Friday, February 24, 2012

Work While It Is Day

 “LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered - how fleeting my life is." ~Psalm 39:4, NLT~

I stumbled upon that verse during my reading time late last night, and it's been pressed upon my heart ever since.  Maybe it's because my 95 year old grandmother is currently experiencing the active phases of death, and is only expected to be with us for a few more days.  Perhaps this scripture stuck with me because of the shockingly unexpected passing of Whitney Houston that still boggles my mind.  Or maybe it's because of the 2-year old little girl in my community that recently passed away from injuries she sustained from being burned.  Then again, it could be because one of my sisters in Christ is fighting for her life as I type this.

I'm not sure why this particular scripture is etched upon my heart today, but one thing is for sure - it is so very true.  Our time on earth is brief; our days are numbered; life is fleeting. Just this month alone, I have found a popular saying to be certain - One day you're here, then the next you're gone.  Just like a vapor.

Since we know that our days are numbered - and none of us knows when that number will run out - I think it's so important that we get our lives in order and be serious about our Father's business.  It's time that we give 100% to living out God's purpose for our lives. 

We can spend so much time on frivolous things - holding grudges; comparing ourselves to others; chasing fortune and fame; acquiring success; and the list goes on - that we lose time that could have been spent focused on what the Lord requires of us.  Sure, we should enjoy the abundant life the Lord promised us in John 10:10; however, our desire to live a full and satisfying life should not take precedence over our desire to live a Christ-centered, purpose-driven life.  At the end of the day, our one true purpose in life to bring glory to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  If we're not doing that, then we're not living.

John 9:4 says this, "I must work the works of Him that sent me; the night cometh, when no man can work."  The NLT says is this way, "We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. "  It says we must quickly carry out our assignments.  That means, we don't have much time.  While there is yet breath in our bodies, and the blood is still running warm in our veins - while it is day - we must run the race the Lord has set before us.

When night falls upon our lives, we should be empty of everything that the Lord put within us to share upon the earth.  We should be able to stand before Him in judgement, and say Lord, I've given back to You everything that you gave to me. 

Death is inevitable; but while you still have life, live it totally for the Lord.  Your life - and mine - belongs to the Lord.  It is our duty to dedicate ourselves to His call for our lives.  Not tomorrow; not next week; not next month; not next year; not when we get it all together, but today, and every day that He gives us life.

I don't know about you, but I will not let it be said that I waited too late and was caught with my work undone.  Since I know my days are numbered, I will use them all to glorify my Father in Heaven, and walk in His purpose for my life.  I hope you'll join me.

~May you live in His love.~

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Joy of The Lord...

Today, I've been in a fight with my feelings.  There's a lot on my mind, and heaviness has been hovering over me ever since I woke up this morning.  Initially I just assumed that it was because my 95 year old grandmother has been in a semi-coma for a few days, and we aren't sure if she'll pull through.  But that's not it.  I'm at peace about that, because I know that she's in God's hands.

I've prayed.

I've praised.

I've worshipped.

Still this heaviness won't go away, and the tears that keep filling my eyes won't dry up.  Lord, what's wrong with me?  I keep asking, but no answer.  My feelings are telling me to ball up in my bed, and pull the covers over my head until whatever this is passes.  On the other hand, my spirit is telling me to reach down into my soul and pull out some of that uncircumstantial joy that resides on the inside.  So what do I choose to do?  Although it would be much easier to just succumb to my feelings, I choose the latter.  Sure enough, I could probably just use a tight hug, venting session, or a hearty laugh, but for now, I'll allow the joy of the Lord to be my strength.

I may be in a battle with my feelings today, but I refuse to allow them to win.  I have learned to control my feelings - most of the time - instead of being controlled by them. 

Emotions change from moment to moment, and if you allow yourself to be governed by them you will always find yourself on a rollercoaster full of high peaks and pit falls.  I've been there and done that; it's unstabling and causes you to feel double-minded.  That's no way to go through life, or even through the day.

Though I may be unsure of my feelings today, I am sure of this - The joy that I have on the inside is not contingent upon external circumstances.  You should be sure of that too.  Wrap yourself in His joy!

"This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!” ~Nehemiah 8:10b NLT~

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pray, Praise, and Press

I've been sick all week.  Stomach ache, headache, cold sweats, no energy, hot flashes...I don't know WHAT was going on.  Today is the first day since Sunday that I've been able to go about things as usual.  I'm not feeling 100%, but I am definitely feeling a lot better. 

After a full day of an excrutiating migraine that had me near tears, I reached the point where I just couldn't take it anymore.  I had to do something, and since none of the medicine that was suggested by my doctor seemed to help, I decided to turn to The Doctor who has the cure for all things.

Late last night, while my family was sleeping, I pulled myself up to the sitting position and began to pray.  After I prayed, I powered up my laptop, put my earphones in my ear, and played my favorite gospel mix. I had myself a good ol' time...just me and Jesus.

I gave myself two options -- I could continue to lay there and wallow in my pain, or I could pray, praise, and press my way through it.  I chose the latter, and because I did, I woke up this morning with renewed strength.

I think that's the stance we should take with the issues of life.  Painful seasons are inevitable; we will all have our fair share.  But just because you're stricken with pain - whether physical, spiritual, or emotional - does not mean you have to just lay there and allow it to overtake you.  You have options.

You can pray, praise, press your way through any situation you're faced with.  No, it may not necessarily make your pain go away, but it will definitely give you the strength and wherewithal to get through it.  The enemy would love to see you drown in helplessness, hopelessness, and self-pity, but that should be all the more reason to not allow yourself to give him the satisfaction.  That's when you should reach down within your soul and tap into the power given to you by the Greater One, and declare that no weapon will prosper in taking your joy, your peace, or your life.

You and I have been empowered to conquer every situation that occurs in our lives.  The way to activate that power lies in our ability to press into prayer and praise, and invoke the presence of the Lord even when we're hurting.

Let your mind rise above your discomfort, and pray, praise, and press through it. You'll feel so much better.

"Rejoice always, pray continually..." 1 Thessalonians 5:16:17

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

His Presence

God is so amazing!  No, I'm not saying that because something extraordinarily spectacular has occured in my life today, but merely expressing the sentiments of my heart.  God is SO amazing!  I wish I could find the perfect words to articulate the overwhelming of His presence in this season of my life; however, there are some things that are simply inexplicable.  I've found myself weeping and worshipping, and praying and praising before the Lord, and captivated by His glory in a way I've never before experienced.  God is doing something spiritually spectacular within me, but no words can truly convey what my heart desires to say. 

There's nothing like the presence of the Lord.  Absolutely nothing. 

It's sweet.

It's pure.

It's fulfilling.

It's freeing.

Nothing compares to it, and I could not imagine life without it. 

There's so much on my heart to share - this wasn't even what I planned to write about - but I'm so full that I can't get through a sentence without tears flowing from my eyes.  I'm caught up...totally smitten by the Lord.

I just want to encourage you to find your way into God's presence.  If you're a facebook friend, then you know that I've been talking about the presence of the Lord all week.  I believe that the Lord is calling His people to make their way back into relationship with Him, and that entails pressing into His presence.  Make time to sit at the feet of the Lord and lose yourself in the sweetness of His glory.

Now let me go pull myself together.  I feel Jesus y'all!!!

"In your presence there is fulness of joy..." Psalm 16:11

~May you live in His love.~