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Don’t shut down – become good at relationships!

Kids Party 2014 2

Every human being has been created for relationships. God declared in Genesis 2 that it is not good for man to be alone. None of us truly thrive in isolation, even though we may try to convince ourselves that we are different. The truth is that the day you decide that you don’t need anyone else, is the day that you give in to the pain of having been burnt in relationships.

It is true that if you love someone, you empower them to hurt you. Yet loving another human being wholeheartedly and passionately is also the greatest form of fulfilment we can have as human beings No one is exempt from the roller coaster ride that we call relationships. It is the case for all of us, that everything we are happy about, and everything we are crying about is relationship related

God’s plan is to engage you in relationships. In fact, every significant thing that happens to you will happen via the people you relate to. Not only that, but your close relationships define who you are and what you become.

Since this is how life is, if we want to live well and enjoy our human experience, we have to develop the skill of relating well. This isn’t something we are born with, or even something we just grow into; it is something we must invest in and focus on to get the best results.

The most fundamental part of relating successfully to anyone is to learn the power of forgiveness. Forgiveness brings restoration; and love covers over a multitude of sins, faults and hurts.

Ask yourself this, “How many times am I planning to walk away and start all over again with someone new?”

It doesn’t have to be that way.

If forgiveness truly is beyond where things are at for you, maybe you had unrealistic expectations concerning that person.

Typically, when we embark on a new relationship, we have a standard in our minds to which we thought he or she would conform. When that doesn’t happen, we feel terribly let down; as if everything has somehow changed. Yet all that has changed is that we have been forced to come face to face with the other person as they really are.

This can be scary if we have pinned our hopes of having our needs met on that other person, since now it seems that those needs will be ignored. We have to settle it once and for all that God is the one who meets our needs. He is our source and none other.

If we are going to relate successfully, we have to get to the place where we are willing to deal with life as it is, and accept people for who they are, rather than insisting on holding onto an idealized image of what we believe the relationship should look like.

In short, we have to accept the other person with sober judgment and a balanced attitude, knowing that we too, are sometimes mean, thoughtless, hurtful in our comments and inconsistent in our behavior. That is why the scripture teaches us to bear one another’s burden; it’s because we all offend and give cause for hurt in the course of normal life.

It will help you, also, to recognize the four basic human needs that press on everyone. If your behavior to someone you love threatens one of these, your relationship will be on dangerous ground.

Acceptance – We all have a keen need to know that we are loved and needed by others just as we are. It’s amazing how many people have no one that accepts them. When you accept them you embrace the person who they are and you are willing to be the one person who helps them to mature. You can love someone but not accept them. When you love a person, you focus on what makes you happy about that person; when you accept them you meet what is not so good about them. You are privileged to be someone else’s burden bearer

Identity – We desperately need to know that we are valuable and individually significant. We have to get our sense of worth from God; others cannot confer worth on us: they can only confirm worth on us. However, if you look to someone else to give you what you have to get from God, you are at their mercy to define you. If you devalue another person, you attack them at their most sensitive point.

Security – Women in particular, but men also, need to know that they won’t be left stranded. Relationships that nurture don’t jeopardize another’s security. On the contrary, if, any time you start a conversation, you use threats, things will go downhill from there on out. If you want to correct the other, you have to start by saying, “ I’m not saying this because I don’t want you….” Once you jeopardize a woman’s security, or a man’s significance, there is no point engaging further in this conversation!

Purpose –Every human being needs a reason for living. It’s not a luxury or an optional extra; it is a basic need. We have a generation of wanderers, who think freedom is the ability to do what you want with no consequences. This is a misconception. When you are really free you have the ability and capacity to do what you need to do.

If you do something and there are no consequences, you have a meaningless life. If you are surrounded by people who are a downward pull, who don’t inspire you to become better, you will never become better and fulfill your potential. Hang out with people who are stretching you towards fulfilling your purpose, since the people who you hang out with exert a disproportionate influence on your outcomes in life. You cannot be an eagle if you hang out with buzzards. Your network will define your net worth.

Become deliberate about your relationships. Choose to have the courage to rise up again when someone betrayed your trust and rejected your affection. Don’t let bitterness set in and poison your attitudes. The greatest loser will be you.

I am praying for you as you read this that you will find relationships of true quality with people you can commit to for the long haul, as you serve the purpose of God together,  side by side. There is nothing like it!


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Unlocking the plan of God for your life

7-16-14 3

2 Kings 17: 8-9

Then the word of the Lord came to him (Elijah), saying,  “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.”   

When destiny shows up, it never looks like you thought it would.  I wonder if the widow at Zarephath knew at once that Elijah was her way out of her dilemma? Of if Elijah ever expected to receive God’s provision through the hands of a desperate and starving widow?

Yet as Elijah made a demand on her that she seemed unable to meet, miracles happened, that were undeniably the result of His power and grace.

When God gets hold of your life, He will take you a way you did not expect and will come through for you, only in a place where you KNOW it had to be Him. No flesh will get to glory in His presence, and if you are living to meet your own needs and satisfy your own dreams, you haven’t even embarked on the adventure that God has for you!

The truth is that we can own cars and live in big houses and enjoy marriage and family and money and health, but unless we are living for something far greater than ourselves,  all these things lack meaning and purpose.

The emptiest thing you can do when you get married, is to make the love you have for each other the sole aim of your union.

The most unsatisfying thing you can do with your family, is to make family recreation time the most important thing in your agenda.

The least rewarding thing you can do with your money, and all your resources, is to spend them on yourself.

When we become born again, our lives are eternally secure. We don’t need to chase after fulfillment like the world, since our blessing now comes from God, and not from our own efforts. Consequently we should not get the blueprint for what our families, our  relationships and our lifestyle should look like from the unbelievers around us.

We are called out to serve the purpose of God and to give the Kingdom of God the advantage in the world. That means that our lives will count for something of far greater significance than any of the “normal” pursuits that people fill their days with.

In this hour, it is crucial that we go higher; that we take on the responsibility for our generation and build our lives, families and natural arrangements around the Kingdom of God and its needs and demands.

Consider this: your life came from God in the first place. Your resources are all from Him. Your relationships, talents and abilities are all a direct consequence of His goodness in your life.

The health He gave you is so that you would have strength to build and serve His purposes. The money that flows into your life is to allow you to distribute according to His will. The skillset you enjoy is so that you can make your unique contribution to all that God is doing in the Earth. Just as in the days when Nehemiah was repairing the wall around Jerusalem, when each family took a section of the wall as their part in the project, your family has a part to play in building the Kingdom of God. Will the wall remain broken down at your section?

 Whether you spend it on the Kingdom or not, your life is being spent. You cannot preserve it. The best thing you can do is release it willingly into the hands of One who is able to keep you and your family in perfect peace, with nothing missing and nothing broken.

If you are wondering if you will be short changed as you put your own ideas second place to the purpose of God, let me remind you that it is impossible to put God first and come in last.

When you train your children to direct their efforts and focus towards the Kingdom, you won’t have to worry about where they are and who is influencing them the wrong way.

When you tie your finances to the Kingdom, you won’t have to fear recession or any other economic instability.

When you pour your time and talents into the Kingdom, God is no man’s debtor. You will be sure to reap wholeness and a quality of life that no amount of money, education or human wisdom can obtain.

In fact you will never truly be maximized in who you could be in this life until you allow God to call the greatness out of you. Like Gideon, you will be unable to perceive within yourself exactly who you are unless you let God lead you; and the way that God will call out your true strength, is by sending a genuinely anointed servant of God into your life to make a demand on you for the Kingdom of God.

As Elijah did that to the widow to whom He was sent, resources flowed and the widow’s life was taken to a whole new level. Not only that but the purpose of God for the nation was fulfilled.

Will you allow God to make a demand on you for His Kingdom purposes? I pray and believe that you WILL!

 

 

 


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Relationships that sizzle

11-5-14

Relationships are not for children. Nor is marriage a way of filling up what seems to be lacking in your own soul. Only God can do that!

Marriages get into trouble when either partner looks to the other one to “complete” them, or to make them happy, since no one can be responsible for another’s happiness.

Don’t put the burden for what you want in life on another person. You will end up in a place of self pity and disappointment, when they fail to meet your demands.

As a single woman, maybe you are looking for a man with money – well don’t you know that the men of substance are also looking for a woman with money?

As a single man, maybe you are seeking a woman who prays and knows the Word. Has it occurred to you that she will be on the lookout for a man who knows the Word even better than she does?

Instead of finding Mr or Mrs Right, make your focus to BECOME Mr or Mrs Right.

Spend time working on yourself. Don’t waste time with half hearted relationships that don’t mean anything.

Ladies, the day you decide that you are worthy of a whole man  to yourself, is the day that you stop settling for being someone’s spare rib. All of Heaven will back your decision and bring you a man of honor. Take note, however, that in spotting a man,  you must learn to look for potential, and not for someone who is ready made. It will be your privilege to bring the king out in Him. He will want to do better and be better just because he is standing next to a good woman.

Men, the day you decide to commit to one woman and give yourself wholly to her, is the day you stop being a boy. If you know that you don’t have the gift of celibacy, find someone with whom you can build a life. Don’t tell me that you are now 40 and no one has ever caught your eye! It’s time to overcome the fear and draw on God. Real men commit. You have to declare, “I am anointed to take care of my woman, and to be the healing balm that she needs for any issue that is on her life.”

It will be your privilege to wash her with your words of love, affirmation and strength, to speak the Word of God to her, and to provide for her the security that she needs to flourish and grow as a person.

One word of caution though, gentlemen. Don’t choose a woman who is universally disliked by other women. She may tell you that they are jealous of her, or that they’re not in her league, but beware! There are reasons why other women don’t want to be around her.

Ladies, if you don’t know how to choose a man of honor, apply these basic standards from the life of Adam:

God created the first man, Adam,  to live in His own presence. Even before the fall, God gave Adam work to do. He also communed with him and walked and talked with him in the garden.

So, if a man doesn’t like the presence of God, can’t keep a job and has no desire for the Word of God, it’s not a real man that you are getting; it is a bag of bills!

Having said that, you should know that there are no WRONG choices when picking someone to marry; there are simply good choices and poor choices. If you make a poor choice, it will take more work to build a life together, but it can still be done.  A key will be to accept the person you have chosen and to lay to rest the fact that they are not immediately all that you want. Don’t yield to the temptation to manipulate and play games to control and get your own way. The way we do things as believers is to be so good to them that it blows their mind; your excellent treatment of them will shame them into wanting to be better.

 

 

 


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Relationship choices you won’t regret

10-26-14 2

Psalm 25:12

Who is the man who reverently fears and worships the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way that he should choose.

Do you ever look back at the choices you have made in life and wish you could have known then, what you know now?

Life is a journey and there will be many twists and turns; but there is a priceless gift that God gives to those who will prioritize Him and honor Him from their heart – it is the ability to choose wisely in all the affairs of their lives.

Our lives are not a rehearsal. Each day is only available to us once; and each day we are faced with choices – decisions that, once we have made them, will plot a course that will either make or break us.

Having the option to choose, places a person in a powerful position. Once the choice is made, the consequences are also set, and we no longer have the privilege to choose our outcomes.

For example, if you choose to commit an armed robbery, you also choose to go to jail.

There is no such thing as being neutral in life. If you abstain from making a tough decision of some kind, that is also a decision, which will have it’s own set of consequences.

The crazy thing about this generation is that people want to be able to make choices and then accept or reject the consequences when they come.

We come to a place of sobriety about our lives, when we accept that choices have outcomes attached.

Nowhere is this more true than in the area of relationships.

If you choose to be married you can no longer behave as if you are single. You can’t do everything you want to do any more, or prioritize the same things as you used to, because you are married now, and marriage is the privilege to steward another person’ s life. That means that your first priority in every action from now on is the wellbeing of your spouse.

If you choose to keep a score card of all the things the other person has done wrong, you will drive a wedge between you, to an even greater degree than the wrong actions even did.

You compound the issues of tension when you choose to bring up the past and use it against your husband or wife.

Your job in a marriage is not to punish the other. Did you really get together so that you could be horrible to one another and prove how wrong they are all the time? Was that really the aim in mind that you had when you first declared your love for one another?

Anything you despise will eventually leave your life. Don’t fool yourself that you can continually criticize your spouse even just in the quietness of your own mind and still enjoy a good relationship.

It is the glory of a man to overlook an offense.

The trouble is that we are so passionate about being right whenever there is a dispute about something!

Being right is actually highly over rated. It doesn’t bring you a reward that you will enjoy at all. In fact, if you win the argument, but lose the person in the process, you have lost something greater.

Being right cannot love you or hug you or show you affection.

The truth is that you should make the choice upfront: “In order to stay married and to enjoy my relationship, I relinquish the desire to be proven right all the time – even when I KNOW that I am!” Now that is a wise choice!

Decide not to treat your spouse as their sins deserve. Imagine that you are the one with the unique privilege to steward his or her weakness! In fact there is nothing wrong with your spouse that the love of God flowing through you cannot heal.

Of course if you think that the person you are considering marrying has the potential to really harm you, you shouldn’t marry them. No one is called by God to be a punch bag for anyone else. Before you say, “I do”, you must be confident that you are prepared to steward this person’s life and that he or she is capable of stewarding yours.

When things become tough in a marriage, people become so afraid that they chose the wrong person to marry.

But God didn’t set it up like some crazy game of finding the one perfect person for you!

Choosing who to marry is YOUR choice. Even Adam had a choice and chose Eve. God never tells anyone that they have to marry another human being – especially not one that you don’t even find attractive. Let’s not make God out to be weird! He created you and wired you a certain way to like and prefer certain characteristics in another person.

According to where you are at, you might make a really good choice, or you might make a choice to pick someone with whom building a life and family together will require more work. You are supposed to enjoy one another, so don’t make it too hard for yourself on purpose!

As soon as you make your choice, God gets right into the middle of it, and the minute you say, “I do” He seals your decision and your chosen person becomes the right person. It is a spiritual transaction, and God is the third cord, adding a strength to your union together which is supernatural.

The most powerful choice you can make within your marriage, or in any relationship, is that of forgiveness and acceptance of the person you chose. Celebrate and admire them, and continue to enjoy the qualities for which you picked them out.

Remember that the other person is a human being, just like you. They have a nice side and a not-so-nice side. But having someone to share your days with, is a wonderful thing.

In fact the greatest thing any of us can experience is to give ourselves fully in love to another person.

If you ever get to invest your love totally in the life of another, who loves you back in the same way, you are the most blessed person!

Make one crucial decision right now and declare it: “That’s me!”


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The sweet taste of victory

Winning

Romans 8:37

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us

God’s plan for you is dominion and mastery in every arena of your life. It’s your birthright as a believer to operate in authority; to be above only and never beneath.

The sweet taste of winning is yours to savor and enjoy. Don’t settle for the thought that being at the top is always for someone else. You are not second rate or average in any way!

You are a king in this life; you are destined to come out on top and to finish your race with joy. Not only that, but you don’t live by sweating to win. You live to rule your world by decreeing a thing, so that it can be established in your life.

His blood is stronger than the sum of all your setbacks. Whatever you have missed out on as a result of your own mistakes, or because of something that happened that was beyond your control, those things do not have the power to bring you down or cancel your purpose and destiny.

That’s why it’s never over or too late to start again and because of His great mercy, the glory of your latter days will even be greater than those of your former.

If you will start to praise God in the midst of a tough season, that season won’t last too long. Praise always precedes victory! If you talk to any successful person, they have all had their seasons when things have looked impossible. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.

One of the greatest keys to rising in life is perceiving who you are.

You are a unique eternal being with a divinely appointed assignment on this Earth. You are better than you even know. I am praying that God would reveal you to yourself so that you won’t die playing small. You are GIANT Believe in yourself and there will come a day when others will have no choice but to believe with you.

People are not defeated by circumstances but by the weakness and malnourishment of their spirit, where the real power resides. If I ever need power, I don’t look around me, I look within myself, because I have come to understand who dwells on the inside of me. The Word tells me that out of my belly shall flow rivers of living water.

We aren’t’ called to live natural lives, bound in by natural limitations; but we are called to live out of our spirits. That is how we will overcome in this life.

One of the greatest assets that any person can have is an indomitable spirit – A spirit that will not be conquered and tamed. That’s what you have in Christ!! I am praying that determination will rise up on the inside of you as you face your present challenge, and you tell that situation, “NO! I’m not having it this way! This sickness doesn’t have the power to take me out! Defeat isn’t my portion! I was redeemed from living an insignificant life – I am a king in this life and I rule my world!”

I was just remembering that if I was the kind of person who takes instruction from his circumstances, I would still be in the little town where I was born talking about, “You know what’s its like with people like me…”

If you refuse to accept that something is impossible, a way will always be made for you. Remember that your future is first conceived in your spirit and then your outer life will correspond with the nature of your inner vision.

Take care what voices you allow to  speak and reverberate in your mind.

Whoever and whatever has your ear and keeps your attention will ultimately determine and define your destiny!!

You are only as limited as your fears. There’s a reason many people plateau and its because of what they focus on. The opinions of mediocre people are readily available; but they will stunt your growth and progress. If you determine to seek out the voices of eagles, you will also fly with them.

Your life will rise no higher than your capacity to renew and reaffirm your commitment and dedication to the completion of your God given vision and assignment, and that will only be possible when you pick your companions wisely.

Decide to tame your world and win! You can do it, because Heaven will back you up. It may look sometimes like the enemy is mocking the promise of God over your life; it may feel like you are losing strength and running out of time, but if you will only believe, you will see the glory of God released on your behalf.

 God will fill your life with many, many, many wonderful surprises!! Just as surely as there is an evil day, there are also MANY GOOD DAYS that are promised to us in His Word.

!


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Your family can make it!

10-16-14 4

Romans 15:4

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

I wonder if you feel alone in the relationship issues you are facing right now? You have prayed but there seems to be no help from God.

It’s time to look more closely at the men and women in the scripture. Their stories are not just for our learning, but for our comfort and help; so that we can see how their lives turned out and gain hope, strength and encouragement from them.

So many believers read the Bible superficially, and understand everything idealistically. Meanwhile they live their lives in reality and fail to find the connection between their life and what God has written in His Word for us.

But the truth is that the entire Bible is an exposition of the interplay of human relationships.

When you start in the book of Genesis and discover in the first few chapters that God’s perspective is that it is not good for a man to be alone; you have to concede that human beings are built for relationship.

Eve was created as a feminine expression of Adam’s masculinity. They were one flesh, until sin came in to destroy their unity. Straight away they started to point the finger and fail to take responsibility for what they did.

In other words, the spirit of division entered their relationship.

Satan attacked their relational harmony because he wanted to nullify their purpose. he knew that a house divided against itself would fall, and when it seems like your house is in danger of falling, remember that the devil is after something bigger than your money and your personal effects – he is after your purpose in the Earth.

From that moment onwards, every family has been dysfunctional in one way or another. There is no such thing as a family where everything is sound and completely whole, although, of course, there are also degrees of dysfunction.

Sin ruins everything. You might look holy right now, but everyone has a time when their circumstances push them to do things that they never thought they would do.

Imagine how Adam and Eve felt when they had to bury their child, because his brother had murdered him! Yet all they had done was to teach both Cain and Abel to sacrifice to God. One brother desired to please, and ended up the worse off, even though he did nothing wrong; the other was determined to do his own thing, regardless of the consequences. Does that sound like your house?

And then Cain had to continue in life without hiding or checking out, walking among those who knew his issues, since the mark was on his forehead. Shame and embarrassment was his portion. For how many of us is that the case? Earlier in life we made mistakes that brought reproach, and now we still have to face those who know what we did and try to live out our lives with dignity and purpose.

Abraham and Sarah faced the issues of infertility and mutual disappointment. How hard it is when your spouse wants something so desperately from you, but you cannot give it. The pressure that Sarah felt must have been great for her to suggest that her husband sleep with her maid!

Noah was a man with outward notoriety, but a family who were ashamed of him. He spent all his life achieving a great accomplishment, but his relationship with his son was ropey, and after all that glamour and success, he was found lying naked and drunk, and his son was not even willing to cover him.

This is the emptiness of a human being who has focused his efforts on accomplishments at the expense of close relationship. The truth of all of our lives is that we need others to feed our souls. In fact we can tell that you are dealing with some serious issues when you get to the point where you assert categorically that you don’t need other people in your life. It’s time to come back to God and allow Him to heal your broken places.

David was a man whose father never believed in him. When the time came for the prophet to anoint a king, Jesse didn’t even believe that David should be in the line up of possible candidates. Not only that but, while the girls lining the streets celebrated him, his own wife, Michal, despised him. Maybe Bathsheba was a symptom of something deeper in David’s heart that yearned for affirmation.

Joseph was betrayed. His whole family were his enemies. When the time came for him to have the opportunity to avenge himself on them, what should he do? You are tempted to make your enemies pay, but what does that say about your character? It makes you worse than the ones who hurt you originally.

Jacob and Esau were born at loggerheads with one another, and it wasn’t the fault of their parents. But their parents were divided in who they favored because of it.

Abigail was the woman who married a fool, and carried the burden of his folly;  although unlike many women, at least she was aware of it!

These examples and others reveal the traumatic struggles of men and women with real life relational issues.  No test or trial that you go through is uncommon to man. Can it be that the Bible has healing in it for you?

Maybe your issue is not that the doors are closed to the things you want out of life; maybe it is simply that your soul is sick.

Come to a place of realization before God, “There is nothing in my life that you don’t know; and You are the God of my broken places.”

Don’t be intimidated by your own wounds of life. You do not need to run or to hide. God will make something special out of what remains of your life if you will give who you are to Him in all honesty.

You can receive beauty for ashes and double for all your trouble. You will never look back because the blood of Jesus will clean your conscience to where you no longer even remember the shame of your youth.

Even in the face of these things, you can still look forward to many good days!


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Will trouble take you out or take you up?

DRM leading worship

Psalm 48:1

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised

When you get into trouble of any kind, the devil will tell you to start complaining. Before you know it, you have a complex: “They never hire people like me.” or “I’m just not young enough to be noticed by a man.”

If you’re not careful, the chip on your shoulder concerning that thing, will become the very reason why it won’t work for you as you wish it would.

It’s a trap! And without realizing it, you walked straight into it.

But don’t panic – there’s a way out.

You’ve got to start thinking of  your life from a different angle. You have to start realizing, “I may not have everything I want, but I am still in the game. To the living there is hope, and God woke me up this morning. He has been good to me! I may have lost some things in life, but I didn’t lose everything. I am blessed!”

You see, there is something about a person who is willing to praise God in the midst of their trouble… They won’t stay in that trouble too long. God always brings praisers out, because He cannot pass over a person who is willing to lift up his voice and honor Him with songs, or shouts of praise.

The fact is, that God is great! He is a great King and He is far above your problem. He isn’t trapped when you’re trapped, and He isn’t sitting in the little chair that you sit in right now. He is mighty and awesome and there is a river of life that flows from His throne.

You may be entirely comfortable when honoring your favorite sports team with a shout when they score, or when applauding a music artist or band with enthusiastic handclapping at a concert; but if you were in trouble, would they come to your aid?

God’s character and ability surpasses that of any human being, however amazing they may be. His nature is ALWAYS to do you good and give you the advantage. He isn’t like anyone else you have ever dealt with. More than anyone or anything else in your life, He is completely WORTHY of your applause, admiration, appreciation and loud approval!

Can you discern His hand in your present situation? He is the one who has kept you, preserved you, helped you, healed you, comforted you and lifted you up. He is the one who speaks tenderly to you about a future and a hope for MANY good days ahead.

Even when the shadow over your life seems too strong even to sense His presence, or to tell what He is doing, if you will decide to lift up your voice and make His praises to be heard, the shadow will have no hold on you. Just like Paul and Silas in the inner dungeon at midnight, deep in trouble and without any discernable sign of relief, the very foundation of the trouble that binds you will be shaken. and the doors of your prison will burst open.

In fact, if you will cast the care of what you are going through onto God, refuse to let the weight of it sit on your spirit, and make praising God your focus, you will have a Jehoshaphat experience.

Jehoshaphat sent the praise team ahead of the army that defended his people.

If you will send forth your praise, even before you call on your natural resources for victory, such as your intelligence, your money and the people you think might help you; you will find out that God is ready to fight your battles for you.

The Lord set an ambush among Jehoshaphat’s enemies and in their confusion they fought one another until they were defeated.

Don’t try to get delivered based on your own righteousness or on your own strength. Show up for the fight – send the application for that job, ask for that favor, but expect God to illumine the path ahead and settle the matter for you, once and for all.

The fact is that your life is not only about yourself. The real conflict in this world is the devil trying to beat up on God by getting to His kids. Let God defeat your enemy, all the while using him to get provisions to you, just like He did for Jehoshaphat.

Every fight can go one of two ways: it can take you out or it can take you up; it can be a crisis or an opportunity. Can you imagine that every lie that they told about you, God can flip it over and use it for your blessing?

Can you imagine that God would even use your trouble to bring something big to pass in the arena of His purposes? And that you will gather the spoils of war to such an extent that your recompense is way beyond what you deserve?

All of these things are accessible to the one who will praise God with wholehearted abandon – like King David who praised so hard that He embarrassed himself.

If you are going to praise, do it with passion. Lift up your arms and dance while you still can. Do something out of character to express to your God that He is worth it. Let your shout be heard and your joy be displayed. Let there be a sense of celebration at your house – Yes! Right in the midst of your pain – so that someone lese will even want the same joy that you have.

Whoever said that the appropriate response to trouble was to cry? Rejoice in the one who gives you glorious victory, and then stand back and WATCH what He will do!

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