Even His No Is Good

I saw this the other day, and thought I’d share. So many times I have felt that God’s “no” to me was so unfair…possibly even unreasonable. I felt like His “no” was to keep me from having fun and locked away. But as the days of my life have rolled through, I have realized, over and over, that He knows so much better than me. His “no” was not to inflict pain, but to cover me from it. His “no” was a stamp of His love on my life. His “no” was meant to be the umbrella in the storms life brought. Some times I listened, other times I didn’t. It has all made me a better person, and has taught me that listening to His “no” is always far better than rejecting what He says to please myself. His “no” has made me better, and has set me up for the greatest “yes’s” a girl could ever dream or ask for.

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We Are Overcomers

“I am an overcomer and I overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of my testimony.” Declaration of Revelation 12:11

A few years ago, I received a letter in the mail from my grandmother. Attached to the letter, was three full pages of bible verses written as declarations. As I read through the pages, the declaration above stuck out to me. “I am an overcomer”…when I read this statement, my face shifted into a huge smile. Even today reading it, great hope and joy rush through my veins. It makes me reflect on the different things God has brought me through, and that without Him, my life would be empty and hopeless. Praise Break: “Thank You Jesus for saving me, and never giving up on me. Thank You for Your Spirit being present in my life everyday, and in the lives of Your children. We are lost and empty without You!”

I often sit back, and think about where God has brought me from: the circumstances, the mindsets, the places of loneliness, hopelessness, emptiness and pain. I think about the situations I allowed myself to get involved in, and I am constantly reminded of how I have been greatly changed through God’s love. Over the years, I have learned more and more about how unconditional and unfailing God’s love truly is. He never abadons us, no matter how many mistakes we make. His promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us is real; my life is a living testament of that.

“Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:8NKJV

Such a simple verse, yet it holds such a heavy truth. It has taken me a very long time to accept that His love never leaves me, and there are still some days that I struggle with this truth. It is so easy to get caught up in the fragility and feeble love that we as people give to one another. In the world we live in, it’s easy to lose touch with God’s never ending, unquenchable, non-refundable love. I mean, who really wants to love someone who fails every day? Only God! Even as I type this all I can say is, “Thank You Jesus”. But that’s the incredible beauty of His love. He knows our faults, and He knows all too well the sin nature that has been attached to us since the womb. This is why He sent His Son Jesus Christ.

“ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17NIV

He knew perfectly well that the only way for us to get it together was for His Son to die a horrific death for the penalty of our sins. Without His sacrifice, we would be fully condemned, and headed to hell with no way out.  Now, absolutely nothing can separate us from His love.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39 NIV

I used to allow my mistakes from my past control me. It kept me locked up in an impenetrable prison of condemnation with a tightly wrapped mussel over my mouth. I would allow my insecurities and the opinions of others to tear me down in to tiny fragments. But one day, through Christ, freedom came! He broke down the walls of condemnation that surrounded my life, and He tore the mussel from its straps. He loved me beyond me, and showed me that my past was a testimony of His grace and mercy. He gave me my voice back, and my reason for living.

Did you know that this isn’t something just for me, but for you as well? That He wants to rescue you from the imprisonment of sin and condemnation? That He wants to deliver you and love you beyond all reasonable understanding? Accepting Him as your Lord and Savior means that He takes all that has happened, and all that is still to come in your life, and molds it together for His glory. The devil will try to tell you that this just isn’t true, and that His love could never cleanse you and set you free. But the devil is a deceiver and that is all he knows how to do. The devil has only come to steal, kill, and destroy, so of course he wants to keep us trapped in wrong thinking and keep us locked away from all truth!

“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD . “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.” Isaiah 1:18NLT 

Jesus loves you, and wants to purify you in every area that needs it. This is such an amazing truth that I have to consistently remind myself of. He knows our past, and loves us anyway. He knows our faults, and they only make Him want us more so He can smooth out those rough edges to fashion us into the image we were originally supposed to be made in…His image!!!!

 “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26 NKJV

It’s time to begin seeing our past and life’s circumstances from a new perspective. We are overcomers through Christ Jesus, and because of this, our testimonies help others overcome the obstacles blocking them in.  We can no longer allow ourselves to be trampled and beaten down because of where we have been. But instead, look to Christ and allow it to be a testament of who God really is. No matter the mess ups and mistakes, never let them keep you from a relationship with Christ because it is in repenting for our mess ups that we are able to experience His unfailing, never-ending, irrefutable, unrestricted love.  He has made you new, so live in it and rejoice!

 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

Preparing for the Harvest


“And He told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully,”” Luke 12:16 

Such a simple verse, yet it is filled with such richness. The Bible doesn’t give us the whole back story into the preparations made for the harvest. However, we do know that before the harvest could come, there had to be work done. There had to be diligent time spent in the field in order to have a harvest to reap. Digging up dry and dead things to make room for new life. Cultivating the ground so it would be in the proper condition to yield the crop being planted. There had to be spent sowing seed and creating guards to protect from wildlife destroying what was sown. There had to be time given to consistent diligence in watering the seed, and pruning it as it sprung to life. There had to be regular checks to make sure nothing was eating away at what had been growing, causing holes to form. And the ability to pay constant attention to any other needs that may have presented themselves was probably exhausting. Then came the waiting process for the full harvest to spring up and fully manifest.

Just as it is with a natural harvest, so it is with the harvests that we are waiting to spring to life in our own lives.

Many times, we want to see a harvest manifest in our own lives, but put little to no effort into producing what we want to see. Then, we wonder why we see no fruit yielding in our lives. Some years ago, one of my mentors confronted me about laziness. He said, “You want what God has promised (the harvest), but you’re not willing to do what it takes to see it manifest”. As I was confronted with this large dose of reality, my heart sank. The heaviness of this made my heart hurt because I knew it was true.

We read about the promises of God all the time in the Bible. We hear them preached over the pulpit, we read about them in the extraordinary tales of peoples lives, and God even whispers personal promises into our hearts while we sit, read, think, dream and worship. We get excited about these promises, but how often do we slow down, take a seat and ask God about the process? We cry, laugh ,and jump for joy when we hear them, but do we really ask God for His roadmap and directions to the destination He promised?

For such a long time, I would sit on God’s promises. Some years ago, I wanted a new job and God had spoken to me, through my pastor, that He was going to bring me into a job that I was going to love. I was so happy that I shared it with a friend of mine . The conversation we had will stay with me forever. When I told her about the promise, she asked what I was doing to look for the job. To my embarrassment now, I told her, I was doing nothing because God was going to bring it to me. She responded,”Well yeah (with a laugh), but you have to do the work to get the job”.

The thought of not working at something or for something, it’s quite laughable. I was spoiled in my thinking and had it all wrong. But how many of us really do this? God shows us some amazing promise, then we just sit and wait for it? We don’t ask questions, we don’t pray about it, we just wait for it to drop into our lap.

This amazes me because we don’t do this when we’re hungry; just hoping food will magically appear and get in our bellies to satisfy the hunger. No, we get up and go to the store and make something happen. We may even call or text someone in hopes of convincing them to bring us something to eat. We work in some form or fashion to get what we want. Yet, we sit down on God. Sounds crazy, right?

“Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James 2:17-18

We can believe all we want but without doing the work, it’s dead. Like super crispy dead. God gives us vision to bring forth His will in the earth. He is even willing to give us instructions if we ask. We are His hands and feet here on earth. Saying yes to God is saying yes to being a willing vessel for the advancement of His kingdom. What He produces through us, are great and beautiful gifts from above.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17 

Our gifts are all different. Some speak, some help, some are good idea generators, some sing, some pray, some love, some have patience, and the list goes on and on. Whatever God has given you as a tool to produce in the earth, is a true gift. Those gifts are meant to shine light in a dark world; to shine brightly on who God is and on all He is able to do.

 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5: 16

Yes, harvest time is a good time, but its preparation is not one of slothful living. And when it comes, and the kinds of fruits we produce, is in a lot of ways up to us. What are we willing to do and give up to produce the harvest God has promised? Where are our works to match our faith? How long will we sit on what God has given us? Our gifts, our talents, our visions, our dreams. He doesn’t waste words or give empty visions. Every word He speaks in and over our lives will produce.

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 53:10-11 

How long it takes for His promises to appear in our lives, is staked much on how we respond to what He tells us. Will we only be excited when we hear it, or will we sit down and allow God to open up His vision to us? To give us the steps to where He is taking us and the route He wants us to go?

He is awaiting our arrival to sit and meet with Him. So grab a pen and some paper, take a seat and ask Him what it will take to see the harvest manifest in your life. I promise He will answer and lead you.

“Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it — the Lord is His name: ‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.’” Jeremiah 33:2-3

And once you get the plan and the steps it will take, run with it. This is how we show the world we believe in the word God has said; that we believe God is real. This is even how we show God we believe Him and trust His commands. We have to stop hoping things will happen, and move on what God has said to us and make it happen with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We must stop being afraid and know that God goes with us wherever we go.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

It Had to Happen

It Had to Happen

“Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.’ A week later His disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.’” John 20:24-27

In this life, we will always get the opportunity to meet a “Thomas”; A person that feels like, unless they see someone who has been through what they’ve been through, they won’t believe. They won’t believe that things will get better, they won’t believe that everything will work out, they won’t believe that Christ is able to do the unthinkable in their lives. We must also be careful, because there may even be times when we, ourselves, won’t believe.

Because of this, hardships have to happen. Things in our lives have to go wrong, so when we encounter others facing battles and trials of their own, we have the scars to relate. But not only do we have the scars, but we have the victory to help them see the light at the end of the tunnel. When we overcome battles in our lives, we become the proof for people, just like the holes in Jesus’ hands were proof for Thomas.

Our hardships are the holes in Christ’s hands and feet. Our issues are His pierced side. And the fact that we are still standing, living and breathing, is Christ living in the earth. What He went through on the cross did not keep Him in the grave. What we have gone through will not keep us down, depressed or defeated. We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus, and there are so many people who need to hear what we’ve gone through and have overcome. Our testimonies are proof that not only is Christ real, but He works. Trusting and believing in Him works. Living for Him works. Surrendering to Him works. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it.

Where we are and what we are going through may not make sense today, but one day it will. I have stories and experiences, that at the time they were happening to me, I could not see a way out or a silver lining. Looking back on them now, I am glad they happened. It didn’t feel good when it happened, but now my life is able to be on display for others that have similar experiences and encounters that I’ve had. I get the chance to show how good Christ is, how He never left my side, and how I am still standing tall. Life tries to bury us, but testimonies can open the door for us to rise up and walk out.

The process doesn’t always make sense. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for Jesus to go to the cross, knowing the excruciating pain He would experience, but He did it anyway, looking to the victory ahead of Him. Because of the cross, the veil was torn, and we are now able to go before God and experience a personal relationship with Him. We get to know our Creator and one day get to be with Him for all of eternity. It doesn’t get any better than that. I am so grateful for what He was willing to go through for us when He didn’t have to; He chose to endure.

The pain has a purpose. The issues have a purpose. The sacrifice has a purpose. The loneliness has a purpose. The sorrow has a purpose. The loss has a purpose! I can say this not only because I believe it, but because of what I’ve been through and how my own holes have shown Christ. It’s not easy walking through the valley times, but it’s worth it and He never leaves our side for a minute.

Don’t give up, cling to Christ, and keep moving forward. It will produce so much more than you expect it to in the end.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Let’s Take A Moment

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I just want to take a moment today, and give God glory. I am so grateful that He woke me up today, breathing His breath of life into my lungs, reminding me that I have purpose today. Because if I didn’t I wouldn’t be here. It is so easy for me to get caught up in what isn’t going well or what doesn’t seem right in my life. Honestly, it is really easy for me to wander off the trail, and feel like I have walked myself into hopelessness. But as I sit here, I am reminded that God is for me, and He is with me in every step. I am reminded that He has a plan for me. Even in times when things seem like they are going haywire and mistakes are made, I know He has a plan for me and He won’t ever leave my side. I may not have the full picture, but I serve a God who has it in full color and I trust that He will bring the picture in greater view piece by piece.

He is the Lifter of my head and the peace that holds me at night. He is my Joy on bad days and my Comfort on weary nights. He is my Encourager, and my Strength when I am weak. His unrelenting love keeps me grounded and sane. I am nowhere near perfect, yet He allows me to be His image bearer. I am nothing without Him, but I am everything because of Him. Life tries daily to remind me of my inadequacies, but Christ continually whispers that He has already qualified me. He is my Affirmer and He gives me hope. He is my High Tower on which I stand to see over the horizon of yesterday’s sorrows over to tomorrow’s reached dreams.

My heart and my eyes are full from just thinking of His undeniable, unquenchable, and uncontainable love and faithfulness in my life. Before Him I was empty, but with Him I am full. Life’s day to day problems can make me see the fullness of my glass as empty, and for that, I repent God of my distorted perspective. When my perspective is off, I am able to go to Him and be fully reminded of all He has said and done. Reflection is good.

He completes me in a way that nothing else can. He holds my life in the palm of His hand, and He never neglects me.

Be encouraged! He isn’t just this for me, but He can be this for you. He wants to love you in a way that no one on earth is capable of contaminating. He wants to show you things you have never seen. He wants to love you in ways that will affirm you and strengthen you. He wants to bring to the surface who He has truly created you to be. You are more than your current state. You are more than what people can reveal to you. You are more than the words that have been spoken to you. Let God reveal to you who you really are, and who He truly is.

You were created in God’s image and in His likeness. You were created to rule and dominate. Genesis 1:26-27 “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” 

You were created for a plan that only God knows.  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.”

You were set apart by God for an amazing purpose. Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

You are His masterpiece, created for good works. Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

 You are a light for all to see. Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.” 

 God saw you and called you good. Genesis1:31a “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” 

You were knit together by the Hand of God. Psalm 139:13 “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

You are thought of by God. Psalm 139: 17-18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!” 

 You can do anything with Christ. Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

You are so much more than you even know. Take some time today, and reflect on who He is, who you are, and ALL that He has done for you! He woke you up this morning, with movement in your body, with a voice to speak, with a heart pumping blood, with a brain that is able to think and with __________. Continue to fill in the blank with all He has done for you. Don’t continue to stare at what doesn’t seem to be happening, but instead focus solely on the good that is happening, even if you can only say you woke up today. Don’t neglect that gift. God woke you up on purpose with purpose. He has a plan for your life that outweighs every bad thing that has ever happened to you. Slow down, spend some time talking to Him in prayer, reading His word (the Bible), and even reflecting His promises and the scriptures above. Ask Him to speak to you, and to reveal Himself to you.

There is a reason you are here. Talk to God, and thank Him for that reason and begin to ask Him what that reason is. You are special, and your life is very important. Don’t keep up, love yourself, love God, and continue moving forward.

I love you all!

God Bless,

Arnita Faith

Learning to Listen

0BC67453-B34D-472B-B55F-7B002FD1911B In our daily lives, God desires obedient living, which something that I find to be a struggle at different points of the day. Have you ever had a thought go through your mind, or a strong feeling hit your heart that you should or shouldn’t do something? But you didn’t listen to it and then something happened that could have been prevented had you only listened to it? These have proven time and time again to be the Holy Spirit trying to lead me along God’s desired path. We have to be careful not to brush these promptings and feelings off because doing so can lead to other issues, misfortunes and missed opportunities.

Thinking about this, the story of Noah and the flood comes to mind. His decision of faithful obedience to the voice of God made all the difference in the preservation of life in the earth. God spoke to Noah and told him, a prompting if you will, of what was on the horizon and what needed to be done.

“Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch… For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die.” Genesis 6:11-14; 17 ESV

What would have happened if Noah did not take the promptings of God serious? It’s not like God physically manifested in front of him and had a heart to heart talk with him. Noah walked with God in life, heard His voice and believed what He heard was straight from the mouth of God. This is faith in real time. Evangelistic Leader and founder of Prison Fellowship, Charles Colson said this, “Obedience is the key to real faith”.

It took Noah to have real faith to be obedient to what God had said to him, and it’s a good thing he did it. The flood was coming to demolish the earth whether Noah was obedient or not. There are things coming our way whether we know it our not.

A few days back, I encountered this in real time. I had a thought to sit still and work on some writing. But instead of doing this, I brushed it aside and sluggishly moved about my afternoon. Once I finally sat down and pulled my laptop out, within 30 minutes I was being called away to handle things that needed my attention. Because of this, frustration arose in me, but then God reminder me of  that prompting I felt earlier to begin writing. God saw the interference coming my way, and wanted to help me avoid it; had I listened, I would have finished up right before life around me picked up.

Our obedience to the promptings of the Holy Spirit are just as vital to our livelihood and the livelihood of others as Noah’s were to the preservation of life. Our obedience reveals our ability to hear the voice of God, and it reveals the level of our faith.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 NKJV

God shouldn’t have to manifest Himself in front of us for us to listen and obey His commands, but by faith we believe and move when He speaks or prompts us. The promptings of God may be as simple as, “Don’t go there” or “Don’t say what you’re about to say” or we may get a bad feeling in our stomach or feel uneasy about something. We have to be willing to slow down, humble ourselves and say okay. Issues arises when we don’t want to be humble and submit to what God is saying to us or impressing upon our hearts. I once heard a pastor say, “If God tells you no to something then ask Him what else you can do. There is always an alternative. His answer may be no to what you want, but yes to something else. It may even be, “not right now”, and if that’s the case ask, “Then God, what do I do right now?””

God is not a fun-sucker. He does not desire for us to have boring, uneventful lives. It’s quite the opposite, and it’s all about perspective. What we want isn’t always the same as what God wants. What we see as a good time, may be the exact thing that pulls us away from Him. I can think of many things that I used to consider as fun, but they drew me away from relationship with God and they even made me not desire a relationship with Him.

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV

Jesus knows how we feel, He was a human too. There were things He couldn’t do, places He couldn’t go, and situations He couldn’t entertain. There were times when He had to separate Himself from the world and go pray and spend time with the Father. He had His own journey with the greatest purpose anyone will ever have on earth. He was in tune with God’s voice, and submitted at all times. He didn’t have to do it, He chose to do it. He had His own will just like you and I, but He still chose to walk in obedience daily. Had He not, mankind would have had no chance for salvation or to be reconciled back to God.

Whether we know it or not, our obedience to God is a powerful catalyst in the earth. Our obedience sows seeds of light and righteousness in the earth. Our yes to God, is a no to something or someone that will chip away at our destiny and the destiny of others. Our obedience saves lives. Our obedience matters to God and it has to matter to us. We won’t get it right all the time, and that’s why Jesus had to come. But we do have to get to a place where our yes’ in obedience far outweighs the no’s shown through our disobedience.

“Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” Exodus 19:5-6 NKJV

Being a follower of Jesus Christ, has opened the door to us to be the children of God. We are now a part of His special, chosen people. Obedience matters to God in ways we cannot fathom. We have no idea how our yes’ and no’s either advance, or hinder His plans in the earth. I am grateful for His mercy and grace because I know we won’t always get it right. But my heart’s desire is that our obedience to Him will far outweigh our disobedience.

 

Prayer: Dear God, it is so easy to be out of tune with You because of all the other things that are fighting for our attention. Help us to know how You speak to us individually, and help us to respond in the obedience You desire. Humble our hearts, open our ears, and help us with our yes to You. It may not be easy alone, but with Christ, we can do anything. In Jesus Name. Amen

Grace to Continue

“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”” 2 Corinthians 12:9a

As we close the chapter of another year, it’s always good to look back and reflect on the events that happened. As I sat in the doctor’s office today, I read through one of my journals from the last half of this year. As I flipped through its pages, personal words and instructions from God grabbed my attention. As I read through them, I was in awe of the things that I had forgotten that God had said to me and instructed me to do.

“Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11 New King James Version

I realized that I had not done what the psalmist in 119:11 had done: Hidden God’s words in my heart. Because of this, I know that I missed some very important things in this last half of the year, and I wasn’t even aware. Where had my mind traveled to that caused me to forget these instructions? What had I allowed my hands to get so busy with that I wasn’t present in being busy with what God had told me to do? Sitting and thinking about this, I remembered James 1:22-25,

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

It seems that I have had a reflection problem. It’s easy to be a hearer of a word, but a doer takers more action. As I reflect on this last half of the year, I realize that I have been more of a hearer than a doer, simply because I forgot what was said to me, I forgot my reflection.

I know that I am not the only one in this boat. Reflect is vital, yet it is something that is easy to forget. I remember there was a period in my life when I was so on the go that I would never stop and look in the mirror to make sure I didn’t forget anything. Sometimes I would walk out the house looking crazy, and be forgetting things. This is what happens when you fill life with busyness and don’t slow down long enough to reflect. I realized I was spending quiet time with God, but not reflecting on what He was saying so I was forgetting.  With this information, we can either wallow in self-pity because of mistakes we’ve made, or we can grab ahold of the grace and mercy that has been given to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I would prefer to do the latter.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

Going forward, I have decided to make some changes in the way I respond to God and His word. One thing I will be doing more of this year is slowing down to reflect, mentally and physically.  The more we think about things the more it sticks to us. The more we think about the things of God, the more a path is opened to us. 

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8 New King James Version

Meditating, or thinking on God’s word throughout the day has proven to be a challenge for me, but after reading over many of the things I have forgotten I definitely see its importance. I am reminded of how we learn to crawl, walk, speak, write, and so on, and it all comes from repetition. It comes from doing it over and over again until it becomes a habit. We have to work to create habits, and they are not always so easy to get into or stay in the groove of doing them. But with practice, consistency becomes easier. 

This is not something we can do on our own, but it takes that help of the Holy Spirit. God is not surprised by our shortcomings, this is why Christ had to die in our place. He knew we wouldn’t get it right on our own. The beauty is that His grace is sufficient in our weak places.

“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  2 Corinthians 12:9 New King James Version

We have to be honest with God in where our weak areas are, and we have to invite Him in for help. His love covers a multitude of sin, and He has already said yes to anything we need to be forgiven of through Christ. We just have to be willing to go get it from Him.

We can no longer dwell on the woulda, coulda, shoulda‘s of the past, but we have to get our eyes set on the possibilities of tomorrow that God has in store. His grace will keep us, and His mercies are new each morning. We can’t be afraid to ask for it. We have to stop looking in the rearview mirror at what was. This will only cause us to crash as we try to move forward.

Father, thank You for the year we have had. In the good, the bad, the highs, the lows, You have never left our side. Thank You for Your grace and Your mercy that pulls us to close, and sets us back on the path of righteousness. As we step out of 2017 and into 2018, we ask that You would help us to slow down, and reflect on Your word more so that it would be written on our hearts and we would not sin against You. Thank You for loving us. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Happy New Year’s Everyone and God Bless!

Arnita Faith

In this next year, reflecting will be a large component in my daily walk with God. What is something new that you are taking into the new year with your relationship with God?