Feeling thankful this Saturday for a home that has become a safe haven and that we’re never alone on this journey. What are you grateful for today?
God isn’t finished with us yet. I was reading about Nehemiah this morning. He was alive during a time when Israel had been in exile. They had lost everything and gone through a tough time. Then, they came into a season of rebuilding. During that time, Nehemiah learned a whole lot of things, but one of the most important things is he realized: “The joy of the Lord is my strength”.
We are in a time that we cannot control the government, but we can govern our life, emotions, and actions. We are the gatekeeper of what comes into our lives and what goes out. Brother Nobles has taught that we are who we hang around with, and we cannot determine what someone else does to us, but we can determine how we respond. We cannot determine what the world does or what conditions come our way, but we can determine how we handle them. We can determine to overcome our nature through all of it.
If we understood how we have the power in our littleness, our nothingness, to move God’s hand and heart. If we could lay hold on this truth and get off this treadmill that somehow we’ve got to just work it all up and stir it up and we’ve got to have these building blocks of victory propped underneath us, and we’ve had to have read so many chapters in the Bible and been in church for decades and memorized scriptures and heard all the truth of mysteries and revelations and that we have to have it all together right here, right now where we are – if we could just get out of that thinking and come into this place that the apostle Paul eventually understood and that the ministry has been teaching . . . that when I am weak, I am strong.
Share this with a friend who needs time aside to be alone in the presence of God . . . we have a song for you💙
When times are tough, how do we know we will make it? Like Brother Nobles just talked about, in Paul’s writings you can see he struggled with his past. He understood that God accepted him, even though he was lacking in some areas, because he was willing to work on himself and let the Lord develop what he did not have. Paul’s long suffering had to go on until he finished his journey. He had peace about his thorn when God told him, “My grace is sufficient.” Paul knew then he could make it. He knew his condition was not something to avoid, but to be felt with both fists, on purpose, and on the other side was an overcomer.
God accepts us, giving us time to work on who we are, knowing we can’t stay that way. If we want to make it, we have one choice. Yield.
Yielding is a voluntary act, is not a one-off event, and it happens continuously. We must yield our past, present, and future.
God accepts us so we can reach perfection (Matthew 5:48). He plants the seed in us through His ministry, but it is our job to cultivate that seed.
A Few Things We Need to Have in Place to Yield.
Be close to Him. Brother Nobles talked about how husbands and wives are close and understand non-verbal language as a result of being together for so many years. He said he doesn’t need to ask if Sister Sandy is upset. He knows without her saying one word because they have been married coming up on 40 years (wow, and Happy Anniversary❤️). Being married that long has made them close, so that they know each other very well. That’s what we need with the Lord. A closeness that allows us to feel and understand His communication.
God has to have control for us to overcome. We cannot overcome without His grace and mercy.
Keep the Holy Ghost flowing in you. It’s the river of life. It isn’t meant to be a convenience that you never use until you’re in dire straits, then you go get it off a shelf. That means you have the Holy Ghost, but it does not have you. The same process it takes to receive the Holy Ghost is the same process it takes to lock it into your life. When you keep the Holy Ghost flowing in your life, it will effect change in you. To change, we have to yield our lives more and more. Our hands may be lifted high in worship, but are our hearts truly surrendered to the Holy Ghost?
Mama Said There’ll Days Like This
There will be rough times, and even seasons, in your life. Know God is going to get us through it all. Don’t let your heart be troubled or your emotions discouraged. When you walk in sadness and discouragement, your spiritual immunity goes down. When you are focused on negativity and sorrow, you become susceptible to spiritual weakness and less able to quench the fiery darts as they come. When we are running rampant with fear, frustration, sadness, discouragement, and worry, we have a short fuse with those around us. All of these are not giving God control.
The Bible’s Pages are Filled with Heartache and Trials that Turn into Overcoming and Winning.
Taking time to pray, study our notes, and read every day is essential to our spiritual walk. Every time I read, I find someone with whom I can identify. Why? Because in the Bible, even though they lived in a different time period, they were fighting the same fight, battling the same Adamic nature, facing desperate times, going through trials — and learning to overcome and rise above it all. I turn to David, Daniel, Elijah, Paul, Ruth . . . to name just a handful. I read what they went through and how they came out on the other side and won. Obviously, we are striving to one day meet God, but how exciting that we will also meet our brothers and sisters in the Bible whose lives and words helped us get through so many days and encouraged us to keep pressing on.
We fight alone, and even sometimes, we walk alone with only Christ, but I believe, with my whole being, that we are all in this together as God’s people — past, present, and future. Each generation, each time period, paves the way for the next through staying on the foundation, building in the truth of the gospel, and passing on the torch . . . until that day when all the family comes home.
When You Start Talking to Yourself
Shush the old man. The new man has something to say. Talking to yourself can be a good thing. When David was overwhelmed and discouraged, he talked to himself:
“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” -Psalm 42:5
He reminded himself to put his hope in the Lord and know that God is still on the throne.
This is not God’s First Rodeo
So here we are, alive in turbulent times and in days that feel uncertain and unfamiliar. This year has been like no other, and we might think we’re facing something unique.
Our struggles and what is going on in the world today are not unfamiliar to God. All of it already happened in the Bible in one way or other. Even down to our personal transgressions, problems, and failures – God has seen and dealt with it all. Paul was told he couldn’t go into the streets and he couldn’t preach Jesus, but he found a way. He could not control the government, but he could control whether or not he yielded his life to God. Paul was resilient. In the middle of his trials, he was the one telling the church to rejoice, again I say rejoice. He made a choice to have joy instead of sorrow; to yield his life and give God control. Paul was reminding the church even though they were going through tough times: get your joy back.
God does not social distance, and He can never be shut down. He is close to the brokenhearted and an ever-present help in time of need.
We can be there for each other, too. I thank God for the apostle Paul and his labor. He was a forerunner, going ahead of us making sure we got the truth. All those centuries ago, Paul sat in a prison cell contending for us:
Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; 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: Even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace. For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. -Philippians 1:4-11
It took something for God to get Paul. Watching Stephen being stoned and Stephen praying for God not to lay their sin on them had to have touched him. Stephen had already made up his mind. We have to make decisions every single day to stay in it. If we don’t keep that closeness with the Lord, we risk a stiffening of our necks and hardening of our hearts. God wants us to yield our lives to Him, but it is a choice.
Don’t Come to Church Like You’re Going to a Funeral
God isn’t dead. Elder had a funny way of blending this message with humor. We are coming into a place of freedom and life. God favors the bold (we’ve also had this teaching). We come to Him trusting, believing, and with confidence that He will hear us. Like Daniel, individually and collectively, we should take a stand for what is right even if it means taking a hit elsewhere. God’s church is always going to be a place of hope.
Your Destination is Here. You Have Arrived.
Brother Nobles has taught that victory, joy, or peace are not arriving the day you defeat a trial. They are there in the darkest part of your trial . . . where you don’t lose your song. Victory, joy, and peace are not about arriving at a destination; they are a spirit you carry through your journey.
What to Say to Your Friend Who Watches Too Much CSI . . .
Forensic science is interesting, but check out our spiritual DNA under a microscope. The Holy Ghost in us is why victory is in our spiritual DNA – it’s why Paul couldn’t be stopped. You put him in prison, he’s got the victory. You let him out, he’s got the victory. You bite him with a snake, he’s got the victory. You put him in a storm, he’s got the victory. Once God told him His grace was sufficient, Paul knew pain, in whatever form, had a purpose and would lead to overcoming. We want to run from pain, get through it as quickly as possible. In crisis or pain, our brokenness leads to something new emerging in us that wasn’t there before. It is hard to go through, but He’s preparing us for what’s ahead on the journey.
God’s Church Will Rise in Greater Strength and Deeper Anointing for the Days that Lie Ahead.
Brother Nobles just talked about our only way of overcoming is through giving God complete control. It can be a hard thing for the flesh to hear and do — it takes constantly working on our carnal nature. Remind ourselves that God is committed to us.
David said He leads us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. We are living in a time when people are becoming more polarized. When no one else is reliable, God is trustworthy to restore our soul and keep leading us the right way. This past year has been evidence of so many voices of authority telling us what we should and shouldn’t do, but God’s divine will for this earth and His people remains steadfast. He has outlasted presidents, governors, scientists, and all other types of leaders, and He will continue to be our way maker.
While there is still daylight, we need to gather oil for our lamps and remain steadfast.
This parable is one of those times we see God close a door. The Bridegroom not only shut the door, but He also said He never knew them, the five foolish virgins.
Hold on to Hope
Elder counseled to not make hasty decisions during temporary seasons. Hold steady and we will get through them. If it’s something pressing, wait three days and pray. It is the virus of hopelessness that kills more people when they think there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. Like Elder, ask God to please show you just a little light . . . to give you some hope.
Everybody Needs Four Crazy Friends
“And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.” -Mark 2:2-5
Think of those four friends who came bringing their paralyzed friend to Jesus. They came looking for a miracle. Do we still come to church expecting to meet Him, in whatever way He leads the ministry? When they got to the house, it was completely packed. It did not look like there was any way in. The four friends could have stopped right there. They could have turned around and went back home knowing they had tried and given it their best shot. Instead they decided to climb up on the roof, dig a hole, and drop down the bed with their sick friend in it. As you can read above in Mark, their persistent determination paid off.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. Do not turn around and go home. Do not give up. Keep pressing.
The woman with the issue of blood tried many physicians to no avail. She was desperate. Again, Jesus was surrounded by a large crowd, but she pressed through. She didn’t need fanfare or even for Him to lay hands on her. She had faith that if she could touch the hem of His garment, she would be healed. When we are desperate because all else is hopeless, we do whatever we need to do . . . whatever it takes to get to Him.
Stay in Wonder
The day we lose our wonder of who God is and what He’s done for us is the day we take it all for granted. Stay expectant for what God can do. My dad used to tell us about people driving for hours to get to a tent meeting because they needed something from the Lord. They needed hope. They needed a touch. We see it today – people willing to travel hundreds of miles to hear the truth and meet God where His people are gathering. Why? Because they need what this church is bringing. They need to hear words that will save them. Worshiping on Sunday is a great thing, but it isn’t what helps you overcome on Monday.
We need substance for our soul to overcome tomorrow, the next day, and the next.
People will travel miles to get to a place that can help them reach heaven. They know God is dwelling among His ministry and people. In our lives, don’t settle. Keep believing. We sing in wonder of how great He is to have opened our eyes. Think of Abraham standing outside of his tent thinking of his limitations knowing a servant would be his heir because he and Sarah were too old to conceive. But a conversation strikes up between him and God, and the Lord tells him no, he will have a son. You know the rest, but Genesis 18:14 is what should wake us: is anything too hard for the Lord?
So That We May Boldly Come
Noah built an ark during a time it had not rained for many years. Abraham set out for a country where no one lived. Both were walking into a new thing they knew nothing about. These were bold moves, and God favored them. What looks to be a setback in life, can be a set up for greater things ahead. The church is not going to fade out, but we will remain steadfast and choose faith over fear. We will hold on to the hope of our calling.