Moving Forward Always Requires Transitions

Moving Forward Always Requires Transitions Devotional Reading

Many of us aspire to grow both professionally and personally, but often, we become discouraged when faced with the difficulties that come with growth. To progress, one must surpass their usual limits to successfully adapt to the various phases of transition. Whether we agree with the process [which may be short or lengthy] embracing continuous change is always required to achieve a victorious outcome.

Except for spiritual growth, the areas in which we require growth differ for each person. Yes, we must stretch ourselves beyond the ordinary routine of life by expanding our knowledge base to achieve optimal growth and development. Learning credible information, pursuing academic degrees, developing creative skills, embracing a healthy lifestyle, starting a garden, and reflecting on current relationships to assess if they are healthy are some of the ways that we indicate the desire to live our best lives.

Embracing the need for growth and development and taking the steps to achieve said goals results in the joy and happiness of possessing optimal mental, emotional, and physical health. However, it is important to acknowledge that creating strategies to accomplish both short-term and long-term objectives provides us with the confidence that we are progressing intentionally and at our preferred speed.

Wouldn’t life be wonderful if we had the opportunity to live as projected and prevent unexpected setbacks?

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” —John 16:33

Reflection: What steps have I taken to ensure that I could move forward from an unplanned life-changing event? Even with emergency-preparedness plans, when the storm hits the area, modifications are required. Except for God, our future is unknown. Yet, we have received God-given qualities along with the ability to pray for Divine Help to endure and persevere through life’s trials and tribulations.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” —2 Timothy 1:7

In the course of our lives, we will face unexpected changes that may lead us in a different direction, often impeding our ability to accomplish set plans and goals. Unless we regroup and face the necessary challenges to push us forward, resulting in progress, we will view the life change as negative and impossible to overcome. Holding on to bitter, angry, fearful, and sorrowful thoughts produces roadblocks that cancel our God-given resilience to move forward.

Without determination, our thoughts will become counterproductive and result in a mindset that dwells on the past. It is often easier to reminisce about memories [perceived or real] of better times and become stagnant, rather than persevering with the courage to develop new strategies and forge ahead on a different path.

When studying Genesis, we learn of the Fall of Man. Yes, it was a choice for Adam and Eve to sin, but God never left them alone to make the painful transition from their perfect garden home to a new life that included suffering the unexpected. “Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21). Even in our disobedience, God’s love never changes.

The Promise: “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” —Deuteronomy 31:8

We need the rock-solid spiritual foundation that diligent Bible study and much praying provide to endure the struggle of transitioning—planned or unexpected. Knowing God’s promises and praying for the anointing, power, and presence of the Holy Spirit gives us Divine strength and provides us with the spiritual reinforcement necessary to face our challenges for the growth that moving forward requires.

Christians have a life that includes continuous transitions on a spiritual level. Sanctification is the lifelong spiritual process of our character being molded into the character of Christ. To grow spiritually, we must pray for the help of the Holy Spirit every day!

It is crucial to understand that the Scriptures about love, forgiveness, and the Fruit of the Spirit are not optional. Moving forward requires spiritual growth and development that prepares us to transition from our earthly lives to our heavenly reward of eternal life. Christ’s life on earth exemplified His faithfulness and obedience to God, His Father, as He constantly prayed for God’s will to be done.

Whether by necessity [spiritual growth], choice [personal growth], or facing the unexpected, our lives will always be victorious if we choose to include God’s divine intervention while transitioning. The creation of humanity included a Divine blueprint for continuous growth. It is the will of God that we possess the highest level of spiritual, mental, and emotional development, and optimal physical health.

Scripture: “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” —3 John 2:2

Prayer: God, we pray for Your Divine Help as we face the many transitions in our lives. We admit that we cannot go through this journey of life without You. Thank You for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in the Worthy Name of Jesus, Amen.

Choosing Jesus Places Us in Spiritual Warfare—Preparing for Battle

Choosing Jesus Places Us in Spiritual Warfare Devotional Reading

“Having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away…always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”…2 Timothy 3:5, 7

From the many generations that have lived since humanity was created a little over 6,000 years ago, the 21st century Christians are living in the most critical spiritual period of earth’s history. Every condition the apostle Paul describes in 2nd Timothy chapter 3, verses one to seven exists for today’s believers. Additionally, Paul tells us that we will have trouble discerning who is really a faithful follower of Christ.

Why are we so easily deceived? To be a follower of Christ requires much prayer, diligent Bible study, faith, obedience, courage, and a listening spiritual ear to hear God’s plans and will for our lives. Truthfully, most of us fall short of the requirements to armor up for our spiritual battles. “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles [tricks, deceptions] of the devil” (Ephesians 6:10-11).

The desire to be a middle-of-the-road Christian [which will never exist] causes us to fulfill our heart’s desires and to serve God according to our whims. Without biblical knowledge and guidance from the Holy Spirit, Satan easily deceives us into compromising God’s righteous standards resulting in the loss of receiving God’s perfect blessings and eternal life.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” —Jeremiah 29:11

Misaligned with the Will of God Through Disobedience

Two roadblocks cause us to detour from the Path of Righteousness: Seeking earthly desires [money, success, houses, vehicles, luxury items, etc.], and desiring relationships and marriage with partners that are either unbelievers or those who believe in God, attend church, but their lifestyles reveal they are worldly.

It is comforting to know that God’s righteous standards never change. With His omniscience, God will not grant us a new home or vehicle if our job is soon to end, nor will He provide us with a half-hearted, uncommitted spouse who would bring turmoil into our lives. Without complete surrender to His will, we cannot attain the wisdom to be wholeheartedly devoted and find refuge in God’s protection.

Sooner or later our disobedience will bring heartache. Living outside of God’s plans always results in negative consequences.

The Second Roadblock: True Worship versus False Worship

“Then a herald cried aloud: ‘To you, it is commanded, O peoples, nations, and languages, that at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, you shall fall down and worship the gold image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up; and whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.'” —Daniel 3:4-6

Their Response: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up. —Daniel 3:16-18

Personal Testimony: Although I was raised in a Christian home, the church we belonged to taught their members a mixture of easily understood Scriptures along with a lot of self-interpreted erroneous false teachings. Please know that I am not criticizing the Pastor or my parents. Because the Bible is God’s Truth, complete with righteous thoughts, spiritual precepts, and symbolism the reader must pray for the Holy Spirit to give them wisdom and discernment.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26).

Satan knows that his time is short on this earth, so he has increased widespread false teachings through individuals that love God but have not prayed for the anointing power, and presence of the Holy Spirit to give them correct discernment of God’s Truth. Membership is highest at the churches that conduct services that only involve singing without any Scriptural teachings. We cannot believe every reel, message, or post on social media. Pray before you listen to any religious content.

Sadly, the chaos within the Christian community is impacting our ability to witness to others. Those who are interested in serving God are verbalizing that Christians are always in constant disagreement with each other. Prosperity, Politics, and Prejudice are promoted and tolerated in many loveless churches whose duty is to proclaim Christ’s love. Most denominations are in opposition with each other over the Scriptures. Yet, we do not have to be deceived. God has provided us with Divine Help!

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” —1 John 4:1

Our mass confusion stems from the many false teachings spread throughout Christianity, such as messages of prosperity [God desires for us to be wealthy] and all-inclusive theories—because of grace a person is guaranteed eternal life in heaven [whether they sin or not]. Additionally, without biblical proof, most churches are teaching that God changed the seventh-day creation Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday.

“For I am the Lord, I do not change…” —Malachi 3:6, the first part

These teachings focus on the human heart’s desires rather than salvation in Christ and Scriptural proof. Satan will continue to spread these false teachings until the end of time. Yet, the book of Revelation proclaims that Jesus Wins and Satan Loses. We will not receive our reward of eternal life collectively. Every person has to answer before God in Judgment for their wrongdoings. Either we will be Sealed by Christ’s Righteousness or accept the Mark of the Beast which is false worship.

We can be on the winning side in this spiritual battle! Put on your Spiritual Armor! Increase praying. Devote study time to the Scriptures. Take the time to have quiet meditation. The Holy Spirit is waiting for us to ask for His help!

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. —Revelation 22:12

Prayer: God, we pray for those who are in the valley of decision to take a stand to become steadfast Soldiers in Your Army. We pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Give us wisdom and discernment as we seek knowledge. Jesus, we thank You for Your love, grace, mercy, and salvation. And ask this prayer in Your Most Holy Name, Amen.

The Game of Chance Has Many Players

The Game of Chance Has Many Players Devotional Reading

“LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.” —Jeremiah 10:23

Every decision we make without God’s blessing and approval places us in the same position as a gambler in Las Vegas. But the stakes are higher than any dollar amount–we are risking our reward of Eternal life. Self-reliance is disobedience, which automatically makes us a losing player in the Game of Chance.

With confidence, we place our highest bets using our finite knowledge to live according to our thought processes. By the time we realize that our mistakes have placed us in a spiritually lose-lose situation, it is usually too late—not because we cannot repent, but sadly, we no longer trust in God. The habit of trusting in oneself eliminates the desire to depend on God.

Unless we completely surrender our will to God every day, we lose our reward of eternal life.

Prayer: God, we pray for those who have lost their desire to submit to Your Sovereignty and Righteous Authority. Help us to realize that our lives are not our own. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2023 and Woman, You Are Loved by God Ministries

The Power of Influence Devotional Reading

The Power of Influence Devotional Reading

“The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.” —Proverbs 12:26

Becoming a product of our environment is a psychological theory that is not true when we are loyal to God.

The gospel singer Kurt Carr was raised in a family who never did acknowledge that God existed. Although he lived in a worldly environment, God revealed that He had a plan for his young life. In his testimony, at the age of 13, the church on the same block that he walked past twice a day for his round trip to school, God told him to attend and sing in the choir, and from his obedience He would bless his life.

Despite the influence of the music/entertainment industry, throughout the years of his music ministry, Kurt Carr has stayed true to his calling by writing and producing gospel music that glorifies God.

Can you imagine being the only Christian in your home? God’s power defies all evil strategies to keep us from having a fruitful relationship with Jesus. Still, we must do our part by obeying God and letting go of the people, places, and things that separate us from God.

One of the greatest challenges we face in life is being influenced by people—family, close friends, social influencers, and financial consultants with various agendas. Satan always uses people to test our loyalty to God. We easily succumb to deceptive tactics when familiar persons are involved. Yet, I recently listened to a story of success by someone famous posted who convinced us that we should pursue our dreams at any cost on social media.

Most of the time someone else is involved who influences us to make decisions that do not align with God’s plans for our lives. Where do we stand? Who is influencing our minds? Our loyalty to God is tested every day.

“Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” —1 Corinthians 15:33

Maybe our first reaction to this Scripture [warning us to stay away from unbelievers] would be, “I wouldn’t consider my family, friends, or that entertainer to be evil,” but we cannot see them as God does. The people who do not have eternal life as their goal, God says they are bad company. Plans and pursuits that do not glorify God are dangerous to our spiritual status.

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?…” —1 Corinthians 6:9

Either we influence others for good or we are influenced by evil. Truthfully, we cannot influence those who have not given their hearts to Christ. Our spiritual journey is tough enough without allowing those who have no desire to dedicate themselves to God to convince us.

“It is better to trust in the Lord Than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8).

With an intentional mindset to follow Christ all the way, do not allow the bonds of close relationships to form with unbelievers [whom Satan will use to influence us] to result in spiritual conflict. Staying true to God requires us to avoid the influencers whose advice can result in disobedience and missing out on our blessings.

Prayer: God, we pray for the anointing, power, and presence of the Holy Spirit to give us discernment and wisdom to avoid following the influencers of this world. We ask You to reveal Your will for our lives. In Jesus’ Worthy Name, we pray. Amen.

Spiritual Checkpoint: Day 125 of 2023 and Strategies for Change

Spiritual Checkpoint: Day 125 of 2023 and Strategies for Change

Time is passing quickly, we are already into the fifth month of 2023. Many of us made promises on day one of this year to change so we are functioning at our highest level of productivity. We identified goals but failed to develop realistic strategies to complete them. Desperately striving to have a work-life balance, we find on day 125 that we are still in the struggle with tasks and commitment overload.

What is your reference point? Is sensory and task overload your norm? Do you have a hectic schedule that keeps you from completing most of your to-do list? Most importantly, are you still promising yourself every night that tomorrow you will spend more time with God? Yet when tomorrow comes, you rush through personal worship, saying a quick prayer and reading only one Bible verse?

Life is so jam-packed with must-do tasks and the unexpected that we may feel helpless or victims of the rapid pace of life over which we have no control. Yet there is something we can do. Be intentional and set a time block of at least two hours to write down your daily and weekly responsibilities in a journal. Even though it has probably been a while or maybe never since you have used a pen and paper for organizing your responsibilities, it’s worth a try.

TCK Publishing has compiled a list of the top benefits of handwritten documentation.

8 Benefits of Writing Things Down
Improve Your Understanding. …
Strengthen Your Memory. …
Process Emotions. …
Reduce Stress. …
Improve Your Focus. …
Clarify Your Goals and Priorities. …
Create a Physical Copy of Your Thought Process. …
Record Your Journey. TCK Publishing

Another company expounds on the benefits of writing things down from the viewpoint of achieving success [especially if you purchase their products].

Writing Things Down Makes You More Focused
In our society, we’re constantly bombarded with information that prompts more thoughts in your head. Counteract the information overload by writing things down! When you write things down, you’re forced to focus on one idea at a time. And when you’re able to dedicate the time each thought requires, you’re able to really flesh it out and get every thought related to it out of your system and your head. Your brain is meant for creating ideas, not storing them!

Writing Things Down Helps Clarify
One huge benefit to writing things down is the ability to clarify. Clarity is what helps people become successful because they’re able to clarify their goals, priorities, and intentions. It’s one thing to have goals, hopes, and dreams, but it’s another to have them written down. If they’re written down, then they’re real and require your attention if you want to make them true. Plus, once they’re written down, you can expand on them and make them more specific so they can become a reality.

By journaling, I have made many personal achievements. It has allowed me to prioritize my life by identifying distractions and activities that use up valuable time but accomplish very little. Yet the most important change is that I am finally able to worship God by studying the Bible and spending more time praying throughout the day.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” —Matthew 6:33, ESV

Our most important goal in life is to remain close to God and strengthen our relationship with Christ. We should pray and ask the Holy Spirit for guidance to recognize any individuals or activities that are hindering our peace of mind and consuming our time. By prioritizing God in our lifestyles, we can lead happy, healthy, and content lives that align with God’s Divine purpose.

Prayer: God, we admit that we need Your Divine help in eliminating the distractions which prevent us from spending time with You. We invite You into our daily routines and ask for wisdom and guidance to live healthier, productive lives. In Jesus’ Worthy Name, we pray. Amen.

© 2023 Woman, You Are Loved by God Ministries—Witnessing to Everyone!