Soul Prosperity

Soul Prosperity

3 John 1:2 (AMP) Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually].

What is prosperity? According to the Random House Dictionary, prosperity is a successful, flourishing or thriving condition especially in financial respects and good fortune. Do you believe that the Lord prospers His People? In 3 John, the author writes to “beloved and esteemed” Gaius. This man is not identified further. The next verse gives way to a new way of thinking. I pray that “in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health” just as your “soul prospers.” As a believer, it is God’s Will for you to prosper both physically and spiritually. However, like every other benefit available to us through Jesus Christ, the Cross and Resurrection, it is completely up to me if I will live in the blessings of God bestowed on me before I ever breathed a single breath. You are blessed. You were made to prosper. However, the enemy has done his best to make people believe otherwise. I hope to change your mindset and motivate you to seek out the Lord’s Will for your life including the prosperity hidden beneath layers of lies that the enemy has used to overshadow the true potential of your new life in Jesus Christ.

Genesis 1:27-28 (AMP) So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them [granting them certain authority] and said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subjugate it [putting it under your power]; and rule over (dominate) the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and every living thing that moves upon the earth.”

When God created man and woman, He blessed them. Do not go any further, stop right there. I did when our pastor shared this verse and the wheels of my mind began to get in gear with my spirit man. I am blessed. God released a blessing on people that cannot be revoked. Once God blesses, it stands. He does not lie or change His Mind. When He decided to bless us, the release was instantaneous. So where is it now? God SAID to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subjugate (putting it under your power or subdue) it.” God’s has now issued a directive to His People. Rule over and dominate all living creatures and every living thing that moves upon the earth. Oh, but what about the fall of mankind? Well, that’s true. But can I introduce you to my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. In Him, “we live and move and exist”. (Acts 17:28) Everything is brought into existence through Jesus. (John 1) Thanks to Jesus – our sin is removed and live restored to us. So the blessing on our life still stands as long as we live.

God was clear in His Directive to His People. Be fruitful. We know that the Fruit of the Spirit is the very thing that feeds and nourishes our soul changing us from death to life. (Galatians 5:22-23) To be fruitful is not only physical but a spiritual accomplishment as well. He told us to increase. Prosper. To live a limited life does not represent an unlimited Lord. Fill the earth. I believe that as true believers our life should overflow in goodness and grace in all things to all people. A life of generosity is a life of fearless abundance for those who are not afraid that our God has a small supply but exceedingly more than we can think or ask. Finally, to subdue the earth. We have authority and power locked away in these weak vessels of human bodies that is ready to take over every sickness, oppression and bondage that has people held captive. Greater is He who lives in us. We have the Keys to the Kingdom. Rather than shaking them all the time, it is about time God’s People started using them to unlock the captive and lock up the enemy.

Psalm 103:1-5 (AMP) Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul, and all that is [deep] within me, bless His holy name. Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul, and do not forget any of His benefits; who forgives all your sins, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you [lavishly] with lovingkindness and tender mercy; Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the [soaring] eagle.

“Do not forget any of His Benefits…” Have we forgotten the blessings and benefits of God? Or did we ever have a clear understanding of who they are for and how to receive them? Hosea warned that people die from a lack of knowledge. It’s true. God has blessed me. He has blessed you. I have the same benefits available to me in Christ that every other person born is given. It is up to me if I take advantage of these benefits. My husband’s company offers health insurance including dental and vision. It is a benefit offered to all associates. Some consider the cost to high and opt out completely. Others, pay for the insurance but do not understand all it comes with and do not take full advantage of the benefits. Then there are others who have read the policy and procedures who utilize as many of the provisions as possible to get their monies worth. Where do you fall in this picture? Do you know the benefits offered in Christ? Do you take full advantage of them? Do you read the Word of God? Study it. Use it. Apply it. If not, you are missing out on blessings and benefits that are carefully detailed in God’s Word and waiting fulfillment in your life.

In Deuteronomy 28, the blessings of obedience are outlined in great detail including the “abundant prosperity” those who obey God. Before you exempt yourself because of sin, is the grace of God given to us in Jesus Christ enough to cover your debt? Is the Blood of Jesus still strong enough for the remission of sin? If it is (and it is), all these blessings are still in good standing. Jeremiah 29, tells us that God has a plan for our life that includes prosperity. The only thing I have to do is seek the Lord wholeheartedly. What’s the catch? You have to believe enough to use your faith to trust the Lord at His Word. How do I trust God? Simply do what His Word says while seeking His Presence wholeheartedly.

In Jesus Christ, I have been given every spiritual blessing from the Heavenly realm. (Ephesians 1:3-6) Digging deeper in God’s Word, there is a recurrent theme. Obedience. Knowing God’s Word, and doing what it says will prosper my life spiritually and physically. I have the potential for success in all things. However, it is not obtained religiously as some people and churches might want you to think. Prosperity gospel is nothing more than multi-level marketing in the church. As my soul prospers, God will prosper my life. No man has a say on the level of blessing in my life. God has granted me all blessings in Heaven and Earth according to His Word and I find it in obedience. What is obedience? I cannot possibly do everything right. Of course, not but it is in pursuing righteousness in love that it all belongs to us. What is that?

Proverbs 16:20 (AMP) He who pays attention to the word [of God] will find good, and blessed (happy, prosperous, to be admired) is he who trusts [confidently] in the Lord.

When asked “which is the greatest commandment in the Law”, Jesus responded, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first commandment. He didn’t stop there but went on to say, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”. Love. It is all about love. To seek God’s Presence and live in His Love prospers our life. As our soul gets it right, suddenly the windows of Heaven open and His Blessings begin to pour out all around us. It take energy, effort and commitment. Loving God and obeying Him is contradictory to human nature. Sin separates us from the Presence of God and limits our life. (Proverbs 28:13) Everything we do has the potential to prosper in God’s Love. (Psalm 1:1-3) His Way is always prosperous. (Psalm 10:5) Obedience to God equals prosperity every time. (Psalm 128) Prosperity is all about love and faithfulness (Proverbs 3:1-6) because it is an inheritance. I cannot earn God’s Love. He just freely gives it to me. I must choose to be faithful to my first love. Righteousness lived out in love with Jesus will prosper our life as our soul prospers. (Proverbs 21:21) Perfect love expels fear from our life so the sky becomes the limit. Dream it. Believe it. Do it. There are no limits for those who live in love with Jesus Christ.

Luke 9:24-26 (AMP)For whoever wishes to save his life [in this world] will [eventually] lose it [through death], but whoever loses his life [in this world] for My sake, he is the one who will save it [from the consequences of sin and separation from God]. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world [wealth, fame, success], and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed [here and now] of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and the glory of the [heavenly] Father and of the holy angels.

To prosper in our natural life is the ordination of God beginning in Genesis. He did not change His Mind when people decided to find their own way but rather provided THE WAY (Jesus) to come back to Him in righteousness again. The choice to follow Jesus Christ is a personal one. Some will do so religiously and find great frustration. Those who decision to enter a real relationship with Jesus changes the outcomes of life. Seeking the Lord wholeheartedly means there will be things I choose to do and not do in His Name. My primary motivation and soul prosperity is in loving Jesus wholeheartedly and seeking Him that way. In doing so, I have many benefits available to me that He is ready to release in my life. It is up to me if I will have them or not according to my willingness to accept them. When my life means nothing outside of Christ, the things of this world fall down my priority list. As the Lord and His Spirit begin to make my heart fruitful, I find that things like love, joy and peace are the precious commodities of my life. As my soul prospers, my life naturally does as well because now I have a better perspective on how to use my resources for God’s Kingdom and His Glory. I can be generous in all things because things are not as important as My King. If the tangible blessings of God will in any way remove you from His Presence, you are not ready to naturally prosper. When your whole heart is invested in loving Jesus, then and only then will our natural life resemble our spiritual condition.

Friend, God’s Blessings belong to you. From Genesis 1, God has called us to live in a successful, flourishing or thriving condition especially in financial respects and good fortune. His Favor belongs to you as His Child. You have every right to the benefits of your salvation. All of this secured God’s Love for us and released by our love for God and our ability to transcend that love to others. In love with Jesus, our soul prospers and then so will the rest of our life. God will not put it in your hand until He has your whole heart. Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.

Jeremiah 29:13 (AMP) Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Quietly

quietly

Psalm 62:5-8 (NLT) Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.

I am pretty sure that I was born talking. From my earliest report cards, teachers have tried to put a positive spin on my need to communicate excessively. Conversation is not a struggle at all and I can strike up a conversation with just about anybody – anywhere much to the chagrin of my children. Never at a loss for words made silence a difficult place for me. Filling the atmosphere with words, padded the unease of the unknown. Quiet is awkward to most people when others are present. It is the greatest fear in all conversation. The moment when there is nothing left to say but only listen. No wonder “let all that I am wait quietly before the Lord” is such a struggle.

God still speaks to people. I am heartbroken when people tell me that they do not hear the Voice of God on a regular basis. It means that although the Creator of the Universe is talking – those who He loves and desires are not listening. God is always speaking to us. He is always telling us what He has in store for us, how to find it, and comforting us when we are fearful. The Lord whispers truth to overcome the lie that the enemy barrages us with daily. We must learn to wait quietly on the Lord expecting Him to speak rather than wishing that He would or hoping that He does but rather knowing that God will.

When I began writing this blog eight years ago, it was with one intention. To hear the Voice of God. So each morning, I set my alarm thirty minutes earlier to read the Word of God, pray and journal whatever God chose to say to me. For eight years, every single day, the Lord has spoken to me in these moments surrendered to Him. Some mornings, He wakes me up ready to tell me something before I am ready to receive. There have only been a handful of days when I have not submitted an entry but even on those days – my journal is full for more than 2,590 days to be exact. The problem is not God speaking to us but our willingness and ability to hear Him. In John 10:27 Jesus says, “My sheep listen to my voice, I know them and they follow me.” We must learn to wait quietly on the Lord each day.

Psalm 119:93-96 (NLT) I will never forget your commandments, for by them you give me life. I am yours; rescue me! For I have worked hard at obeying your commandments. Though the wicked hide along the way to kill me, I will quietly keep my mind on your laws. Even perfection has its limits, but your commands have no limit.

There are a million and one teachings on prayer. How to pray. What to pray for. When to pray. The concept has been thoroughly dissected but from what perspective. Prayer is communication with God. Communication is not just talking but listening. Jesus told us how to pray. Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.” (Matthew 6) I wonder what would happen if we chose to pray this prayer then waited quietly to hear the Lord speak to us. Instead, it is human nature to lay out our cares, worries, and concerns in vivid detail and tell God exactly what is expected of Him to make our life more comfortable. The way to pray is with bold confidence.

Prayer is not asking God to do something that He is not willing to do and expecting Him to change His Mind. Prayer is an open conversation with God committing our life to His Word, His Will and His Way. It is in these moments that God tells us what to do. I have found this to be even on the most finite level of conversation. As a youth leader, I was given the task of completely renovating a new space for the young people with just $300. This included the supplies needed such office supplies and prizes. My heart wanted to give its best to these kids so used furniture was not my objective. Nobody believed that I could buy any decent furniture for the money allotted to the task. I knew God would do it so when I was leaving the house to shop – I simply prayed, “Lord, lead me.” I immediately knew the name of the department store to go to. So I went even though this store did not carry a great deal of furniture. After spending more than an hour wandering the store, I couldn’t find anything. So I prayed, “Lord, where is it?” Immediately I knew to go to the Garden Center of all places. There stacked from the floor to ceiling were six futon cartons marked down to just $25. Thank you Jesus! I bought them all and then prayed, “Lord, I need a truck.” You don’t have to believe that God will speak to you on such a level as my shopping experience, but He does.

God’s Word shapes the expectation of our heart. Sowing the Word in our life creates familiarity with the Voice of God and how He communicates. When I pray God’s Word, I always get an answer. When I pray my will and way, it is met with silence. My expectation will go unmet if based on this life and this world that I live in. It is only by spending time in the Word do I recognize His Voice and am given the opportunity to do what He says. Are you in the Word of God today? Do you have time set aside specifically to study God’s Word? How will you know His Voice if you don’t know His Word? Jesus is the Word of God wrapped in flesh that came and died for us to live. How can I know Jesus and not know the Word?

The Word of God allows us to discern the Truth from a lie. The enemy fills our life with lies and even half-truths that keep us from fully trusting and believing the Word of God. He is convincing because people are not confident. Confident hope is the product of committed faith. Our commitment to faith is evident in our desire to know the Word of God and live in its Truth. When we pray the Word of God, He answers in return. The Word fuels and feeds our Spirit so it is strengthened to engage with our flesh day by day.

Psalm 131 (NLT) Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp. Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, put your hope in the Lord—now and always.

Newborn babies cry when they are hungry because of an unmet need and lack of trust. They do not know where their next meal is coming from but they know they want one. As a baby grows into a toddler, they know that mama will feed them so they look for her and express their need. Even when she is fixing food, they will grab her leg, whine and flail about waiting for it to be ready. Now that my children are teenagers, if they feel hungry, which is most of the time, they go straight to the refrigerator or pantry to get food. Even those who have grown and left the nest often come in and go straight for the refrigerator. This is our progression in Jesus Christ. Newborn Christians cry out to the Lord for every discomfort and hunger they have. They do not want to wait so impatiently insist on their own way. Maturity in Christ is knowing what God’s Word says and reaching out to take it. It also means trusting God in the waiting, and overcoming the tendency to compromise due to a lack of trust and self-control. If I want what God offers, I must go to Him with confidence and wait for Him to act.

Pride is the very thing that kills our conversation with God many times. It is the idea that when God does not act immediately or according to our expectation that it is up to us to do something more. We want what God has for us… or do we? Paul talks about it in Romans 7. The struggle between our flesh and the Spirit within us is constant. I want to do what is right, but I don’t. I want to be faithful to God’s Word, but I wonder and wander. Galatians 5:16-18 further confirms the war raging for control in our mind, soul and body. We cannot hear the Voice of God because there are too many voices vying for control. How do I silence the noise to hear God’s Voice clearly?

The Holy Spirit takes the Word of God and writes it on our heart. It is the examination point of every voice in our life. When we begin to stop listening to the enemy, other people and choose to wait quietly to hear the Voice of God – His Whisper can be heard. The Holy Spirit produces self-control for this reason. Confidence in the Lord and consummation with His Spirit is made known by self-control which is contrary to human nature. It is the anchor of hope that keeps us engaged when the things we pray for seem impossible to every audible voice but not in God’s Realm.

Lamentations 3:22-26 (NLT) The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.

And yet, “Better to have one handful with quietness than two handfuls with hard work and chasing the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 4:6) What is your greatest desire in life? What are your priorities? Deuteronomy 8:3 was reiterated by Jesus in Matthew 4 that people do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. Most of our prayer life is consumed with asking for the things that God already promised to those who walk by faith not by sight, yoked to Jesus Christ, and simply follow His Way. To repeatedly ask for what is promised implies distrust and smacks of doubt that the One who has promised is faithful. God is going to answer a repeated request the same way every time. He does not lie or change His Mind. Your attitude and actions do not change the outcome. God already planned the outcome. He is just waiting for you to change your mind and trust Him. Believe Him. Have a little faith? Just enough to let go of your way to follow Him.

The verses preceding Lamentations 3:22-26 say this…”The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this…” The crashing waves of uncertainty, rushing wind of the storm, and the earth shaking circumstances that you are facing will overshadow the still small voice of God outside of faith and confident hope. God must become our inheritance and our portion. The One who promises is faithful but if I don’t believe it – I will not listen for His Voice but look for a way out of my troubles. Your Kingdom come – Your Will be done is a trust fall statement with God that no matter what You have me, right Lord? We will not hear the Lord’s Voice clearly until we believe that He has something worth repeating. It is only when I decide to seek Him wholeheartedly and wait for the Lord that I hear His Voice the loudest in my life.

I Kings 19:11-13 (NLT) “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

It is human nature to get caught up in words and tangled in lies. We engage in so many conversations in a day exposing our heart and mind to snares carefully laid by a ruthless enemy. Our faith in the Lord must be the foundation of our life to be secure. Confident hope anchors our soul in the belief that God is good. His Love unfailing. His Grace never ending. My future secure. When Elijah came to the Lord in his hiding, the Lord asked the prophet, “What are you doing here? Elijah laid out all his fears before the Lord. God invited Elijah to come out of his hiding place and stand before Him. It was in that place that he encountered the windstorm, the avalanche from the blast, the wind, the earthquake and then the fire. God was not in any of those things. It was after all the commotion that Elijah heard the sound of a gentle whisper. “Elijah, what are you doing here? His complaint still the same. However, Elijah was in a different place and position. He had moved from fear and doubt hiding in a cave into the Presence of God. God told him exactly what to do next in vivid detail.

God wants to talk to you. Not through anyone else, but face-to-face. Yes, YOU! His Voice is clear and audible to those who are listening wholeheartedly. Those who believe enough not to be distracted by the busyness and chaos of life but will not take another step until God directs it. God is speaking are you listening? Sometimes, God stops speaking because of disobedience and unwillingness to follow instructions. The Lord is just waiting for us to do the last thing that He said because our next step is dependent on the last. He does not lie or change his mind. He is not going to give you something else because you don’t like the last word or instruction. His Plan is perfect even though we are not. Trusting the Lord allows confidence in God’s Ability to silence doubt so we can hear His Voice clearly.

Psalm 62:1-2 (NLT) I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.

We must learn to wait quietly before God today and every day. If your heartfelt desire is to know Him more, it is impossible outside of daily communion with Him. To sit and visit with Him. Sharing your heart and listening for His Voice to share His with you as well. It will happen if we allow His Word to work in us and His Spirit to produce self-control that seeks His Presence each morning, throughout the day, and even as we lay our head down to sleep. God is with us. He is not silent. I must wait quietly to hear Him for it is by His Word that I live.

Psalm 27:7-8 (NLT) Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”

Blessing of Instruction

Blessing of Instruction

Psalm 37:23-24 (NKJV)

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.

The steps of a good man (or woman) are ordered by the Lord. This can be a hard pill to swallow at times if one has faced hardship or difficult situations in life. Why would the Lord allow us to go through such things if He indeed is pursuing us with unfailing love and goodness all of the time? How can it be that bad things happen to good people? We live a perfectly imperfect life. The Lord knew of our rebellion before each of one of us came into being and provided the Way for us to return to right standing with God and enter His Kingdom again. This did not change the Law of the Kingdom or the mandates for residence. It simply gave us access to that which sin denied. No one can come to the Father except through Jesus Christ. (John 14:6)

When traveling from state to state, the rules and regulations of each state must be known and followed. They apply to me even though I am not a resident of that state. To think that we can be Children of God and live in His Kingdom yet remain headed toward sin and darkness are a lie that many have subscribed to. Jesus gave us simple and straightforward instructions on how to walk in His Way and enter His Kingdom to live there forever. I decide my destiny. I choose where I will go. This will definitely impact the situations that I face, circumstances I encounter and some of the trials I will go though. It will also dictate the outcome of my situation, circumstance and trial.

Life can be hard. Sometimes faith is harder than reality because the perception of the impossible becoming possible just seems too good to be true. How will we know if we do not try? I have been to places far from home for vacation. I have been to the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii. Loved them all. We recently went to Mexico but it was not my favorite. We are free to travel the world and roam from place to place physically and spiritually in life. The Lord gives us the freedom to choose destinations much like any other airline. We can take His Advice or go rogue on our own. If we do not follow Christ, we must not expect His Outcomes yet many times we do. He is a Good Father. He provides all that we need. It is hidden in His Way and found in obedience.

Matthew 21:1-5 (NKJV)

Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “Tell the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

In honor of Palm Sunday honoring the Triumphant Entry the week preceding the Cross, let’s talk about the donkey and her colt for a moment. Jesus sent two disciples to go to the village where they would find a donkey and colt tied there. Take them and bring them back to me. If anyone says anything, just tell them the Lord needed them. Imagine going to the neighborhood next to you, finding an unlocked car with the keys in it, and borrowing it without asking the owner. Would you do it? What if that’s what Jesus told you to do? Now the Lord would never tell us to steal something, but He did borrow the donkey and her colt. Since God’s Word tells us not to steal, I am absolutely positive that the disciples returned them soon after. God can ask us to do some uncomfortable things sometimes, but let’s look for just a moment at what just happened here.

Prophesied in Zechariah 9:9, it was foretold that Jesus would come into Jerusalem riding on a donkey a colt the foal of a donkey. Now how did Jesus know that the donkey and foal would be in the next town? It’s not like there was cellular service or email back then. A messenger would have clearly drawn attention. God prepared and ordered the steps of His Son, Jesus all the way to Calvary into the grave and right back out of it to bring Salvation to the world. Not a single step in the process could be missed and still derive the same outcome. Jesus had to fulfill each prophesy given about His Life in order to validate His Identity as Messiah or Son of the Living God. As we walk the Way that God ordained for us, His Provision is revealed to us and so is His Protection. It is in full obedience that we discover the full potential and purpose of the Lord in our life. What has been prophesied over you today? Has it come to pass? Are you walking in His Ways? Are you following all His Instructions? Are you willing to wait and be patient?

Mark 6:8-12 (NIV)

These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” They went out and preached that people should repent.

Our travels with five children have made me an over-planner and over-packer. I attempt to anticipate every single need of my husband and all the kids whenever we would venture out of town. Every single item of clothing and shoes for all kinds of weather anticipating all activity far in advance. I would pack every remedy for the most minor affliction to just short of calling an ambulance. Packing foods and drinks to avoid hangry and grumpy people. I had enough supplies to sustain in a disaster zone be it hurricane to blizzard. Why? I love my family. I wanted them to be satisfied lacking nothing that they desired. Do I really need to say it? How much more does our Father care for us? (Matthew 7:9-11)

Jesus was clear in His Instructions. The disciples had a successful mission’s trip. Let’s talk about what His Instructions were and possibly why He gave them to His Men. First take nothing for the journey except a staff. In Psalm 23:4, it talks about the comfort of the rod and staff. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…I will fear no evil. The disciples definitely had something to be concerned about sharing their message. The Word of God sent them. It would lead them as a staff. Keep them true as a rod. Obedience begins with the Word of God as our compass in life. We must follow its leadership in all things.

Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. There could be one of two messages at work in this directive. First, we are to walk in the Gospel of Peace. (Ephesians 6:12-14) Also we are not to carry the worries of life with us such as what we will eat or wear, but trust the Lord. In either case, God does not want us to carry the burden of conflict or cares while we walk through life ministering His Word, Will and Way to others. We must trust Him more.

Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. This could again point back to walking in peace, love and unity as to leave might imply ill care or conflict with the owner or residents. Or perhaps, the disciples were just to be confident in their refuge being of the Lord not man. Psalm 91:1-2 says, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Maybe the Lord was simply reminding them (and us) that it really doesn’t matter where we live or lay our head at night, as long as we are doing His Will and walking His Way that He is with us. We can trust Him.

 

Finally, and if any place will not welcome you or list to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them. Do not take offense. Do not become bitter or hard hearted in this life. Plain and simple. “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11) “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:31-32) And finally…His Grace is enough for us. We do not need the acceptance, approval or affirmation of any other if we allow His Grace to become more than enough.

Ephesians 4:17-19 (NIV)

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

Have we lost all sensitivity? On these days leading up to Easter, I am compelled to evaluate my commitment to walk in Godly Instruction each day. Do I do what the Word of God tells me to do line by line and precept by precept? It is futile to think that I can live any way that I choose and still have God’s Promises in my life. If there are areas not lining up, it is up to me to do so if I want His Word to come to pass in my life. If we become callous, comfortable or complacent in certain areas, it will become desensitized. There are many things that I “can” do and maintain my salvation. Those same things are not necessarily beneficial. This is where knowledge turned to wisdom keeps us walking the way that we should be to have all of God’s Provision and Promises in our life. How will I know God’s Way if I do not read and study the instructions? I cannot put together all those some assembly required things without the instructions? What makes me think I can be fully redeemed without knowing God’s Plan? He tells me in explicit detail. He speaks to me in prayer. He guides me with His Spirit. He tells me in His Word. To walk ignorantly through life leads to uncertain destinations. To follow Jesus leads me straight to the Father.

I Thessalonians 4:1-2 (NIV)

As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

There are many Christians and believers out there who do not do as instructed. Missing out on God’s Best, having no idea what they are losing through ignorance, disobedience, and a lack of communication with God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. The next six verses talk about many sins not only prevalent in society and the church. God did not call us to live an impure life but a holy one. (Verse 7) To reject such a life and choose not to follow His Instructions is rebellion. It is not because the devil made us do it because truthfully the enemy has absolutely no power or authority in us or over us unless we hand it over to him. To walk blindly through life is not faith when we have the Word of God to lead us, strengthen our faith, educate our mind and soften our heart. I want the Authority and Power that Jesus Christ handed me along with the Keys to His Kingdom. I will honor His Sacrifice by living a holy life. Lord, show me any and all areas that have deviated from Your Instructions today so I can right my way. I repent of any sin or rebellion that has detoured me off course. I want to walk with You and trust You more and more each day so that I can live from Glory to Glory professing Your Great Name. Let your Word be the rod and staff that guide me. May Your Word shod my feet in the Gospel of Peace. You are my Refuge and Strength. I will trust you now and in my time of need. Lord, guard my heart and mind against offense jerking clean any root of bitterness threatening my soul. Lord may I follow Your Instructions today…all of them as they are life to me.

Proverbs 3:13-18 (NIV)

Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.

Sticky Notes

Proverbs 7:2-4 (Message)

My teaching is as precious as your eyesight—guard it! Write it out on the back of your hands; etch it on the chambers of your heart. Talk to Wisdom as to a sister. Treat insight as your companion.

How the world continued to orbit without those famous little sticky notes is anyone’s guess! Their value cannot be quantified with dollars because they make such incredible sense. There was a man named Spencer Silver who worked in a famous laboratory attempting to create an even stronger bonding product then his company currently offered. After much work, he tested another creation for its adhesive capabilities only to be disappointed by a product that was weaker than the initial bonding agent. Back to the drawing board for Mr. Silver and his concoction was put on a shelf for another day. What good is glue that can be easily removed? Along comes another gentleman with a problem. What a guy, Art Fry! Mr. Fry was a choir director who needed some assistance. When he would place notes in his hymnal for Sunday Morning Service, they would tend to slide out causing a dilemma. Now maybe it was a coincidence that Mr. Fry was also a scientist who worked in the same laboratory as Mr. Silver or maybe not, nevertheless he remembered that invention from a few years back. Mr. Fry decided to place the new glue on his hymnal markers to see if they would stick yet not destroy the precious pages when he removed them! And that, my friend, is how Post-It Notes came into existence. Mr. Fry was only looking to solve his own little problem, I doubt he had any idea that God was about to explode his potential and make his name synonymous with one of the most popular office products of all time.

God places sticky notes in our hearts and minds through His Faithfulness and His Word. Ordinary people make extraordinary discoveries when they choose to guard the precious teachings of God and continually bring them to remembrance. God provides solutions to problems through the experience of the past that has imprinted our life. Little reminders that are often so subtle that they are ignored yet have the power to completely change our life. When we make insight our companion and seek to contribute to this world rather than constantly take from it through the wisdom and knowledge of God not just in the big situations but all circumstances, God’s Spirit will leave little notes just for you! These little reminders of the big things that God has in store for you are simple solutions that quite possibly were there all the time. What ideas and notions label your life? Are you able to see love notes from your Father? Brightly colored promises can cover every situation to remind you of our Lord who has it all under control and leaves careful instructions on how to achieve all that He has created for you!

Working full-time and having a houseful creates the opportunity for my children to aid in nightly meal preparation. The alternative would be sandwiches or hotdogs every night so they are happy to cooperate. The meal is prepared and careful preserved in the refrigerator for later in the day. Carefully I will write instructions often on little sticky notes for them continue the preparation process which usually consists of turning on the oven and occasionally stirring the pots. Everything is ready for a delicious and nutritious meal. All that my children must do to achieve success is follow the notes that have been left for them. God prepares blessing for His Children the same way. Everything needed for a power-packed life of blessing, abundance, fulfilled promises and excellent purpose are completely prepared for those who are willing to pay attention to the little instructions God has written on their hearts. Success comes to those who carefully follow His Directions. It is not up to us to prepare Destiny but our responsibility is to simply walk out all the steps!

Deuteronomy 11:18-21 (Message)

Place these words on your hearts. Get them deep inside you. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder. Teach them to your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning until you fall into bed at night. Inscribe them on the doorposts and gates of your cities so that you’ll live a long time, and your children with you, on the soil that God promised to give your ancestors for as long as there is a sky over the Earth.  

Look around your life today for the little messages that God has left for you, His Child, through His Gentle Voice, His Word and His Spirit. Your Father has prepared excellent gifts for you and is just waiting for you to follow His Instructions to release these good things in your life! Every time you see a Post-It Note ask God to write another Word on your heart! Ask Him for guidance and wisdom! He is faithful! You never know the world’s next greatest invention may be waiting to be revealed!