Storms in our lives will always be present. Their existence has a purpose. We won’t always understand the purpose or always appreciate the purpose right away. Nevertheless, their purpose is specific and HAS to work for our good. Storms are a part of a greater plan that will never harm us and a part of a plan that builds character and perseverance in us. There is a particular storm that I have been experiencing for a little while now and every time it presents itself, it has the propensity to jolt me or to throw me off track for a short duration. This storm is a distraction in my life and is on assignment to through me completely off course. As I experienced it on this past week, I begin to pray for a different outlook or perspective towards it so that it if God chooses not to change it or take it away, it won’t always have that same effect on me. This weekend, I received a revelation twice; once from my sister and another time from my Pastor. The prayer for a new outlook was validated in those encounters. God wants me to tighten up my offense. I have to jump into the storm and own it so it cannot own me. As I observed the Atlanta Falcons win the championship game today, I observed their fearless offense. Even though the Packers defense was big and strong, the Falcons dived in head first on every play. Their minds were made up that they were not going to be defeated today. This is how the Lord is calling us to approach our storms.
Sometimes as believers we know the storm can’t win so we won’t even put up a good fight. We can avoid some of the hits we take if we go into the storm already fighting. God wants us to sustain our joy and not to give it away to our opposition. Putting on our armor or equipment also means that we have to make some strong offensive plays. We can’t just stand in the storm bewildered, emotional or defeated in the mind as if the storm is bigger than the God that we serve! We must approach the storm ready for battle! Quickly realize the spiritual implications of your storm and use your spiritual weapons like a warrior that has already won many battles because of the army that you’re in! I have made a conscious decision to no longer give this storm in my life any pardon. At times my approach has been weak because of my weariness. I can’t afford to have a weak offense. The weaker my offense, the longer the storm will beat me up and exhaust me. The weaker my offense, the longer it will take me to see victory. The weaker my offense, the harder the storm will come for me. No more will I allow the storm to rest or to be comfortable in my presence. From now on the storm will see me and will think twice before coming after me. This is how God has ordained us to be victorious. When we fight with the strength of our Lord God, it’s a supernatural experience and the storm cannot rest in that atmosphere! We have the power to run right through the storm and come out on the other side unscathed. And what is waiting for us on the other side is exceedingly and abundantly above all that we can think or ask for; it’s beyond our imagination. So to my friend that is reading this, change your offense. Change your thought about the storm. It is NOT greater than God. The Christ that is in you gives you the power over the storm. Serve that storm notice today that as long as it keeps knocking at your door, that it should expect you to already be swinging! Expect all that you go through to work out for a specific purpose. Just like we use several different ingredients to make a cake, all of the ingredients have their own job. What we are expecting will come to manifestation only after it’s been in the heat for a duration. We expect it to all to work out! Let’s be reminded today that our storms are simply ingredients for a sweeter expectation! Glory to God!
Can you recall hearing someone talk with such strong emphasis that their words sent something through you like a bolt of lightening? With that same emphasis hear the Lord our God say these words:
I am a VERY PRESENT help in trouble.
I am extremely current.
I am exceedingly in attendance.
I am exceptionally available.
I am truly nearby.
He is the opposite of absent. Have you ever been affected by the absence of a loved one? Well God’s omnipresence is the exact opposite of that. His very presence produces the exact opposite feeling you felt due to that absent loved one. If your mother or father was absent or if your husband or child was absent it leaves a hole in you and a sense of emptiness. Well with our father, there never has to be a hole. He fills up all of the holes and patches up all of the nicks. His presence makes us full! Instead of desolate we become occupied by his spirit. Instead of deserted we become inhabited by HIS strength as it settles in us. Instead of exhausted we can become satisfied and refreshed because his grace is sufficient for every trouble. Because of his grace we have his presence and with his presence comes his strength in the time any trouble; fear, doubt, illness, sin or in the time of loneliness etc etc. There is no life situation that HIS presence doesn’t cover. We’ll never get a response from him telling us that we’ve gone outside of our range of coverage. HIS coverage will rest upon us wherever we are and that is guaranteed if we make it known to HIM that HE is welcome during these life situations. The greatest way to do that is to boast to HIM about our situations and our weaknesses. You might be asking why I would want to boast about my weaknesses. The results depend on who you’re boasting to. There are benefits of having the omniscient one as a wise counselor. HE already knows and hasn’t told our secrets and the more we spill the beans about our infirmities, the more he’ll allow his power to rest upon us. I’ve recently began to confess every single area of weakness to God which really amounts to every aspect of my life because without HIM I would fail at everything. What I’ve found is that the more that I confess very specifically, the sooner I see success in those areas. His strength takes on a new form in me as I become brutally honest with HIM and myself. When I acknowledge HIS VERY PRESENCE during troubling times I then quicken myself to confess my stuff to him and I find comfort in knowing that I will be made strong even if my situation doesn’t change right away. The needs, persecution or distresses that we experience for Christ’s sake may not be removed from our lives but we will have HIS strength to endure. What a wonderful gift it is to be able to admit all of our flaws to HIM and then to know that he’ll never hold it against us and that he will still see us worthy of HIS grace, presence, strength and power!
In relation to a recent movement I’ve heard the term “stay woke” a lot. It’s created a lot of attention and I totally appreciate the concept. I think about how this term is used and I think about what is happening in my immediate community. I suggest that you can be “woke” and not be alert! In the literal sense I’m a person that let’s just say has a hard time becoming alert once I wake up. There is a very specific process that I have to go through in order to be alert. Just being “woke” doesn’t cut it for me. As I begin to ponder on the struggles that I know others are having and about all the tragedies that are taking place I’ve conceded that being fiercely alert of all of our surroundings will be even more crucial as we begin this year. Being just awake won’t cut it in the natural or the spiritual. It’s going to be necessary to first use our spiritual peripheral vision; seeing what surrounds us but never taking our eyes off of what is in front of us. Using this vision will yield instructions about our next move which has to be strategic in nature. The roaring lion who is driven by hunger will always be present, silently stalking to see what he can devour but we can find comfort in knowing that even the fierce malignant enemy lion depends on God for his food; Psalm 104:21. God is in control but we also have free will. We must be equally as hungry to protect the grace that we’ve received and the grace that is to come. The lives of those connected to us depend on our hunger for the Lord’s purpose and perfect will. Our alertness must be coupled with a clear head and self-control to best equip us to combat any and all devices. Let’s put our mind in gear and seriously evaluate everything that comes our way each and every day. Nothing happens by mistake. I don’t believe in coincidences. Do you? Pay attention at all times. There will be some relentless pressures that come our way. Distractions that look and smell good will be thrown our way. We have to supernaturally assess the value and the cost of it all. It’s time to be aware and to not make haphazard choices. We have to be watchful and not rush under pressure. Wait on the Lord. Let’s quiet ourselves in the secret place so that we see with all attentiveness even in the middle of dark places. We have to get the sleep out of our eyes and go through the daily process of remaining alert. Discover what that means for you. I don’t know about you but I am extremely excited to be able to ready myself to be even more prepared to do the work that I am called to do! To my friend reading this, you have the power already in you to be like a fierce roaring lion for your life, your purpose, your family, your resources and all things provided to you by God’s unmerited favor. Stay prayerful. Remain Alert!