Oh my! God is so good to me! Today is National Day of Prayer, and my school was honored to have Supreme Court Justice of North Carolina Mr. Newby come speak to us. His dear wife, Mrs. Macon, came and spoke as well. She didn’t speak out of her own strength. No, rather, her words were guided by the Lord. Honestly, the way she declared God’s Truth and goodness was unique and different than any other person I’ve heard before. Her gentle words spoke to my spirit. They collided with truths God has already been bringing to the surface of my spirit. I wanted to take this moment to share the words I believe God is seeking to declare over you.
The time truly is now to declare Jesus as Lord and embrace His freedom. As Jesus has been blessing me with so many ministry opportunities here lately, I have felt the enemy sitting at the door of my life seeking to devour my attachment to God’s goodness. Honestly, the enemy has been furious. Instead of letting that discourage me, I have been trying to view it as an encouragement.
It’s important that we remember how valuable our lives in Christ are. God has set you a part to be a prophet to the nations.
Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV) says, ”Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Your life does not just affect you. This fear, anxiety, and worry that is bottled up inside of you cannot stay there. God doesn’t want you to keep looking at your past or seeking to live in it either. Yes, those experiences you had with Him were great. They were life changing! The problem we have is that we sometimes stop living in Jesus today because we don’t think we will be as close to Him as we once were. That is a lie from Hell that I beg you to not believe.
God wants to give you freedom from all of your insecurities, broken dreams, and heartaches today. You don’t have to wait until Heaven to receive your miracles. Pastor Doug Baker shared a message on this at my church Sunday. In Heaven, there are no marriage issues, miscarriages, broken bodies, or tears. God has good things in store for you in the right now. While Heaven will usher us into complete restoration and redemption, you don’t have to wait to be made new.
Do not give up on praying passionately for the people God burdens your heart for. We never know how needed our prayers for others are. One of the most amazing things we can experience is having God intercede through us for His other children! Your prayers do matter, and they do make a difference!
People are desperate for hope and longing for acceptance. We all are. As believers, we contain inside of us the Answer to every problem. We can have joy when dark circumstances arise. We can have peace in the midst of storms. A life lived in Christ is not always easy, my friend! It’s not, but there is purpose in our hard seasons. While reading the Magnolia Journal by Chip and Joanna Gaines, a quote from their ten-year-old son jumped off of the pages before me yesterday. Talking about gardening tomatoes, Duke’s advice was “To not pick them before they are ready.” Simple, right? Or so it seems.
What is growing in your life right now? What has God planted that you have yet to see harvested? Waiting for things can be extremely difficult. Our hearts can feel strained, but there is purpose in our waiting, my friend! After researching some cute little tomatoes, I found out that they are first placed under the ground with manure over them. Poop is placed over the tomatoes before they really start growing! What produces growth in our lives and fertilizes us? Hard times, the things that seem disgusting, the things that no one wants to get close to. If you feel like your life has poop over it right now, then you are in a growing season! You are actually in a good but crucial spot.
When tomatoes are transported from the inside of a building to the outdoors, they cannot handle direct sunlight constantly. People have to wean the plants into the light. We cannot expect non-believers to believe the way we do. We also should not expect new Christians to be as mature in Christ as someone who has been growing in Him for years. Progress matters.
Instead of watering tomato plants in the afternoons, they must be watered in the mornings! How will they have moisture to survive the heat of a day if they are not watered before the sun gets hot? If you and I want to survive the dry and hot trials of life, we have to be full of the Lord. Before starting our days, quality time with Jesus is so sweet. It prepares us for anything we will face in a day.
As I mentioned before, a Christian’s life is not full of sheer celebratory moments all of the time. It can get tough, but we cannot give up! If the devil has been attacking you, please know that God is doing something inside of you that’s bigger than any human can see.
We can’t pick things before God says they are ripe. For me, this has looked like being true to my commitment to not date in high school. Instead of rushing ahead in my mind or expecting another person to meet my needs, I am practicing gratefulness for this season. It is one that I’m able to go deeper into the woods and get deeper into my Father’s Presence. What is it that you have been tempted to pick recently? You know God has been growing something special inside of you, and you are so ready to see it come to completion. You want to hold the finished project inside of your hands. You want to be walking beside your special person. You dream of cuddling that baby.
Don’t pick these things before God makes them ready. Focus on your Gardener. There is so much that can and needs to be done in the soil of our hearts today. Embrace freedom. Don’t rush ahead. God’s timing IS perfect. I’ve heard that SO many times, but I’m trusting Jesus as He helps me actually believe it. Will you choose to believe it too?
A story from 1 Samuel 13 keeps racing across my spirit. Saul was anointed as king by God through the prophet Samuel. Saul was ready to go and ready for God’s plans to come to life. The Philistines were fighting against the Israelites. “The men of Israel saw that they were in trouble because the troops were in a difficult situation. They hid in caves, in thickets, among rocks, and in holes and cisterns. Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.” -1 Samuel 13:6 (CSB) Saul waited seven days trying to wait for Samuel’s time frame to come to pass. When he didn’t see Samuel coming, Saul frantically took things into his own hands. He got tired of waiting. He probably questioned if what God had told him through Samuel was true. I’m sure there was a war going on in his mind. When troops started to desert Saul, he decided he was going to do something! He forced a burnt offering. Just as he did that, guess who showed up? Yep. The man Samuel.
“and Samuel asked, “What have you done?”
Saul answered, “When I saw that the troops were deserting me and you didn’t come within the appointed days and the Philistines were gathering at Michmash, I thought, ‘The Philistines will now descend on me at Gilgal, and I haven’t sought the Lord’s favor.’ So I forced myself to offer the burnt offering.”
Samuel said to Saul, “You have been foolish. You have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. It was at this time that the Lord would have permanently established your reign over Israel, but now your reign will not endure. The Lord has found a man after his own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over his people, because you have not done what the Lord commanded.” -1 Samuel 13:11-14 (CSB)
“It was at this time that the Lord would have permanently established your reign over Israel, but now your reign will not endure.” This phrase is quite convicting and heart opening!
I challenge you today, my friend. Do not get tired of waiting that you jump into something God never planned for you in the first place. Jesus hears your prayers! You don’t even know how impactful they are. Keep moving forward and believing in God’s power even when your circumstances make you want to doubt Him. The doors are going to open in Jesus’ timing, and it is going to be the most beautiful story whenever His plans for you come into action! Keep being faithful where you are placed now. God isn’t going to let you miss out on a moment of the plans He has in store for you. Keep letting God transform you from the inside out. He is good to us even when nothing else seems to be going right. Don’t forget how impactful your life is. You are making a difference for God’s Kingdom for eternity!