15 Things I Learned in 2015

I learned a lot spiritually in 2015 and I am sharing it with you. You can look back through my blog if you want the full version, but the cliff notes are below. I got to know God in a way, I have not known Him before.  I look forward to what 2016 holds.

15

Mourning is a process. You have good days and bad days. Own it, but don’t wallow in it. Ecclesiastes 7:2

14

Sometime we wait because the Lord has to take the teeth out of the serpent that is waiting to bite you Psalm 61:4

13

all of the struggles we are currently going through is God cultivating our hearts. He is taking hard dry ground and enabling it to grow something Ezekiel 11:19

12

Sometimes our blessings are in the storm Ezekiel 34:26

11

Remember who I am praying to. Revelation 4 tells me that I am not praying to a really good human being. He sits on the throne with flashes of lightning and peals of thunder. Four very scary creatures watch over him.  He is mighty, all powerful and sovereign.

10

We work better together. God put us in community to work together. I am so blessed to be among a group of women who love and serve Jesus.  Hebrews 10:24-25

9

He continually reveals himself to me. He tells me He loves me every day whether I hear it or not.  Deuteronomy 29:29, 1 John 3:1, 1 John 4:10

8

He trusts us with moments, don’t take any for granted. Some people you are never going to see again. Act like it. Isaiah 43:10

7

When things I want are not in line with what God wants, Be Still. Trust Him. Psalm 46:10, Proverbs 3:5-6

6

Prayer is an effective tool to communicate with Him. James 5:16

5

Until you are dead, it is not too late to start anything. Remember the Sunday School class for women in their 80s.

4

I think God listens to our crappy prayers and decides to teach us a lesson by teaching us we don’t know what we are talking about.

3

Even though some  things do not fit right now, I know that it will all come together because the one who made the plan completes everything.  1 Peter 2:7

2

I need friends who will remind me of God’s faithfulness. Deuteronomy 7:9

1

Fearing the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. There are lots of scary things on the planet earth, but there is none that I fear above the Lord.  The study of Revelation has given me a grand picture of who it is I worship.  It is not an accident that there are lots of thunderstorms and earthquakes in the area during the year we are studying Revelation. He is giving us an overview before the real thing happens.  Deuteronomy 10: 12-13.

CeCe Winans says it best. Worship Him.

How Do You Get Through Tough Times?

2015 is going down as one of the hardest years of my life. It has also been one of the most powerful years of my life.

This week in the study of Revelation we are looking at our view of God.  Many of us think of God as some better version of ourselves. Why else would we be so flippant in how we approach Him and refer to Him? We think of Him as a buddy or friend.

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to listen to some teaching by Francis Chan which approached this subject. I spent some time in Revelation 4 and gave great thought to who this was I am praying to. To be just a black girl about it, “What does He look like?” ( I mean wool like hair? Does that mean He black?)

To be honest, the images in Revelation 4 scared me. I have prayed for Him to help me understand what He wants me to know about these passages.  As I think about facing this mighty powerful God and all of those creatures, it makes my current circumstances seem like nothing. I can face a mountain of earthly circumstances in order to NOT have to face a creature with eyes in the front and back of it’s head who also has six wings. (feathers freak me out) And that is how He works. He takes our circumstances and uses it for His glory.

When Isaiah was mourning the loss of his king, Uzziah, The Lord revealed to him what the real King looked like on his throne with train of his robe filling the whole temple.(Isaiah 6) The Lord met the elders of Israel in the desert and John on the island of Patmos (Revelation 4). What they thought were awful circumstances, changed as they focused on the Creator and not His creation.

Their circumstances took them to the throne of God. My circumstances have taken me to the throne of God.(I have not physically been there) I have watched Him do more than I can imagine in my life this year (Ephesians 3:20). But now, I think about WHO is doing this for me and HOW He loves me unconditionally.

This week we have seen terrorism in France and wonder what will we do to combat such a powerful foe. People are angry and frighten by cowards who kill in the dark. The truth is the cowards are mortal and will die as will their mission. I have read how the story ends. We win. Don’t allow mortal men to cripple you with fear.

Let me tell you, there is a God who sits high and looks low (Psalms 113:5-6). He is not a better version of us (Isaiah 55:8). He is immortal and will judge everyone (James 4:12).

What I have learned in difficult times is that worship can get you through anything. You have to focus on what can really help you. A relationship with Jesus Christ. He can heal any wound any man can make.

I was sick all week, to the point of losing my voice, but the Lord saw me through. He took care of everything.  He writes scriptures on my heart through His actions. When I didn’t have another ounce of energy, He gave me more than I could ask or hope for (Ephesian 3:20).  He deserves all the worship I can I give.

One evening in BSF we were singing Worthy of Worship. I wondered if we would sing this in heaven. (And yes I want to be in the choir for that one). I can think of instances when He has been Father, Creator, Savior, Sustainer and more.

How do you get through the tough times? Worship.

Stop Looking Backwards

In Secrets of the Vine by Bruce Wilkerson, he distinguishes between pruning and discipline, one brings pain, while the other brings relief.

One of the things I am learning about the pruning is that it gives God permission to free you from things that have been binding you. Most of the time we don’t even know they are binding us.
If God has moved people out of your life, let them stay. If they come to mind, pray over them. Don’t call them.

As I have come to appreciate what God has done, I am learning who was there to strengthen me, and who has been draining. He will teach you the same if you allow Him.

If God has changed some situations. Trust Him. Like the vine dresser, He is preparing you for growth. Don’t try to rush back into similar type situations. Appreciate where God has you.

You can’t grow into the person God wants you to be if things and people are sapping up your strength. Wilkerson said we need to appreciate this process and not fight against God. Trust Him.
Keep moving forward.

Better Check Yourself ‘Fore You Wreck Yourself

I know lots of people going through struggles and difficult times right now. What I have learned from my own struggles is that God is using these adversities to strip things from me that keep me from being what He’s created me to be.

As I reflect on many of the struggles I have had this year, I have a new found freedom. It is a blessing. There is nothing like peace that comes from heaven. It will not go away when the heat turns up in your life. People will look at you funny, like why are you not freaking out about this? When you know the One who controls all things, and you spend time with Him daily, you trust Him.

Sometimes God is trying to get you out of situations or away from people that poison your spirit. Many of us fight it because we have grown dependent on those people or situations. God has to wrench these things from us and it hurts because we have been holding on to them so tightly. God is our only source and He wants us to know it.

We will stay with a job until it destroys our health. We will stay with people who destroy our self esteem. We are physically broken, mentally broken, spiritually broken, yet we want God to do something great in our lives. We are not giving Him anything to work with. We continually fight against the good that God has for us because we do not understand it. When He rips these things from us, we are sad and depressed, but it usually for the best.

This week I began looking at the poison people in my life. If you are one of those people hanging on, watching, not adding anything to my life, your days in my life are numbered. If I have asked you for something and you have ignored me, your days in my life are numbered.

As long as we live in peace, you don’t have to like me. Today’s bible verse confirmed it “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24. Some of the folk who are struggling are trying to keep those many companions and wondering why their lives are in ruin. Focus on the one who will stick closer than a brother.  Stop worrying about your haters and think on the one who loves you.

One of my morning readings is The Secret of the Vine by Bruce Wilkerson. God is constantly pruning vines in your life to see that you continue to be fruitful. Stop second guessing God’s decisions. If He has ushered some people out of your life, let them go.

Stop allowing people to drain you and not put anything back. When God cuts them off. Let them stay cut off. Test every person in your life for what they are adding. Even God gets rid of branches that don’t produce anything good.

I am not going back to the way I used to be. I am not going to let people poison me by not valuing the vessel God is molding. I am going to trust the God who leads me. He knows what I need.

God is creating something beautiful and I am going to value it.