Break Through!

“For now I will break off his yoke from you, And burst your bonds apart.” Nahum 1:13 NKJV

‘For it shall come to pass in that day,’ Says the LORD of hosts, ‘That I will break his yoke from your neck, And will burst your bonds; Foreigners shall no more enslave them.’ Jeremiah 30:8 NKJV

I spent a few days this week inspecting my yard and playing with my camera. Doing so, I came across my hostas!  Hostas come in many varieties and  return faithfully year after year. However, for this to happen, the hostas must first break through my very hard Georgia clay.

Like hostas, we have to push through some hard things as well. These things are as unique as each of us, yet if  persevere, pray and stay with God;  we can also find the warmth of the Son/sun and enter a season of growth and renewal. Not only does the hosta have to break through the cold hard ground to thrive in the spring, it must also shed some of its old dry and useless self. Hostas push away the old “bones” left over from last year making room for more life-sustaining leaves. There is a lesson in this for all of us.

The scriptures above speak of God’s promise to His people. Both prophets testify about how God will free His people. God’s Word speaks of delivering His people from enemies both physical and spiritual. God doesn’t want us to be in bondage to other people or sin.   DSC_0607

For some of us to live our lives as God intended we need to

Break some bad habits

Break new ground…learn something new, meet new people, broaden our thinking, vision and aspirations

Break off the shackles that bind…fear, depression, doubt, regret, guilt or whatever holds you hostage

Dare to deviate from what is not working. What has God promised you? Have you asked Him for direction, discernment, revelation? Have you done the things He’s told you to? If you are waiting on God, He is probably waiting on YOU!

“Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For [it is] time to seek the LORD, till He comes and rains righteousness on you.” Hosea 10:12 NKJV

Fallow in the above verse refers to land that is allowed to lie idle during the growing season. Many of us are waiting for a break through but do nothing during the growing season. How can we expect to reap a harvest if we don’t  sow good seed? Our break through requires work on our part!

Reap in mercy. To reap mercy you have to sow it. If some of us were a bit more merciful and less judgmental it would allow more time to improving ourselves!

It is time to seek the LordMany of us continually look for the next best thing, big idea or solution to a problem; yet, if we would only seek Him we would find the answers we desire. Our God is more than able. He is more than willing.

For those of you waiting on the perfect time to take that leap of faith, obey God’s prodding or even courage to take that first step, do it anyway. Do it afraid.

You don’t have to be fearless. God rewards our faith in Him, not perfection.

Finally, I never know when my hostas are going to appear. Some years I find them in February. Other years not until May. I never know when they will break through. We don’t know when our big break will come either. Yet, I am always expecting them to appear. I dare you to expect God to do the miraculous with you and through you.

Break out of what was and step into what can be.

Life is waiting. Time will not.

“A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up;” Ecclesiastes 3:3 NKJV

Pray and Persist

Sometimes in the pursuit of getting from point A to point Z we are often met with a few obstacles, distractions and detours.  Sometimes we can clearly see our destination but not the best route to get there. What we may think is a direct line between two points often turns out to be a circle that leads us right back to where we started! Or, what is presented as the best route possible turns out to be nothing more than a dead-end. So what should we do when we can see where we want to go but not quite how to get there?

Pray and Persist.

Pray to affirm that you are not only on the right path, but indeed seeking the correct destination!

What at times I thought was God’s will for me turned out to be the biggest headaches and left me suffering for them years later. I finally wised up and now pray first, then plan. I used to precede with my plan first and when it began to fall apart pray for God to hold it together. However, my plans were often never God’s intention for me in the first place!

Praying to God and listening to what He says gives you the confidence necessary to persist on whatever path He may lead you. I am the kind of person who wants to know the who, what, when, where and how all lined up in front of me before I even begin.

However, my walk with God leaves a lot of what I want to see before I start…lacking. I have learned that my walk with God forces me to take steps of faith even when I don’t know where I’m going. This requires that I lean on God, listen to Him and have an ever-increasing faith that He will do what is necessary to get me where I need to go. I no longer require all the answers. It is required of me that I trust God to be with me on my journey. I can keep going because I now know I don’t have to know how I’m going to reach my destination but merely trust in Who is going to get me there.

If you have a situation that you’re not quite sure of, or if you are traveling a path that God has placed you on yet doubt is attacking you at every turn, pray and persist!

“Commit your works to the LORD, And your thoughts will be established.” Proverbs 16:3 NKJV

A is for Abundance

“Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance,” Isaiah 55:2 NKJV

Most of us are always in the pursuit of abundance. We are often looking for ways to have an abundance of something or another. For many people it is money or opportunities to earn money. Some people may be in pursuit of peace. And for others it may be joy. It may even be a combination of things, yet most of us at some point have pursued abundance in every way but God’s way.

The preceding verse reflects our society as it stands today. Apparently, not that much has changed since Biblical times. They were spending money on things that failed to satisfy them as well.

Our society spends billions of dollars yearly seeking “abundance” yet still those dollars don’t satisfy. A new toy or gadget may be entertaining for the short-term, but it only takes the next electronic device or innovation to leave many longing for a “feeling” that quickly fades. Unfortunately, many are unaware what they truly crave can’t be purchased.

Many of the most affluent nations also suffer from the highest rates of depression. People are working themselves to death. Many have an abundance of “stuff” but fail to delight themselves in Who really provides peace, joy, and contentment. There is often a continual search for some “thing”, experience, feeling, or promise that guarantees joy, happiness, success, or status. When one “thing” fails to provide the “high” people are looking for they are on to the next, placing more faith in false advertisements and sales pitches than in the very Words that offer an abundant life.

A lot of us have not enjoyed God’s abundance as we could because we failed to listen to God. We believe we have it figured out, know what is best for ourselves and want to control our own destiny. That approach has left most people still searching, hungry and frustrated by their own failed efforts.

When we listen to God as instructed above, we can eat that which is good and delight ourselves in God’s promises. To listen requires that we hear and obey.

Some of us are struggling in distinct areas in our lives due to our own disobedience. We even know what God says about certain strongholds or areas yet we continue to suffer or lack because we refuse to yield those areas over to Him. We often know what to do but fail to do it for an array of reasons. Pride, fear, and the opinions of others are just a few reasons that leave people still searching for what only God can offer.

“Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart,” Psalms 37:4. NKJV

We are instructed to delight ourselves in the Lord, not the latest gadget, fashion, music, career opportunity or whatever else people are often hustling to obtain. The things people delight themselves in often fail to satisfy for any real length of time. When we delight ourselves in the Lord, He then gives us what we really want.

Sadly, many people don’t even know what they want. The concepts of peace, joy, and true love are foreign concepts to many. Money can’t buy happiness but millions continue to try time and time again.

“But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace,” Psalms 37:11. NKJV

That restless feeling many people suffer from is actually due to a lack of peace. People pursue money trying to buy the “things” they think will provide peace and joy. A lot of people go into debt trying to buy happiness and love and are instead left restless and distraught in their attempts to buy “a good life.” Their costly pursuits often have devastating consequences that people spend years trying to dig themselves out from under.

The “good life,” is actually free for all of us. Jesus paid the price so that we could have a good life, one that involves a relationship with Him!

“…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have [it] more abundantly,” John 10:10. NKJV

Jesus did not die for us that we may accumulate more “stuff.” That was hardly the abundance He had in mind. Jesus Christ died that we would have peace, joy, and a relationship with Him to fill our voids and satisfy our thirst. That is what we truly desire whether we realize it or not.

Have you been looking for love, hope, truth, grace or whatever you are yearning for…in all the wrong places?

“For You, Lord [are] good and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You,” Psalms 86:5 NKJV

“But You, O Lord, [are] a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering and abundant in mercy and truth,” Psalms 86:15 NKJV

“Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” 1 Peter 1:3