2021: Spiritual Disciplines

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Warning: this post is a little scattered and could possibly be hard to follow, due to my current state of mind. November and December have been especially challenging; my faith has been put to the fire! It is only by God’s continuous supply in our lives, that we can withstand, overcome, and claim victory! Hallelujah! So, please forgive my confusion! God bless you!

12-29-2020 (Journal Entry):

I placed a prayer in my prayer box asking God for direction:

“Father, I am praying over an Instagram account and a YouTube channel. I would so like to share you further than my blog. I want to use my voice to declare your goodness, your pursuit, and love for humanity. I want all those you put before me to know that Jesus Christ came to die for the sins of the world, and it is because of Him, we are privileged and blessed to be part of your holy family. The wrath we so deserve has been placed upon Jesus Christ. Hallelujah! We are not guilty! We are righteous and reconciled back to you, our Father in heaven, equipped to do all good things for your glory and honor. Thank you, Jesus! There is so much more to tell…help me do this, Almighty God!

Father, I do not want to start up Instagram and YouTube without your blessing. I cannot do this without your Presence, your revelations, and your power. I know what happens when I go with my own ideas and in my own strength: failure, disappointment, sorrow, and embarrassment. What good am I without you? What is the purpose if you are not in it? I am seeking your will and plan, in Jesus’ Name, Amen!

What is my goal in this? It is to connect with others by sharing God, personal experiences, prayers, and encouragement. It is to build a community of people who are willing to go that extra mile for Jesus in the hopes of gaining a deeper knowledge and intimacy with God. We all need acceptance, friendship, support, and love. This ultimately comes from God, but it is in and through His children that God blesses others. He tells us in the Bible that we are to love one another, forgive and forget just as He does, and build each other up! What a special opportunity it would be for all of us to gather, inspire one another to read our Bibles, and spend time in prayer calling out to God to come join us and hear our prayers, each professing their faith and trust in Him to answer.  A quiet time together, learning and growing all in the Name of Jesus!

We most certainly cannot do any of this without the Lord’s help!

I am still reeling over several instances where I carried on in my own strength and failed miserably. It is a reminder of my weakness and arrogance! Not good at all but crucial teachings in humility! All part of sanctification, glory be to God!

The Lord has blessed me with discernment when posting blog posts. I know when He has given me permission to publish and when He says that it is not quite there yet. There have even been many occasions He has told me, not good, disregard and place on private. He has taught me to close the lid of my laptop and pursue Him through different means such as reading my Bible, sitting in quiet, worshipping to music, or in prayer. He has taught me to wait upon Him and has highlighted the disasters when I did not! Not to be unkind but to fine-tune and promote spiritual growth.

One concern I do have is the added time and effort it would take to establish and maintain Instagram and YouTube. I imagine to some, this sounds silly, but when one is clueless to social media, one can easily get distracted by the upkeep and the new material required on both platforms. I admit I am clueless!

My prayer time each day is where I grow and thrive and I know the inner workings of my mind, I know where it can drift, and I do not want this to be a daily occurrence. If I skip one day of prayer time, I feel it. I am a million miles from God and my mind and heart begin to pine after worldly things.

If blogging is His choice for me, I am thankful and accept this gift with arms wide open. If it is His choice that I expand and try new things, I am also thankful for His gifts and accept these with arms wide open. It is not my will but His!

At the close of this quiet time, the Lord points me towards John 1:1-8 (NIV):

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.”

Please know this, I am in no way comparing myself to John and God’s calling on his life, but I do believe, as believers, we are to be a witness for Jesus Christ. We must always share God’s love with others as the Holy Spirit leads us. This Scripture only enforces our duty as Christians. We are God’s ambassadors, and we are instructed to point people to Jesus. John made sure to let everyone know that Jesus is the Messiah, not him; he was the forerunner, a voice crying out in the wilderness that Jesus is the light of the world.

12-30-2020 (Journal Entry)

I will be brief here because I spent much time in Matthew Henry’s Commentary regarding the Scripture from John 1. There was much explanation on John’s God-given assignment, and I found this fascinating and applicable to all Christians! I read several times the in-depth instructions on how one must share the Gospel Message. I admire and love the emotional display of John. He was full of unwavering reverence, motivation, energy, passion, and love for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and people. John’s godly example is hopeful and invigorating; I am fueled up and ready to keep moving forward in my own declarations for God!

But not so fast!

The Holy Spirit impressed upon me that I am not ready!

Praise God, for the answer to my prayer in the prayer box! I am not ready so, thankfully, I have put it to the side, and I will keep my focus on God’s next and best for me! And, praise God, that He does not send us into a divine assignment without preparation first.

12-31-2020 (Journal Entry)

Psalm 143:7-10 gives me great reassurance because at this point, I am feeling lost. I am not sure where I am, or where God is taking me. I know something is on the horizon and I know I am not ready for it, but I cannot help being curious as to what He is up to. It is by the words of Psalm 143 that I can step back and relax, knowing that God will show, rescue, and teach all in His time!

“Answer me quickly, LORD
my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Let the morning bring me word of
your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.
Rescue me from my enemies,
LORD,
for I hide myself in you.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground.”

Later this day, as I sat at my jigsaw puzzle, I heard these guidelines from my Father:

“You don’t want people coming away from your blog, Instagram, and YouTube, seeing you. Meaning, when people read or watch, it must be God they see and only God. It is His love, His rescue, His redemption, His restoration, His story, and His plan! Everything must point to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit!

Create hope, encourage God’s power and provision, His help in all things! With His care not one is stuck…as His chosen people, we can look up and always be full of joy in the Lord. When God’s children write and speak, the content should always be about God.”

Oh, Father, I pray in Jesus’ Name, that as this blog is read, I have pleased you and featured you as the main character and if I have not, forgive and correct me! Amen!

01-01-2021 (Journal Entry)

Happy New Year!

Covid and a new variant discovered in the United States and other parts of the world. Vaccines approved and essential personnel and the vulnerable are getting injected! Reports of the vaccine not administered as quickly as officials would like. Hospital beds full again, it is a new year, and the virus is raging forth, dominating, changing, and taking lives! Lord have mercy on us!

My Scripture this morning perfectly lines up with God’s word for me for 2021. I had a hint of it a week or so ago but was not quite sure it was accurate. I know, today, it is!

Hallelujah for the giving of the word but oh my goodness for the meaning!

Let me share 2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV) first:

“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness, and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

2021 word of the year: Spiritual Disciplines as instructed personally by God.

Upon recognition of this special revelation, I immediately lifted my eyes from the pages of my Bible and gazed out my window. I did not really want to know anything further. I entered this new year void of a behavior (praise be to God) that I gave way too much love to and I already feel stretched beyond my capacity. There is more? I cannot even think about this right now!

My attention is pulled from the scenery outside my window to Colossians 2:2-5 (NIV):

“My goal (Paul; the writer of Colossians) is that they (the church in Colossae) may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in the order that they may know the mystery of God, namely Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.”

Now, this may be wrong, but as I read this passage, my mind immediately goes to Jesus as being the writer rather than Paul. This is, of course, the inspired Word of God, and He is the true author, right? Are we not supposed to read the Bible and ask God what it is that He is revealing of Himself in Scripture? What is it that God is trying to say and how can I apply it to my life and to this world?

In this passage of Scripture, I see that the words here, which were directed to the church in Colossae, are directed towards me and all believers who desire God. Just as Jesus promised the Holy Spirit in John 14:15-21 to His disciples, the same holds true for those who believe in Jesus Christ today and tomorrow and for always because God does not change! As Paul told the church “I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit” we too have the Holy Spirit within us. Jesus is not physically present for us to see with our eyes, but He is with us in Spirit. He lives in the hearts of believers, His chosen children!

After this glorious illumination soaked in, I came to a sudden halt at the words, “and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is.”

I investigated further using Matthew Henry’s Commentary but ultimately was stunned into silence and could not meditate any further on this. I grabbed my pen and wrote:

I cannot imagine going any deeper with God. I feel overwhelmed, sunk, and somewhat depressed and I know this is the enemy’s intention; to make me turn back and say, “forget it, this is way too hard.”

Nope, I am not falling into defeat! I give this to you, Jesus! If this is the direction for me, you will supply all I need and more to keep me going. I know what I want, and it is you, all of you! So, with this being my prayer, all of you and nothing of me, what must I do? Father, break this down into simple steps so that I can set out in your wisdom and with strength!

Spiritual Discipline #1
Sit with God daily and meditate upon His Word; this is where your knowledge comes from.

Spiritual Discipline #2
Always ask God before doing and wait as long as He requires; His timing is perfect.

Spiritual Discipline #3
Practice moderation in all things; self-discipline and vigilance.

I imagine there is much more to come regarding Spiritual Disciplines. Three is a great start and I will do my very best to exercise them daily all by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit!!

*****

Friends, I pray God blesses you immeasurably in this new year, 2021! I am praying for excellent health, prosperity, joy, peace, and love for all. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you!! And, may God eradicate Covid and all its variants now, in the mighty name of Jesus, and may we all see thankful, smiling faces very soon! No more masks and no more social distancing!

Much love to all of you! God’s guidance and protection be with you!

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