A New Beginning

I think it’s fair to say that everyone has been through something rough in this past year, yet we are still here.
Needless to say, a lot of us may have been glad to see this new year in hopes of new beginnings. Well God is an expert in new beginnings and starting over. Consider the verse in Isaiah 43:18-19.
There, God is telling the Israelites that in spite of their past mistakes, He will still have mercy on them and do something new in their lives.
In the same way, He promises us a new beginning. God gives us the free will to choose.. He says in His word that He set before us life and death, choose life..(Deuteronomy 30:19).
Just like a GPS recalculates when we divert from the direction given to us, let’s recalculate. Let’s allow the wisdom of God to guide us. Even if you took a wrong turn somewhere along the way and now find yourself on a detour, keep going.
The GPS doesn’t shut off and leave us stranded, instead it thinks of a new direction, a new route, it recalculates until it helps us find a way.. In the same way, John 14:6 tells us that Jesus is the Way, the truth and the life. Therefore, let’s find our way through Jesus.
How you may ask? Well consider this verse in 2 Chronicles 7:14:
If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Ephesians 4: 22-24 says “Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by its deceitful desires. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God, truly righteous and holy.”
The bible also says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 that if we are in Christ, then we are a new creation in Him and He is making us new.
If we trust God, then we must take Him at His Word. God doesn’t want us to stay stuck in our old ways, discouraged and lost. He wants us to leave our old ways behind and embrace the new.
However, this is only possible when we yield to God’s commands and make room for Him to work in us.
Now I am not saying that this is an easy process. We still have an unseen enemy that works tirelessly day and night to try and turn us back to our old ways. But this is why Jesus told us in John 16:33 to take heart because although in this life there will be trials and tribulations, He has overcome the world.
James 4:7 also tells us to submit ourselves to God, resist the devil and he will flee from us. How can we resist him? By making a daily choice to make God our first priority.
We must make a conscious effort to change our thoughts, our attitudes, behaviors, our actions and our words for the better. When we do this, then our minds begin to be renewed and we begin to be transformed. Then we begin to birth a new nature, but we must choose to live by it.
I want to encourage someone. Don’t let this year pass you by without giving it your best effort to take hold of the promises of God for your life. These are times for new beginnings and God is on our side.
It’s time to reevaluate our lives and our choices and take charge of our destiny. Let’s make room for God in our lives.
Wherever you are, whatever you may have done, let’s choose to reset. Recalculate and choose life because it’s never too late to begin again.
Be encouraged!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!


Take Every Thought Captive

2 Corinthians 10:5 and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but we become much like our thoughts. The bible tells us in Proverbs 23:7 that as a man thinks, so is he.
What we think about has an effect on everything we do including our behavior. We can’t always control what comes to our mind but we can control what we allow to stay in it or what we dwell on.
For example, if you are happy and looking forward to something, it pretty much drives the course of your day. You dwell on it and it shows in your attitude and behavior because a lot of times it’s all you talk about with anyone who would listen. You are so excited and can’t wait to finish whatever you’re doing because you want to get to that thing you keep thinking about.
Well it works the same way in reverse. When we dwell on or allow negative, fearful, hateful or depressing thoughts to stay in our minds, soon enough our attitude and behavior shifts towards those thoughts. We begin to feel sad, depressed, fearful, angry, hateful etc. and pretty much have a ‘bad’ day.
The bible tells us to be transformed by renewing our minds (Romans 12:2). So what is the definition of renew? In simple terms it is to make new or refresh. We have to refresh our thoughts, start over, think new thoughts.
Now, this isn’t easy. Renewal is a continual process and it does not come naturally. It takes a lot of self-awareness, dedication, and commitment to practice it daily, all the time.
I haven’t mastered this yet and I’m no expert but I’ll give a practical example. When a thought comes to my mind about all of the bad things that can happen while my daughter is in college far away from me, I literally have to stop myself or interrupt the thoughts and shift my focus to something else.
I make a conscious effort to renew my mind and instead of thinking how everything can go wrong, I think of how everything can go right. I tell myself all of the good and positive things that can happen while she is away and remember what the bible says about training up a child in the way they should go. Quickly God puts in my heart that I cannot play God in her life. If I trust Him with all parts of me, she is included and He will take care of her too.
By replacing the worrisome thoughts in my mind with the truth of God’s Word and His promises, is how I gain control over what I think about (or take my thoughts captive). I make my thoughts obey Christ by reminding myself of all the reasons why I cannot dwell on the negative and how much better it is to focus on the positive or all good things (Philippians 4:8).
With God’s help, we all have the ability to regain control over our thoughts. The problem is that a lot of us tend to worry so much about how we look and act around others that we put more focus and effort on outward behavior, forgetting that God looks at our hearts, not outward appearances and pretenses.
My prayer for all of us is that we allow God’s inner work to take place in our lives and learn to put more effort into disciplining our thought life. Soon enough our behaviors and outward appearances will catch up.
May we learn to bring every thought into captivity using the weapons of our warfare. May we arm ourselves with the knowledge of God’s Word by reading and praying to understand it and asking the power of the Holy Spirit to help us with the trials of life in order that we become a little more like Him everyday.
Be encouraged!
Philippians 4:8
Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].


Keep On Keeping On

Isaiah 41:10

Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Throughout the bible God repeatedly tells us not to fear. (Isaiah 41:10, Joshua 1:9).
I want to encourage someone today to keep on keeping on. Especially during these times when the world is so focused on celebrating but you may find yourself with nothing to celebrate, I’ve been there before. You may be surrounded by people and still feel alone or unseen, I’ve been there before. Maybe you’ve experienced loss, whether it’s the physical departure of a loved one, a breakup or separation, a move to a different city, maybe you’ve watched or are watching someone battle an illness or any other type of difficult situation, no matter what you may be going through in this season, keep on keeping on.

I want you to know that God sees you, He hears you, He’s with you. You’re not alone. Even if you may be physically alone, just like you can’t see the air that you breathe, yet you’re still breathing it and it’s keeping you alive, so is God right there with you, wherever you are.

Try your best to hold on to that hope. Don’t give up.  God loves you. God wants to heal you. God wants to help you. He wants to embrace you.

It’s so important to keep going even when you feel like giving up. It’s important to keep going because what is the alternative? If life with God is hard, imagine it without Him? Hold on to Him and don’t let go. 

We may not know why we go through certain things or why things happen the way that they do, but one thing we should all know is that God is God and no weapon that is formed against you will prosper. The weapons of despair may form, the weapons of loneliness may form, the weapons of brokenness may form, but let me tell you one thing, they will not prosper! 

When God has a plan for your life, His Will will be done by whatever means necessary.

Consider when God wanted to deliver a message and Balaam wouldn’t listen, He used a donkey! (Numbers 21:35).

In the bible story of Job, in chapter 42:2 Job said to God, “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted”. Speaking of Job, let’s learn not to question God but instead, let’s keep asking Him to continue to guide us  in all things.

God is our maker, He is our manufacturer, He knows what we need and why we go through the things we go through even when we don’t understand or think it’s fair.

One thing I’ve learned is that when we feel like giving up, when we don’t want to keep going, that’s when we are the closest to our breakthrough! A lot of times the devil knows this and that’s why he applies pressure. So we can let go, give up and miss God’s blessing.

I want to encourage someone today, make speaking with God part of your daily habits (pray!). Don’t be so overcome by what’s happening all around you that you lose focus and allow fear to keep you from obeying God. 

When those discouraging thoughts come to your mind, take them captive! Arrest those negative thoughts, and command them to obey the truth of God’s word! When you begin to command your thoughts,  they have no choice but to obey because you are not speaking your own words, you are speaking God’s truth. 

This is for somebody, don’t give up, keep going!

Be encouraged!

Joshua 1:9
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”



The Eyes of Your Understanding

Colossians 1:9-10 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;

A lot of people treat the Bible like the fine print, they claim to understand it, sign it but don’t read it.. 

Hosea 4:6 says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. This is why it is so important to continuously pray that our spiritual eyes are opened. We are in a spiritual fight of life vs death, faith vs fear and truth against lies and deception. 

Everyday it is more and more evident that we are living in the last days. The devil is busy because he knows that his time is short (Revelations 12:12) and one of his biggest tactics is spiritual blindness. He tries very hard to convince people that he does not exist because you can’t fight something you don’t believe is real. He does this so that he can keep people bound to a life of defeat. 

Satan tries to keep people spiritually blind and ignorant to God’s word and those who once believed, making them doubt or renounce God. Some proclaim to be Christians without truly believing or understanding who God really is. Others are asleep and have conformed to a routine that does not go beyond what their natural eyes can see (Matthew 13:15-17). 

We need to wake up! As true believers, We can no longer be pacified with a watered down Gospel to quench the superficial thirst on the surface level of our Christianity.

The kingdom of God is full of endless possibilities but we only have access to what the Holy Spirit reveals to us (Matthew 13:10-17) (1 Corinthians 2:10-16). This is why we must be pressed and eager to have our spiritual eyes opened. We need to pray that we may be able to tap into the resources of heaven and learn to see things from God’s point of view and not ours. 1 Corinthians 2:14 says: “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned”.

The bible tells us in Ephesians 6:12 that we are in a spiritual battle with Satan and his demons. Spiritual warfare is real however, we can’t fight the spiritual with a carnal mind. That’s why God has left us well equipped with spiritual weapons that we may counter attack spiritually (2 Corinthians 10:3-4, Ephesians 6:11-18). Nonetheless, in order to take hold of the weapons we have available, we have to be aware that they exist, have knowledge of what they are, know how to access them and learn how to use them.

Colossians 2:14-15 tells us that Satan and his demons were disarmed at the cross therefore, if we allow the devil to keep us spiritually blinded, we are handing over to him a fight we’ve already won through Christ.

2 Corinthians 4:4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

The devil knows that if we continuously pray to God and seek to be filled with His wisdom and spiritual understanding, then we would realize that we have the capability within us to see beyond the natural and we would begin to  walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; (Colossians 1:9-10). 

Having our spiritual eyes opened allows us to see the power and authority that lies within us, (given only to those who believeEphesians 1:19). It allows us to see that Jesus is King and that no weapon that is formed against us will ever prosper because God’s word tells us that this is our heritage (Isaiah 54:17). This is our spiritual legal right because we are heirs with Christ (Romans 8:16-17). But we can only claim it and take ownership through Him.

I want to encourage someone to ask God to open your spiritual eyes so that you are able to tap into the deeper things of the spirit and that your knowledge of God may grow deeper so that you may overcome. For God’s words tells us in Revelation 3:21 “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne”.

Be encouraged!

Luke 24:45 Then He opened their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures.