Hiding or Hidden – Part II

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The Holy Spirit has finally allowed me to continue with Hiding or Hidden – Part II, although we know that the last two blog posts were not really detours, but steps on our path that He had already ordained.  So, today we are considering if we have the courage to come out of hiding, from behind our stuff, our insecurities, or other people? Or are we simply hiding behind our busyness?  Either way, I must say that the Lord has truly been patient with us.  He has told us all that “He will be with us”, no matter what we may be hiding behind.

But what if the Lord is keeping us Hidden until He’s ready to expose us to those that need us.  I am reminded of a post that I shared with you last year, about the story of Elijah. I won’t rehash the whole story, but Elijah was hidden by the Lord from King Ahab.  You may remember that the Lord put Elijah in a safe place during the drought, which was due to last for 3 years.  During this time, Elijah didn’t hear from God, but he has food and water, so he was good.  The Lord had kept Elijan hidden until he was ready for his assignment and his assignment was ready for him.  Therefore, I am suggesting that although the Lord may not be saying much right now, we may also be hidden until just the right time.  The Lord will move us when He is ready, so we must continue to be patient and persevere.  We all know that waiting in silence can be tough, but we must stay encouraged.  Remember, in Galatians 6:9 NLT, it says,

So, let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

Then in James, it says, For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

james 1:3-4

And finally in Hebrews, it says,

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.  Hebrews 10:36

hebrews 10:36

Just like Elijah, we will start to wonder what the Lord is doing, especially when we implement something that we know God told us to do, and it doesn’t quite work the way we planned.  Nothing can make us second guess ourselves more.  But we also should know that the Lord will disrupt a rather settled, peaceful situation, and then it seems like He goes silent. Yet, this is normally the time that we will start talking to Him, we may begin to pray just a bit more intentionally.  God is listening always for our voice, which has a unique sound in God’s ear. The Lord wants to from hear us, even in our frustration, even in our disappointment.

Well, the Bible doesn’t tell us, just how long Elijah waited, but at some point, the Lord told Elijah to come out of hiding and go to Zarephath, because there was someone who needed him, a widow, and her son, who were ready to eat their last meal and die.   You’ll have to read the rest of the story when you have a moment, in 1 Kings, Chapter 17. 

Bottomline, it’s time for us to get ready to come out of hiding, refined and refreshed for what’s ahead; to be confident in our gifting that the Lord has put in us and to know that the Holy Spirit will sustain us during our journey.

He said that He would be with us, wherever we go!  “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  So, ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether we are being hidden by the Lord or if we have chosen to hide from the Lord, He always knows where you are… and in due time, we will be revealed!

Are you Loyal to a Fault? – Part II

Now before I tell you the rest of my story from last week, I want to remind of the question at hand, are you loyal to a fault? Loyal to a friendship or a relationship, even a family member, who may have become a distraction or a disruption in your life.  This may even apply to a grown child, (wait, that may be for just me).  Now I am by no means suggesting that we sever ties with those that we love, however, we may have to set some boundaries or possibly establish some distance, so that the Lord can do what only He can… or maybe we are loyal to a job, a position, even a church, that we have lost sight of our purpose and even ignored our calling.  The Lord may be allowing us the time let it go, or He may just have to take it away. You may want to think about that for a moment.  May I remind you that the Lord knows what’s Best for us and His Timing is perfect.

So, back to my story, amid the agony of my decision regarding returning to my church, I realized that this was not just about COVID concerns.  My church and I have changed a lot over the past 3 years.  However, the Holy Spirit said, “Call your Pastor, you cannot just walk away without a conversation.  I have not taken your church away from you, you will need to have a spiritual covering of a Pastor, no matter where I take youI just want you to know that a church nor anything else can stand in the way of your calling”.  

I believe that we all must understand that as we make choices and decisions in all aspects of our lives, our desire must be to be in the Will of God.  Of course, all our choices will not be the “right” ones or the “best” ones, however, we should have a standard for our friendships, relationships, (well, we can’t pick our families!), jobs and even churches that are in accordance with His plan for us and aligns with God’s Will for our lives. 

So, back to my story, the Holy Spirit reminded me that shortly after joining his church, it was my pastor, who recognized and helped me to acknowledge my calling to the Word of God, to preach and to teach.  I cannot even begin to tell you the details of my conversation with my Pastor, but one of the most important things, he said to me was that he has seen me on the various social media platforms, he recognizes my anointing and my ministry, and he is there to support me and with that I had the peace that I needed.  But, although the Holy Spirit had addressed my concern, in essence, He hadn’t answered the question. 

Remember when I said in an earlier post, that there are times when the Lord’s first answer, may not be His final answer.  For me, I must always stay connected, and so should you, so that we can hear His entire answer.  We can’t just take the first part or just any part and run with it.  So, I was listening to a message and the preacher was talking about the story of the prophet Samuel.  You may remember, Samuel was Hannah’s son, who was called to be a prophet at a very young age, that’s another powerful message, but that’s for another day.  What was interesting to me is that the preacher focused on Samuel’s hearing and recognizing the voice of God.  Near the end of his message, he spoke a word of prophecy and said, “Return to the first place where you heard His voice, that place of chaos and confusion”.  So, it definitely got my attention, but was that for me and what would that mean? 

Well, I guess I’d better keep listening to what the Holy Spirit is saying and wait for His final answer…

Are You Loyal to a Fault?

The Lord told me a long time ago that the more transparent I am, the more His light would shine through me, so I have a little story to tell you.  For the last several months, I have been struggling with the idea of returning to my church.  Since the pandemic, my husband and I have spoken many times about going back into the sanctuary.  We’ve continued to pay our tithes and we are not actively look for another church home.  In 2008, the Lord opened the door to us at our church with a Man of God and First Lady, who were not only our pastors, but our friends, when we truly needed it the most.

So, early one Sunday morning, the Holy Spirit asked me this question, “Have you become loyal to a fault and in essence, lost sight of where I need you to go” and I started to cry.  For me, crying is a sure sign that I am in the presence of the Holy Spirit, and He has truly overwhelmed me.  But as I believe that some of us have done from time to time, I pushed past it and started to go about my day.  Interesting enough my husband got up early to have coffee with me before I went to work (on his day off, on a rainy Sunday morning… I should have known that the Holy Spirit was setting me up!).  So, I got dressed, went down for coffee and simply began to share with my husband what the Holy Spirit had said and I really start to cry to the point that I could hardly speak.  At that moment, I knew that this is another major turning point in my life and in my ministry. 

The Holy Spirit told me to call my Pastor and just share my thoughts.  Over the past 14 years, my Pastor has been there for us through so much.  He and First Lady embraced us with love like we had never experienced before, not just as pastors but as true friends.  I now realize that no matter where the Lord is taking us, we cannot simply walk away without at least a conversation.

If you may remember a few weeks ago, I said that there is someone, including myself, that needs to hear that the Lord has delivered us from our own place of bondage, which is probably not a physical place.  It’s a place in our mind or heart that we have allowed ourselves to be stuck in.  However, it will become a place of the Lord’s provision and protection until we are ready for where He needs us to go, in accordance with His plan.  I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit then too. 

So, if you have found yourself being “loyal to a fault”, the Lord will allow time for us to let “it” go or He may just have to take “it” away, so that we can move into the place that He has promised us. I now don’t believe that this is about whether I attend a specific church, but more about me being secure in my calling, no matter what!  So, what have you allowed to get in the way of what you were created to do? What has the Lord asked you to let go of?  If you are truly pondering those questions, you may want to have a conversation with Him.  We wouldn’t want Him to have to move “it” for us…  Stay tuned, there’s more to this story!

“Stop Sweating the Small Stuff!!” – A Personal Reflection

Over the past several months, I’ve taken an even closer look at my own path on this journey called life and I pray that you have too.  Last month, I turned 66 and although I know that my steps have been ordered through all the good times and the bad, I finally have a confidence that I’m truly living on purpose.  You may not know this, but along with my podcast, I create short reels/videos on Instagram, also prompted by the Holy Spirit.  So, please check it out.  Right after my birthday last month, I filmed “Stop Sweating the Small Stuff…”, so I wanted to share my thoughts in a little more detail with you, some of which I’m sure that I have mentioned before. 

However, for the past few years, especially since the pandemic began, I have pursued the Lord’s face like never before.  I hunger for His Word, and I’ve been very intentional about listening to the Holy Spirit.  To say that my life is so much better, would be an understatement.  But please don’t misunderstand, this fresh revelation has not made my life easier, as we may define it.  My life still has its challenges, but I’ve learned to “stop sweating the small stuff, I turn the big stuff over to the Lord, and if I’m not sure what size it is, I give it to Him anyway.  But, you really don’t have to wait until you’re my age, these days can be your best days.  When we allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide our every step, every day, we can actually live Philippians 4,

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6-7 NLT

I’m reminded of an old song by Kirk Franklin and the chorus says,

I know that I can make it
I know that I can stand
No matter what may come my way
My life is in your hands

With Jesus, I can take it
With Him, I know I can stand
No matter what may come my way
My life is in your hands

So, walk in your Calling, be the person that you were created to be

and Live on purpose,

and do what you were created to do and,

Make sure that you remember to take a quiet moment to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying…

Did you Forget how to Swim?

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This is a very interesting question from someone who doesn’t even know how to swim. But may I say that I will never look at the story of Peter walking on water ever the same.  But hold on, you may think you know where I’m going, but stay with me, because you may not know where I’m going to end up…

Now I believe that most of us are familiar with this story, but just in case, please allow me to give you the highlights.  In Matthew, Chapter 14, Jesus has just feed more than five thousand men, women, and children with the 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread.  He then tells His disciples to get in the boat and go to the other side of the sea.  Now looking back, they should have been just a little suspicious… But later, they see this figure in the dark, walking on water and they become frightened.  Jesus says, “It’s I, do not be afraid”.  Now Peter has always been an interesting character in the bible, but we won’t go into that right now.  However, Peter says, “Lord, if that’s you, command me to come to You on the water”, so Jesus says “Come”

Peter had enough faith to get out of the boat and walk on water.  But when he heard the winds start to rage, he took his eyes off Jesus, and he began to sink.  Peter cried out for Jesus to save him and immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him.  Here’s the revelation, Peter was a fisherman by trade, so, “Did he forget how to swim?”  The Lord said to Peter, “Ye of little faith, why did you doubt?”   So, my question to you is have you started to doubt your own ability and sink?  Please don’t misunderstand, I would never suggest that you venture out onto the water without direction and guidance from the Holy Spirit.  But think about it, you’ve had enough faith to face your biggest challenge and step out of the boat, so why didn’t you keep walking?   

So, I’ll ask you once again, “Did you forget how to swim?”  In this case, swimming could represent anything that God has given us the ability to do, but, instead, we wait for Him to pull us out of the water.  Now, as we saw with Peter, the Lord will always be there when we need Him, even when we doubt Him and sink… I will never quite look at the story of Peter walking on the water, the same way again, how about you?