We are 7 days away from the release of Tea for Two: A 30 Day Devotional!!!! Pre-order your copy now!
We are 7 days away from the release of Tea for Two: A 30 Day Devotional!!!! Pre-order your copy now!
Today at church my Pastor spoke on Palm Sunday and Jesus’ triumphal entry. He pointed out something in Mark 11:2 that resonated with me.
and He said to them, ‘Go into the village opposite you, and as soon as you have entered it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has sat. Loose it and bring it.
Mark 11:2 (NKJV)
My pastor pointed out that many of us are like that donkey. We have all these God given talents but we have yet to use them. We act as if we are tied up and can’t move. Some of us don’t even realize what our gifts are and how we are supposed to use them.
This truly ministered to me because I have been guilty of not using the gifts that God has given me. Four years ago God placed on my heart to write my very first book, Tea for Two. He gave me the concept and how to put it all together, but I let fear stop me. I had so many fears:
Because I let these fears consume me, I dragged out writing Tea for Two for four whole years. I was stagnant for four years because of the many what ifs that floated through my mind. Those fears had me at a standstill. Those fears made me feel as if I couldn’t move forward. Those fears dictated my life. Those fears kept me from utilizing my gifts for His glory and to impact lives.
Esther 4:14 (NKJV),“…Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Someone needs our specific gifts. Someone needs to hear our testimony. There are certain people that you can reach that I am not able to reach. There is a certain group of people that you are called to. God has a specific purpose for each of our lives. He has given us certain gifts to fulfill that very purpose.
What is holding you back from using your gifts? What has you tied up? Is it fear of rejection? Is it fear of not being good enough? Is if a fear of the unknown? Don’t let these fears hold you back. When I stopped letting fear consume me and I decided to complete my book, God moved greatly in my life. He blessed me with a free book cover design. He blessed me with my head shot to go with my biography free of charge. He blessed me with an affordable publisher. He has blessed me with opportunities to speak on radio shows so that I can share my book and my testimony with the world. And this is only the beginning. This was all because I started utilizing my gifts for His glory. I undid that rope that was holding me in place and took off running.
Stop letting fear, worry, doubt, or anything hold you back from walking out your God given purpose and from using your God given gifts. Remove that rope from around you and start moving forward. God will guide you every step of the way.
Have you pre-ordered your copy of Tea for Two? If you have, I have some exciting news for you! Tea for Two will being released earlier than expected! The new release date is April 22! That’s in 3 weeks!
If you haven’t pre-order your copy, there’s still time! Just click the shop link on my page to pre-order your copy now.
I will be having a book signing sometime after the release date (more details to come)! Be sure to pre-order your copy so that you can get it signed at my book signing!!!
Have you ever reached a point in your life where you felt stuck? It seemed like no matter what you did, you couldn’t move forward. You tried to go left, right, forwards, backwards, up, down, and around, and no matter what direction you went in, you ran smack dab into a wall.
What do we do when we feel stuck? How do respond? Is it something that we are doing to prevent God from moving us forward in our lives?
This has literally been the story of my life for the past few months. I have felt stuck. Any move I would make, any plan I would make…literally anything I would do would not succeed. This included trying to find a better job as well as maintain various friendships. I felt like everything around me was falling apart and no matter what I would do to try and fix it, I would fail. On top of that, I began to doubt myself. I started to question if I was in God’s will for my life. I started to be so hard on myself because I felt like such a failure since I wasn’t at a certain point in my life. I wanted so much more out of life, but I felt as if no matter what I would do to try to move me forward, I couldn’t move forward. I felt like every door I would try to go through would be slammed shut in my face.
Here was my issue: I kept trying to make my plans God’s plans. I kept trying to push my agenda on God. Although I never mentally or verbally confessed this, in my heart I believed that I knew what was best for me and that I could come up with a better plan for my life, and so I tried to pursue my plans.
Isaiah 55:8-9 9 (MSG), ‘I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.’ God’s decree. ‘For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.’
We can come up with these plans that we think are full proof and will take us to the next level, but God can even top that. We don’t know more than God. We can’t see the whole picture like He can. This is why we need to live out Provers 3:5-6, which says,
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
God knows what is best for us. No matter how many times we try to convince ourselves otherwise, in the end God knows what’s best and we have to trust Him. Trusting Him is so hard, especially when it looks like our situation isn’t changing in the natural. But despite what we see in the natural, we have to believe that He is working on our behalf.
When I finally realized that I was trying to control my destiny instead of relinquishing all control to God, He began to minister something powerful to me. He showed me that no matter what door I would try to go through, what plan I would try to put into action, He would not let it succeed. You see, anything we try to do apart from God or try to do in our own ability, God will not let us succeed in it because it does not give Him the glory. He told me that no matter what plan I came up with or what I tried to do on my own, I would continue to run into a wall. God even gave me a vision. He allowed me to see myself standing in the middle of a room and no matter what direction I went in, I would run into a wall. No matter how hard I tried to escape the room or what plan I tried to come up with to get out of the room, I would hit a wall.
Once God showed me that, I asked Him, ” What do you want me to do then?”. He told me He wanted me to be still and do nothing but trust Him and walk in obedience. Of course that’s not what I wanted to hear, but it was what I needed to hear. There was something that God had put on my heart to do a couple of years ago, but I didn’t complete it when He told me to. He wanted me to write a book. I started the book and made it through the majority of it, but I didn’t finish it. I got so distracted and caught up in other things that I failed to make time for it. I did what I wanted to do instead of doing what God wanted me to do.
God already has my life mapped out with incredible plans for me. Jeremiah 1:5 (NKJV) tells us “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” I love the Message version of this verse, which says “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations—that’s what I had in mind for you.” Jeremiah 1:5 is telling us that even before we were conceived, God knew His plans for our lives. He knew what He called us to do. He knew how each and every day of our lives would turn out. He knew everything about us before we were even thought of by our parents. Let that sink in! So if someone as mighty and powerful as our God, who has had our entire lives planned out even way before we were born, is asking us to trust Him and follow His will for our lives, what do we have to lose?
I want to leave you with this: If you are feeling stuck or if you are simply miserable with where you are at in life right now, do not be discouraged. God has great plans for you and He will fulfill those plans and purposes He has for you. Your main responsibility is to continue to pursue God with everything in you, walk in obedience to Him even if He is asking you to step outside your comfort zone, trust His timing, and wait on Him with an abundance of patience and joy. If you do that, the valley season you are in will fly by so smoothly. Stop worrying and fretting, and simply trust in God. And last but not least endure to the end during challenging seasons.
I’m praying for you friends! If you have any prayer requests please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Love you all!
“and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:7 (NKJV)
The peace that surpasses all understanding…when I first came to Christ, I would hear this verse and even meditate on this verse time and time again, but I never fully understood what it meant. Ever since I was a young girl, I was a worrier. I would worry about everything. I would worry about things that children shouldn’t even be concerned about, such as finances and having food on the table. Not to go into too much detail, but growing up things were hard for me and my mom. A lot of things that happened in my life were out of my control, which caused me to worry. This habit of worry followed me into my adult life even after I became a Christian and truly started living my life for the Lord. You see, I knew that God would give me a peace that surpasses all understanding, but I didn’t know how to tap into that peace. Philippians 4:6 (NKJV) tells us how,
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;”
My mistake was that even after praying about the situation and telling God what was going on, I was still anxious about it. I still worried about how God was going to make certain things happen. I was trying to figure things out in the natural, but the thing is that God doesn’t work that way. Just because I can’t see my prayer manifested in the natural does not mean that God is not working on my behalf. God is always working on our behalf. He hears our prayers, but there are things going on in the spiritual realm that delay the manifestation of our answered prayers. The enemy is always trying to prevent the manifestation of your prayer. We can see that happening in Daniel 10. Just to give some background, Daniel had a vision about events that were to happen in the future so he prayed to God asking for God to give him understanding. He had been praying and fasting for a while and still did not hear from God. After a few weeks had passed, an angel appeared to him.
“And the man said to me, “Daniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you.” When he said this to me, I stood up, still trembling. Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come.”
Daniel 10:11-14 (NLT)
You see, God answered Daniel’s prayer immediately, but the enemy and his demons were trying to prevent the angel from manifesting Daniel’s answered prayer in the natural. Not once while Daniel was waiting for a response did he begin to worry nor did he become anxious. Instead, he fasted and prayed. Daniel is an excellent example of how we need to be when we are waiting on God for a response to our prayer.
In addition to praying and not worrying about how and when God is going to answer our prayers, we must also fix our eyes on Jesus. Hebrews 12:2 (NASB) tells us “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”. When we focus on Jesus and keep our minds stayed on Him, He strengthens our faith in Him and we become confident that He will answer our prayers and do what He said He will do in our lives. Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV) tells us “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” When we fix our eyes on Jesus, that means we focus our hearts and minds on Him. By doing this, we show Him that we trust Him and in response to our trust in Him, He overwhelms us with His peace.
I finally get what the peace that surpasses all understanding is. It is a peace that to someone looking at your life in the natural will not understand why you still have joy and why you are calm and still enjoying life. It’s having peace in the midst of a crisis, peace in the midst of your life falling apart around you, peace in the midst of chaos. I have finally begun to experience this peace. Right now my life is far from going smoothly. I haven’t been working for almost a year. My only source of income is my financial aide and the assistance my parents give me. Not once have I been late on or not paid any of my bills. I still have money to buy my necessities and do things with my friends every now and then. I have gas in my car every week. That’s God! And because I submitted that to Him and trusted Him to be my Provider, I do not worry about anything. I have seen Him stretch my money and make it last. I don’t fully understand it nor do I need to. My job is to trust Him and let Him do the rest. There are some things that God has been promising to do in my life and some amazing visions He has given me for my life. I have no clue how those things are going to be manifested. When I started trying to tell God that I don’t have certain connections or certain skills, He told me to hush. It’s not my job to worry about the ends and outs of everything. He has it all worked out. Now when He shows me things, I tell God that I don’t know how He’s going to do it, but I trust Him to make it happen in His perfect timing and I rest in Him. And now I have this crazy peace that does not make sense, but is such an amazing feeling.
If you are having a hard time trusting God and tapping into His peace that surpasses all understanding, give those worries and concerns to God. Anytime worry starts to creep in your mind, cast those thoughts down and start thanking God for what you are trusting Him to do. Praise Him as if that prayer has been manifested in the natural. Continue to do this and as with doing anything repeatedly, it will become a habit.
Love and praying for you all!