step. Stand!

Then I began to think, what is the next step? What can I do that IS within my power? I have no disposable income. It’s get paid, pay bills, and there is nothing left. I’m barely scraping by and not even all the bills are getting paid. So the only other thing is the income tax return I have been sitting on for these past months. So yesterday I took some of that money and purchased totes and went to my sisters and packed up everything at her house. I’ll go over again and give my plants and some pots to Veronica and get her patio cleaned off completely. I brought the remaining totes to Joseph’s and packed up all but one tote and that will be for food. I don’t know what my next step is or if there is one before the Lord moves on my behalf with the provisions He promised to me, but I’m prayerful and hopeful that He will indeed tell me if there are any next steps so I can follow through with it.

What is the next step that God has told you to do and you have been sitting around waiting for God to move? Could it be that before He moves ahead He is waiting for you to take your next steps? Put your feet in the water and see if He gives you the ability to walk on the water or if the waters part as the Red Sea did!

Encountering God

To say that service was good this morning would be an understatement. It was definitely a message that answered lots of questions for me that I had asked just last week during my quiet time.
Many times as Christians we blame the enemy for some things that God himself has allowed. He allows us to be boxed into corners sometimes or caught between a rock and a hard place so that we can come to the end of ourselves and realize that God is our answer and deliverer. This has been true for me over the last 6 months. I thought I was in the middle of His will. I thought I had heard clearly from Him to do certain things and once I did them, nothing happened as I had anticipated it to.

In Exodus 14 we find the Israelites leaving Egypt after the plagues were brought upon all of the Egyptians. God first does not allow them to take the shorter route to the promised land so that they would not be tempted to return to Egypt at any time. So they are out in the wilderness along the long route that causes them to come up against the Red Sea in front of them and Pharaoh and his army behind them. The Lord hardens Pharaoh’s heart (made him more rebellious than he already was). God hardened his heart so that His will, purpose, and plan could be fulfilled.

Pharaoh sees that the Israelites are basically in a cul de sac. The only way out is the way they entered in. It is in the cul de sac of their situation that they experience an encounter with God. The Israelites cry out to God and yet they complain to Moses…”you should have left us in Egypt to be slaves and die there. We told you to leave us alone and let us be, we were fine being slaves”. (my translation)

Moses tells them to not fear? To stand by and see the salvation of the Lord. Yet the Lord replies to Moses ” Why are YOU crying out to Me? Tell the sons of Israel to go forward. Moses was preaching the truth but he himself was also scared. So as they were complaining to him and He was speaking confident truth to them, he too was also afraid. Sometimes we have to do things afraid even while we are confident the Lord will make a way or fight the battle.

The Israelites were in the middle of the will of God and they were confronted with a dilemma. It is often that way for us as well. We hear from God and we are in the middle of His will for our lives and yet it seems all hell breaks loose. It is in the dilemma that we have that encounter with God and experience Him in ways we could not have imagined.

The Israelites cried out to God, but they also complained to Moses at the same time. We tend to do the same. Get caught in a dilemma and we are crying out to God, yet we call our girlfriends on the phone or meet up for coffee and pour out our complaints about what our kids are doing, our spouses, or the hard hearted boss we have. We get others to speak into our misery and chime in with their 2 cents. We can’t cry out to God AND complain to man at the same time. In verse 14 Moses tells them, “the Lord will fight for you while you keep silent”. In other words….SHUT UP!!!!!!
Cry out to God and if you “need” to speak to someone, find someone who will help you to see God’s perspective. (which means, they too must be chasing after God and in His presence on a daily basis, not just on Sunday morning).

Then God tells the Israelites to go forward. Faith is in your feet and not in your feelings. When God tells you to move forward, have faith to do just that and know that even though His instructions may not make sense, it is when we operate in faith that the miracles come forth, the supernatural takes place. Until God see’s you operate in faith, He will do nothing.
So as they go forward, the wind begins to blow and the sea splits causing a wall of water on each side and the ground to dry. They are then able to walk across the middle of the sea.
They experienced an encounter with God that allowed them to see the mighty power of the Lord in their dire situation.

So what I thought was isolation from the enemy at first was just that. However, God told me at the beginning of this fast to be quite and seek His face. As I have done that in just this first week, I have seen the power of the Lord in my situation and new hope to blossom. I will cry out to Him and shut up talking to others about the dilemma the Lord has allowed me to be in and while He has given no directions yet, I will stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. When He tells me to move forward, I must be ready and be obedient to take the steps He directs me to.

I hope this has blessed you as much as it blessed me. Leave your comments below. I’d be more than happy to pray for you if you’d like to leave your prayer requests in the comments as well.

God Bless!!!

Struggling and being honest about it…

As Christian’s we see so many putting on facades and masks. Pretending that all is well in their world while struggling in silence and behind closed doors…alone.
I for one am tired of wearing the masks. I’m tired of pretending that I am more than human. I’m tired of painting on a smile when deep down the pain and hurt are real and it takes the very breath out of me.
How can we heal if we continue to “Fake It Until We Make It?”
I am a believer in Christ. I am a Christ follower. I struggle in my faith and in my walk. What does this mean? Does it mean because I struggle that it makes me any less of a Christian or any less saved? I don’t believe that to be the case.
If we look at Scripture, we can see that Moses struggled in his faith, Peter struggled in his faith, Job struggled, David, and many more. It didn’t make them any less Christian, but it did make them real and people that we could relate to.
Sadness, grief, loneliness, depression, they are all oh so real, and I for one am no longer willing to Fake it until I make it! It’s a nice little slogan, but it’s the very thing that can cause someone to commit suicide while they struggle in silence alone.

Hi, my name is Tasha and I am struggling. I Love the Lord, but I am struggling with reading His Word and praying. Sometimes the only thing that comes forth from my lips is “Jesus”. Sometimes I can’t say anything at all and the tears hold all of my words.

I’m struggling with depression. Depression over the loss of my marriage, depression that I am in a state I don’t want to be in and the lack of funds and job security to get to where I want to be. Depression that my son, my only son, just spent his first Thanksgiving alone, not by his choice, but by the choices I made.

I’m struggling with anger. Anger that I have no control over circumstances at times. Anger towards God for not changing things the way I think they should go. Anger that even when He sees us making the mistakes and knows we are willingly falling into pitfalls, He does not steer us out or away from them.

There are days I don’t wish to get out of bed. Days when it takes everything within me to even brush my teeth. There are days when my emotional eating doesn’t stop or days when I don’t eat at all.

I am human. It doesn’t change my standing with God. I am still saved and still a Christian. Even in taking off the masks, I know that God is still God and in control. He is the Master Painter of the masterpiece portrait of my life. He said in this world we would have troubles. Christianity does not negate the fact that we are a fallen people residing in a fallen world. Even when I’m struggling with depression, don’t want to do life, or can’t bring myself to utter a prayer or read His truths, He is still God, He is still good, and He is still for me. His best for me is still THE best for me. No matter what I want, I still don’t see as BIG as He sees for me. My desires, wants, dreams, hopes, are still small and in a box, compared to what He has in mind for me.

Live Every Day

People are born every day. People die every day. There is an appointed time for birth and death. The thing about that is we neither know the day, hour, or the how.

God has appointed us a time to be born and a time to die. It’s that in between time that we get to have some say so in. Many people would say live this time any way you want because you only live once. But I’d like to submit to you that this is a lie, trick, scheme, and tactic from the enemy himself.

The enemy would have you and me to believe that because we only live once we should live life however we please, doing what ever we please. Yet God is very specific in how we live life. I have had the most joy and fun with Christ as my Savior and God as my King, living a life of obedience to the best of my ability and following in the path that He has set out for me. Now this doesn’t mean I do it perfectly or that I am perfect. But I am ever striving towards His righteousness.

He says in John 10:10 that the thief (enemy) comes only to seal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. Many read this and think prosperity. However, abundant life if joy, peace, provision, love, hope, etc. Christ did not give up His life so we could live mediocre lives. He died for our eternal life as well as our abundant life.

Are you living today, just to get by. Are your circumstances dictating to you the kind of life you live? Find hope in Christ. Let Him circumcise your heart, mind, and soul and give you abundant life. You’re worth it! He died for you.

Tasha