“Jonah’s Dirty Deliverance!”

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…I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.(Jonah 2:2).

Jonah chapter 2 is another one of my favorite Scriptures! You See, Right in the Midst of Trouble, Jonah Still Prayed Unto the Lord! He Forgot about his Situation and Fully Turned His Attention to God! Can you imagine what would happen if today the church did the very same thing? If we sought God no matter our situation? If we still fell on bended knee no matter how many times the rug has been pulled out from beneath us? If we still talked to God no matter how badly others are talking about us? If we still went to church even if we had to walk there? If we would still read the Bible even when we’ve lost the job? Can you imagine if we still sought God regardless of our current circumstances!? Just think what would become of our lives if we prayed as the Bible admonishes us to: “Pray At All Times” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 GNT) Just imagine how strong our relationship with God would become if we indeed prayed at all times. And that includes praying when the car breaks down; the kids are failing in school; the marriage is holding on by its last string; the job just laid you off; the doctor just gave you a cancerous diagnosis; your parent passes away; your sibling is strung out on drugs; your church is emptying out; your bank accounts can’t even keep the bare minimum anymore; Medicaid said no; Medicare won’t cover; there’s dust in the cupboards and only Arm and Hammer in the fridge! Would you still be able to pray to God, even in these times?! Would you still trust Him? Would you still lean on Him? Would you still believe Him? Would you still praise and worship Him? Would you still have Faith in Him? Would you still thank Him?

When you study the content of Jonah’s prayer in Jonah 2:2-9, you’ll discover that he wasn’t praying the ‘give me or get me out of this prayer, but a Prayer of Worship and Thanksgiving (“…But I’m Worshiping you, God, calling out in Thanksgiving!…” (Jonah 2:9 MSG) However, what happens next is Absolutely Dynamic; the Bible says, “And the LORD Commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.” (Jonah 2:10 NIV). What a Mighty Deliverance! BUT, if you look at what Jonah Worshiped in the Midst Of to Get It, you’ll have to ask yourself, ‘do I really want it that bad?Because to get This Kind of Deliverance, You’ve Got to Possess the Ability to Worship In the Worst Of It! Yes, that means to pray, worship and thank God while the eviction notice is on the front door; the pink slip after 20 years was just handed to you; the doctor has nothing else he can do for your disease; your teenage son tells you he has a baby on the way; your daughter comes home with a tattoo across her forehead; there’s nothing in the fridge but the light-bulb; the toilet water won’t go down, the heat won’t come up, the car won’t start and the bills won’t stop! YES, You Have To Still Pray, Praise, Worship and Thank God In the Midst of It All! So How Bad Do You Really Want It?!

First off, it was due to Jonah’s Disobedience that he was in Trouble in the first place! So Jonah was where he Deserved to be, and God Put Him There, the Bible says,Now the Lord had Prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah…”(Jonah 1:17). Like Jonah, many of us are where we are due to our OWN disobedience! BUT the very next verse says, “Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God Out Of the Fish’s Belly.” (Jonah 2:1). Truth be told, sometimes Deliverance Looks Downright Disgusting! I know you thought God was going to bring you out driving a 2019 so and so…NOPE…with a brand new house…NOPE…with a 7 figure income…NOPE…with the spouse dipped in honey…NOPE…with a world-wide ministry…NOPE…totally debt free…NOPE…a size 36-24-36…NOPE! Your Deliverance Is NOT Going To Look Pretty! After all, did you really think Jonah would spend 3 days and 3 nights in the belly of fish and come up smelling like roses? Truth is, I hate to even walk past the scent of a fish market, let alone have to be in the belly of a great fish for 3 days and 3 nights! So, no, Jonah wasn’t coming out fresh and clean! And neither are you going to come out of all you’ve been in smelling like Febreeze!

Just look at Mark 7:33-35, the Bible reads: “And taking him aside from the crowd [privately], He thrust His fingers into the man’s ears and spat and touched his tongue; And looking up to heaven, He sighed as He said, Ephphatha, which means, Be opened! And his ears were opened, his tongue was loosed, and he began to speak distinctly and as he should.” (AMP). Sweetheart, your deliverance is Not going to come with the latest fad-prophet sprinkling fairy dust over you and waving a pearly white magic wand! NOPE! Ear Wax and Spit Baby! So Do You Still Want To Be Delivered?! Listen for the two important truths here: One, the man’s ears were opened! “So faith comes from HEARING…” (Romans 10:17 AMP) Now, you may not like the method God uses to deliver you, but you will love hearing by faith what He has to say to you! The deliverance may be downright disgusting, but won’t it be worth it to hear God say: “…All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of God, your God: God’s blessing inside the city, God’s blessing in the country; God’s blessing on your children, the crops of your land, the young of your livestock, the calves of your herds, the lambs of your flocks. God’s blessing on your basket and bread bowl; God’s blessing in your coming in, God’s blessing in your going out. God will defeat your enemies who attack you. They’ll come at you on one road and run away on seven roads. God will order a blessing on your barns and workplaces; he’ll bless you in the land that God, your God, is giving you. God will form you as a people holy to him, just as he promised you, if you keep the commandments of God, your God, and live the way he has shown you. All the peoples on Earth will see you living under the Name of God and hold you in respectful awe. God will lavish you with good things: children from your womb, offspring from your animals, and crops from your land, the land that God promised your ancestors that he would give you. God will throw open the doors of his sky vaults and pour rain on your land on schedule and bless the work you take in hand. You will lend to many nations but you yourself won’t have to take out a loan. God will make you the head, not the tail; you’ll always be the top dog, never the bottom dog, as you obediently listen to and diligently keep the commands of God, your God, that I am commanding you today…” (Deuteronomy 28:1-14, MSG) Wouldn’t a Dirty Deliverance Be Worth Hearing That?! Secondly, his tongue was loosed! The Bible says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” (Proverbs 18:21 AMP); It further shares, “You will also decide and decree a thing, and it will be established for you; and the light [of God’s favor] will shine upon your ways.” (Job 22:28 AMP) Having your tongue loosed, means you get to decree life over your life and change it with the creative power your God has given you in your ability to open your mouth and speak it! The Bible says, “…and speaks of the nonexistent things that [He has foretold and promised] as if they [already] existed.” (Romans 4:17 AMPC) Once your deliverance takes place and your lips are loosed, regardless to what your situation may still look like, you open your mouth and declare the nonexistent things God foretold and promised you and you speak them as if they already exist! “I’m healed; I’m whole; I’m debt-free; my marriage is repaired; my children are returning from straying; my bank accounts look like phone numbers with the 1 and area code attached! I’m cancer free; the mortgage company said yes; the grant was approved; I’m driving the car off the lot; God is sending me the mate He custom designed just for me; the business proposal has been approved; the tuition is free; the church is full; my household is saved; my family is delivered; the addiction has been arrested by the Holy Ghost; the anointing is fresh; the gifts are stirred; closed doors of opportunity are unlocking as I speak; the promotion is mine; the elevation is mine; the doctors diagnosis is being reversed; the blood-work is coming back in my favor; the x-rays are clear; the chemo, radiation and dialysis are stopping; I’m graduating!” You see that’s the beauty of deliverance, no matter how dirty it is, you get to receive the restoration of your hearing and speech! It may be dirty, but thank God for deliverance anyhow!

Need another Dirty Deliverance Example? Just Look at Mark 8:23-25, the Bible reads: “And He caught the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when He had spit on his eyes and put His hands upon him, He asked him, Do you [possibly] see anything? And he looked up and said, I see people, but [they look] like trees, walking. Then He put His hands on his eyes again; and the man looked intently [that is, fixed his eyes on definite objects], and he was Restored and saw Everything Distinctly [even what was at a distance].” (AMP). There’s That Spit Anointing Again! Who Knew Jesus Was Such A Dirty Deliverer?! But this deliverance comes with the blessing of restored vision! Not just physical, but spiritual! All those dreams that you had that were so big and clear before life happened and you stuffed them on the shelf, are coming off the shelf! You will be like Joseph, have one dream that’s big, then dream again and it gets even bigger! You may not like the dirty deliverance, but you will love the results! Things that were so foggy and unclear are going to be 20/20 before 2020 even gets here! You were blind to God’s favor; blind to ways being made on your behalf; blind to the miracles coming down your street and to your house, but oh what happens when God delivers your vision! Another thing I love about this text is that it says, “…he was Restored and saw Everything Distinctly [even what was at a DISTANCE].” Once you’re delivered and your vision is restored you will not only see the blessings and favor of the Lord on your life, but you’ll be able to see the blessings on multiple generations to come! Your deliverance and restoration are not just for you, but for your posterity that hasn’t even been born yet!

You see, deliverance comes when you can Worship God in the Midst of the Worst of your Troubles! Understand that there’s No Doubt About Your Deliverance Coming, You Just Need to Accept the Fact, In Advance, That Your Deliverance Will Come, But It Won’t Come Clean! You’ll often have to get Dirty Before You Get Delivered! Can I Prove It? The Bible says, Elisha sent out a servant to meet him with this message: “Go to the River Jordan and immerse yourself seven times. Your skin will be healed and you’ll be as good as new.” Naaman lost his temper. He turned on his heel saying, “I thought he’d personally come out and meet me, call on the name of GOD, wave his hand over the diseased spot, and get rid of the disease. The Damascus rivers, Abana and Pharpar, are Cleaner by far than any of the rivers in Israel. Why not Bathe in them? I’d at least get Clean.” He stomped off, mad as a hornet. But his servants caught up with him and said, “Father, if the prophet had asked you to do something hard and heroic, wouldn’t you have done it? So why not this simple ‘wash and be clean’?” So he did it. He went down and immersed himself in the Jordan seven times, following the orders of the Holy Man. His skin was healed; it was like the skin of a little baby. He was as good as new.” (2 Kings 5:10-14 MSG). Are You Willing To Get Delivered Even When You Don’t Get To Choose The Method of Your Deliverance? Are You Willing To Get Delivered Even When You Don’t Get to Choose the Prophet? Are you willing to be delivered where no one can see it and talk about? Are you willing to be delivered when God uses a nobody to declare the Word of healing to you? Are you willing to get delivered even if you have to do something “beneath” your title, office or position in order to get it? How Bad Do You Really Want To Be Delivered!? Because Naaman dipped seven times in the dirty Jordan River, will you quit at 2 because it’s just asking too much of you? But at least Naaman was above ground, dipped seven dirty times and came up clean, Jonah lie in the belly of a great fish for 3 days and 3 nights! Listen, if you can’t handle 7 dips, you’ll lose your natural mind over 3 days and 3 nights! So, how bad do you really want to be delivered?!

Honestly, Do You have Enough Guts to get Dirty Before You get Delivered?! Can you Worship and Give Thanksgiving right in the Belly of the Fish, Before you get set Free on Dry Ground?! Truth is, Anybody can Worship and Give Thanks AFTERWARDS, But the Beginning of Deliverance is Doing It DURING?! And since we’re talking about Worship, how about we visit Jonah’s Church, enter into his Sanctuary, and take a good look around at What Jonah Worshiped in the Midst Of! Jonah 2:2-6, Describes Jonah’s Fish Temple of Worship: The Bible says, “In trouble, deep trouble, I prayed to God. He answered me. From the belly of the grave I cried, ’Help!’ You heard my cry. You threw me into ocean’s depths, into a watery grave, With ocean waves, ocean breakers crashing over me. I said, ’I’ve been thrown away, thrown out, out of your sight. I’ll never again lay eyes on your Holy Temple.’ Ocean gripped me by the throat. The ancient Abyss grabbed me and held tight. My head was all tangled in seaweed at the bottom of the sea where the mountains take root. I was as far down as a body can go, and the gates were slamming shut behind me forever…” (MSG).

And you think you’ve got problems??!! You have the audacity to complain about your church?! In the winter you can’t worship because it’s too cold; in the summer you can’t worship because it’s too hot; in the spring you can’t worship because of your allergies; in the fall you can’t worship because it’s holiday season! The ushers push you in a pew; the trustees pull you and all your money apart; the choir never sings your song; the musicians are too loud; service is too long; the kids are too busy! Everything in the church hinders your worship, but nothing you face at your church can compare to what Jonah had to worship through in his! Jonah worshiped in the midst of fish guts and seaweed, and you get an attitude because the church has 2 services instead of 1?! Are you kidding me?!

Look at what Jonah worshiped in the midst of! But yet in still, you cancel your worship due to rolling eyes and attitudes; over what someone said or didn’t say; because they didn’t sing your song or preach you happy; because it’s raining outside; because they sat in your seat; because of what the doctors said. Tell yourself from this day forward, the devil is a liar! I’ll let nothing and no one cancel my worship again! Not their words, facial expressions, opinions, criticisms, discouragement, or bitterness! Why do I refuse to let it cancel my worship? Because I can say with Jonah, “…Yet you pulled me up from that grave alive, O God, my God! When my life was slipping away, I remembered God, And my prayer got through to you, made it all the way to your Holy Temple. Those who worship hollow gods, god-frauds, walk away from their only true love. But I’m worshiping you, God, calling out in thanksgiving! And I’ll do what I promised I’d do! Salvation belongs to God!” (vss. 1-9 MSG)

If Jonah can worship God in the midst of all of this, surely you can worship God in the midst of your mess! God does not stop being Sovereign because of your Situation! He can do anything, anywhere for any one of His children! That’s why you need to understand the power of your worship. It summons all of Heaven to meet you in Hell, Just ask Jonah,…I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.(vs. 2). If Jonah Can Cry Out to God In the Midst of a Belly of Hell, Surely You Can Walk Into Your Pretty Sanctuary and Worship God? Surely! He lay in fish guts while you sit on cushioned seats and you still can’t worship God? His music was the indigestion of a fish, while you have a whole minstrel section and yet you still can’t worship God? He was at the bottom of the ocean and you sit elevated in your prestigious pulpit seating and yet you still can’t worship God? How is it that Jonah can give God his all right where he was, and yet you haven’t given God anything and you’re in a better position than Jonah?!

And an added bonus: You don’t have to look for God in worship, if you worship, He’ll come looking for you!…true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the FATHER SEEKS.John 4:23 (NIV). People of God, Learn How to Worship Your Way Through, And Before You Know It, You’ll Worship Your Way Out! It May Be a Dirty Deliverance, But It’s Guaranteed To Give You a Clean Slate!

“God will lead you into a deliverance where the means that delivers you will be those who would destroy you.” (Edwin Louis Cole)

“…unless you long for deliverance you shall not have it.” (John Owen)

“Before you ever get a problem, God has already got your deliverance planned.” (Joyce Meyer)

“The wise man in the storm prays to God, not for safety from danger, but for deliverance from fear. It is the storm within which endangers him, not the storm without.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

“God hears and He sees, and you are not alone in your struggles. Remain firm and stable, for God has your deliverance planned.” (Joyce Meyer)

“God is in control and therefore in EVERYTHING I can give thanks not because of the situation but because of the One who directs and rules over it.” (Kay Arthur)

“God wants you to be delivered from what you have done and from what has been done to you. Both are equally important to Him.” (Joyce Meyer)

“When the Power of God is Present, Healing and Deliverance are Just Like Breathing.” (T.B. Joshua)

“The nature of the enemy’s warfare in your life is to cause you to become discouraged and to cast away your confidence. Not that you would necessarily discard your salvation, but you could give up your hope of God’s deliverance. The enemy wants to numb you into a coping kind of Christianity that has given up hope of seeing God’s resurrection power. Don’t give up!” (Bob Sorge)

“Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends.” (George Muller)

“Don’t worry. God is never blind to your tears, never deaf to your prayers, and never silent to your pain. He sees, He hears, and He will deliver.”

“Sometimes God will deliver you from the fire, and other times God will make you fireproof.” (Joel Osteen)

“I’m determined to stand whether God will deliver me or not.” (Bob Dylan)

“We all know the disappointments that come when we base anticipation on what we and other humans can deliver. God will never have a problem delivering.” (James MacDonald)

“God Who delivers us from the guilt of sin through faith in Jesus Christ, is able to deliver the believer from the power of sin as well.” (J. Edwin Orr)

“What’s damaged you as a child does not have to destroy you as an adult. God can deliver you from all your hurt and pain. Enter into God’s delivery room!” (Jasmine Harris)

“Don’t rush the time of God. He knows what is best for us and when it is best for us. Continue to wait, but know that He is faithful and He will deliver.” (Lisa Osteen Comes)

Psalm 50:15, “And call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall honor and glorify Me.” (AMPC)

Psalm 59:1, “Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; defend and protect me from those who rise up against me.” (AMPC)

Psalm 32:7, “You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord, preserve me from trouble, You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!” (AMPC)

Psalm 70:1, “Make haste, O God, to deliver me; make haste to help me, O Lord!” (AMPC)

Jeremiah 15:21, “And I will deliver you out of the hands of the wicked, and I will redeem you out of the palms of the terrible and ruthless tyrants.” (AMPC)

Job 5:17-18, “So, what a blessing when God steps in and corrects you! Mind you, don’t despise the discipline of Almighty God! True, He wounds, but He also dresses the wound; the same hand that hurts you, heals you. From one disaster after another He delivers you; no matter what the calamity, the evil can’t touch you.” (MSG)

Galatians 1:3-5, “Grace and spiritual blessing be to you and [soul] peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), Who gave (yielded) Himself up [to atone] for our sins [and to save and sanctify us], in order to rescue and deliver us from this present wicked age and world order, in accordance with the will and purpose and plan of our God and Father – To Him [be ascribed all] the glory through all the ages of the ages and the eternities of the eternities! Amen (so be it).” (AMPC)

Daniel 3:17, “If our God Whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.” (AMPC)

Genesis 45:7, “And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” (KJV)

Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged
Feel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “Advanced Meal Prep Tips and Tricks”

 

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“YOU’LL WALK OUT OF WHAT YOU WERE CARRIED INTO!

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John 11:1, “Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany…” (NKJV)

From the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, we learn certain lessons:

The First Lesson is About REASON: You cannot have radical faith until you’ve exhausted all REASONABLE SOLUTIONS. You see, Mary and Martha didn’t send for Jesus UNTIL THEY’D DONE EVERYTHING THEY COULD DO FOR LAZARUS. THEREFORE, THINK AND BE REASONABLE; IF YOU CAN DO IT FOR YOURSELF, GOD WON’T DO IT FOR YOU! For example, unless you are willing to change your diet and start eating right, how can you go to God with confidence for healing? Because even if He heals you, your habits will take you right back to the same unhealthy place. Unless you are willing to put the needs of your spouse above your own, what’s the point in praying for a happy marriage? James writes: “Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith BY my works” (James 2:18 NKJV). Before you go crying out to God to supply a miracle, BE SURE THAT YOU’VE TAKEN THE NECESSARY TIME TO DO ALL YOU CAN DO…FIRST! THERE’S NO NEED OF A MIRACLE FOR WHAT YOU CAN MANAGE ON YOUR OWN! For example, before filing for bankruptcy, make sure you’ve exhausted all your options first! In other words, see if you can make payment arrangements FIRST! If you can set up a payment plan to pay off a debt in five years, does it make sense to file for bankruptcy, when it will stay on your credit report for ten?! People of God remember they sent for Jesus WHEN THERE WERE NO MORE OPTIONS LEFT! John 11:3, “So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” Unlike our modern times, they didn’t have round-the-clock hospitals and doctor offices and urgent care set up back then. And even though there were doctors, because of their feet or a horse or camel, they had no better method of transformation to check on a sick individual. Therefore, it was the family’s responsibility to do all they could in the absence of professional medical care. The sisters would then take care of their sick brother Lazarus as much as they could, but then they would need a physician, thank God they called on the Great Physician! However, they did what they could, within REASON, for their brother BEFORE they even called on Jesus! Make sure you’re not asking God to lay His hands on something that you can handle for yourself! You see, the word ‘reason’ is defined as, ‘the power of the mind to think, understand and form judgements logically; that which is practical or possible; to find a solution to a problem by considering possible options.’ Its French origin (‘reisun), from Latin (‘reri’) literally means ‘to consider.’ So, before you flip out and panic begging God to show up in the next 3 seconds, make sure you’ve considered all of your available options first. Because, maybe the real truth is, the mortgage miracle you’re asking for is for a house you knew you couldn’t afford before you moved in. Maybe the financial blessing you need by midnight isn’t as important as you cutting up some credit cards and stop shopping with money that should’ve been set aside to pay off your bills. Maybe you wouldn’t be so financially burdened, if you would just keep more money in the bank than on your back. Maybe it’s not the car note that’s the burden, but you driving something beyond your reasonable means, trying to impress people who are more likely in greater debt than you! Maybe you’d get a job if you got up in the morning, got dressed and went to hitting the pavement with your resume, opposed to you sitting on the sofa watching reality tv, while waiting for God to UPS your dream job to your doorstep! Are you getting this? Consider your options and work within your abilities and reason. Then, when you know it’s beyond your hands to handle, place it in God’s!

I have found in life that if you want a miracle you first need to do whatever it is You Can Do—if that’s plant, then plant; if it is to read, then read; if it is to change, then change; if it is to study, then study; if it is to work, then work; whatever You Have To, Do. And Then you will be well on your way of doing the labor that works miracles.” (Jim Rohn). In other words, I reiterate, sitting on the sofa watching soaps, yet believing God to send you a Miracle Job, is IDIOCY! And Idiocy is defined as “EXTREMELY STUPID BEHAVIOR!” Believing God for a Miracle is one thing, acting like a MORON is altogether something entirely different! Do what’s REASONABLE, and He’ll do the Rest!

The Second Lesson is About RELATIONSHIP: Some folks only turn to God when they have a crisis. Prayer is a foreign concept to them UNTIL they have a car wreck, or their marriage falls apart, or they lose their job. Then, incredibly, they say, “God, why did You let this happen to Me?HOWEVER, IT’S HARD TO GO TO SOMEONE WHEN YOU’RE IN TROUBLE, IF YOU’VE SPENT NO TIME BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM! Jesus often spent time at the home of Mary and Martha eating at their table. They were givers, not takers: “It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick” (John 11:2 NKJV). When you love the Lord to that extent, you can go to Him in faith knowing your needs will be met. HOWEVER, PLEASE BEAR IN MIND, THE LORD IS NOT YOUR PERSONAL GENIE THAT YOU RUB THE RIGHT WAY WITH WORDS OF PRAISE, WORSHIP AND ADORATION WHEN YOU NEED HIM TO GRANT YOU THREE WISHES! (Lord please keep the 1) Foreclosure, 2) Repossession and 3) Death Demons Away…Hallelujah, I Love You…THAT’S NOTHING MORE THAN PURE MESS)! HE CARES NOTHING ABOUT YOUR RELIGIOSITY, HE WANTS A RELATIONSHIP! AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RELIGION AND RELATIONSHIP! Look at it this way: RELIGION is like INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC (you don’t necessarily have to be saved to sing it, nor do you necessarily have to even mention the name Jesus!); But RELATIONSHIP is like GOSPEL MUSIC (it has to speak of the Life, the Death, the Burial, the Resurrection and the Coming Again of the Lord Jesus Christ…IF IT IS IN FACT “GOSPEL” MUSIC!!) FURTHERMORE, RELIGION is MAN-MADE; the GOSPEL is GOD-GIVEN! RELIGION is What Man DOES FOR GOD; the GOSPEL is What GOD DID FOR MAN! RELIGION is MAN’S SEARCH FOR GOD; the GOSPEL is GOD’S SEARCH FOR MAN! RELIGION is MAN’S TRYING TO CLIMB UP THE LADDER OF HIS OWN SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS, WITH THE HOPE OF MEETING GOD ON THE TOPMOST RUNG; The GOSPEL is GOD COMING DOWN THE LADDER IN THE INCARNATION OF JESUS CHRIST AND MEETING US SINNERS AT THE LOWEST RUNG! GOD DOESN’T WANT THE INSPIRATION OF RELIGION, BUT THE IMPARTATION AND INTIMACY OF RELATIONSHIP! ‘Impartation’ means to ‘to communicate, to grant a share of, to make known or disclose information, to give and bestow something, to contribute, add to, carry or express’! GOD IS LOOKING TO DO ALL THIS WITH YOU! HE WANTS TO TALK WITH YOU, DISCLOSE INFORMATION TO YOU, BESTOW AND GIVE GREAT THINGS TO YOU, AND TO LIKEWISE RECEIVE THEM FROM YOU! HE DESIRES A RELATIONSHIP! AND AFTER ALL HE’S ALREADY GIVEN YOU, SURELY GIVING THIS TO HIM IS NOT ASKING TOO MUCH OF YOU!

To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances; To seek Him, the greatest adventure; To find Him, the greatest human achievement” (Augustine)

The Third Lesson is About RELINQUISHMENT: As long as you believe you can handle the problem on your own, you will not reach for the miracle-working power of God. You have to be in a situation so bad that you pray the prayer of Relinquishment:Lord, I’ve done all I know and things aren’t getting any better. So I’m through trying to fix it. I turn it completely over to You. I don’t know how You’re going to handle it, but I know you love me and want only what’s best for me. So here it is, Lord; it’s all YoursTHIS IS NOT A PRAYER OF DEFEAT, IT IS ONE OF TOTAL TRUST. David wrote: “Though I am surrounded by troubles, You Will Protect Me…You Reach Out Your Hand, and the Power of Your Right Hand Saves Me. The LORD Will Work Out His Plans For My Life – For Your Faithful Love, O LORD, Endures Forever…You Made Me” (Psalm 138:7-8 NLT). THAT’S HOW YOU RELINQUISH! The word ‘relinquish’ is defined as, ‘to willingly cease to keep or claim; to give up.’ Its Latin origin ‘relinquere’, from ‘linquere’ literally means ‘to leave.’ And that’s what you need to learn to do today, give it to God and leave it there! One of the greatest blogs I’ve read regarding Relinquishment is called “Relinquish Control to Abba Father God” by Hazel Straub, and it reads as such: “Trust me with all your problems and do not lean on your own understanding. I am the solution for all of your difficulties and problems. Hand them over to me and watch me as your Problem Solver. Worship and keep your focus on me, not the difficulty. Rest from your struggles. Direct your eyes to me. Is anything too hard for me? Deliver your problems to me. Give me control and relinquish your grip. I am more than able to handle your difficulties and cares. Has it worked for you to leave me out of your solution, as you struggled? Hand them over to me and let them go. I am God, who loves you and bears your burdens. I am your help and strength. Let my love and joy invade you. Abba Father, there is no one greater than you and I give you all my worship. I relinquish control to you. I turn from trying to solve and handle my problems, on my own and release them to you. Thank you for bearing my burdens. I will be still and know that you are God. I trust you.THAT’S HOW YOU RELINQUISH!

Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God!…” (MSG)

The pastor of a great church tells of running out of money when they were only halfway through the construction of their new sanctuary. The congregation was growing and there was no doubt that they needed the extra space. But the bank wouldn’t give them any more funds. So the pastor prayed and said, “Lord, personally speaking, I don’t need this big building. I already have a place for all my children. You need a place for Yours. I don’t know how You’re going to take care of this, but those are Your kids, Lord, so I’m turning it over to You. I’m relinquishing this responsibility into your capable hands.GOD ANSWERED, THE MONEY CAME THROUGH, AND WITHIN A FEW YEARS THEY WERE WORSHIPING IN A BEAUTIFUL SANCTUARY, DEBT FREE! SO, NO MATTER HOW IMPOSSIBLE IT LOOKS, LOOK TO THE WORD THAT TELLS YOU WITH GOD NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! SIMPLY GIVE YOUR PROBLEM TO HIM AND DON’T ATTEMPT TO TAKE IT BACK! Philippians 1:6, “I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return]” (AMP) RELINQUISH IT ALL TO GOD, HE CAN HANDLE WHAT YOU CAN’T GET A HANDLE ON!

The Fourth Lesson is About RADICAL FAITH: When somebody is dead and buried, that’s as “final” as it gets! To believe God in the face of such a situation requires Radical Faith! Until this moment Martha had “IF ONLY” faith.  “Lord, IF ONLY You had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21 NKJV). But then she began to realize what Jesus could do, and moved to “EVEN NOW” faith. She said to Jesus, “But EVEN NOW I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You” (vs. 22 NKJV). Radical Faith says, “Lord I believe that my future can be greater than my past, that You can turn the situation around and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, that nothing is too hard for You.Radical Faith in the face of Radical Circumstances brings Radical Results! That means, no matter what the doctor says, your only Radical Response of Faith is, “…And By His Stripes (Wounds) We Are Healed.” (Isaiah 53:5 AMP); “…For By His Wounds You [Who Believe] Have Been Healed.” (1 Peter 2:24 AMP). That means, when the job lays you off; when the mortgage, car note, and tuition are all behind, and the lights and gas are about to be cut off. The foreclosure notice has been taped to the door. When there’s no food in the fridge, when you don’t have enough money to even get on the bus, your only Radical Response of Faith is, “And my God will liberally supply (fill until full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 AMP). When God gives you a dream and vision so big it scares you into believing the people around you that are saying the bank won’t give you a loan for that; you can’t get that grant; no one will underwrite that; you’re asking too much; that’s too big; that’s ridiculous; that’s outrageous; that’s impossible. Your only Radical Response of Faith is, “I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose – I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.” (Philippians 4:13 AMP); “…With people [as far as it depends on them] it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 AMP); “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is there anything too hard for Me?” (Jeremiah 32:27 AMP) When people say, but you’ve had that habit and addiction forever; you’ve messed up every day of your life; you cheated; lied; failed; missed the mark; fallen short; walked in deliberate and willful disobedience and sin; there’s just no way God will ever redeem someone like you! Your only Radical Response of Faith is, “Some of you were sick because you’d lived a bad life, your bodies feeling the effects of your sin; You couldn’t stand the sight of food, so miserable you thought you’d be better off dead. Then you called out to God in your desperate condition; He got you out in the nick of time. He spoke the word that healed you, that pulled you back from the brink of death. So thank God for His marvelous love, for His miracle mercy to the children He loves; Offer thanksgiving sacrifices, tell the world what He’s done—sing it out!” (Psalm 107:17-22 MSG) Are you getting this people?! All you have to do is exercise your Radical Faith and watch God handle your Radical Results!

Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].” (AMP); Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.” (AMP)

The Fifth Lesson is About RESTORATION: Therefore the sisters sent to [Jesus], saying, ‘Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick’…Then…He said to the disciples, ‘Let us go to Judea’” (vss. 3, 7 NKJV) You’ll never know what the Lord can do until you invite Him into your situation. He can give you back what you have loved and lost! He can restore what life has taken from you – and then some! It’s not too late! Send for Jesus! No matter how bad your situation may be, pray,Lord, EVEN NOW I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You

Deeply moved again, Jesus went to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone covering the entrance. Jesus said, “Take the stone away.” Martha, the dead man’s sister, told Jesus, “Lord, there must already be a stench. He’s been dead for four days.” Jesus said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you would see God’s glory?” So the stone was moved away from the entrance of the tomb. Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. I’ve known that you always hear me. However, I’ve said this so that the crowd standing around me will believe that you sent me.” After Jesus had said this, he shouted as loudly as he could, “Lazarus, Come Out!” The dead man came out. Strips of cloth were wound around his feet and hands, and his face was wrapped with a handkerchief. Jesus told them, “Free Lazarus, And Let Him Go” (John 11:38-45 GWT).

People of God, Do What Is Reasonable; Improve Your Relationship With the Lord; Relinquish the Impossible to God; Have Radical Faith that God Can and Will Do It; then Rejoice, for He Will “…Restore To You The Years That the Locust Hath Eaten…” (Joel 2:25)

LEARN FROM LAZARUS AND YOU’LL WALK OUT OF WHAT YOU WERE CARRIED INTO!

Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged
Feel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “What Does Your Home Say About Your Health?”

“Achan’s Curse or God’s Blessing, You Choose!”

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Joshua 7:11-12, “Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, EXCEPT ye destroy the accursed from among you.”

Are you someone whose world seems to be falling apart? Does everything seem to be going downhill in your life rather than uphill? Are troublesome things happening to you which you wouldn’t expect God to allow to happen? Has your life suddenly taken a turn for the worse? Well, it’s not the first time something like this has happened to God’s children. The same thing happened to the Children of Israel just after their victory over Jericho. It was a serious problem which needed to be dealt with in a serious manner. Let me tell you the story.

It all started in Joshua, chapter six. You can read it for yourself when you have time. Joshua had just led the Children of Israel across the Jordon River, into the Promised Land. God had promised that all of the inhabitants of this land would fear Joshua and his followers. So they had confidence as they marched around the walls of Jericho. But God also told Joshua to warn the people about taking any spoils from the victory over that city. Joshua 6:18-19, “And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD”.

The only thing they were to keep were the precious metals. And that was to be placed in the treasury of the Lord. BUT…

Joshua 7:1, “BUT the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, . . . took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel.”

A man by the name of Achan couldn’t resist some of the things he saw as they captured the city. He saw a Babylonian garment of some kind, some silver, and some gold. And he just couldn’t resist disobeying God and keeping just a little for himself. He probably thought nobody would notice. There was so much to gather up. After all, God was on his side. He had destroyed these people of Jericho on Achan’s behalf. God had taken care of him and his family over the past forty years. He was one of God’s children. So, what was there to worry about, right?

Just a few things:

  1. He was disobeying God’s command.
  2. He was stealing from God. 
  3. He was listening to the lust of his flesh rather than his conscience.

    I’m sure you can come up with a longer list, but that’s good enough for now.

God called the things he took for himself Accursed, which means ‘to be under a curse’. Achan took them back to his tent and dug a little hole in the ground and buried them. Now, stop for a minute and think: Let’s say the garment was a nice leather jacket. When is he ever going to be able to wear it if he has to keep what he has stolen, hidden? What was he thinking? He wasn’t thinking! He was lusting! He was coveting! Here is a picture-perfect example of GREED. He can’t use it. He doesn’t need it. But – he WANTS it, and so he takes it!

He was like so many people who are so self-centered (selfish) that they spend their time looking for ways to please only themselves. And after these folks have gathered all of life’s pleasures to themselves, they discover that none of it really brings happiness. Just like a leather jacket buried in the dirt!

But not only was the thing accursed (‘to be under a curse’); but the Bible also says, “…they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff…” The word ‘dissemble’ is defined as, ‘to hide or disguise one’s true motives or feelings.’ A word of Latin origin (‘dissimulare’) which literally means ‘to disguise or conceal.’ They didn’t just steal something under a curse; but they dissembled also. It was more than the physical action that God was addressing, but also the mental, the heart and core of who they had become. They’re motives and intentions were wrong; they disguised and concealed, they masked their actions which means they thought this through, plotted and planned their deliberate disobedience! Just think, as a father, how would you feel after you’ve done something awesome on your child’s behalf and yet this is how they repay you, with disrespect, dishonesty and disobedience! Well, God their Father did something awesome for them don’t you think? I mean when is the last time someone handed you a promised land flowing with milk and honey, not to mention enemies that your Father made sure didn’t hurt you nor take the gift He had given you! And still His children repaid Him with disrespect, dishonesty and disobedience.


So, what’s the big deal? Well, reading on through chapter seven of Joshua we find the result of Achan’s sin. You see, there was a little town called Ai. It was the next city to conquer after Jericho. And, it was Joshua’s job to send a group out to conquer it in the same manner that they had conquered Jericho. So he sent out a spy party to determine their strategy. The spies came back with the news that Ai was just a small community and they wouldn’t need to send many soldiers to win the battle. So Joshua sent three thousand men out to take the city. But as they approached Ai the men of Ai attacked the Israelite soldiers and overtook them. In the process, 36 Israelite soldiers were killed and the battle turned against them. The Bible says that the Israelite soldiers were so frightened that their hearts turned to water and they fled back to their camp. This was NOT how it was supposed to go down!

Joshua could not understand so he went to God and prayed. I wish all leaders and pastors did this! Could you imagine how much better our churches would be if leaders and pastors saw something wrong and took it to the Lord in prayer for direction and guidance? Not to other people, not attempting to figure it out with their own faulty, fleshly devices. But simply going to God and saying: “God, Something Here Is Not Right, Show Me What It Is And What To Do.”

Joshua 7:6-11, “Joshua ripped his clothes and fell on his face to the ground before the Chest of God, he and the leaders throwing dirt on their heads, prostrate until evening. Joshua said, “Oh, oh, oh . . . Master, God. Why did you insist on bringing this people across the Jordan? To make us victims of the Amorites? To wipe us out? Why didn’t we just settle down on the east side of the Jordan? Oh, Master, what can I say after this, after Israel has been run off by its enemies? When the Canaanites and all the others living here get wind of this, they’ll gang up on us and make short work of us—and then how will you keep up your reputation?” God said to Joshua, “Get up. Why are you groveling? Israel has sinned: They’ve broken the covenant I commanded them; they’ve taken forbidden plunder—stolen and then covered up the theft, squirreling it away with their own stuff. The People of Israel can no longer look their enemies in the eye—they themselves are plunder. I can’t continue with you if you don’t rid yourselves of the cursed things.” (MSG)

Well, up to this point all of the inhabitants of the Promised Land were living in fear of the Israelites. But with the small army of Ai defeating the Israelite army, Joshua knew that word would get out and that their enemies would be much more confident and bold enough to fight a fiercer battle. But God spoke to Joshua and explained that someone in the camp had taken the accursed thing. And until it was found and destroyed they were on their own: Joshua 7:12, “. . .neither will I be with you any more, EXCEPT ye DESTROY the accursed from among you.” Take note of the word, DESTROY! Not get rid of, but Destroy! The word ‘destroy’ is defined as, ‘to put out of existence by severe damage or attack; completely ruin or spoil; to kill.’

Now, before you come down too harshly on Achan, know this, you and I are not much different than Achan! There are many things in this world that we would love to own. Some of them are approved by God and some are not. And an even bigger truth is, many of us have already taken things and people we were not supposed to! Furthermore, we weren’t supposed to go to that place; we weren’t supposed to join that church; we weren’t supposed to apply for that job; we weren’t supposed to date or marry that person; we weren’t supposed to spend that money or purchase that thing. We have all walked in disobedience at one time or another. The importance is in knowing you’re doing it, repenting, correcting your behavior and not repeating it! So be careful in judging Achan, for some of the things and people that are currently hidden in our camp was never supposed to be in our possession at all! Which might explain some of our curses, instead of blessings! Romans 3:21-24, “But in our time something new has been added. What Moses and the prophets witnessed to all those years has happened. The God-setting-things-right that we read about has become Jesus-setting-things-right for US. And not only for US, but for EVERYONE who believes in him. FOR THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN US AND THEM IN THIS. Since WE’VE compiled this long and sorry record as sinners (BOTH US AND THEM) and proved that WE are utterly incapable of living the glorious lives God wills for US, God did it for US. Out of sheer generosity he put US in right standing with himself. A pure gift. HE GOT US OUT OF THE MESS WE’RE IN AND RESTORED US TO WHERE HE ALWAYS WANTED US TO BE. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ.” (MSG) I reiterate, before you judge Achan, remember God daily restores US and reconciles US from our messes too!

Also, remember this: God does not change. He feels the same today as he did back in Achan’s day. He loves each of us just as much as He loved folks back then. He also hates greed and lust just as much as He did back then. Therefore, make no justifications or excuses for the stuff that shouldn’t be found among your stuff! Clean out the sin clutter of everything that would be displeasing to God in your life, and let it go today! Remember: You Can’t Have Achan’s Accurse, And God’s Blessing At the Same Time!

While God was speaking with Joshua He explained that as long as the Israelites possessed the accursed thing they would NOT be able to stand against their enemies. Which may explain your latest defeats as well! Think about it: You’ve been losing the battle against satan, against your flesh, against your appetites, against your habits and addictions etc… Because God and Your Sin Can’t Co-Exist! Therefore, today is your day to make a choice, and you better choose wisely! After all, keeping the accursed thing cost Achan and all attached to him their very lives! Are you willing to pay that same price? Can you afford to pay with your life? Is what you’re hoarding really that valuable to you and all those attached to you, that all of you are Willing to lose your life over it? Because remember, he didn’t die alone! Your accurse will cost the lives of all those accompanying you! So why don’t you ask them and see if they’re willing to also pay the price of death for STUFF you shouldn’t have had in the first place!? Surely your family wouldn’t mind that would they? Romans 6:23, “FOR THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH, but the free gift of God [that is, His remarkable, overwhelming gift of grace to believers] is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (AMP); Mark 8:36, “For what does it BENEFIT a man to GAIN the whole world [with all its pleasures], and FORFEIT his soul?” (AMP)

Do you still think it’s worth it?! Selah…

God told Joshua to find the person who had taken the accursed thing, get it back from him, and destroy it. So the next morning Joshua began questioning the people, “man by man.” He went to great lengths to search for the trouble-maker. He left nothing to doubt because it was important to their survival in the Promised Land to find whatever it was that had ruined their relationship with God. The problem was found when he finally questioned Achan. Joshua 7:19-21, “And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have SINNED against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: When I SAW among the spoils a GOODLY Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I COVETED them, and TOOK them; and, behold, they are HID in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.”

Listen to Achan’s confession in a nutshell: “I have sinned; I saw; I coveted; I took; I hid.” Sounds a lot like some of our other biblical siblings don’t you think? David: Psalm 51:4, “Against You, You only, have I SINNED And done that which is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak [Your sentence] And faultless in Your judgment.” (AMP); Adam and Eve: Genesis 3:6-8,And when the woman SAW that the tree was GOOD for food, and that it was delightful to LOOK at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise and insightful, she TOOK some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of the two of them were opened [that is, their awareness increased], and they knew that they were naked; and they fastened fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool [afternoon breeze] of the day, so the man and his wife HID and kept themselves HIDDEN from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.” (AMP); Judah: Isaiah 57:17, “Because of the iniquity of his [Judah’s] COVETOUSNESS and UNJUST GAIN I was angry and smote him. I hid my face and was angry, and he went on turning away and backsliding in the way of his [OWN WILLFUL] HEART.” (AMPC); Ananias and Sapphira: Acts 5:1-11, “Now a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property,  and with his wife’s full knowledge [and complicity] HE KEPT BACK SOME OF THE PROCEEDS, BRINGING ONLY A PORTION OF IT, and set it at the apostles’ feet.  But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and [SECRETLY] KEEP BACK FOR YOURSELF SOME OF THE PROCEEDS [from the sale] of the land?  As long as it remained [unsold], did it not remain your own [to do with as you pleased]? And after it was sold, was the money not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this ACT [OF HYPOCRISY AND DECEIT] in your heart? You have not [simply] lied to people, BUT TO GOD.”  And hearing these words, Ananias fell down suddenly and died; and great fear and awe gripped those who heard of it. And the young men [in the congregation] got up and wrapped up the body, and carried it out and buried it. Now after an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.  Peter asked her, “Tell me whether you sold your land for so much?” And she said, “YES, FOR SO MUCH.” Then Peter said to her, “How could you two have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Look! The feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”  And at once she fell down at his feet and died; and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear and awe gripped the whole church, and all who heard about these things.” (AMP)

This is why we can’t afford to point our fingers at Achan, but instead to learn from his failure. Because God has many of His children who have sinned against Him and walked in disobedience and paid a hefty price for it. Which is why the vital lesson for us to learn is not to remain working in sin, because it’s wages are still death!

And do you know what happened next? Achan and his sons and daughters and all of his possessions were destroyed along with the accursed thing! Joshua 7:25-26 And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. And they raised over him a great heap of stones . . .

Now, picture Achan huddled together with his family in the middle of the circle of those who were about to begin the stoning. Watch as he tries in vain to protect his children from those first few stones. Listen as he hears his children begin to cry and whimper over the next few minutes as they gradually fall unconscious and bleed to death. You can only imagine the pain in his heart. It must have been much worse than the pain of those stones hitting his body. Which only makes you want to ask Achan, was it really worth it?! Listen again, this time in the Message Bible:

Joshua 7:22-26, “So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and they saw the stolen objects hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath.  And they took them from the tent and brought them to Joshua and to all the sons of Israel, and spread them out before the Lord Then Joshua and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the [royal] robe, the bar of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and EVERYTHING HE HAD; and they brought them up to the Valley of Achor (Disaster).  Joshua said, “Why have you brought disaster on us? The Lord will bring you disaster this day.” Then all Israel stoned them [to death] with stones; afterward they burned their bodies in the fire.  Then they piled up over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Achor (Disaster) to this day.” (MSG)

HE STOLE A FEW THINGS, YET LOST EVERYTHING! HE STOLE STUFF, YET LOST HIS LOVED ONES LIVES! WAS IT WORTH IT? Well, since I can’t ask Achan, in the meantime let me ask YOU: Is there something or someone in your life that you KNOW God considers to be an accursed thing? Then why are you keeping it? Why are you still entertaining it? Why are you still taking chances and risks with them? Do you not know that holding on to it and them will cost you God and everything connected to you?! The Bible says of Achan, “…and everything connected with him…” (MSG) People of God, re-exam your life today, and take a good long look around you. See all your loved ones connected to you, then ask yourself, am I really willing to lose them and God over something I can be honest about, forgiven for, and restored to something better?

Listen, I admonish you, as I admonish myself, whatever it is that just came to mind as you were reflecting and re-examining, needs to be Destroyed! And remember, the word ‘destroy’ is defined as, ‘to put out of existence by severe damage or attack; completely ruin or spoil; to kill.’ Which means whatever is jeopardizing our relationship and the very lives of all our loved ones connected to us, needs to be dealt with today. No, you don’t have to kill people or tear apart places and things. But you do have to destroy your want, need and desire for it and them. You have to ask the Holy Spirit to help you devise ways to sever it and them from you so you can be restored, renewed, and redeemed again!

Just like the Israelites, we have no defense against our enemies as long as we try to hang on to it. And, just like Achan, you and I need to remember that sin eventually leads to death. James 1:14-15 “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth DEATH”.

Don’t be like Achan and fool yourself into thinking that you have it hidden away where nobody will ever find out about it. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can just keep it hidden and it doesn’t need to be Destroyed. Remember, as long as it remains, you have NO defense against your enemies. And anything and anyone that needs to be HID needs to be HELPED! God does not give you a blessing to enjoy that you have to hide in dirt! So if it/them is associated with dirt/mess/hidden agendas and the like, it’s high time to Destroy It and Their Attachment to You! Your enemies of course want you to keep it, after all, keeping it close to you keeps God away from you! But you can’t defeat your enemies without God! And, who are your enemies? Right off-hand I can name three: The World, The Flesh, and The Devil!

As I said at the beginning, if your life seems to be out of control, compared to how things were after you first entered the Promised Land, maybe you should think about it. You have absolutely NO defense against those three enemies without the protection of God, His Son, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. You need to be as diligent as Joshua was. Search your soul in the same way that Joshua questioned his men, one-by-one, until you are sure you have uncovered every accursed thing in your life. Then Destroy It – Before It Destroys You!

Remember: YOU CAN’T HAVE ACHAN’S ACCURSE AND GOD’S BLESSING AT THE SAME TIME! SO, WHICH WILL YOU CHOOSE TODAY?

Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged #BeDelivered
Feel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “Surprising Uses for Lavender!”

“Don’t Let Potiphar’s Wife Catch You!”

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Genesis 39:2-10, “As it turned out, God was with Joseph and things went very well with him. He ended up living in the home of his Egyptian master. His master recognized that God was with him, saw that God was working for good in everything he did. He became very fond of Joseph and made him his personal aide. He put him in charge of all his personal affairs, turning everything over to him. From that moment on, God blessed the home of the Egyptian—all because of Joseph. The blessing of God spread over everything he owned, at home and in the fields, and all Potiphar had to concern himself with was eating three meals a day.  Joseph was a strikingly handsome man. As time went on, his master’s wife became infatuated with Joseph and one day said, “Sleep with me.” He wouldn’t do it. He said to his master’s wife, “Look, with me here, my master doesn’t give a second thought to anything that goes on here—he’s put me in charge of everything he owns. He treats me as an equal. The only thing he hasn’t turned over to me is you. You’re his wife, after all! How could I violate his trust and sin against God?”  She pestered him day after day after day, BUT HE STOOD HIS GROUND. HE REFUSED TO GO TO BED WITH HER.” (MSG).

The NIV says verse 10 like this: “And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her OR EVEN BE WITH HER.”

When I was a little pre-teen, my bicycle and I spent a lot of time together. You would see this little girl with big pigtails chugging all over Roosevelt; after all, that was my only way to get around back then. However, there was only one thing that compromised my total enjoyment of biking – and that was…THE HUNGRY, MAD DOG ON THE CORNER! You see, our street ended at our house, there was just no other way to approach our house. So, often that little dog would sense me coming; (And I’m a firm believer that he had other canine lookouts posted and reporting my nearness! (Don’t Laugh…I’m very serious…in my Kevin Hart voice…LOL) I’m telling you, he would appear out of nowhere, charge in my direction with teeth bared, and his bark would send chills up my spine! I’m fully persuaded that dog was “Cujo” incarnate! Well, I picked up my speed; and boy, I got real fast! I could feel him nipping at my heels! I didn’t even know I could peddle that fast! I honestly believe I could have qualified for the Olympics! My only prayer was simple: “FEET DON’T FAIL ME NOW!

I very quickly learned any evasive action I could think of: getting my speed up before I got there, coming down the other street where he seemed less likely to be, then carry my bike through a neighbors yard. I tried ignoring him, pretending I didn’t see him so I didn’t look scared. Somebody told me that was a good idea, and yes I was dumb enough to listen! Anyhow, I learned rather quickly that a vicious dog is nothing to mess with and should be Avoided at all costs!

This little story from my past reminds me of our text in Genesis 39, beginning at verse 7. You see, Joseph is about to be a Jewish transplant; picked up and sold as a slave into Egypt. He’s working for Potiphar, a military leader. He’s been trusted with total responsibility of the man’s household!

Now, Potiphar’s wife gets an eye on this good looking young man. And if you don’t believe Joseph looked good, check out his Biblical Description found in verse 6:

“…Joseph was an ATTRACTIVE PERSON AND FINE-LOOKING” (AMP);

“…Joseph was WELL-BUILT AND HANDSOME” (CEB);

“…Joseph was of a BEAUTIFUL FORM AND OF A BEAUTIFUL COUNTENANCE.” (DARBY);

“…Joseph was a VERY HANDSOME, GOOD-LOOKING MAN” (ERV);

“…Joseph was a STRIKINGLY HANDSOME MAN” (MSG);

“…Joseph was STRONG AND GOOD-LOOKING” (NLV);

EVEN IN THE ORTHODOX JEWISH BIBLE JOSEPH WAS FINE! “…Yosef was YAFEH TO’AR (WELL BUILT) AND YAFEH MAREH (GOOD LOOKING)” (OJB)

So, now that we’ve established PHYSICALLY why girlfriend lost her NATURAL mind, the Bible goes on to say, “After a while, his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, ‘Come to bed with me.’ But he refused.Verse 10 of Genesis 39 says– “And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her.” However, if that wasn’t bad enough notice this, the Bible says, “…or even be with her.”  OUCH! Joseph was in no way as crazy as I was with “Cujo”! I would try to figure out ways to still go around “Cujo”…without being bit! DUH! But Joseph??? He didn’t even want to be with her or around her! CAN SOMEBODY SAY “THAT BOY GOT GOOD SENSE?!”

FOR THE DEEP FOLKS THAT WANT TO KNOW “DOES IT REALLY TAKE ALL THAT?” I’m A Witness, YES!!!!!!!!!

Now, this has got to be for Joseph a pretty tempting temptation. Think about it: He’s lonely; he’s away from home. I would guess that a powerful man’s wife is probably pretty attractive, and he is totally trusted in the man’s home with all the man’s stuff! And the truth of the matter is…He may very well get away with this and no one even know that he’s done it!

BUT, he says, “How could I sin against God.Joseph knows…Ultimately if no one else will know…GOD WILL! He knows that he and his conscience will know too! And had he said ‘yes’ to this temptation, it would have been a Spiritually Fatal Mistake – probably Disqualifying him from being God’s hero as we know him today! AND WHAT FOOL WOULD SACRIFICE ALL OF THAT?!

Temptation is always out to bite you, to discredit you, to scar you. But unlike “Cujo” at the corner when I was a kid, TEMPTATION DOESN’T WARN YOU WITH A BARK! Therefore, do you know what your “Potiphar’s Wife” is right now? It could be a sexual opportunity; it could be the apparent advantages of compromising your integrity just a little bit; being a little dishonest; maybe it’s the urge to retaliate or a compromise that seems better than losing this person, or that old habit, or going back to the old friends, places or things. Whatever your “Potiphar’s Wife” is…remember this: THE ADVANTAGES OF SINNING ARE ALWAYS SHORT LIVED, HOWEVER THE PRICE YOU PAY ALWAYS LASTS A LONG TIME!

Notice that Joseph can recognize that ‘vicious dog of temptation’ under all that mascara and perfume! In other words, he’s smart enough to take evasive action to not ride anywhere near “Cujo’s” house! Which for him was twice as hard since he was living in ‘Cujo’s’ house!

That may be why the pull of temptation is so strong on you! You haven’t burned your bridges to it! Oh, you may distance yourself a little bit, but you remain connected. Your “Potiphar’s Wife” can still call you, text you, sext you, email you, compliment you, make advances on you, have access to your personal space, and get close enough to even get your clothes off! Yep, I said it! So, when do you plan to disconnect from your attachment to ‘Potiphar’s Wife’? When are you going to delete the pictures, block the phone number, go ghost on their social media sites? When are you going to stop allowing ‘Potiphar’s Wife’ to remain so close to you that she can reach out and touch you? Why are you still within arms distance of ‘Potiphar’s Wife’? Especially, since she hasn’t been at all shy about her motives or intentions!

Listen, Joseph got away from his temptation, however, not before his temptation was able to take something from him! She didn’t get what she wanted, but she did get something! The Bible Says: “And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me! But he left his garment in her hand and fled and got out [of the house]. And when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled away, She called to the men of her household and said to them, Behold, he [your master] has brought in a Hebrew to us to mock and insult us; he came in where I was to lie with me, and I screamed at the top of my voice. And when he heard me screaming and crying, he left his garment with me and fled and got out of the house. And she laid up his garment by her until his master came home.” (Genesis 39:12-16 AMP)  The Message Bible Says It Like This: “On one of these days he came to the house to do his work and none of the household servants happened to be there. SHE GRABBED HIM BY HIS CLOAK…” (MSG)

The danger of even entertaining temptation is that you’re still close enough for it to take something from you! For Joseph, it was his cloak, however for many it grabbed their character, integrity, dignity, testimony, witness and influence. For some, it grabbed their family, their marriage, their ministry and even their mind! Being Too Close Is Still Too Much Of A Compromise! Don’t let your temptation take the very thing that your Father Gave You to Distinguish You in the First Place! Think about it: Isn’t it amazing that Joseph’s brothers were angry and jealous and abused and banished him because of a coat, and yet he was still so close to temptation that another coat was snatched off him?! Joseph was well known for his coat of many colors that was given to him by his father, because of his great love for him. When you get too close to temptation, it will likewise attempt to take from you all that the Father gave you to distinguish you as His Favored Child! 

Joseph had two coats taken from him, his coat of many colors by his brothers who Hated Him; and his Cloak by Potiphar’s wife, a woman who was Hot for Him But Couldn’t Have Him! A Temper Took His First Coat, Temptation Took His Second! And He Never Got Either of Them Back! Temptation Will Take From You and Never Return! In fact the loss of his cloak stayed with Potiphar’s wife and was used against him in a lie and false imprisonment! How do you get in this much trouble, for doing Nothing?!

Make Sure You’re Not Being Too Close For Comfort! Truthfully, the Things and People that Can Grab a Hold of Us, Is Only Because We Keep Ourselves Within Their Reach! Think about it: It’s hard for them to touch you when they can’t text you, call you, write you, or visit you. Not to mention taking the extra measures and precautions to evict them out of your heart and mind (by the way: if you do that, keeping them off, out of and away from your body will be that much easier…just saying)!

So, have you made up your mind yet? Do you want to avoid being bitten? THEN YOU HAVE TO AVOID THE PLACES WHERE IT IS, THE PEOPLE WHO DRAW YOU INTO IT, and THE PROPS THAT GET YOU EXCITED ABOUT IT…Truth Is: YOU CAN’T FLIRT WITH SIN; IT’S A VICIOUS DOG! NO MATTER HOW FINE JOSEPH LOOKS OR HOW AVAILABLE POTIPHAR’S WIFE IS…YOU ARE ABOUT TO GET BITTEN BY “CUJO” IF YOU DON’T GET OFF THAT CORNER OF COMPROMISE! Therefore, TODAY, Determine to PEDDLE FAST AND FIND ANOTHER, SAFER ROUTE! USE YOUR BIBLE AND YOUR WORKING HOLY GHOST LIKE YOU WOULD A MAP APP FOR YOUR PHONE! “FIND ME THE QUICKEST AND SAFEST WAY OUT OF HERE…NOW!” Seriously, think about it, our phone maps not only give us directions, but some of them also let you know in advance that there’s an accident ahead of you on the same road you’re on. And what does it do? It gives you another route to take! Truth is, sometimes that new route is a lot longer and sometimes even unfamiliar. You may not like it, but at least you get to bypass the accident that could delay and detour you from your God-Intended destination! Likewise, you have to strengthen you relationship with the Holy Spirit! He’s not just your comforter but He’s your counselor! He lives on the inside of you! When it comes to communicating with someone in an emergency, how much closer can a person get than to talk to the person living inside them?! The Holy Spirit is there to lead you, guide you, direct and redirect you when necessary! But just like your GPS doesn’t work without being activated, neither does the Holy Spirit! You build a relationship with Him and give Him permission to change your route when you’re heading for danger! And you know what strengthens this relationship? Prayer! And what’s prayer? Communication! Keep it simple or you will complicate something that can help you! Prayer is communication! And the more you do it, the more consistent you are at it, the more you’ll stay out of dangerous places and away from dangerous people!  

Here’s an example. My husband can pretty much tell you where I am and what I’m doing from day to day. And he’s not with me from 7:30am to around 6:30pm daily. So how can he tell you where I am or what I’m doing? Because we stay in communication throughout the day! He knows when I get to work and at what time; he knows what I’ve had for breakfast and lunch and at what time; he knows when I’ve left work; he knows when I’m on the train; he knows when I’m on the bus; he knows when I get home. How? We stay in touch throughout the day! Imagine if you stayed in touch with the Holy Spirit like that throughout the day, how many vicious “Cujo’s” would you be able to be rerouted away from without ever being bitten?! 

People of God, your prayer life and relationship with the Holy Spirit will save you from the attacks of ‘Potiphar’s Wife’! You’ll began discerning what people, places and things you have to avoid for your own mental; emotional; physical; spiritual and even financial well-being! However, this will require you to run from the temptation and retreat in prayer with the Holy Spirit! And how long should you retreat in prayer with the Holy Spirit? The Bible admonishes: “Pray Without Ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Let’s see this verse in a few translations: 

“be unceasing and persistent in prayer.” (AMP);

“Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]” (AMPC);

“Pray continually.” (CEB);

“and never stop praying.” (CEV);

“pray at all times” (GNT);

“Always keep on praying.” (TLB);

“…pray all the time…” (MSG) 

Imagine how protected you would be, especially from the temptation of sin, if you’re in communication with the Holy Spirit: “UNCEASINGLY; PERSISTENTLY; NEVER STOP; and AT ALL TIMES”?! Truth is, temptation will NEVER CEASE, which is why your prayer life can NEVER CEASE! And remember, there is absolutely no temptation powerful enough to FORCE you to surrender! 

1 Corinthians 10:13, “NO TEMPTATION [regardless of its source] has overtaken or enticed you that is not common to human experience [nor is any temptation unusual or beyond human resistance]; but God is faithful [to His Word—He is compassionate and trustworthy], and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability [to resist], but along with the temptation He [has in the past and is now and] will [always] provide the way out as well, so that you will be able to endure it [without yielding, and will overcome temptation with joy].” (AMP) You will never as a child of God be able to say that a temptation was so strong it overtook you and you had no way out because your Father loves you so much that the Bible says, “…He [has in the PAST and is NOW and] WILL [ALWAYS] provide the way out as well, so that you will be ABLE to ENDURE it [WITHOUT YIELDING, and will OVERCOME TEMPTATION with joy].” Your Father has in the past, is now and will always provide the way out of temptation, YOU just have to add an addendum to your daily prayers that I keep in mine: “Father, help me to mindful that in the midst of every temptation presented to me today, You’ve ALREADY provided me a way of escape. Now, grant me the discernment to see it and the wisdom to take it.” Because let’s be honest, you are NEVER forced to surrender to a temptation! James 1:13-15, “Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil, and puts evil in no one’s way. The temptation to give in to evil COMES FROM US AND ONLY US. WE HAVE NO ONE TO BLAME BUT THE LEERING, SEDUCING FLARE-UP OF OUR OWN LUST. Lust gets pregnant, and has a baby: sin! Sin grows up to adulthood, and becomes a real killer.” (MSG). If You Give In, You Wanted to. If You Give In, You Decided to. If you allow the temptation to sin, to be conceived in your life; and then you nourish it so it grows up to adulthood and becomes a real killer of your marriage; integrity; family; character; calling; anointing; dignity…It Was Your Choice! You Don’t Get to Complain About What You’ve Condoned! Remember, Your Choice…Your Consequence! 

Which is why it’s so important to remember Joseph’s example: “…The only thing he hasn’t turned over to me is you. You’re his wife, after all! How could I violate his trust and sin against God?”  She pestered him day after day after day, BUT HE STOOD HIS GROUND. HE REFUSED TO GO TO BED WITH HER.” (MSG). “And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her OR EVEN BE WITH HER.” Listen: Temptation doesn’t knock once then walk away from the door! Potiphar’s Wife “PESTERED HIM DAY AFTER DAY AFTER DAY! She spoke to Joseph DAY AFTER DAY!” Every day you will be faced with the opportunity to accept temptation, which is why every day you have to remain praying without ceasing so you can receive clear directions on how to get away from Potiphar’s Wife, the ‘Cujo’ On a Mission to Kill Yours!

The Bible says, “FLEE FROM IT” Which is your admonishment to take a route that’s nowhere near the opportunity to sin! 1 Timothy 6:11, “But as for you, O man of God, FLEE FROM THESE THINGS; aim at and pursue righteousness [true goodness, moral conformity to the character of God], godliness [the fear of God], faith, love, steadfastness, and gentleness.” (AMP) The Message Bible reads like this: “But you, Timothy, man of God: RUN FOR YOUR LIFE FROM ALL THIS. Pursue a righteous life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses.” (MSG)

REMEMBER TIMOTHY AND FLEE, REMEMBER JOSEPH AND RUN! AND DON’T JUST RUN, BUT RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! LIKE JOSEPH, USE COMMON SENSE! NO MATTER HOW CUTE AND FRIENDLY A DOG IS…IF IT HAS TEETH…IT WILL BITE! HOWEVER, IF YOU’RE NOT CLOSE ENOUGH TO PET IT…IT’S NOT CLOSE ENOUGH TO BITE YOU! THEREFORE, AVOID BEING BITTEN BY AVOIDING BEING TOO CLOSE TO CHOMP! DON’T LET POTIPHAR’S WIFE CATCH YOU!

Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged #DontGetCaught
Feel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “Easy Skincare Tips for Men”

“You Broke It, You Fix It!”

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2 Corinthians 7:9-10, “yet I am glad now, not because you were hurt and made sorry, but because your sorrow led to repentance [and you turned back to God]; for you felt a grief such as God meant you to feel, so that you might not suffer loss in anything on our account. For [godly] sorrow that is in accord with the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but worldly sorrow [the hopeless sorrow of those who do not believe] produces death.” (AMP).

This is going back quite a few years, but when my daughters were little, I displayed most of their artwork on the refrigerator door. I was usually proud of their creative efforts…usually…that is. However, there was this time in which I was attempting to paint the wood borders of my bedroom, but I had to stop briefly to answer the phone in the living-room. I gave my baby girl one instruction, “Do not touch the paint!” You want to guess what happened? When I returned from my call, little “Miss Rembrandt” was working on a toddler’s masterpiece. Unfortunately, she had chosen my wall for her canvas! There on my bedroom wall were “designs” done with the paint that was intended only for the borders.

Now, believe it or not, I didn’t spank her. Although I was ready to let her have it! As a matter of fact, I didn’t even yell. No, this was one of the many times in which I decided to make my daughter my student and turn her mistake into the day’s lesson. And how did I do that? Simple. I just went and got a bucket of soap and water and a rag and gave my daughter a new instruction, “Clean it up.” Well, my little girl scrubbed and scrubbed, mostly to no avail. But she learned something important that day. We’re responsible for the messes we make. In essence, if you broke it, fix it, if you messed it up, clean it up!

Which leads to our lesson of the day in 2 Corinthians 7:9-10. It’s really about how to clean up the messes we’ve made. It involves that renewing, transforming process the Bible calls Repentance. You might say, “Oh, you mean feeling bad about what I did?” Well, not exactly.

The word “repentance” is defined as “deep sorrow, compunction (‘a feeling of guilt or moral scruple that prevents or follows wrongdoing’. Its Latin origin ‘compungere’ literally means ‘to prick sharply’), or contrition (‘feeling or expressing remorse’) for a past sin, wrongdoing; to regret.However, biblical repentance by definition is a bit more detailed. I love one of its translations “metanoeo” which means “to change one’s mind and purpose, as the result of after knowledge.” Its verb is used to denote “a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised.” But many of us prefer the translation “metamelomai” which is used of a change of mind, regret or remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart.” (Example: Judas – Matthew 27:3, “When Judas, His betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was gripped with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. Saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They replied, “What is that to us? See to that yourself!” And throwing the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary, he left; and went away and hanged himself” AMP). He may have changed his mind, but taking his life didn’t change what was already in his heart.Metanoeo” is to change mind, purpose, and life, not take it away. It is to deliberately accept your wrong, admit it and change it for the better. It’s more than saying “I’m sorry”, it’s a complete change of mind, purpose, heart, and life! Don’t take repentance lightly!

Look at verse 9 it says, “Your sorrow led you to repentance.” Feeling sorry is a good start on repentance, but it’s sure not the whole story. Verse 10 says, “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret. See what this godly sorrow is producing in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done.You see, these people understood repentance. It’s not just a forgiveness-fix for your guilty feelings. It’s an all-out campaign to fix what your sin messed up. It’s the kind of cleanup that “leaves no regret.” Repentance doesn’t just bring it to an end, but it turns it all the way around. I love the quote “a bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you refuse to turn.” Repentance is more than bowing your head in sorrow and feeling sorry, but in the definition of the Naves Dictionary, it is “to make a complete reversal of ones attitude and values; a complete turning back toward God.” It’s not enough to say I broke it, repentance also fixes it. Repentance sees the bend in the road that leads back to rightness with God and takes it!

Now, my daughter was quick to say she was sorry for what she had done that day, and she was forgiven. But she had to step up to the responsibility for the marks she had made. She had to do what she could to remove those marks. Well, so do you and I with some of the sinful mistakes of our past. It’s so unfortunate today that the church uses and misuses grace, mercy and forgiveness. It is not a band aide you slap over a deep gash! You don’t say “I’m sorry, God forgive me, I’m forgiven, now let’s start over…but this time not get caught”. No, repentance changes you from the inside out. Why are we under the impression that we can do wrong, and God makes it right, only so we can do wrong again…just in a better way?! No! We have a part to play! Listen to Matthew 6, “In prayer there is a CONNECTION between what GOD DOES and WHAT YOU DO. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do YOUR PART, you cut yourself off from GOD’S PART.” (14-15 MSG). Despite what today’s church makes it sound like, all the work doesn’t fall on God’s shoulders. There is a “connection”, there’s “His part and our part”. So just as in forgiveness you have to do your part and God does His, so in repentance you do your part and God does His. He forgives, renews and restores us. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have work to do on our part. Yes, my daughter said sorry, but she also had to get a rag, some soap, a bucket and water and get to cleaning up the mess she made. Why? Because she made it and it was her responsibility to clean it up. Likewise, God didn’t make your mess, you did, so stop expecting Him to clean up what is your responsibility!

For instance, if you’ve wronged anyone, would you obey the Spirit’s prompting to go back and make it right? If you took something, would you repay what you took? If you helped someone else sin by what you did, would you go back and tell them you’re sorry? Even if they don’t realize it was wrong, will you make right what your lying or your gossip or your anger did to someone?

When you make every effort to fix what your sin may have damaged, you complete the spiritual circle of repentance, restoration and healing. Now, this will require a special grace and a special courage from the Lord. But if He’s telling you to do this, He will give you everything you need to obey Him. The Lord who has forgiven that sin may now be pointing to a mess we made and lovingly saying, “Clean it up.

By making things right you can really close a chapter. You can actually say a firm goodbye to the sin of the past, and maybe really feel that great forgiveness that Jesus has already given you.

Today is a good day to get clean! Today is a good day to be made whole! You’ve walked around fractured and fragmented long enough, and so have the people you’ve hurt along the way. Take time today to self-exam and see the people in which you’ve damaged and ask God for the tools to help you make repairs. Too often families are destroyed, friendships are lost, opportunities are never recovered, churches are split and lives are severely injured, all because we don’t do our part. Maturity means I know I can go to God and repent and be forgiven and restored. But maturity in its fullness also means going to the person I hurt, acknowledging the pain I caused, admitting my wrong, humbly asking for their forgiveness, and changing ME so that I never cause this or any other like injury to them or anyone else again.

If a toddler can get some water, soap and a rag and make a sincere effort to clean up what she messed up, what do you think God expects of us as adults? Just a small effort may mend the marriage, restore the friendship, bring unity back to the church, and peace to your own mind. Take responsibility and own up to your own accountability and bring forth fruits of repentance, you never know the tremendous harvest that you’ll gather from sowing such seeds.

2 Corinthians 7:8-10, “I know I distressed you greatly with my letter. Although I felt awful at the time, I don’t feel at all bad now that I see how it turned out. The letter upset you, but only for a while. Now I’m glad—not that you were upset, but that you were jarred into turning things around. You let the distress bring you to God, not drive you from him. The result was all gain, no loss. Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God are full of regrets, end up on a deathbed of regrets.” (MSG)

And maybe that’s where you are right now. You’re misunderstanding all the distress in your life because you keep ascribing it all to the Devil, but what if it’s God?! Remember what the Word of God said, “Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation.” And there is no way in the world that Satan wants to send us a distress that would cause us to turn from Sin and back to Salvation! Maybe that pain, that struggle, that hurt, that betrayal, that lay off, that abandonment and rejection were all tools God allowed to distress you enough that it sent you running back to the God that sin had you running from! Perspective is always key! And distress is not always the devil! Genesis 50:20, “Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid. Do I act for God? Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now—life for many people…” (MSG) Yes, God can still use evil and turn it around for your good! Distress doesn’t always come to hurt you, sometimes it comes to help you! Just look at Joseph’s brothers, their evil plans not only worked for Joseph’s good, but life for many people! And your distress will work for you the same way! You see when you allow that distress to drive you back to God and salvation, and you remedy the friendships and relationships you damaged, it gives life for many people! So many people are holding on to what you said and what you did that they’re still burdened over it even after all this time. But when you make wrongs right, you’ll be amazed how much lighter a person’s load becomes, for both you and them! And isn’t that what you want? To repent, release and return back to God?! Then do so, Today! You can make good come out of bad, remember, you serve a God who makes results like that happen everyday!

Romans 8:26-28, “Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” (MSG)

God is still working on every detail in your life, the bad and the good! Now it’s time you also put your hands to work on turning that bad into something good! As long as you’re still alive and breathing you have the opportunity to make amends, so make them! Repent and Make the Turn That Will Turn Your Life Completely Around and Get You Back On the Narrow Road to Righteousness (after all, you’ve been on the wide road that leads to destruction long enough)!

No matter the wrong, today, make it right. Be the bigger and more mature person. No grudges, no bitterness, no regrets, no hate, no unforgiveness, no resentment. It’s time to become better! And better starts with you! So no more blaming, no more pointing fingers, no more excuses, no more accusing! Today, take personal accountability for your life and get it back on the right track. Remember, in the end, God will not call others in for a reckoning of your life, He’s only going to call you. Make sure you have something good to answer Him when He does call!

Today, let repentance be the tool you use to repair your life, integrity, character, relationships, etc. Use this tool to build your life into the blueprint God has already shown you in His Word!

Church, the trumpet hasn’t sounded yet, so whoever you need to get it right with, including God, get it right! Today! Repentance Leads to Sweet Relief and Release!

“Never Ruin an Apology With an Excuse.” (Kimberly Johnson)

“Apologizing does not always mean that you’re wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego.” (Author Unknown)

“Sorry is not enough, sometimes you actually have to change.” (Author Unknown)

“Repentance is like antiseptic. You pour antiseptic onto a wound and, at first it stings. Then it heals.” (Timothy Keller)

“Repentance may be old-fashioned, but it is not outdated so long as there is sin.” (J.C. Macaulay)

“It’s bad when you fail morally. It’s worse when you don’t repent.” (Luis Palau)

“God has a pencil with an eraser on it and He has promised us that He will use it if we will repent and change our ways. He has said that if we would forsake our evil and thoroughly make up our minds against it, then He would wash it out of His mind and just forget the whole thing. Of course, He expects that we will wash it out of our minds also.” (Sterling W. Sill)

“True repentance hates the sin, and not merely the penalty; and it hates the sin most of all because it has discovered and felt God’s love.” (W.M. Taylor)

“Genuine repentance must bear the seal of a corrected life.” (Lewis F. Korns)

“There is no repentance in the grave.” (JC Ryle)

“Repentance is the act of exchanging the lie that holds us captive for the truth that sets us free.” (Lisa Bevere)

“The most beautiful blessing we have been given is the chance to repent.”

“There is no eraser for your mistakes, but there is repentance.”

“Repentance is a process and not something that happens at one particular moment. It requires consistency.” (Francisco J. Vinas)

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another [your false steps, your offenses], and pray for one another, that you may be healed and restored. The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].” (James 5:16 AMP);

“Pay attention and always be on guard [looking out for one another]! If your brother sins and disregards God’s precepts, solemnly warn him; and if he repents and changes, forgive him.” (Luke 17:3 AMP)

Romans 12:1-2, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (MSG)

Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged #BeDelivered
Feel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “Tips to Keep Joints Healthy!”

“Stop Distorting the Vision of Our Youth”

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“…Your sons and daughters will prophecy…your young men will see visions.” {Joel 2:28 CEV}

There’s a scene in Man of La Mancha where Don Quixote and his servant are standing gazing at a dilapidated inn. When Quixote describes his vision of turrets and magnificent gates, comparing the building to the Alcazar, the royal palace in Seville, the servant tries hard to see his master’s vision. However, all he can see are ruins. When he attempts to describe them, Quixote tells him to stop, saying, “I will not allow your Facts to interfere with my Vision!Can you just imagine what a lot of us could’ve become if only we had the guts to tell people: “I will not allow your Facts to interfere with my Vision”? How many of us would’ve traveled abroad; went away to school; entered the military; tried a completely different field of study; stayed in school; bought that house; started that business; learned that second language; moved to Paris; applied for that loan, grant or scholarship! How much have we really missed out on in life because we allowed their facts to distort our vision?!

Alex Morrison said it best, “You must first clearly see a thing in your mind before you can do it.

And the mind of a child is an absolutely awesome place! Why? Because it’s a place filled with possibilities, no limits, no boundaries, no barriers, no fears, no cares, just great vision of great wonders yet to be accomplished! They’re not afraid to say at such tender ages,I will be a policeman; I will be an athlete; I will sing at Madison Square Garden; I will dance on Broadway; I will be a fireman; I will be an actress; I will be a doctor; I will be a lawyer; I will be a judge; I will be president!They don’t focus on the guns, the shooting, the bloody surgeries, the violence, the loss, the frustration, or the fears! They don’t focus on the many disappointments and failures and million times they’ll be told ‘NO!’ They don’t focus on the hours of study or the hours of painfully long rehearsals. They don’t focus on the prejudice they’ll have to confront and conquer. They focus on what they have determined in their mind that they are capable of becoming! They don’t focus on all the training and schooling or even all the people saying ‘you can’t do that’! All they focus on is the vision of becoming what their mind said they could!

“We call a child’s mind “small” simply by habit; perhaps it is larger than ours is, for it can take in almost anything without effort.” (Christopher Morley).

There’s not much you have to talk a child into once they’ve made up their minds! After all, they believe in the tooth fairy that leaves money under their pillows and takes their loss teeth off their hands; they believe in a big fat Santa Clause that carries sacks of toys for every child in the entire world, and he delivers them down a little chimney; they believe in flying reindeer that can keep Santa in the air all night for one night to deliver gifts to the whole world; they believe in a talking Frosty the Snowman who gets on a sled and slides across the snow with the rest of the children; they believe in Easter Bunnies who someone cause drops of chocolate to seep out of their bodies for children to eat; they believe in magic beans, giants and stalks that grow all the way up into the sky! Which is why I agree with Frank Oz, “Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.Children have such an imagination that’s so big there’s very little you can tell them that they won’t believe! And yet we as adults are told by our Living Savior that with Him we can do all things, and nothing is too hard, and nothing is impossible, and yet we doubt Him every day. We indeed could learn quite a bit from a child’s mind, and even moreso from childlike faith!

In the last days God promised to pour out His Spirit on ALL kinds of different people (not just the ones we think deserve it)! He said, “…Your sons and daughters will prophecy. Your old men will have dreams, and your young men will see visions.

One Bible teacher writes: “When the Holy Spirit fills us, we have visions that defy facts! When I deal with young people who get a vision of doing something big for God, I can always count on their parents to throw a little cold water on it. The parents say they want them to be realistic. But such parents don’t understand that when God takes possession of young people, He gives them dreams and visions that force them to look beyond the facts, and sometimes run counter to reason. We dare not turn them from these…they are what gives meaning to our lives.”                

Parents (and youth leaders), don’t try to pour your children into the mold of your own unfulfilled expectations! Encourage them to seek God and get a vision for their own future! And when they get it, don’t distort their vision due to your lack of one! Why? Because, “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” (Neil Postman). If we give them discouragement today, their tomorrow’s will be filled with discouragement. If we give them doubts, fear and low-self-esteem today, their tomorrow’s will be filled with the same! “Children seldom misquote. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn’t have said.” (Author Unknown). Therefore, you don’t want to fill their hearts, minds and mouths with such words as “you can’t, you’re not smart enough, you don’t have enough money for that, you don’t live in the right neighborhood, you can’t attend that school, you’re not good enough, that’s too hard for you, that’s impossible for you to achieve.” They will reach a point where they quote you word for word and live out the words you’ve spoken repetitively over their lives! And I don’t know about you, but I want to know that the legacy my children continue to carry out after I’m gone is one of no limits, no boundaries, no barriers, no fears, no cares, just great vision of great wonders that they possess the ability to accomplish!

Proverbs 18:21, “Words can bring death or life! Talk too much, and you will eat everything you say.” (CEV) Can you imagine what would happen to our children if they digested everything we said to them? What if all we spoke were words of death? Words that said, ‘don’t dream; don’t imagine anything bigger, better or greater than where you are right now, because you’ll never attain it. Don’t apply for college, we don’t have the money and you’re not smart enough anyway. Don’t go for that position, you know no one of color is in management on your job. Don’t apply for that mortgage, they don’t give stuff like that to us. Why are you trying to start a business, you know no one in our family has ever started a business before. Don’t travel out of the country, you don’t know how dangerous that is.’ Can you just imagine if our children ate our death speech every day, what would become of them? However, what if all we spoke were words of life? Words that said, ‘don’t base your dreams, goals and vision off your bank account, God can do anything. Regardless to what the doctor said, we will continue to stand on the Word of God that with His stripes you are healed. You can do that, you can become that, you can go there, you can apply for that, you can attend that college, you’re smart enough, you’re good enough. Go for the mortgage, go to the car dealership, apply for the business loan, go for the grant and scholarship, you can do it. I know what our family has not accomplished, but that doesn’t even matter, you will just have to be the first!’ I ask you, can you just imagine if our children ate our life speech every day, what would become of them? Remember: Words can bring death or life! Talk too much, and you will eat everything you say.” Let’s talk much about the things we want our children to eat daily, and that’s words of hope, trust, belief, vision, and faith! We wouldn’t feed our children anything in the natural that would kill them, so let’s make sure we’re not feeding them anything in the spiritual that would kill them! Teach them early on to starve their fears and feed their faith!

Listen: We don’t want to cloud their vision talking about the storms, winds and waves, but we want to feed their great vision with the truth, that in spite of the storms, winds and waves, they can yet walk on water right in the midst of it all! We don’t want to teach them that the circumstances have to be favorable first, No, we want them to keep their child-like faith and boldness, and walk out in the midst of the storm believing that when God says you can do something, you can do it, regardless to your surroundings!

“Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.” (Rabindranath Tagore).  God daily desires for greatness to come from His children, and every other succeeding generation! We’re still producing children, so there’s still more greatness that God desires from us! We should be encouraged to know that He’s not discouraged by our failures, flaws and fears. We still possess the parental power to change current and future generations! So please don’t take it lightly what our youth SEE for themselves! Don’t talk them out of it! Don’t shelter them from it! Believe in what they believe in! Reinforce the fact that they can do absolutely anything their hearts desire!

If We Teach Them to SEE it, They’ll Learn to SEIZE it!               

“A child seldom needs a good talking to as a good listening to.” (Robert Brault). If you want to learn anything about the legacy you’re leaving behind, stop talking and listen to what your children are saying! You’ll either be very glad or very sad, since you gave them the crayons to paint a picture of their future! If it’s all gray, black and white, that’s all the color and encouragement you gave them! Teach our children how to color outside of the box, and to use every color in the box. Free them from the fear of comfort zones and conformity. Teach them that it’s okay to be different. They don’t have to fit in. They can break the status quo. Build their faith so that they won’t allow the negative speech of others to crumble their belief!

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” (Frederick Douglass).

With that said, back in the 60’s, youth were pushed hard to believe that they were Somebody, and that they could do great things regardless of their skin color! So what happened?! Why did we stop pushing them? Why did we stop supporting them? Why did we start hindering their hope? And viciously attacking their vision? Why are our youth under the impression that their dress attire doesn’t matter? Grooming doesn’t matter? Proper language doesn’t matter? Education and employment don’t matter? Kids having kids doesn’t matter? When did they get the image that the best for them is standing around with a bunch of guys on a street corner, instead of standing around a bunch of guys in the board room? When did they get the idea that the “attire of a harlot” is appropriate attire in the house of God? What happened?! Truth is, we can’t blame a generation of ignorance, when it was US that stopped teaching such valuable lessons!

Listen to this: “(Jonathan son of Saul had a son who was lame in both feet. He was five years old when the news about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she hurried to leave, he fell and became crippled. His name was Mephibosheth).” (2 Samuel 4:4 NIV). What I find amazing about this story is that Mephibosheth was fine for the first five years of his life, but then an adult picks him up, drops him and he’s crippled for life! Truth is, we like to point our fingers at our young people, but as adults we fail to take responsibility for the fact and the truth that many of them were doing just fine before we interfered! Until we attempted to take charge and pick them up and carry them off to where we THOUGHT they should go, they were doing alright! Here’s a big pill to swallow: A lot of their “Crippling” came because we dropped them in the process of taking them in a direction WE THOUGHT BEST!

ADULTS: Take the time this week to really listen to our youth! Ask them about where they are, and where they plan to go. Ask them about the plans they have for their OWN lives, and don’t try to get a needle and thread and weave your ideas in there! Simply listen, and support! Encourage and reinforce that they can fulfill the Vision for their lives no matter how big, or even ridiculous it may sound to you! Let’s stop “Crippling” our children by trying to carry them into the place and vision WE have in mind for them, instead let’s walk side by side with them, enjoying the view of a beautiful vision that they have for themselves!

Yes, they are children, but remember, children aren’t afraid to believe and dream! Don’t spoil that for them! Don’t allow what you allowed to hinder you, to hurt them. Truthfully, maybe there are some goals, vision and dreams that you had for yourself that you didn’t accomplish. Well, you can continue to push for them if you’ll walk with childlike faith and believe that it is still possible, because it is. But more importantly, let’s push our youth to accomplish great things. After all, we don’t want them to suffer from the same feelings of regret that many of us suffer with today. Let’s be to them today, who we needed others to be for us in our yesterdays. Don’t distort their vision, let them tell you what they see, then help them to see it even bigger, even clearer!

“The Jewish people, ever since David slew Goliath, have never considered youth as a barrier to leadership.” (John Fitzgerald Kennedy).

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.” (Stacia Tauscher)

“Children are one third of our population and all of our future.” (Select Panel for the Promotion of Child Health, 1981)

“They’re not ‘just kids’, they’re future leaders.”

“The students in your youth ministry don’t need your clever ideas and great programming skills. They need a living model – a man or woman of God who is passionate about his or her faith.” (Doug Fields)

“Dear young people, do not bury your talents, the gifts that God has given you! Do not be afraid to dream of great things.” (Pope Francis)

“What we instill in our children will be the foundation upon which they build their future.” (Steve Maraboli)

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” (Malala Yousafzai)

Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents], Even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (AMP)

1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no one look down on [you because of] your youth, but be an example and set a pattern for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in [moral] purity.” (AMP)

Psalm 119:9, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping watch [on himself] according to Your word [conforming his life to Your precepts].” (AMP)

Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged
Feel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “Don’t Wait Until Thanksgiving to Thank HIM!”

 

“Stick to the Plan!”

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Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the PLANS I have for you, declares the LORD, PLANS to prosper you and not to harm you, PLANS to give you hope and a future.” (NIV).

Today God is saying to you, “WHILE IN PROCESS, STICK TO THE PLAN!

Now, in case you didn’t know, absolutely nothing takes God by surprise! He is in fact the BEST Master Planner ever known! Think about it: If He’s planned the entire universe, and not one ounce of it has yet to fail, do you really think He’s incapable of fulfilling the plans He has for your life?! 

Let’s take a peek at one Scripture from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament: Genesis 1:1-2, “In the beginning God (Elohim) created [by forming from nothing] the heavens and the earth.  The earth was formless and void or a waste and emptiness, and darkness was upon the face of the deep [primeval ocean that covered the unformed earth]. The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding) over the face of the waters.” (AMP) And yet, you’re concerned that God doesn’t have a plan for your life? You’re doubting, fearful, anxious and worried about what God has planned for you, when He’s already proven He can Create Anything and Everything out of Absolutely Nothing?! He created the Heavens and the Earth, and you doubt He can handle your life? John 1:1-2, “In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.  He was [continually existing] in the beginning [co-eternally] with God.” (AMP) Pay attention, He was in the beginning before all time and is even now continually existing says the Bible. So why are you stressed out over what will come up over the course of your life, when you serve the One Who was here before it all began and is still here keeping it all under control? How can you possibly not trust Him to keep His Word that He has a plan for your life?! Saints, today is the day you began to trust God like never before, no matter how dark your current circumstances may be! He has a proven track record that when He plans something it comes to pass, and His record will never take a loss or come up short of all it’s promised! He has a plan, now all you have to do is trust Him and stick with it! 

Even Joseph discovered that when your family turns against you, your friends let you down and you finish up in trouble, GOD STILL HAS A PLAN! Ultimately, looking back Joseph could say, “…you PLANNED evil against me but God used those SAME PLANS for my good…” (Genesis 50:20 MSG). People of God, when your situation seems too hard to handle and downright impossible to explain, REMIND YOURSELF THAT GOD SAID, “…I know the PLANS I have for you…” And neither God nor His plans nor His Word can ever fail! Isaiah 55:11, “So will My Word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me void (useless, without result), Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (AMP) The Message Bible says it like this: “So will the words that come out of My mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.” (MSG) God’s Word Will Always Successfully Accomplish the Assignment He Gave Them to Complete! Embrace This: God doesn’t do incomplete assignments! Philippians 1:6, ” I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and COMPLETE IT until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return].” (AMP). So When He Promises You, “…I Know the PLANS I Have for You…”, You Can Rest Assured That His Plans Will Come to Pass! People of God, No Matter the Pressure, Stick to the Plan!

Now, believe it or not, but some of us are not even sure God has made up His mind about us, so we keep trying to earn His favor! Saints, Give it up! Receive the truth that God, for Christ’s sake, has DELIBERATELY DECIDED to bless you, REGARDLESS! And the word ‘regardless’ is defined as, ‘despite the prevailing circumstances; without regard for the situation; and despite everything.’ And that’s exactly how God is going to bless you! Regardless of your failures, sin, faults, mistakes, deliberate bad decisions and the like, He’s still going to bless you despite your circumstances, situation, and Everything else! Listen: It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, who you did it with, how many times you did, when you did it last, when you return back to God He blesses you Regardless, as if none of it ever happened! Now who wouldn’t trust His Plans?!  YOU SEE, WHEN GOD DECIDES TO BLESS YOU, TEMPORARY SITUATIONS OR THE OPINIONS OF OTHERS DON’T CHANGE HIS DECISION! Which is why you need to learn to talk like the Apostle Paul, “For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!],” (2 Corinthians 4:17 AMP). No matter what your current MOMENTARY AFFLICTION may be, it can’t compare to what God can do despite it! Family: Regardless of the Pain, stick to the Plan! 

YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS NOTHING THE ENEMY DEVISES AGAINST YOU THAT GOD HASN’T ALREADY MADE “…A WAY OF ESCAPE…” For! Again, Paul writes, “…But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation HE WILL [ALWAYS] ALSO PROVIDE THE WAY OUT (THE MEANS OF ESCAPE TO A LANDING PLACE) THAT YOU MAY BE CAPABLE AND STRONG AND POWERFUL TO BEAR UP UNDER IT PATIENTLY” (1 Corinthians 10:13 AMP). Observe:

  1. In times of testing you discover just how faithful God is!
  2. He knows what you can handle!
  3. He will make a wayso you can exit this season stronger than you entered it, and make you ready for what He has for you next!

So STICK TO THE PLAN! The fact that you have a PROBLEM is a sign that you have a PROMISE! It’s only a matter of time before God reveals it through your PROCESS!

Look at it like this: Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him, YET HE DIDN’T STOP HIM! He could have summoned twelve legions of angels to help Him, YET HE DIDN’T CALL ON THEM! Under the weight of our sins He cried from the cross, “…My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46 NIV). IN SPITE OF ALL THIS, HE UNDERSTOOD IT WAS ALL PART OF THE FATHER’S PLAN! His actions and words, teach us that:

  1. You can be in God’s plan, yet at times feel overwhelmed and alone!
  2. When God doesn’t answer, you must stand on the Word He has given you!
  3. The pain of this season will eventually give way to the joy God has awaiting you on the other side of it!

So STICK TO THE PLAN! 

Jesus says to you, “I have set you an EXAMPLE that you should do as I have done…” (John 13:15 NIV). Why? Because, that’s what real disciples do! The word “Disciple” comes from the Latin Origin “discipulus” which means “Learner.” Disciples are to learn from their Lord and imitate His ways! That’s why Jesus said: “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. LEARN the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll LEARN to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 MSG). If you would just learn from Him and live like Him, you too will be able to stick to the plan, even when your purpose is under attack! 

Jesus lifestyle of “stick-to-it-ness” teaches us how to function even when we’re surrounded by dysfunction! Understand that the enemy will come against the plan of God in your life, because that plan is like a hedge of protection around you! As long as you stay in God’s plan, nothing that the enemy does can destroy you! So, when you feel like you’ve reached the end of your rope and you can’t go another step, do what Jesus did—pray, “…Father, I place My life in Your hands!…” (Luke 23:46 MSG). Don’t Give Out! Just Give it to God! Look up and say, “Lord, I’m trusting You to do what I cannot do! Bring me through this! Here it is; I’m turning it over to You! My life, my future, and my all are in Your capable hands!” And why is that such a safe place?! Because Jesus said: “My Father gave my sheep to me. He is greater than all, and no person can steal My sheep out of My Father’s hand.” (John 10:29 NCV). So, if Jesus could hang in there, on nails, surely you can hang in there too! Because the truth is, there will be circumstances that will transpire in your life that will make you feel like you’re literally hanging on by nails. The pain, the frustration, the loneliness, the enemies, the poking, the mockery, the lies, the betrayal, will all feel like too much to bear on some days. And still I say to you, Stick to the Plan of God for your life! Because even the pressure and pain are working for the good of your purpose! James 1:2-4, “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that UNDER PRESSURE, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” (MSG)

Yes, you’re under pressure, but you’re still under purpose too! So Stick to the Plan!

Now, Peter also proved that as long as you keep your eyes on Jesus and stick to the plan, you’ll survive! Notice some lessons to keep on hand:

  1. BEFORE YOU GET INTO SOMETHING, MAKE SURE IT’S GOD’S WILL FOR YOU! Peter said, “Lord, IF IT’S YOU,…tell me to come to you on the water” (Matthew 14:28 NIV), and Jesus said, “Come” (Matthew 14:29 NIV)! In other words, stop yearning for years for people to confirm and validate you and what God has called you to do! Jesus can confirm and validate you all by Himself, and He can do it immediately and even with one Word: “Come”! So, before you take on something like water-walking, pray and be sure God’s in it! Once you know it’s Him, and from Him, STICK TO THE PLAN! You’ll Began to Walk On What Others Will Only Watch!
  1. DON’T EXPECT EVERYBODY IN THE BOAT TO GO WITH YOU! Water-walking is a lonely calling; it sets you apart from those who are timid and security-minded! It also tends to bring criticism from those who think you’re making them look bad by contrast! So stop walking on the water while waiting for the crowd to cheer you on! You do realize they’re still in the boat?! And I promise you, at least one of them hopes you drown! Everybody’s not going to go with you, because not everybody is happy that you’re going in the first place!  Get over it!
  1. IF YOU WAIT FOR PERFECT CONDITIONS YOU’LL MISS YOUR MOMENT! When Jesus said, “Come,” they were in the middle of a storm! Face it; we’d all like the stars to line up, or some big donor to underwrite the whole project before we make a move! But how often does that happen?! Likewise, it’s not about the Condition it’s about the Command! Peter was doing more than walking on the water in the first place; he was walking on the Word given to him by Jesus! So, what has God told you to do and you’re still sitting instead of walking? No matter what it is, stop waiting for ideal conditions and start doing it!
  1. DON’T EXPECT A MISTAKE-FREE PERFORMANCE! Nobody walks on water without fluctuation! The Bible describes its heroes in one sentence: “…Although they were weak, they were given…strength and power…” (Hebrews 11:34 CEV). Believe it or not, all the great men and women of God you admire, go through sinking spells when they cry out, “Lord, save me.” And do you know what? He does! And He’ll do the same for you! Therefore, God is not looking for you to be perfect, He’s simply looking for you to obediently perform! So get to it! Remember, you come from a long line of overcomers who stuck to God’s plan, even through pain: Hebrews 11:32-38, “I could go on and on, but I’ve run out of time. There are so many more—Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets. . . . Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies. Women received their loved ones back from the dead. There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons. We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—the world didn’t deserve them!—making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.” (MSG) You see, none of us gets to give a flawless performance, because none of us is flawless. But we can all choose to be faithful! We can trust God, stick to His plan for our lives and watch Him do remarkable things through these cracked vessels!  2 Corinthians 4:7-12, “If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!” (MSG)

Listen, I don’t care how anointed, gifted, powerful and wonderful you are. You will never have a mistake free performance. However, no matter how faulty your performance, if you stick to the plan, you will fulfill the plan of God for your life. But you have to get over needing people to cheer you on, needing all the conditions of life to line up in your favor, expecting support on every hand, and thinking you can accomplish a perfect performance. Sticking to the plan doesn’t mean you won’t experience being stuck in some places you’d rather not be. After all, Jesus stuck to the plan and it got Him a cross, Paul stuck to the plan and he received a shipwreck, Noah stuck to the plan and he became a laughingstock, Joseph stuck to the plan and he ended up in a pit and prison. In other words, sticking to the plan is not always easy, but worth it. So endure the entire painful process and STICK TO THE PLAN! Remember God KNOWS What He’s Doing, He Has it All Planned Out! 

Jeremiah 29:10-11, “This is God’s Word on the subject: “… I’ll show up and take care of you as I PROMISED and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I HAVE IT ALL PLANNED OUT—PLANS to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” (MSG) 

Keep this in mind: When God makes you a promise that He has a plan, He will keep His promise and will carry out His plan! Jeremiah 1:12, “That’s right,” the Lord replied, “and I ALWAYS RISE EARLY TO KEEP A PROMISE.” (CEV). The New Living Translation reads like this: “And the Lord said, “That’s right, and it means that I am watching and I WILL CERTAINLY CARRY OUT ALL MY PLANS.” (NLT) Saints, God Keeps His Promises and Carries Out All of His Plans! If you were looking for a faith booster, that was it!

Lastly, God’s plan for you is for YOU. It’s tailor-made just for You. And the term ‘tailor-made’ is defined as, ‘to be made for a particular purpose or person.’ Which means, no comparing the plan God has for You with anyone else! God does not deal in Bulk Plans! His plans do not come on an assembly line. They are custom-made for each customer! So, if God isn’t comparing His plans and purpose for you with anyone else, make sure you follow His example!  Live out the tailor-made plan of God for your life, and stick with it!

“God’s plan is always the best. Sometimes the process is painful and hard. But don’t forget that when God is silent, He’s doing something for you.” 

“As much as you want to plan your life, it has a way of surprising you with unexpected things that will make you happier than you originally planned. That’s what you call God’s Will.” 

“God’s way is better than your way. His plan is bigger than your plan. His dream for your life is more rewarding, more fulfilling, better than you’ve ever dreamed of. Now stay open and let God do it His way.” 

“Sometimes we must accept that God has a better plan.” 

“There is no setback you can face in life that God doesn’t already have a comeback plan for.” 

“God’s plan is bigger than your mistakes.” 

“God has a perfect plan for us. He never does it all at once, just step by step because he wants to teach us to walk by faith not by sight.” 

“You are where God wants you to be at this very moment. Every experience is part of His Divine Plan for Your Life.” 

“When God designed the plan for your life, it wasn’t dependent on you being perfect. Your mistakes are not a surprise to Him.” 

“God upsets our plan only to set up His own plan. We see our present and plan our future, but God sees our future and plans our present.”

“To live your best life now, you must learn to trust God’s timing, you may not think He’s working, but you can be sure that right now, behind the scenes, God is arranging all the pieces to come together to work out His plan for your life.” (Joel Osteen) 

“Things don’t always happen the way we planned. As we learn to trust in God’s plan, we will see that He has our best interests at heart.” (Dan Ellis) 

“God is not punishing you, He’s preparing you. Trust His Plan, NOT your pain.” (Trent Shelton) 

“God’s plan is like a movie. All the good and bad things are arranged together for the good ending.”  

“God can see things that you can’t see. It may not make sense right now, but one day, when God’s whole plan unfolds, you will see what God is up to.” 

“If your plans don’t work out, don’t worry, God has better ones.” 

“When God doesn’t answer your prayer, it means that He has another plan for you. Just be patient.” 

“The most important lesson that I have learned is to trust God in every circumstance. Lots of times we go through different trials and following God’s plan seems like it doesn’t make any sense at all. God is always in control and He will never leave us.” (Allyson Felix) 

“God’s plan for your life is a lot better than the one you’ve been working on.” 

“I don’t have to figure out why or how or when. God has a plan, and I’m committed to it. That commitment frees me from having to worry about the details.” (Barbara Johnson) 

“You might not be able to see where you’re headed, but I assure you, the Lord can. And He’s holding your hand. He’s breathing life into every aspect of your present and future. He’s shining His light even in the darkest corners of your mind. So hold tight to Him. Hold tight to His love, knowing that He will never leave you or forsake you, and because of Jesus, you are in His grip forever. No uncertainty, no broken dreams, and no fear of the future can keep you from Him. He is with you always, in all of this. Trust Him. Believe. And let Him gracefully lead you where you need to be.” (Morgan Harper Nichols)

Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged
Feel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “All About Your Body Clock”

 

“Wait…Hope…Expect!”

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Psalm 27:14, WAIT and HOPE for and EXPECT the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, WAIT for and HOPE for and EXPECT the Lord.” (AMP) 

Some of the most exciting moments in sports are the touchdown or field goal that win the game, especially, when there’s no time left on the clock! That game-winning basket as the final buzzer sounds is unforgettable! The game-winning home run with two out in the bottom of the ninth inning is remarkable! I’ve come to find out that whatever the sport, there is nothing like a sudden victory when victory seemed so far out of reach! It makes the fans go ballistic! 

I always turn to the sports section first. The sports page records people’s accomplishments; the front page has nothing but man’s failures.” (Earl Warren).

Truth be told, it can be real nerve-wracking when you’re behind and time is running out! But it’s an awesome moment when a hero pulls out an unexpected victory…at the last minute! And the longer I walk with this God of ours, the more I’ve come to appreciate Him as the God of the last-second victory, or the God of the eleventh hour, as I’ve called Him so often.

The Bible reveals many names by which God wants us to know Him. One that has meant so much to so many for so long is “Jehovah-Jireh”. It means, “The Lord will provide or the Lord will see to my provision.” You may be facing a need or situation right now where that is literally your only hope – that the Lord will provide. Maybe it’s a job, a friend, or much needed finances; maybe it’s the house, the healing, the breakthrough or soundness of mind you need. Well, if that’s the case, today you need to be reminded that we have a rock-solid promise in Philippians 4:19, “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (NIV). The Amplified Bible says it like this: “And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (AMP). One of the things that so greatly encourages me about this Scripture is just how thorough our God is. He will meet ALL of our needs; He will liberally supply and fill to the full OUR EVERY NEED. God doesn’t pick and choose among our needs to see which He will meet, but His Word declares He will meet them ALL! Meaning there is absolutely no area in your life that will be left with an unmet need in God’s timing! You don’t have to worry about your family; friends; job; finances; health; school; future etc…because God has them all Completely Covered! ALL of them! Now that’s a promise you need to be thankful and grateful for daily! But if that’s not enough to celebrate, look at the word ‘liberally’. It’s defined as, ‘bountifully; generously; lavishly; open-handedly; in large amounts; favorably; freely; abundantly.’ In other words, your God is by no means selfish! He’s going to not only meet ALL of your needs, but He’s going to do so, LIBERALLY…BOUNTIFULLY; GENEROUSLY; LAVISHLY; OPEN-HANDEDLY; IN LARGE AMOUNTS; FAVORABLY; FREELY AND ABUNDANTLY! And you have what needs to worry about again? That’s right, NONE!

Also, it’s important that you understand that this Scripture lets us know that God’s supply has nothing to do with what’s happening in the economy, in the news, at work, in the white house, or in what your limited resources can or can’t do! It’s all about His Unlimited “Glorious Riches in Christ Jesus” account in Heaven, which transcends every limitation earth can provide! That’s why you’ve got to keep in mind the quote: “If God were small enough to be understood, He would not be big enough to be worshiped.” So, if you’re still trying to wrap your little head around how our Big God is going to accomplish such Great things for little old you, DON’T! You’ll only give yourself a physical and spiritual migraine! You simply have to trust and believe that God meant what He said, and He will fulfill every promise that He’s given you! His blank check is signed “Glorious Riches in Christ Jesus“, and His check CAN’T bounce, and the account can NEVER be overdrawn or emptied! Like His mercies, His “Glorious Riches in Christ Jesus” are renewed daily! Aren’t you just glad about Jesus?!

The truth of the matter is, you may never understand how God supplies rivers in the desert, but when you’re thirsty, knowing that He can and He will is enough!  So before you allow your fears to get the best of you, remember this quote: “The Fear of God kills all other fears!

Now to be honest, I believe God often waits a while to meet our needsOn Purpose! Let’s look at Scripture: “A man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany…the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Master, the one you love so very much is sick.” When Jesus got the message, he said, “This sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son.”…Then Jesus became explicit: “Lazarus died. And I am glad for your sakes that I wasn’t there. You’re about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him.” (John 11:1-4, 14 MSG). So before you panic, know that God always has a reason for allowing you to sit in the waiting room! And His reason is always the same: …it will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son…and…You’re about to be given new grounds for believing…Your waiting, while wounded, gives God Glory and Increases Your Faith by giving you New Grounds or New Reasons to Trust Him even at the Eleventh Hour! That’s why you can’t get discouraged because as the saying goes: “…it’s usually the last key in the bunch that opens the lock”! So, be patient, a door of opportunity is about to open just for you! God just wants to know if you’ll trust Him in the wait?!

Let’s take a brief look at Philippians 4:19 again, it says He promises to meet all of our needs, BUT He does Not promise When! See, most of us already know that He can do it, and that He’s promised to do it, but if only He’d share when He’s going to do it, we’d be less likely to flip out when the last grain of sand is found in the hourglass! But then that wouldn’t be considered faith, now would it?! Hebrews 11:5-6, “By an act of faith, Enoch skipped death completely. “They looked all over and couldn’t find him because God had taken him.” We know on the basis of reliable testimony that before he was taken “he pleased God.” It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.” (MSG) Don’t you think it’s time you add some more bricks to build your faith a little higher and a little stronger?! Don’t you think God has more than proven that He is able regardless to it being the 11th hour; regardless of the diagnosis; regardless of who else doubts it can happen; regardless of what’s going on in the family, in the business, at school, at work or even in the church?! God has shown up time after time, and it’s time now that you trust and believe that He will indeed do it again! Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].” (AMP) The word ‘assurance’ is defined as, ‘being certain in the mind; confident; free from doubt and uncertainty.’ The term ‘title deed’ is defined as, ‘the deed constituting the evidence of a person’s legal ownership.’ The word ‘confirmation’ is defined as, ‘documented evidence of proof; substantiated facts; and validation.’ The word ‘guaranteed’ is defined as, ‘certain; protected by promise; an agreement by which one person undertakes to secure another in the possession or enjoyment of something; a bond; contract; covenant; surety; and warranty.’ The word ‘evidence’ is defined as, ‘something that furnishes proof; something legally submitted to ascertain the truth of a matter.’ People of God, that is what your faith should embody! It should be filled with assurance knowing that the title deed of God’s promises to you have been confirmed to you, guaranteed by Him, and His ‘Yes and Amen’ are all the evidence you need! Your job now is to seal your faith with conviction! And ‘conviction’ is ‘to be fully persuaded!’ Saints, if God said it, you will see it, just wait for Him!

Ramona C. Carroll said it best: “Faith is putting all your eggs in God’s basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch.

But unfortunately for many of us, when we get to that last grain of sand, we panic, and come up with desperate and oftentimes ridiculous ways to so-called meet our needs on our own! Again, let’s look at Scripture: “Sarai, Abram’s wife, hadn’t yet produced a child. She had an Egyptian maid named Hagar. Sarai said to Abram, “GOD has not seen fit to let me have a child. Sleep with my maid. Maybe I can get a family from her.” Abram agreed to do what Sarai said.’ (Genesis 16:1-2 MSG). And believe it or not, nations are still paying for that ridiculous attempt at “helping God out”! Word of Wisdom: God Does Not Need Your Help, Just Your Faith! 

But too often we abandon our trust in God because, He’s – if we dare be honesttaking too long (at least according our deadline)! For even the Psalmist knows what this feels like, He said: “Please, God…Treat me nice for a change; I’m so starved for affection. Can’t you see I’m black-and-blue, beat up badly in bones and soul? God, how long will it take for you to let up? Break in, GOD, and break up this fight; if you love me at all, get me out of here. I’m no good to you dead, am I? I can’t sing in your choir if I’m buried in some tomb!” (6:1-5 MSG). See, you’re not the only one who wants to stamp “Federal Express” or “Overnight Delivery” on God! But such actions take us right out of the Will of God and aborts what God was going to do on our behalf if we would’ve trusted Him enough to wait on Him! “But those who WAIT for the Lord [who EXPECT, look for, and HOPE in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.” (Isaiah 40:31 AMP). How amazing is it that this Scripture reads so similar to our opening text of: Psalm 27:14, WAIT and HOPE for and EXPECT the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, WAIT for and HOPE for and EXPECT the Lord.” (AMP) Sounds a lot like FAITH means a great deal to God! He desires for us to trust Him, which oftentimes isn’t our greatest struggle, it’s the waiting in faith that’s the struggle. But God provides in His own time and in His own way, and He will not be pressured or rushed because our schedule and agenda reads different than His!

Now, it’s in Genesis 22, where we find that God is known as Jehovah-Jireh for the very first time. We can learn a lot from how He worked that day for Abraham. See, Abraham had, by faith, obeyed God’s direction to take the son God had once promised to him, climb Mt. Moriah with him, and sacrifice his son there; as God (the Father) would do Himself one day with Jesus (His Son). Believing that God will somehow provide something he can’t imagine, Abraham yet promises his servants that both he and his son Isaac will return from the mountain. Genesis 22:10 says his faith and obedience went so far that “he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.At that very last moment, God stopped him and showed Abraham a ram, stuck in a thicket, who would be sacrificed instead of his son. And the Bible says, “So Abraham called that place, ‘The Lord Will Provide.’” (Genesis 22:14) Let’s view this text in a few translations: 

“So Abraham named that place THE LORD WILL PROVIDE. And it is said to this day, “On the mountain of the Lord IT WILL BE SEEN AND PROVIDED.” (AMP); 

“Abraham named that place “THE LORD SEES.” That is the reason people today say, “On this mountain THE LORD IS SEEN.” (CEB);

“So Abraham gave that place a name, “THE LORD PROVIDES.” Even today people say, “On the mountain of the Lord, HE WILL GIVE US WHAT WE NEED.” (ERV); 

“Abraham gave that place the name, “THE LORD WILL GIVE US WHAT WE NEED.” And it is said to this day, “On the mountain of the Lord IT WILL BE GIVEN.” (NLV); 

“Abraham named that place GOD-YIREH (GOD-SEES-TO-IT). That’s where we get the saying, “On the mountain of God, HE SEES TO IT.” (MSG) 

I reiterate, what needs or concerns do you have to be worried about again? NONE! Why? Because the Lord Will See to it that What You Need Will Be Provided; He’s Going to Personally See To It Himself; He’s Promised to Give You What You Need. So What Do You Do In the Meantime, When the 11th Hour Really Turns Into a Mean-Time?! You Trust God No Matter What!

Remember: Jehovah-Jireh – often steps in right on time, which is usually—when there’s no time left! Which reminds me of a quote I love, “Faith isn’t faith until it’s all you’re holding on to.

God loves to come through for us when there is absolutely no place else that answer could come from, and there is no time left on the clock. It’s 11:59! The buzzer is about to sound! But that’s when God shows up with His provision, at a time and in a way that will blow you away, give Him all the glory, and show people around you the consistent greatness and faithfulness of your God! Then it’s only natural that you’ll experience a whole new level of faith in Him and worship for Him! God’s last-minute victories are some of the most awesome moments of your life! So don’t lose faith now! Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time.” (Oswald Chambers).

As believers, we ought to guard and protect our confidence in our God’s ability to bring to pass everything He said He would! Hebrews 3:6, “But Christ is faithful as a Son over His [Father’s] house. And we are His house if we hold fast our confidence and sense of triumph in our hope [in Christ].” (AMP); Hebrews 4:16, “Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].” (AMP); Hebrews 10:35, “Do not, therefore, fling away your [fearless] confidence, for it has a glorious and great reward.” (AMP); Luke 1:45, “And blessed [spiritually fortunate and favored by God] is she who believed and confidently trusted that there would be a fulfillment of the things that were spoken to her [by the angel sent] from the Lord.” (AMP)

People of God: Guard Your Confidence!

Also Keep in Mind: The greater the need, the later the hour, the more amazing God’s work on your behalf! That’s why you need to determine to be like your sports heroes and hang in there until the end of the game! And when God steps in and grants you a last-second victory, before the last grain of sand falls, remember, like the sports fans, go absolutely ballistic…in praise, worship and thanksgiving! Will the wait be easy? Absolutely not, in fact it’s one of the hardest things to do! But remembering that God watches over His Word to perform it; remembering that God does not and cannot lie; remembering that God keeps His Word and every promise He makes, certainly makes the wait a little easier!  

Jeremiah 1:12, “…for I am alert and active, watching over My Word to perform it.” (AMPC) 

Numbers 23:19, “God is not man, one given to lies, and not a son of man changing His mind. Does He speak and not do what He says? Does He promise and not come through?” (MSG)

Joshua 21:45, “Not one of the good promises which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel failed; all had come to pass.” (AMP)

Isaiah 55:8-11, “I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” God’s Decree. “For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think. Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth, doing their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry, so will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.” (MSG)

And yes, I understand that the mortgage is over-due; the tuition seems impossible to pay; the car note is about to turn into a bus pass; the doctors may as well sign your cause of death certificate; the marriage is on life-support; the job is strangling your sanity or the lack of one is strangling your about to close on empty bank account; the kids don’t seem like they’ll ever get better; and the nuts in your family tree have you ready to dig up roots and kill the whole tree. And yet, I still say wait on God and watch Him work, even at the 11th hour! He’s done it before, and He can and will do it again! Don’t lose heart, patience, peace, joy or faith. God sits up too high to let His people down! Hold on and hang in there, before the last grain of sand falls, God will step in with a last minute miracle! You Just Wait, Hope and Expect in Faith That God Will Do as He Said He Would Do!

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Philippians 4:6-7 MSG)

“All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.” (Romans 8:22-25 MSG).

“Be still and rest in the Lord; wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him; fret not yourself because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked devices to pass.” (Psalm 37:7 AMP)

“So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit.” (Galatians 6:9 MSG)

“There is a season (a time appointed) for everything and a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven.”; “He has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God] – yet man cannot find out (comprehend, grasp) what God has done (His overall plan) from the beginning to the end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11 AMP)

“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 MSG)

“How we handle the journey will determine the destination.” (Billy Cox) 

“When it looks like nothing is happening, God is at work.” (Bishop James R. Chambers) 

“Just because it hasn’t happened Yet, doesn’t mean it won’t. Wait on God’s perfect timing and trust Him for the outcome.” 

“Waiting time is never wasted time when God is involved. When your breakthrough does not come immediately, it is not because God has forgotten you or left you on the shelf. He is developing and building you, polishing you so that when the time is right, as with an arrow, He’ll unleash you. And like a skillfully crafted and honed arrow, you will hit the mark.” 

“Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” (Joyce Meyer) 

“Our willingness to wait reveals the value we place on what we’re waiting for.” (Charles Stanley) 

“Sometimes we don’t understand why we are waiting. Often it is because God has something great in store, it’s just not the right time.” (Joel Osteen) 

“No matter how long it takes, when God works, it’s always worth the wait.” (Author Unknown) 

“Joseph waited 13 years; Abraham waited 25 years; Moses waited 40 years; Jesus waited 30 years. If God is making you wait, you’re in good company.” 

“Trust in God’s timing. It’s better to wait a while and have things fall into place, than to rush and have things fall apart.”  

“To us, waiting is wasting. To God, waiting is working.” (Louie Giglio) 

“Waiting is God’s Grace for things that we can’t handle Yet.” 

“Don’t Under-Estimate What God is Doing in Your Season of Waiting.” 

“Have patience and wait for the thing you want most. Don’t chase it. Don’t run after it. If God wants you to have it, He will give it to you at the right time.” 

“Praise God for the ways you see Him working. Then trust Him for the ways you don’t.” 

“There will be times when the Will of God will not be clear to us. During those occasions we are expected to retain our faith and Wait On the Lord.” (Dr. James Dobson) 

“Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort. Waiting for God means, first, activity under command; second, readiness for any new command that may come; third, the ability to do nothing until the command is given.” (G. Campbell Morgan) 

“God will surely come and He can never come too late.”

Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged #BePatient #BeExpectant
Feel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “How Loneliness Affects Our Health?”

“God’s Transforming Rock Tumbler”

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Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.”

There’s a machine called the ‘Rock Tumbler’. And I bet you’ll never guess what it does. Let me help you, it literally tumbles rocks (go figure!) You see, the rock tumbler is placed in water, boring, old rocks are placed inside of it, you turn it on and you let the good times roll! The rocks start spinning, flying, and crashing into each other as they churn around in the water. The atmosphere inside the rock tumbler is pure mayhem! But after all the rockin’ and rollin’ and clashin’ and crashin’, something pretty amazing happens! 

You see, BEFORE those rocks went through the tumbler, they were just drab, boring hunks of stone. BUT WHEN THE PROCESS IS OVER, THEY COME OUT DISPLAYING A BEAUTY YOU WOULD HAVE NEVER GUESSED THEY HAD! 

Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: “In the beginning, any personal change isn’t easy because you are asking yourself to confront your own self-made comfort zone. The real transformation to the new you, is one that will not only take time, but a healthy dose of perseverance. After all, no transformation is easy or everyone would have already made the shift.” (Byron Pulsifer). 

Now, if the real beauty of an old, dusty, dirty, bent out of shape rock is UNCOVERED THROUGH TURMOIL AND TURBULENCE, DON’T YOU SUPPOSE THAT COULD BE TRUE OF YOU AS WELL? COULD IT BE THAT ALL THE HITS THAT YOU’VE BEEN TAKING RIGHT NOW ARE ACTUALLY PART OF GOD’S “TUMBLER” TO GIVE YOU A BEAUTY THAT YOU’VE NEVER HAD BEFORE?  

Think about it: PRESSURE AND HEAT MAKE A LUMP OF COAL INTO A DIAMOND! AN OYSTER’S IRRITATION AND AGGRAVATION FROM A GRAIN OF SAND ULTIMATELY EMERGES AS A PEARL OF GREAT PRICE! AND, SANDPAPER’S CONSISTENT BUFFING CAN POLISH A BRIGHT NEW SHINY GLOW ON ANYTHING DULL! WELL, DOESN’T IT MAKE YOU WONDER THEN, WHAT YOU’LL COME OUT AS WHEN GOD’S PROCESS IS COMPLETE? Philippians 1:6, “I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and COMPLETE it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return].” (AMP) IF ONLY YOU’D JUST SURRENDER TO THE SHAKING, TOLERATE THE TUMBLING AND STOP CLASHING WITH THE CHANGE, WHO KNOWS WHAT YOU’LL BECOME IN THE END! COULD THERE POSSIBLY BE WITHIN YOU A GIFT OF SUCH VALUE THAT IT’S OF MORE WORTH THAN THAT OF A DIAMOND OR PEARL? COULD THERE POSSIBLY BE WITHIN YOU A BRIGHT NEW SHINY GLOW OF THE ANOINTING THAT’S JUST WAITING TO BREAKTHROUGH TO BREAK SOME YOKES OF BONDAGE OFF THE LIVES OF PEOPLE?

It is not the strongest of the species who survive, not the most intelligent, but those who are the most adaptive to change.” (Charles Darwin).  

Maybe you need to stand back from just LOOKING at what’s happening, to SEE WHAT GOD IS DOING THROUGH WHAT’S HAPPENING! Stop fighting God’s process of change, after all, the transformation is for Your Good and His Glory!  

Isaiah 61, beginning with verse 1, reveals some of how TURBULENCE CAN TRANSFORM YOU. The Son of God says: “The Lord … has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” Now the truth is, you may feel like you’re in one of those categories right now yourself: you’re brokenhearted over a relationship, you’re held captive in a dead-end, low paying, no advancing job, or you’re a prisoner to the darkness of bad habits, poor decisions and hard to break addictions. Well, before you read too much into that one verse you’re in NOW, might I encourage you by saying: ‘KEEP READING’, SINCE THAT’S NOT THE END OF YOUR STORY! 

God’s Son goes on to say He was sent: “…to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair…” Jesus has continued writing your story too! He makes beauty from the ashes of your life, gladness from the grieving times, and praise emerging from a time of despair!

As ugly as the situation looks right now, your Hidden Beauty will emerge in full bloom when it’s all said and done! As hard as you’ve had to cry, your tears of pain will turn into tears over the Promises of God still being intact in your life! Only God can take you from Gruesome to Glorious and Grieving to Gladness! But it’s up to you to yield, surrender and submit to His tumbler process of change and transformation. He will not force His Will on your life. 

One of my favorite quotes reads: “We fear that we are inadequate, but our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves: “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be these things? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people around you won’t feel insecure. We are all meant to shine as children do. We are born to manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically releases others.” (Marriane Williamson). 

In other words, it’s not just about you! Oftentimes, the people in your circle of influence, are watching how you handle bondage and freedom, and they’re emulating your every move. If you decide to play it small, they will play it small. But what if God has so much greater in store for both of you? Are you really content to allow yourself and others, to miss out on God’s Big because you were too scared to stop playing Small!? When you dim your light, people around you will follow you and dim theirs. But then what happens to the city whose supposed to be attracted to our light? Does everyone suffer in darkness because you’re too insecure and intimidated to brightly shine as God designed you to? Are you going to allow God’s Glory in and on your life to be covered by fear? Remember, people are watching you and following you, lead them well. Give them a better example to emulate. Show them what it looks like to be all that God called you to be. Show them what freedom really looks and feels like. Show them the blessing of letting the Holy Spirit use every gift He’s given you. Show them how powerful the anointing of God is on your life, so that they will desire the same thing. Stop Playing Small, When Your Big God has Given You a Big Role to Play in His Kingdom! 

And if you think that’s something, know when it comes to “…praise instead of a spirit of despair…”, God will grant you a “Habakkuk Anointing” that shouts, “Though the cherry trees don’t blossom and the strawberries don’t ripen, Though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted, Though the sheep pens are sheepless and the cattle barns empty, I’M SINGING JOYFUL PRAISE TO GOD. I’M TURNING CARTWHEELS OF JOY TO MY SAVIOR GOD. COUNTING ON GOD’S RULE TO PREVAIL, I TAKE HEART AND GAIN STRENGTH. I RUN LIKE A DEER. I FEEL LIKE I’M KING OF THE MOUNTAIN!” (3:17-19 MSG).  

SO DON’T LOSE HEART, THE TUMBLER IS NOT DESIGNED TO TORTURE YOU, BUT TO TRANSFORM YOU!

The tumbler teaches you how to have a different perspective, even while enduring the process of transformation. Habakkuk was faced with trees with no ripe fruit; apples full of worms; a wheat field with stunted growth; sheep pens with no sheep; and cattle barns with no cattle! Truth is, if we were in his shoes we would feel justified in having ourselves a huge pity party, but not Habakkuk! When he had so much to complain about, he chose singing, praising and even cartwheels of joy! And why could he do that? Because he learned how to count on God’s rule to prevail! And that’s not easy when your circumstances, situations, and surroundings are telling you to run and hide under the covers of despair! But once you’ve endured the tumbler with all of its throwing you around like a rag doll, you’ll be amazed by how you can handle everything else! Once you survive going through the tumbler, you can go through anything! Remember, everything you’re facing is by God’s design to bring you out better than you went in. Don’t fight the process, don’t fight the pain, don’t fight God’s Transforming Tumbler!

“Ships are safe within the harbor, but is that what ships are for?” (Author Unknown). Listen: Pirates don’t attack ships that are safe at shore, which is probably why you want to stay there, BUT INSTEAD THEY ATTACK THE SHIPS WITH THE TREASURE THAT’S ALREADY OUT TO SEA (MOVING, GOING SOMEWHERE) WHY? BECAUSE THOSE SHIPS ARE LIVING PROOF THAT THEY KNOW HOW TO FIND TREASURE, CARRY TREASURE, AND LOCATE MORE TREASURE! [OK, This Is Going to Hurt, But It’s Also Going to Help]: IF YOU AREN’T DEALING WITH ANY ENEMY ATTACKS AT ALL, CHANCES ARE, YOU HAVEN’T FOUND ANY TREASURE, YOU AREN’T CARRYING ANY TREASURE AND YOU ARE CLUELESS AS TO WHERE ANY TREASURE IS LOCATED! IF THE ENEMY ISN’T TRYING TO STOP YOU, CHANCES ARE, YOU WEREN’T GOING ANYWHERE IN THE FIRST PLACE! IF HE’S NOT TRYING TO TAKE ANYTHING FROM YOU, CHANCES ARE, YOU DON’T HAVE NOTHING OF VALUE WORTH TAKING! THEREFORE, NO MATTER WHAT COMFORT ZONE YOU’VE DESIGNED FOR YOURSELF IT’S HIGH TIME YOU RE-DESIGN! YOU ARE NOT TO STAY AS YOU ARE! NO MORE SETTLING, NO MORE SHRINKING BACK IN FEAR, THERE’S GREATNESS TO GET TO, SO GET THERE! REMEMBER: PIRATES ATTACK WHERE THERE’S TREASURE, IF THEY’RE ATTACKING, REJOICE! IF NOT, GET OFF THE CLEARANCE RACK OF PROCRASTINATION, PITY, TEARS AND SELF LOATHING AND UP YOUR VALUE! YOU’VE BEEN SITTING ON THE SEASHORE LONG ENOUGH! STOP BEING FEARFUL, STOP BEING INTIMIDATED, STOP PROCRASTINATING, STOP BEING INSECURE, STOP BEING COMFORTABLE, STOP PLAYING SMALL! THERE’S A TREMENDOUS TREASURE THAT GOD IS TRYING TO GET INTO YOUR POSSESSION, BUT HE’S NOT GOING TO TRUST HIS TREASURE INTO A VESSEL TOO SCARED TO CARRY IT!

Remember This: “The cave you most fear to enter contains the greatest treasure.” (Joseph Campbell). And maybe that’s the case for you too! That thing you know you’re supposed to do, but you’ve been too fearful to do, just may hold the key to your treasure chest! Family, maybe it’s time you stopped fearing the cave! Because there’s an assignment in the cave! 1 Samuel 22:1-5, “So David got away and escaped to the Cave of Adullam. When his brothers and others associated with his family heard where he was, they came down and joined him. Not only that, but all who were down on their luck came around—losers and vagrants and misfits of all sorts. DAVID BECAME THEIR LEADER. There were about four hundred in all. Then David went to Mizpah in Moab. He petitioned the king of Moab, “Grant asylum to my father and mother until I FIND OUT WHAT GOD HAS PLANNED FOR ME.” David left his parents in the care of the king of Moab. They stayed there all through the time David was hiding out. The prophet Gad told David, “DON’T GO BACK TO THE CAVE. GO TO JUDAH…” (MSG) David was on the run from enemies and ran straight into an assignment from God in the cave! Not only were his family and people associated with his family in the cave, but there also came those who were down on their luck, losers and vagrants and misfits of all sorts, and David became their leader. Brothers and Sisters: As insignificant as you think you are, God sees you in a completely different light altogether! While David’s in the cave he’s assigned, unexpectedly on his part, 400 people in all for him to lead. Question: Who’s waiting on you to enter the cave so you can lead them out? Please know this: While you’re doubting yourself, they’re waiting; while you’re scared, they’re waiting; while you’re hiding, they’re waiting; while you’re waiting for someone else to do it, they’re all waiting on you! Some people will never find their place until you get into yours! You are the key puzzle piece to some people’s lives, and as long as you remain ‘missing’, they remain incomplete! Do you really want to give God an account of how you failed to carry out that assignment?! I think not! Know this, God isn’t looking for you to have it altogether either. Even David said, “…Until I Find Out What God Has Planned For Me.” God is simply waiting on your obedience, faith, works, action and trust to kick in so He can share the plan! You do remember that God has a plan right? Jeremiah 29:10-11, “…I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” (MSG) God doesn’t need you to figure out a plan, He needs you to trust that He already has a plan! Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all…” (MSG) Saints, Trust God’s Plan, Trust God’s Process! And then, let us not forget the rest of the prophet’s instructions to David: “…DON’T GO BACK TO THE CAVE. GO TO JUDAH…” (MSG) Once you’ve fulfilled your assignment in the cave, you don’t stay there, you leave and go to Judah (the place of praise)! Listen, your praise is evidence that you trust God’s process and plan. It’s your gratitude that you express to God because He didn’t leave you in the cave, He processed you and promoted you, and all you had to do was trust the plan of God! Don’t you think today is a pretty good day to start that? Trust God’s Plan, Trust God’s Process, Enjoy God’s Promotion!

Now, here’s how God wants you to look when you come out of the tumbler: “…They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor.” (Isaiah 61:3 NIV) GOD WANTS TO USE THE TUMBLER TO MAKE YOU STRONG AND INDESTRUCTIBLE LIKE AN OAK! SUFFERING MAKES WIMPS INTO WARRIORS! AND HE WANTS TO USE THE TURBULENCE TO GIVE YOU SUCH A BEAUTIFUL RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM THAT YOU WILL BE A STAGE TO SHOW OFF HIS GLORY!They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.(Isaiah 61:4 NIV) If you dare to take on the turbulence of the tumbler, you’ll eventually find yourself “…rebuilding…restoring…and renewing…devastation that has taken place for generations…” When you submit to God’s transforming tumbler, He makes you into His tool that He will use to fix every generational curse of devastation in your family line and that of others! Can you imagine God using little old you to be His change agent in family lineages?! You could be in the position to say, ‘and that generational curse dies now and will not relive in not another generation!’ Sickness could stop with you; failure could stop with you; sin could stop with you; divorce could stop with; prison could stop with you; gangs could stop with you; disobedience could stop with you; addiction could stop with you; school drop outs could stop with you; financial distress could stop with you! Don’t You Want to be a Change Agent for God Used to Destroy Generational Curses?! After All, Who Doesn’t?! 

YOU’LL BE EQUIPPED BY THE HARD TIMES TO BE A DURABLE INSTRUMENT OF GOD IN REPAIRING DAMAGED LIVES! WHO DOESN’T WANT THAT AS THEIR TESTIMONY?  

“The tragedy of life is not found in failure but complacency. Not in you doing too much, but doing too little. Not in you living above your means, but below your capacity. It’s not failure but aiming too low, that is life’s greatest tragedy.” (Benjamin E. Mayes). 

THE SHAKING YOU’RE ENDURING, THE HITS YOU’RE TAKING ARE TOOLS IN GOD’S HANDS TO BRING OUT AN AMAZING BEAUTY IN YOU; A STRENGTH, A TENDERNESS, A MATURITY, A CONFIDENCE, A COMPASSION THAT COMES ONLY FROM BEING BEAUTIFIED IN GOD’S TUMBLER! So don’t wallow in the: “why is this happening?” drama series. Instead, keep asking, “How can God use this?” The reality is: “You can’t help someone get up a hill without getting closer to the top yourself.” (H. Norman Schwarzkopf). GOD WILL USE YOU IN THE LIVES OF OTHERS, BUT ONLY AFTER YOU’VE BEEN USED TO AID YOUR OWN DEVELOPMENT FIRST! So don’t despair when you keep running into things and things keep running into you, when your whole world is spinning and colliding. THIS ISN’T TO DESTROY YOU! THIS IS TO GIVE YOU A BEAUTY YOU’VE NEVER HAD BEFORE! IF YOU LET GOD HAVE HIS WAY IN THIS TURBULENCE, YOU WILL “DISPLAY HIS SPLENDOR” FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE! 

Listen to the conclusion of Isaiah: Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them. Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed.” I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” (vss 5-11 NIV) You my friend are a part of that inheritance. So, are you going to position yourself in God’s Transforming Tumbler so you can receive it, or are you going to allow your fears to cause you to forfeit?

Just think about it: Can you imagine if butterflies said, ‘no, I don’t think I can endure the process of transformation, it’s too dark, too hard, too painful, and too long. I’ll just stay in here. I know wings are waiting for me; I know the beautiful colors I’ll transform into; I know the heights I’ll be able to soar to, but no thanks, I’ll just die in this cocoon.’ Saints, don’t let this be your testimony. Yes, it will be dark, hard, painful, long, and even lonely, but it will be worth it!

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” (Carl Bard). People of God, YOU’RE COMING OUT BETTER THAN YOU WENT IN! AND IN THE WORDS OF THE MEN’S WEARHOUSE COMMERCIAL: “YOU’RE GOING TO LIKE THE WAY YOU LOOK, I GUARANTEE IT!”   

Church, Trust God’s Plan, Trust God’s Process, and Enjoy God’s Promotion!

Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged #BeTransformed
Feel free to also join us at: http://www.selfcarewithdrshermaine.blogspot.com Today’s Lesson: “Health Benefits of Napping”

 

 

“The Secrets of a Rock Badger!”

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Proverbs 30:26, “…The Conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the Rocks…”  The New King James Version says it like this: “The Rock Badgers are a feeble folk, Yet they make their homes in the crags” 

Today we’re going to do some parable teaching, hope you enjoy!

“The Conies or the Rock Badgers”, “make their houses in the Rocks”. You see, the conies are afraid of foxes, and dogs, and cruel men who hunt and kill them. They are considered poor, weak things, and are not strong enough to fight and take care of themselves. So what do they do? They make their holes among stones and rocks whenever they can! They go where men can’t dig them out. They go where dogs and foxes can’t follow them in. And then, when they see men, or dogs, or foxes coming – they run into those rock holes, and are found safe! 

Now, truth be told, the wolf can run much faster than the Rock Badger, for it has much longer legs. And the deer is much bigger than the Rock Badger, and has good antlers. However, the wolf and the deer have no rock holes to run into! They lie out on the open fields. And so when men come to hunt them with dogs and guns, they are soon caught and killed. But the little “feeble” Cony, that Radical Rock Badger, has a hiding place to run to, therefore, he often escapes!  

Listen: The problem isn’t your fears or the attacks of the enemy, the problem is you don’t know how to Respond Like a Rock Badger! You see, a Coney, or Rock Badger, looks like a rabbit, but he can’t run like one. He resembles a mole but he can’t dig deep like one. Therefore, since he can’t run like a rabbit, or dig like a mole, he uses what he got to his advantage! If I was preaching this, I’d tell you to tell your neighbor, use what you got! You see, Rock Badgers move to higher ground and positions himself in rocks, which is a place of strength. And what’s the word for you today? Reposition Yourself! Rock Badgers know how to Reposition Themselves In a Place of Strength! In the Place of the Rocks! Fear doesn’t stop them, being feeble doesn’t hinder them, because they know how to Reposition Themselves in a place of Strength! Do you?

Rock Badgers, says the Bible, are aFeeble Folk”. And the wordfeeblemeanslacking physical or mental strength.” It comes from a Latin Origin which means tolament, weep or cry.” And that’s the problem with some of us, when it comes to attaining our purpose in God. We focus on what we lack, to the extent, it leads to depression, and low self-esteem, which causes us to lament, weep and cry. What we need to do is follow the example of the Rock Badgers. They don’t cry, become depressed or self-loathing, because their considered feeble. No, they refuse to stay in a weak environment, instead they reposition themselves, and go up higher into the rocks, to a place of strength! In order for you to overcome your fears and attain your purpose in God, you’ve got to reach a point where you stop comparing yourself and cutting yourself down. Stop allowing your limitations to limit you, because they don’t limit God. Use what you got and make it work for you! Think about it, Even Rock Badgers have enough sense to know that if where I’m at has me weak and vulnerable, then I need to Reposition Myself and go up higher into a place of strength! Why stay the same way, and keep doing the same thing? Which reminds me of a quote I live by, “Insanity is doing the same thing but expecting different results.Saints, stop acting like a lunatic that has lost his/her mind, the Bible says He has given you a Sound Mind, so stop acting Insane! Reposition yourself in a place of strength! Think about it: If you hire a man to do a job and you pay him to it, if he stops doing the job, do you continue to pay him? Of course not, that would be foolish. Well, likewise, stop paying all of your attention, energy and strength to doing the same thing that hasn’t worked in the past, ain’t working in the present and won’t work in the future either! Reposition Yourself In a Place of Strength!

Now don’t miss this part, because even though Rock Badgers are consideredfeeble folk”, who lack physical and mental strength, they yet have enough physical and mental strength to build houses in rocks! You see they supposedly lack the ability to do anything. When you look at them physically or mentally, they shouldn’t be able to accomplish much. And yet, not only do they take themselves to a higher place of strength, but in their weakness, they have the audacity to build houses there!

See, when you take a piece of property and build a house on it, you have no intentions on leaving! You are pretty much letting folks know, I’m moving in and staying right here! The Rock Badgers built houses in a place of strength. That’s why you need to let folks know with my weak, feeble self, I still possess the ability to build, and I have enough nerve to do it in a place of strength! Cross your eyes, talk about me, laugh behind my back, but know this, I’m staying right here! No education, no money, alcohol and drug addicted, past of prostitution and yet you keep watching me, before you know it, I’ll be singing on the choir, preaching in the pulpit, and witnessing in the streets! Folks would have you believe, that you don’t have the ability to accomplish a thing. But the devil is a liar! She ain’t never led no song, he never directed a choir, she’s never been a women’s ministry overseer, he don’t know how to plan no retreat, she’s never conducted a meeting, he’s not qualified to hold that position. And what should you say to this? So what! Why? Because it don’t even matter! As long as I learn how to wait on God, He’ll do “exceeding abundantly above all that I ask or thinkevery single time. Learn how to Wait on God, Reposition Yourself in a Place of Strength, and Realize your limitations don’t limit God. That’s a Rock Badgers Rationale! 

I love Rock Badgers, because it’s something about the Rocks they build and establish themselves in that encourages me! Which means I had to study the Rock Badgers and Rocks to find out what is it about the Rocks that keep a Rock Badger Fearless! Well, as the parable preacher that I am, let me share with you some insights about Rocks that will help you to Overcome Your Fears! 

1…The enemy will not mess with a Rock Badger because even though he’s the accuser of the brethren, the Bible says, he that is without sin, cast the first STONE! Don’t miss it! STONES, or ROCKS shut down all those who would attempt to point out your sins and transgressions and attempt to shame and guilt you into not fulfilling your purpose. The enemy attempts to use your past, your pain, your mistakes, and your missteps against you so that the fear of folks finding out about your mess will send you into silence! But the Bible says he that is without sin cast the first STONE! Now, you can look your attackers in the face and tell em ‘unless your sinless, remain stoneless!’ Why fear your past, or fear the people who know about it, when they have no ammunition to use against you! The ROCKS are on your side!  

2…Furthermore, ROCKS were heaped over the DEAD! Therefore, your accuser can’t use anything from your past! Because like a dead body, your past is over, it’s dead and ROCKS have been laid over what is dead! When you become confident in God you realize that no matter how many bones are in your closet, when it’s dead, it’s dead! No where in the Bible did God cause a resurrection for someone’s past, a resurrection was because there was more to yet accomplish. And your past my friend has nothing else to accomplish! So even if they want to poke through your closet and pick at your bones, you can confidently tell them, ‘you can connect the thigh bone to the hip bone, the hip bone to the leg bone, the leg bone to the knee bone, the knee bone to the ankle bone, the ankle bone to the foot bone, and still My Past Will Not Walk Into My Future!’ Whisper to yourself: ‘that was for me!’ 

3…You have no need to fear the enemy because as a Rock Badger, ROCKS are a sign of WORSHIP. ALTARS for WORSHIP were made out of ROCKS. Jesus was tempted by Satan, but the last straw was when the devil attempted to mess with His WORSHIP. Then Jesus declared “Satan get thee behind me”, In essence get out of my face! How dare you attempt to mess with my WORSHIP! You need to understand the power of your WORSHIP! The enemy can’t affect your WORSHIP for John 4:24 declares you must WORSHIP IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH, but if you journey a few more chapters over into, John 8:44 it says ‘the devil is a liar and the father of such for there is NO TRUTH IN HIM.’ Therefore, when you enter WORSHIP, you enter TRUTH and that LYING TRUTH can’t handle TRUTH, so he can’t handle your WORSHIP! Remember ALTARS of WORSHIP were made from ROCKS! And Rock Badgers LIVED in ROCKS, therefore the next time fear rears its ugly head, just bow down in WORSHIP! The reason why the devil can’t mess with a WORSHIPER is because the Bible says the Father is looking for TRUE WORSHIPERS, and the enemy knows that to mess with you, while your ministering in WORSHIP will provoke the Father to come see about you!  

4…The devil won’t mess with a Rock Badger because according to Judges 6:20-21 ROCKS are the place where you place your OFFERING and when you place your OFFERING on the ROCK a FIRE is provoked and consumes everything! The devil knows that FIRE represents the PRESENCE OF GOD, FIRE represents the POWER OF GOD, FIRE represents the DEMONSTRATION OF GOD! The enemy is not going to mess with you because where ROCKS are, an OFFERING is close, and the FIRE OF GOD’S PRESENCE, POWER AND DEMONSTRATION are even closer! 

5…The devil don’t mess with a Rock Badger because according to Judges 13:19-20, ROCKS aren’t just the place of offering, or the place of fire, but it’s the place where the ANGELS show up and do wondrous works! You have nothing to fear, with the mindset of a Rock Badger, because ANGELS are ready to arrive when you enter the ROCK!  

6…The devil won’t mess with a Rock Badger because a Rock Badger has BACK-UP in the ROCKS! Jeremiah 49:16 declares that EAGLES reside in the ROCKS! Song of Solomon 2:14 declares that DOVES reside in the ROCKS! Job 39:1 declares that WILD GOATS reside in the ROCKS! And what’s so special about those BACK-UPS? Well, the EAGLES are symbolic of the STRONG; DOVES are symbolic of the HOLY GHOST and WILD GOATS are symbolic of FIGHTERS! Therefore, you have no need to fear the enemy because the devil knows your BACK-UP is a STRONG HOLY GHOST WHO KNOWS HOW TO FIGHT! On top of that, Rock Badgers are known for HUDDLING TOGETHER, they’ll lie on top of one another to the point they are three to four layers deep! You need to surround yourself with some strong folks and let the devil know to be careful in messing with you because you’ve Got BACK-UP! 

7…The enemy won’t mess with a Rock Badger because they have a HIND CLAW that is specially designed for GROOMING, therefore Rock Badgers are EXTREMELY CLEAN. Saints,f Just Stay Clean! The enemy likes to mess with dirty folks, that’s why you have to go out of your way to maintain a LEVEL and LIFESTYLE of HOLINESS, because it deters the dirty hands of the enemy!

8…The enemy won’t mess with a Rock Badger because the enemy knows that ROCKS are the place of MIRACLES. In Exodus 17:6 and Numbers 20:11 WATER was brought forth from the ROCK; In Judges 6:21 FIRE arose up out the ROCKS; In 1 Kings 19:11 the WIND broke the ROCKS; and In Matthew 27:51 the EARTH quaked and Rent the ROCKS! So what does all that mean? Well, it takes me back to my childhood to a little cartoon called the Fantastic Four. They represented Water, Fire, Wind and Earth! The Four most powerful elements in the world and still, when it comes to a Rock Badger even the Four most powerful elements have to bow down! How can you walk in fear when you have power even over the elements over your environment?! 

9…The enemy won’t mess with a Rock Badger because according to Acts 27:29 when the fishermen were at sea, and saw the ROCKS, fear griped them and they let down FOUR ANCHORS! The enemy won’t mess with you when you’re in the ROCKS because as soon as fear arises, he’ll see you let down your ANCHORS! Which is a sign that I shall not be moved! I’m grounded, I’m rooted, I’m planted! People of God, when fear comes, ANCHOR YOURSELF! ANCHOR in the Word, ANCHOR in Prayer, ANCHOR in Praise, ANCHOR in Worship! 

10…The enemy won’t mess with a Rock Badger because Exodus 33:22 says that’s where Moses hid in the cleft of the ROCK and GOD’S GLORY passed by! Saints, when fear arises, just hide in the ROCK, the devil won’t mess with you because he can’t face GOD’S GLORY! 

11…The enemy won’t mess with a Rock Badger because Deuteronomy 32:13 declares HONEY AND OIL come out of the ROCK! Job 29:6 says the ROCK poured me out rivers of OIL! HONEY represents VALUE and OIL represents the ANOINTING. Therefore, when fear arises, place yourself in the ROCK! Because the Rock represents a VALUABLE ANOINTING! And the devil knows that the ANOINTING Destroys the Yoke! Not bends it, not breaks it, but utterly destroys it! The enemy uses fear to distract you so you forget the VALUE of your ANOINTING! The enemy knows that if you dare tap into your ANOINTING you will Utterly Destroy Every Yoke the Enemy has tried to Bind You With! 

12…The enemy won’t mess with a Rock Badger because Exodus 33:21 declares God saying THERE IS A PLACE BY ME, and thou shalt STAND upon a ROCK! The enemy will try various scare tactics to trip you up, but he knows he has not a chance when you get to the ROCK because that’s the place where you’re STANDING SIDE-BY-SIDE with God! The place where you shall STAND! And having done all to STAND you will STAND therefore! Don’t allow fears to shift you, your FOOTING is sure because you STAND on the SURE FOUNDATION OF JESUS CHRIST!  That’s why the enemy gets frustrated, because he’s used to sending fears your way and watching you cower down on your knees groveling and crying and complaining. But he’s not use to you STANDING tall because you’ve found your place SIDE-BY-SIDE with the King of kings and Lord of lords! He’s not use to you STANDING strong! The Psalmist declared, “…he shall set me up upon a ROCK…and establish my goings” (Psalms 27:5; Psalms 40:2). The reason you should never fear the enemy is because no matter where you go, your every STEP is established by the Lord! The enemy can’t catch you off guard!  Even the Psalmist said, “my FOOT almost slipped” the reason it didn’t was because my FOOTING is established by the One who said “Now unto Him who is able to KEEP YOU FROM FALLING”!  

13…The enemy won’t mess with a Rock Badger because Numbers 23:9 declares from the top of the ROCKS I SEE HIM! The enemy won’t mess with a Rock Badger because a Rock Badger has VISION! A Rock Badger has KEEN EYESIGHT. And if it’s one person the enemy will not mess with it’s a person with VISION! A Rock Badger can detect movement up to a mile away! You see, Rock Badgers are so high up in the ROCKS, they’re close to the SUN, which causes them to be an easy target for predators. But what the predators don’t know is that the Rock Badger is equipped with a special membrane which filters the rays of the sun! The Rock Badger can look directly at the sun with no adverse effects! The enemy won’t mess with a Rock Badger because they’re close to the Sun and can easily spot their attackers! Likewise, when you possess Rock Badger Characteristics you learn how to go high up and KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE SON, He will expose your attacks and attackers and you will escape the Hand of the Enemy! 

14…The reason the enemy won’t mess with a Rock Badger is because when a Rock Badger is about to be attacked by a predator, the Rock Badger OPENS HIS MOUTH AND LETS OUT A LOUD BARK! You can’t be a Rock Badger and be Silent! PRAISE is your weapon! Adult Rock Badgers use at least 21 DIFFERENT VOCAL SIGNALS! So whether you hit every key or none of the keys, JUST OPEN YOUR MOUTH AND GO FORTH IN PRAISE! The Rock Badgers use their VOICE TO DENOTE DANGER that a predator is near! Likewise, you need to OPEN YOUR MOUTH and let your VOICE CRY OUT when the enemy is at hand! Why? Because God is drawn and attracted to PRAISE! The Bible says PRAISE is ‘Comely’ for the Believer, or it’s just plain Natural for a believer to OPEN THEIR MOUTH IN PRAISE! You need to SOUND FORTH A SIGNAL to the heavenlies that danger is at hand and watch God come to see who’s messing with His PRAISE and His PRAISER! 

15…The enemy won’t mess with a Rock Badger because a Rock Badger has RESOURCES in the Rocks! Revelation 6:15 declares “And the KINGS of the earth, and the GREAT MEN, and the RICH MEN, and the CHIEF CAPTAINS, and the MIGHTY MEN, and every BONDMAN, and every FREE MAN, hid themselves in the dens and in the ROCKS of the mountains” The reason the enemy won’t mess with you is because of your RESOURCES in the ROCKS! Why walk in fear when your RESOURCES are KINGS, GREAT MEN, RICH MEN, CHIEF CAPTAINS, MIGHTY MEN, BONDMEN, AND FREE MEN? Your RESOURCES in the ROCKS are those of AUTHORITY and POWER! You Have Nothing to Fear! 

16…The enemy won’t mess with a Rock Badger because Matthew 7:24-25 declares “Therefore whosoever hearth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his HOUSE UPON A ROCK: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that HOUSE; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a ROCK”. Stop fearing for your HOUSEHOLD for the Word declares that the HOUSE built and founded upon a ROCK shall not fall even though rains descends, floods come and winds blow, your HOUSE will still remain standing! Don’t let the enemy cause you to be fearful for your FAMILY! Just build them in the ROCKS and he doesn’t stand a chance! 

17…The enemy won’t mess with the CHURCH of a Rock Badger (Pastors) because according to Matthew 16:18, “…upon this ROCK I will build my CHURCH; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” Don’t let the enemy throw fears your way concerning your CHURCH, he doesn’t have a prayer! The promise is that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it! 

18…The enemy can’t intimidate the Rock Badger with being compared to others, because a Rock Badger is UNIQUE and RARE! You see, they’re FEATURES are a mixture of other animals! It has the incisors of a RODENT; the molars of a RHINO; the vascular system of a WHALE; and the feet of an ELEPHANT! It’s the only animal that’s that DIVERSE. You see, Rock Badgers refuse to be boxed in and stuck in a Status Quo! So what you’re DIFFERENT! Take advantage of it! It’s a blessing, not a curse! That’s why the enemy should never under-estimate a Rock Badger! Because as small and “feeble” as they are, they yet have the FEATURES of 3 of the LARGEST  and most POWERFUL animals in the Animal Kingdom! Don’t worry if people judge you by your LOOKS or SIZE! Just let them know, ‘I’m BIGGER, BETTER and BADDER than you think!’

19…The enemy won’t mess with a Rock Badger because a Rock Badger can EAT AND DIGEST LARGE SUMS OF FOOD! Rock Badgers don’t settle for the Milk of the Word; Rock Badgers EAT and DIGEST the MEAT OF THE WORD, and does it in LARGE SUMS! The enemy knows not to mess with a Rock Badger because they’re FILLED WITH TOO MUCH MEAT! As a Rock Badger, FILLED WITH THE MEAT OF THE WORD, what or who have you ever got to fear?! 

20…The enemy won’t mess with a Rock Badger because HE CAN’T REACH HIM Psalm 61:2 says, “When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the ROCK that is HIGHER than I”. The enemy is a SNAKE and SNAKES can’t handle HIGH ALTITUDES! So if you’re fearful of the enemy, YOU’RE LIVING TOO LOW! 

Lastly, Leviticus 11:5 in the God’s Word Translation reads: “You must never eat Rock Badgers…”  People of God, have no fear, you can’t be DEVOURED! Rock Badgers in the Old Testament were considered unclean because they chew the cud and have a split hoof. Therefore, a Rock Badger couldn’t be eaten because of WHAT IT ATE AND THE WAY IT WALKED! Likewise with you, the enemy cannot DEVOUR you Because of WHAT YOU EAT AND THE WAY YOU WALK! When you FEED on the MEAT of God’s Word, it will cause you to WALK in the Way of God’s Word, and because of What You EAT and the Way You WALK, You Cannot Be DEVOURED! 

According to the Word of God, He is the ROCK of His people; He is the ROCK of Strength; He is the ROCK of Defense; He is the Rock of a FORTRESS; He is the ROCK Refuge; He is the ROCK of Salvation; He is the ROCK in a Weary Land! And as a Rock Badger that Lives in the ROCK, What or Whom Shall You Ever Fear?! Answer: NOTHING AND NO ONE!

Much Love, Dr. Shermaine #EnjoyTheRead #BeInspired #BeEncouraged #BeEmpowered #BeChallenged
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