What Surrounds You?

A friend of mine posted this photo of a tree in New Orleans.

As I was looking at it, I immediately heard in my spirit, “Be careful what you surround yourself with…it will become a part of you!”

I’m sure that this metal support was put around the tree to help it grow. But, as we can see, there came a point where the metal began to become a part of the tree itself.

The tree is still growing, but we can see that the metal is affecting the integrity of the tree. It’s not meant to be a part of the tree structure – but because of it’s close proximity on a continual basis – it has become part of it.

I hear the Lord saying that we need to be aware of what we surround ourselves with! What are we allowing to transform us? God or man?

Do we surround ourselves with the Truth of God’s Word or do we surround ourselves with manmade truths and opinions?

As in the photo, we can still grow and continue our lives apart from God’s plan…but our lives will not display the beauty and purpose of our creation.

Brothers & Sisters! May our lives be a life of holiness, beauty, and truth in the Lord and not be marred with things of the flesh that will negatively affect our growth.

What surrounds us on a daily basis? What are we allowing to become a part of our lives…a part of who we are?

[photo credit: Will Griffis]

Renewed Purpose!

I am sitting here the day after my birthday feeling a renewed sense of purpose. I desire to be all that God wants me to be! I don’t want to hold myself back with my own limited expectations. I want to live out GOD’S expectations of me.

LORD, I place myself in Your hands! Empower and Anoint me for the days ahead to be Your vessel of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…”.

May You be honored in everything I say and do. Forgive me, Father, where I have fallen short! Manifest Your purposes in and through me, O LORD!!

I’m willing…I’m ready! I stand with an open heart, an open spirit, an open mind, and arms opened wide! Fill all of me with YOU, LORD!

I worship and adore You!!

SHIFT YOUR FOCUS!!

I don’t know about you, but there are times in my life where I find myself thinking back on my life journey and having regrets.

It would be so great if everything I have done and everything I have said was perfect. It would be so great to have no regrets…to not have a burden for things that highlight what an imperfect, flawed, and weak vessel that I was and continue to be.

I am not perfect. But, I know One who is! Jesus Christ, my beloved Lord and Savior, is perfect in all that He says and does!

I am so humbled and thankful that He loves me in spite of all of my weaknesses and flaws. I am so humbled that He still can use me for His glory in spite of all of the things that I do wrong.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

And I am comforted in knowing that He has used all of my mistakes and “regrets” to help mold and shape me into who He is calling me to be!

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Brothers and Sisters, if you are going through a time of regret, don’t let it stop you from forging ahead and answering the call of God on your life!  God doesn’t focus on what we lack…He focuses on who we are to become in and through Him!  And we are not to focus on what we lack…but we are to focus on all that we have through His abundance!

So!  Today I choose to shift my focus away from myself and all of what I am not…and I choose to align myself with God and shift my focus onto all that I am through His amazing grace and through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit!!

Will you join me?  One, two, three…..SHIFT!!

I AM CALLING YOU!

I hear the Lord saying:

“My Spirit within you makes you MORE than a conqueror–so don’t settle for just getting by.

My Spirit within you equips you to do GREATER works than I did while walking this earth–so don’t underestimate your value in the kingdom.

Stop trusting your ability and start trusting MINE!

I AM calling you…”

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Are You WILLING?

Don’t think that the Lord can’t use you until you have it “all together!” He knows every fault…He knows every weakness…and He still wants to use us!! He doesn’t choose to use us for His Glory because of who WE are — but He chooses to use us because of who HE is!! Christ in us, the hope of glory, wants to flow through you this day. All we have to be is WILLING!!

RISE UP!

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”    Philippians‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

We are told in Scripture to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.  (2 Corinthians 10:5). Our mind is indeed a “battlefield.”  Satan loves it when we focus on everything wrong in our lives. He loves it when we focus on our past mistakes and let those mistakes stop us from going forward in Christ. He loves it when we wallow in self pity and see ourselves as less than who we truly are – who Jesus says we are!

We are more than conquerors; We are chosen and dearly loved; We are the bride of Christ; We are empowered through the Holy Spirit to be who the Lord has called us to be and to do what we have been called to do!

Rise up, warriors of the Most High God!  Get out of the pit of despair and frustration and regret and lift up your eyes and see your destiny!!

Cut off the chains that are holding you back!

Shake the dust from your feet and go forward in God’s Love and Power!