Protective Orders

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. – Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Are you waiting on God to deliver you from your current circumstance? Perhaps it feels as though He has placed a restraining order on your life and you’re bound to your present struggle. You may even feel a bit claustrophobic, as though this situation has you boxed in tightly on all sides.

One thing is certain, God’s timetable and ours is typically light years apart, so to speak. Moving ahead of God’s timetable would essentially place us in a danger zone. As we walk outside of His perfect will, there is a possibility that we’ll subject ourselves to issues that we otherwise would not have had to experience.

Rest assured, if God has you boxed in, this is the best place for the time being. It is actually a protective order that He’s placed over your life as He prepares you and everything around you to be conducive as He moves you into the new season. It is imperative that you hold tightly to God’s promises and trust Him through the journey.

Prayer

Lord, despite the stress and strain that I’m experiencing, thank You for keeping me from moving ahead prematurely. Thanks for Your perfect timetable and ability to change my situation as You see fit.

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Take Back Your Life

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)

stairsDo you find your mind stuck in replay over an injustice that was done to you? Perhaps you would like to move on but the memory seems to be holding you as a prisoner to that time period. Not only is it dominating your thought life but it may also be dominating your conversations and dictating the way you now respond to life. It may have caused you to become cynical and cold whereas, all of your relationships are inadvertently having to pay for what you’ve been through.

Nevertheless, we are not held responsible for the things that are done to us but we are held accountable for our response to it. As you are contemplating ways to make them pay for the wrong they have done, essentially you’re actually the one paying for it. You have become joined to them by an invisible ball and chain. Hence, what we meditate on the longest becomes the strongest force in our lives which sooner than later negatively impacts our mental, spiritual and physical well-being.

It is imperative to remember that you are not the sum total of what has happened to you. Your maker has created a unique one of a kind masterpiece as He knit you together in His very own image. Thus, it is beyond time that you take back your life, prior to the time that the first negative occurrence altered your thought process. Visit, nurture and get intimately acquainted with the spiritual, physical and emotional whole being that you once were, prior to that incidence. Rise up in victory and walk in the purpose that God has set before you, in that, the enemy will pay for the wrong that’s been done.

Prayer

Lord, help me to revisit the period in my life prior to the first negative encounter. Heighten my five senses to the point where I can absorb every aspect of that glorious day and allow it to overwrite the negative so that I may take hold of the amazing future that You have in store for me.

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Let Jesus be Your Burden Bearer

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

yokeAre the cares on your heart too heavy to bear? Perhaps you have heard it said that God won’t give you more than you can handle. Even still, it probably feels as though you will be crushed under its weight. Perhaps your scenario looks similar to the juggler who runs from one end of the room to the other to keep plates spinning in fear that if you are a fraction of a second off, the plates will come tumbling down and shatter to pieces.

Nevertheless, 1 Cor. 10:13 which states that He won’t let us be tempted beyond what we can bear is often misquoted as stating that He won’t give us more than we can handle. Contrary to that, at times, God even allows or orchestrates scenarios to allow us to experience more than we can handle which causes us to draw nearer to Him. Otherwise, we would grow arrogant and disregard our need for His headship in our lives. He desires to do every minute of life with us. Our lives were designed with a partnership in mind, not a solo act.

Consequently, being fully dependent on Jesus to help you carry your burdens is not a bad thing. Jesus longs to be harnessed with you in the yoke. The great news is that He doesn’t view the issues that you’re going through as overwhelming or burdensome. In Him, the battle has already been won. Will you take time to lean in closer and allow Him to get into the yoke with you?

Prayer

Lord, thank you for the work that You’ve done on the cross which means that I’m victorious over any struggle that I’m dealing with. I gladly receive the rest for my weary soul that is transferred to me as I give you my burdens and take on Your yoke.

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A Life in Purpose on Purpose

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. – Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV)

purposeDo you have a lingering feeling of discontentment? Perhaps you feel that there is a space within you that is consumed with tornadic activity. Regardless of how hard you try to feed this space with material possessions, accomplishments, relationships, etc., it never seems to be totally and completely appeased. At best, it may slow the wind gust down from 150 to 60 mph.

There is a very logical reason why this whirlwind rages within us. The truth of the matter is that God very thoughtfully and intentionally hand stitched within our DNA our purpose for existence. It is said that we have at least 4,600 trillion strands of DNA that is contained within our earthen vessels. Those strands serve as a magnetic force pulling together in unison toward our purpose.

With that large of an amount of strands of DNA trying to work towards accomplishing God’s divine purpose for our existence, it creates an involuntary response to reject anything that doesn’t align with God’s purpose. Hence, our bodies were designed to cry out if we are not living life in purpose and on purpose.

Prayer

Lord, help me to listen and respond to the cries within the depth of my being that beckons that I fulfill Your awesome purpose and plan for my existence. Also, help me to weed out anything that I am engaging in that is contrary to that divine purpose.

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The Ultimate Business Partner

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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. – Proverbs 2:6-11 (NIV)

business-partnerAre you in search of being on top of your game? Perhaps you want to make your mark in history by being the leader in your industry. Odds are, you’re tired of being average and overlooked. Perhaps you have even taken worldly advice by studying the behaviors of those who have proven to be the most successful.

Nevertheless, regardless of arena that you’re trying to lead, Jesus is the ultimate business partner. Studying the behaviors of those with a proven success rate has its place but even still, this only gives input based on what’s worked in the past. Only Jesus has a vantage point based on what will grant you success in the future whereas, things of old are behind us and the new is at hand.

Even still, as we’re in hot pursuit of being a step above the rest, we must examine our motive. If we’re simply trying to gain notoriety and accumulate wealth for ourselves, it will prove to be futile. The most important goal in life is to live out our God-given purpose for existence and to carry it out on purpose. So long as our motive is in alignment with God’s will, He delights in giving us information from His vantage point so that we can succeed.

Prayer

Lord, thank You for being my Ultimate Business Partner who has insight on things to come. I commit to a standing appointment with You every morning before I encounter the people You desire for me to reach and impact. I realize that my skill set is merely a tool that gives me a reason to interact with others so that Your love, mercy and grace can radiate through me and impact their lives, all for Your glory.

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Strategic Partnership

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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. – Proverbs 2:6-11 (NIV)

strategicAre you searching for a strategic partner to help you to get to the next level? Perhaps you’re constantly searching for an affluent person who has the right kind of connections who will serve as the game changer for you. Perhaps you are looking to an employer, a well-connected person in the community, the government or a close relation.

Perhaps you have been sifting through a sea of people for so long that You have grown cold to the humanistic interaction with those individuals. After all, you’re in hot pursuit of identifying that strategic partner who will grant you access to a breakthrough, so much so, it’s essentially like speed networking. Once you realize that individual can’t deliver what you’re in need of, you rush to the next one in line.

Nevertheless, an individual may be the pipeline that God uses to transport to you what’s needed for your advancement but God and only God is the Source. He is The Door, the only entry point to gain access. He is our Strategic Partner who has a vantage point like no other. As we humbly approach our Daddy God with praise, thanksgiving and joyful expectation, He will grant us exactly what’s need to carry out His purpose and plan for our existence.

Prayer

Lord, thank You for being my Strategic Partner and Source who has everything I need for advancement in every area of my life. I praise You for the fact that I’m not even called to make things happen in my own strength but to look to You for a strategic plan that in the end, ensures that I fulfill my purpose on this earth and gives You the utmost glory.

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Rules of Engagement

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV)

prayer-2At times, do you feel like a performer in a circus act? In the world in which we live, people demand to be appeased and wowed in an instant by our intellectual giftedness or our creative ability. It requires that we’re quick with the draw to say or do something crafty or they’re ready to move on to the next act. Whereas, we must quickly prove that our efforts are worthy of their time and attention.

Unfortunately, many of us are so programed to “make something happen” in a fraction of a second that we use that same approach when interacting with God. We tend to rush in to “wow” Him with our intellect and past accomplishments. From there, we flood His altar with our needs and go on to tell Him why we’re so worthy of our request being granted. Then off we go to our next destination, all the while expecting our miracle to be there awaiting us.

Sadly, as we try to superimpose onto God the same strictly devised rules of engagement that the world has dictated to us, we miss out on the amazing intimate relationship that the Lord longs to have with us. We also miss out on the peace that He longs to fill us with, which has the unfathomable ability to supersede any and all performance-based pressures put on us by man.

Prayer

Lord, it is so refreshing to know that Your rules for me to approach You and interact with You is not based on my ability or lack thereof to “wow” You with my words or deeds. Thanks for covering me with a blanket of peace.

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Laser Focused

Then Samuel told Jesse, “Are these all the young men?” He said, “There yet remains the youngest one, and right now he’s tending the sheep.” Samuel told Jesse, “Send someone to get him, for we won’t do anything else until he arrives here.” So he sent and brought him. He had a dark, healthy complexion, with beautiful eyes, and he was handsome. The Lord said, “Get up and anoint him, for this is the one.” – 1 Samuel 16:11-12 (NIV)

eye-fixed-on-jesusAre you waiting on God to move in a mighty way in your life right now? You may be earnestly seeking His guidance, inquiring about what He would have you to do. Perhaps the more you seek out an answer, the noise around you is getting louder. Whereas, the noise may be stemming from the multiple individuals that you’re seeking counsel and even still, others that are giving unwarranted advice.

Truth be told, most advice is filtered through the life experiences of the eyes of the beholder. Many times, that advice suggests that you’re not doing enough to yield a favorable outcome. As they’ve received specific results based on an action they’ve taken, they reason that you should do the same. Polling the masses can be a daunting and confusing task because everyone’s life experience is not exactly the same; although the end result may be similar, the journey to get there is personalized by God.

Sadly, very few people refer you back to God, suggesting that you should stay laser focused and continue to respond based on the last set of instructions received until He gives you a new command. As in David’s case, He did not feel the need to run to the limelight, in fear that he would be overlooked. You see, he was not lost from the sight of God. Even though seven sons were presented as the most likely candidates, the entire assembly had to halt their activity as David was sought out and found carrying out his routine assignment ordained by the Lord. God moved heaven and earth to bring to pass what was earmarked for David alone and will do the same for you.

Prayer

Lord, thank You for reminding me to refrain from running down a rabbit trail as I await a breakthrough. I resolve to see this time, “life in the hallway”, as a joyful time because it is fostering a closer relationship with You.

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Your Presence is Heaven to Me

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. – Psalm 139:7-10 (NIV)

be-still2Due to the pain evoked by life situations, do you wish that you could fly away in order to be in the presence of God? Perhaps you can recall a time when you sensed His presence but now you feel as though there is a great divide. You may even feel as though you are being tossed around aimlessly through your journey in life. Perhaps you’re wondering if your prayers are falling on deaf ears.

Nevertheless, God is always near. The most important thing is to confront and renounce emotions and hang tightly on to truth. Despite what your feelings are conveying, God’s Word declares that there is no place on this earth that you can go that His presence is not also there with you. Even if your circumstance in life has you pressed compactly between a rock and a hard place, His presence is pressed firmly in there with you.

Rest assured, you have no need to fly away to some distant place to experience God in all His fullness. God’s “right now” presence can be felt at this very moment just as though you were transported to heaven and placed before His heavenly throne. Experiencing His everlasting presence requires nothing more than simply taking a time out from all the hustle and bustle in life and allowing Him to love on you and minister to your soul.

Prayer

Lord, I thank You that I don’t have to wait until I get to heaven to experience Your presence. Your presence at this very moment is heaven to me.

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The Power of Living in the Present

“Don’t remember the former things; don’t dwell on things past. Watch! I’m about to carry out something new! And now it’s springing up—don’t you recognize it? I’m making a way in the wilderness and paths in the desert. – Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17

live-in-the-presentDo you find yourself reminiscing about the glory days gone by? Perhaps at other times you find yourself dwelling on past hurts or setbacks? You may even feel as though your mind is stuck in replay, constantly hoping for a better past. You may even have conversations in your head with people over what you could have or should have said.

If this is your reality, perhaps it is time to declare war on your mind and remind it that it’s not the boss of you! Picture yourself confined to the present, not in a way that you feel imprisoned but with velvet chains that help you stay focused on the here and now. Each time your minds attempts to retreat to the past, counteract it with scripture that breathes new life into your situation.

Despite the thought that this day may seem as though it is a repeat of yesterday, it is quite the contrary. You are clocked into purpose to accomplish something phenomenal for the Lord that you and only you are assigned to do! He has strategically numbered your days. Will you close the door to the past and live today on purpose?

Prayer

Lord, help me to fully grasp the fact that I can’t heal the past by dwelling there. Thank You for reminding me that living in the past only robs me of the awesome opportunity to make a mark on history today, all for Your glory. Healing and restoration comes from living fully in the present.

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