There are some places that your faith just cannot take you. What do you do when you believe for it hope for it, pray for it, fasted for it and stand firm but nothing happens?
I can speak from experience that after praying for it, believing for it, hoping against hope but the dream died anyway, You will become discouraged, depressed, frustrated, disoriented and just flat out give up on the dream. After you have taken your best shot and failed the next best thing is not to want it anymore. After all you have used up all your options there is nothing left to try. Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over expecting a different response but what do you do when you want to give up but deep down you know you must keep going?
In Judges chapter 6, Gideon found himself in such a predicament, he was frustrated because the midianites kept stealing and destroying their crops. The Israelites were frustrated because of their sins against God. The Lord sent the midianites to frustrate them in order that they might acknowledge their sins and be forgiven.
Gideon did not understand it, He could not figure out what was wrong, so he was frustrated, He has heard about the miracles of his forefathers, and how God brought them out of the land of Egypt with miracles signs and wonders but here they were being oppressed by their enemies, why God why?
I can believe that at some point Gideon prayed and ask God to send help. As we can see the angel of the Lord answered Gideon while he was in the wine press threshing wheat.
At this point Gideon was beyond his faith, his capacity, to believe that God was going to do something about Israel’s condition. He was so frustrated that when God himself showed up he did not recognized him. Sometimes we can become so engrossed in our conditions that when God show up our situation we dismissed him.
As you continue to read the story of Gideon you will come to see how God use Gideon to deliver Israel from the oppression of the Midianites but it was not because of Gideons faith but rather the Grace of God.
When you come to the end of your faith, You will meet up on God’s Grace. When you know you have done all you can do, you prayed every prayer you can pray. You have fasted, you have given everything you can give, wait for the Grace of God to take you beyond faith. His grace will take you places that your faith can only dream of. I don’t want to leave you with the misconception that faith is not necessary, faith is the precursor to grace. You must go through faith to receive grace.
If you are struggling with faith in God or wrestling with the cares and concerns of life. Pray to the Lord and ask him to guide you to his grace. Don’t give up.
The word for 2019 is reset. There are some things that you started in 2018 that you did not get to finish. Somehow you got derailed by procrastination, distractions, illnesses, lack of resources and a myriad of other hindrances. In 2019 God is giving you a chance to reset and restore.
When your electronic devices get stuck in a process sometimes you need to restart it in order to reset it. In 2019 God is giving you the chance to restart the thing that you stopped in 2018.
Just because you did not finish doesn’t mean that you quit.
It’s time to re-start that book, it’s time to re-start that business, it’s time to re-start looking for that new job, it’s time to set new goals for your life it’s time for you to start again.
One of the important thing about restarting our resetting is to actually know what causes us to get stuck in the first place. On your electronic device you can press the button and restart or reset but with human being in order to restart or reset you must understand what causes you to be stuck in the first place. This is very important because if you don’t know why you got stuck in 2018 you will get stuck again in 2019.
You need to understand what tripped you up in 2018 so that you can avoid those pitfalls going into 2019. If you knew you were supposed to start a business and you procrastinate you cannot set the same goals for 2019 if you do not deal with your procrastination. If you got distracted in 2018 and you do not identify and deal with your distractions then you are going to be distracted again.
Illnesses does not have to stop you from accomplishing your goals and your purpose in life. For some of you who are dealing with sicknesses that are debilitating you can manage by seeking medical help and following your doctors orders. It may take you a little longer than others to reach your goal but keep pressing toward the mark. Work at your own pace, peck at it little by little until you hit that target.
And for those of you who have missed your mark in 2018 because of the lack of resources identify what type of resources do you need to accomplish your goals and then find out how you can get them. There are all kinds of resources, grants small business loans, credit cards, family members, you just need to find the right one.
God will always give you provisions for the vision.
Sometimes it is not always visible to the naked eye but as we seek God he will show us where our provision is.
You may not always see a clear path to your vision but as the Scripture says, Write the vision make it plain that he reads it we run with it, and if it tarry, wait for it because it will surely come to pass.
Reset and start again, 2019 is your year to complete that which you have began.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Gen. 1:1
There’s a cadence for almost everything that we do. The word cadence means the rhythmic like flow or sequence of sounds or words. In music it’s a musical chord sequence moving to a harmonic close or point of rest and giving the sense of harmonic completion. As the sequence of keys are played, it gives the listener a sense of completion.
There is rest in your cadence. Rest is the freedom from activities but it is also a rhythmic silence in music. God does not always want you to work, by his intelligent design of our human body it’s clear that he expect us to rest. He said, six days, we should labor and do all our work but on the seventh day we must rest. Rest is very important to God, throughout the scriptures he often speaks of rest, enter into the rest of the Lord, the Lord gives us rest from our enemies. Rest is so important to God m, the almighty creator, maker of heaven and earth that He rested on seventh day. It doesn’t matter how much you have to do or what your timeline is you need to rest.
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. (Gen. 2:2)
Rest in music helps to process what we have heard while preparing us to listen to the upcoming notes. It’s like taking a breath before continuing to speak. If the musical chords needs rest, how much more does a living, breathing, talking, walking instrument needs rest. Rest recharges our physical bodies, rejuvenates our souls and prepare our hearts to hear from the Lord. It’s in those quiet, stillness of our souls that we are more likely to experience God’s presence and enter into his rest.
There’s balance in your cadence it’s important for you to know when to do what. Don’t be so concerned about doing so much for the Lord that you miss out on spending time in his presence. The Lord is more interested in your heart than he’s interested in your hands. It was never about what you can do for God but what God can do through you. Many of us are working for the Lord but not with the Lord. We need to find our cadence and allow ourselves to be deeply drawn into fellowship with God.
Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. Exodus 33:15
Moses prayed that the Lord would not take him up from where he was if God’s presence did not go with him. This was not an easy prayer to pray because Moses basically was asking God to leave them in the desert. We sometimes want to run ahead and get things done and move to the next level but how many of us are willing to say, ‘Lord leave me right where I am until I’m able to walk in your presence?’ It’s all about getting back to our posture in Christ, getting back into our position in Christ in heavenly places. We need the presence of God more than we need to be successful. I’ll even venture as far as to say that we are not successful unless we are in the presence of God.
There are certain elements that we must know if we are to operate in our cadence. The musicians can create beautiful music when they know where each key is located on the keyboard and they know in what order to tap those keys. Sometimes the cadence of our lives can be as easy doh, Ray, me, fah, so lah, ti, doh but other times the cadence will become more difficult and requires preparation and practice. We need to know which keys to hit in the midnight hour when sickness or death comes knocking at our doors. We need to know what to do when trials and tribulations comes. The keys of faith, prayer, fasting, activating the word, standing on His promises, putting on the whole armor of God and claiming our healing and deliverance. We need to know the keys as in the weapons (keys) of our warfare. We need to know the timing so that we do not move ahead of God or missed our moments.
Build yourself an ark of cypress. I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens. (Genesis 6) paraphrased.
There’s preparation in your cadence. Preparation is the process of getting ready for use. It’s making sure that things go smoothly once the event starts. It is make certain you know where to find those keys to create the sounds that your audience wants to hear. Preparation gives you the ability to put into practice the things that you have learned. Preparation can be daunting but it’s necessary to sustain a proper cadence. Preparation can seem like a waste of time, and sometimes does not make sense. God told Noah to build an ark in preparation for a flood that was coming. Noah and the people of his time had never seen a flood before, so to build this ark and prepare for flood did not make any sense until the flood came. Sometimes God will give you something to do that does not make sense but if you keep working at it God will reveal his great big plans at the right and you will be able flow in the next move of God.
There’s practice in your cadence. Practice is defined as doing something over and over. For some of us our practice may look like we are going around the same mountain for 40 years. It may feel frustrating and we may even ask ourselves why am I going through this does it really matter? What am I practicing for? Practice helps you to perfect your craft. In sports, the athletes go through weeks and months of practice before the big game. They practice when there’s a game coming up, they practice when there’s no game, they are always practicing and conditioning themselves to be ready for the big day. When you see an athlete playing on the field it may seem effortless, but what you don’t see is the years of practice that went on behind the scene. If you want to be good at what you do you need to practice. Find your cadence, prepare yourself practice, your cadence.
There is passion in your cadence, you will not truly put your heart into something that you are not passionate about. Your passion gives you the grace for preparation and practice. It’s difficult to keep working at something day after day without seeing immediate results but if you are passionate about it you will keep working at it. Your passion keeps you committed to your cadence when your preparation and practice becomes painful. It was the passion of Jesus that led him to the cross and kept him nailed to the cross. Jesus’s Cadence came to a grand crescendo when he cried “it is finish”. His passionate love for us gave him the ability to stick with it.
What is your passion? Are you willing to stick with it even when it hurts? Ask the Lord to help you find your cadence and begin to live and operate in it. Remember your cadence is different from your purpose. Your purpose is what you need to do but your cadence is the rhythm or sequence that you will use to get it done. For example you know that you must write a book but there are many ways to write, you need to determine, what you are going to write, how, by hand or typing, dictation etc. when, what time of day, how many hours per day. In the process of writing your book you will find that you need to be rested, be prepared, practice, create balance, especially if you are raising a family and you must be passionate about your topic. This goes for anything you do, there is a cadence for everything.
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Everyone has those a life-changing moments where everything changes. Some of those moments are for the best while others are sometimes for the worst. David’s father ask him to take some lunch to His brothers who were soldiers fighting in the armies of Israel. This was just an ordinary request David had no idea that God was about to wreck his life. He had no idea that would be his last day tending his father’s sheep. He had no idea that he was about to collide with his destiny. He had no idea that a stage was set for him and that it was also show time.
When David reach the Battlefield where his brothers and the army of Israel were camped, he was faced with a moment that changed his life forever. As David witnessed Goliath threatening and mocking the army of Israel, righteousness indignation burned within his heart. He asked, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”( 1 Samuel 17:26).
David was standing in a moment that would forever changed his life but he did not yet know it.
David was more concerned about Goliath’s blatant disregard for the living God. He was not trying to make his name known, he was just trying to represent the God of Israel. He was angry that a mere man, an uncircumcised man, a man that had no covenant with God was ‘disgracing’ God’s army.
Please understand that this was no ordinary moment but David didn’t know that it was a set up. God had divinely ordained for David to be there to seize the moment, an international stage was set, at it was waiting for the right person to show up. I wonder what kind of stage God has set for you and I. Sometimes we walk right past the stage that God has set for us, sometimes we look too hard for the stage that is set. Your stage is set but like David you must got through God to get to you stage. Don’t seek for the stage or the moment seek for the moment giver and the stage setter and he will lead to your stage at the right time.
Sometimes the stages that God has set before us can seem so daunting like a huge wave threatening to destroy our lives. David was not equal in size to his stage of Goliath but he knew that greater was on the inside of him and he trusted in the name of the Lord. He was just an ordinary shepherd boy, he was just there to deliver food. He could’ve just dropped off his brothers lunches and went on about his business. He could have just watch to see what would happen next. He could have said I am not a soldier, I am a shepherd, I am not qualified. One look at Goliath and David could have fainted like the rest of the army of Israel. He was not a trained soldier he did not know how to fight he was just a youth. David had all the right excuses if he needed them but he ran to face the giant instead.
Are you running from something that God wants you to face?
David seized the moment. You have been staring at Goliath for quite some time now, God wants you to seize this moment and run to the battlefield. What are those moments that are passing us by that if we only had the courage to seize it, our lives would be forever change. Have you ever feel like your life is at a standstill? This is where the army of Israel was, they were discouraged at the sight of Goliath. The battle was at a standstill until someone was brave enough to fight Goliath. They just stood there staring at Goliath, no courage to fight him, because they were trusting in their own abilities, they were thinking inside the box of their military training, They missed their moment, It took someone with no military training to see the battle from a different perspective. I bet none of the soldiers had any slingshots, they all had spears and javelins.
Have you ever felt like you have missed your moment?
You may even be able to go back to your mind and identify where you missed it, and why you missed it. There are some God moments in my life that I have totally missed it. The Lord said to tell you, He allowed you to missed it because you have become complacent, careless and nonchalant in your walk of faith. You missed it because you do not pray like you used to, you do not run after him and seek his presence like you used to. You missed it because you stop trusting him to fight your battles. You missed it because you are easily given to excuse; I’m to tired to pray, I’m too weak, too sick I’m not qualified, I’m too busy. As David claimed slew Goliath and claimed victory for Israel, I can hear the soldier saying we missed it. why didn’t we think of that? Why didn’t we trust god to fight the battle for us?
I wonder what would’ve happened that day if David had missed his moment. Here’s what I believe, God would have defeated the Philistines and slay Goliath but David would remain in obscurity until it was time for him to be King. We don’t know how God would’ve done it but God gave David a moment and David seize it.
In order for you to seize your moment, you need to be able to recognize your moment. In order for you to recognize your moment you need to get in the presence of the Lord. Get intimately acquainted with God that you serve. David was intimately acquainted with God because he spent many days on the back side of the desert caring for sheep. I imagine that he had many conversations with God on those lonely desert places. Often times as shepherds tend their flocks there is no one to talk to but God and the sheep. David being the psalmist and deep thinker that he was must have meditated on God’s words in those alone time. He must have sought the presence of God and encounter God because his confidence on the battlefield tells us that David knew something about God the armies of Israel did not know. The David the we see standing before Goliath was a confident David, he knew that God would give him the victory over Goliath. Yes he killed the lion and the bear but it took some supernatural confidence to stand before a giant. I wonder if God were to give you a giant slaying moment right now what would you do with it? Would you recognize it? Would you seize it?
God said to tell you that your reaction is about to set it off, You are about to set off a giant slaying moment in your life. The battlefield has been set, the victory is already won, God is waiting for you to set it off. Start moving in the direction of your giant. God says to tell you, He knew you would miss it the last 20 times but he was setting you up for this moment. This is the moment! This is the day! You are divinely position to become a giant slayer but God is waiting for you to stand up and seize the moment. He is looking for David’s that will recognize the moment, understand God’s vision for his people stand up in front of Goliath and declare, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. (I Samuel 17:45).
Whatever your giants are, begin to speak to those Giants in your life; Giants you are about to die, giants of witchcraft you are about to die, giants of sickness and disease you are about to die because I come to you in the name of the Lord God Almighty. Witchcraft and poverty you come against me but I come name of the Lord. You come against me with contentious, jealousy, gossip and backbiting but I come to you in the name of the Lord. Giant you come to me with setbacks fears and failures but I come to you in the name of the Lord!
Seize your moment set off the the battle!! Goliath, you going down!! Answer the call to battle and seize the moment because their won’t be another moment like this. This is my moment where the giants that were trying to intimidate me is about to fall. Fear you have intimidated me long enough, procrastination, low self esteem, lack, sickness, weariness you have intimidated me long enough but you are about to fall. I set it off in the name of Jesus and claim victory over every giant that is trying to intimidate me.
From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. (1 Samuel 18:1)
David never returned home because the king kept him. His life was completely transformed. God gave him an upfront seat to the throne of Israel which he would one day occupy. Unknowingly David’s royal training had begun all because he seized the moment.
Psalm 23: 4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Many times in our lives we will find ourselves walking through the valley of the shadow of death but the Good Shepherd already knew that we would walk through this valley. He promised that he would never leave us so his presence is with us even in the valley of the shadow of death. The presence of the Lord gave David comfort as he walked through his valley of the shadow of death. David, said, “for thou art with me.” His presence gave David great comfort because David knew him to be greater than any giant he ever faced and he knew Him to be stronger than any lion or bear, he knew Him to be the Lord Strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle, Yes that God was with David and is now with us.
I wonder what kind of valley are you going through right now; are you walking through the valley of cancer? Are you walking through the valley of depression? Are you walking through the valley of the pain and loss? Are you walking through the valley of witchcraft coming against your life? What is your valley? What are your going through? Is there a Goliath in your valley? Is there a lion or a bear in your valley? What is in your Valley? What are you afraid of?
As David stood in the valley of Elah facing Goliath he remembered that the same God who delivered him from the paw of the bear and the lion was the same God who delivered him from the hand of Goliath. Whatever your valley is remember God is with you, and look back on your past and see how many times he has delivered you out of something you didn’t think you could get out of. This valley will be no exception, If he did it before he will do it again.
David said, thy rod and thy staff comforts him, so just what is the Rod and staff? What are they used for? In the case of the Shepherd the rod is a short club used for correction or for protection and the staff is a long slender stick, usually with a crook at the top, it used to guide the sheep and also as a support for the shepherd to lean on. In the spirit the Rod represents the word of God and the Staff represents the name of the Lord.
It’s interesting to note that David found comfort in these two items as a he walked through the valley of the shadow of death. These were his physical weapons of defense when he was a shepherd. He knew exactly what they were for and he knew that no good shepherd will go out without them. On any given day the sheep could be attack by wild beast such as lions and bears so it is important to carry these items of defense. It’s also interesting to note that the rod and staff are different by nature but performs similar duties. Because the staff is typically longer it is better used when the object of danger is further from the body but the rod is typically more effective when the threat is in close proximity.
As a shepherd David must have used his rod and staff a million times but as he went out to meet Goliath he had a different kind of rod and staff in mind. David was not thinking about an ordinary rod and staff. David had to size up this opponent and decided whether or rod or the staff would be most effective.
David chose to use his spiritual staff; David knew that the rod or the word would be lost on his opponent because, Goliath had no concept of God because he defied and mocked God. David also knew in order to use the rod you need to be in close proximity to your opponent and he was not trying to get into a fist fight or a wrestling match with a giant. David needed a strategy and he needed the right weapons. His Shepherd’s rod or staff would not work in this case. In the physical, David chose a sling and a stone and relied on a different kind of staff.
You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
David understood something about the name of the Lord, this was David’s Staff, He knew that there was protection in the name of the Lord, He knew that there is real Power in His name to break every chain and slay every giant in his life, he knew that the name of the Lord is a strong tower and the righteous runs in and they are safe. He knew the name of the Lord was a name that is above every name.
When you are going through your valley of the shadows of death, it’s important first to know that the presence of God is always with you because he promised that he would never leave you nor forsake you. Secondly, you should use the right strategies and the right weapons to fight with. Many times we go out in battle and we get defeated because we are not using the right weapons to fight with. Jesus used the rod or the word of God to defeat Satan by telling him “It is written.. three times Jesus overcame the temptation of the enemy by pointing to the scripture. It is important to know the word of God and hide it in your heart like David did so that you will not sin against Him. The word of God provides you with comfort and protection. The name of the Lord comforts, strengthens and protects you.