Daily Devotional – 2/11/20 “Keep the same energy, playa!”

In Acts 16, Paul and Silas are imprisoned after casting out a demon from a young girl, people were using to make money. Bible shares she was filled with a spirit of divination (the practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means). Afterwards, Paul and Silas dragged before the authorities who ordered that Paul and Silas be stripped, beaten and thrown into prison. You may know the end of the story but while Paul and Silas were in prison, they prayed and sung songs to God. It didn’t matter their current location, their heart and sound still belonged to God.

Some of y’all are in a place you don’t deserve to be in and neither have you done wrong. Maybe you’re in a dark place because of you; either way, stop being angry at God. Instead, ask Him for forgiveness and change your sound. Instead of pity, pray. Instead of focusing on your suffering, sing. Your heart and sound should still belong to God, no matter your location or situation.

Anyway, while they sung and prayed, God sent an earthquake that shook the foundation of the prison, opened the doors and the chains. Paul then converts the jailer, goes home with him and his entire household. The next morning, the magistrates sends an order to “release those men.” The jailer tells Paul and Silas, but Paul tells them, “They beat us publicly without a trial and threw us into prison, even though we are Roman citizens. And now do they want to send us away secretly? Absolutely not! Let them come themselves and escort us out (Acts 16:37)!”

In other words, keep the same energy playa. These men, in authority, had no right to strip, beat or imprison Paul and Silas; but they did. In front of a crowd yet they want to release them silently. Nawl baby. You restrained me publicly, keep the same energy and release me, publicly. Look, I know vengeance belongs to God, He’ll fight for us and He’ll handle our enemies; I’m not taking away from God’s power. Neither am I telling you not to forgive, love your enemies and pray for those who spitefully misuse you.

However, there are some folk, in your life, who keeps apologizing privately but will blatantly antagonize you publicly. Tell them, keep the same energy. Those who only show up when there’s a benefit for them and not to authentically support you; tell them, keep the same energy. Aw, you had the audacity to tag me in a post when you’re in your feelings but now that you’ve found out your folk lied, you want to apologize in messenger. No boo, keep the same energy, playa and tag me in the apology too. Stop giving passes to folk because they’re familiar, y’all grew up together, you respect them, they’re in authority and you don’t want to hurt their feelings. You don’t have to be mean about it, but you need to mean it.

This year we’re getting out of our own way, we’re stepping into all God has for us and we’re letting go of those who mean us no good. That begins by reevaluating our circle of relationships. Stop putting your good energy into folk and situations who got good energy but won’t give it to you. Depleting your energy dims your light.

Daily Devotional – 12/30/19 “Cycle of Completeness!”

I was going back through some older devotionals, looking for one to share again. I couldn’t find it, but I stumbled across this one and I’m led to share it again (with revisions). It’s not that God doesn’t have more for me to say but somebody needs this word. Somebody who is feeling like God can’t use them. Somebody who feels like rejecting the calling on your life because of who you think you are. This is for somebody who’s having a hard time believing that God can and will use you. Maybe you feel like this woman. A woman who didn’t always feel useless but now she walks the streets, in skimpy clothes, selling herself to every person she thinks can fill the emptiness on the inside of her.

See, her son passed away, a year ago, at the age of two; heart disease, and no matter how she tried, she couldn’t bring herself out of the depression that called her name day after day. Her family loved her, but they couldn’t help her. She tried drugs/alcohol but even they didn’t help. One day she got into the car of a man she’d serviced before. He had a smile that made you trust him, and she did. But this day the smile faded, and the monster appeared. He raped and beat her, leaving her at the edge of the city for dead.

She was in a coma for nineteen days.

On the twentieth day, she opened her eyes and saw a man walking around her bed. She couldn’t make out what he was saying but he kept touching her. She tried to speak, she tried to move but couldn’t. So, she closed her eyes and whispered within her spirit, “Lord, I surrender,” before drifting off to sleep. The next day she is awakened by the sounds of her mom calling her name. She opens her eyes and after the tubes are removed, she asks about the man. No one knew who she was talking about, but she kept whispering, where’s the man?

After a few days, the hospital chaplain comes in and she recognizes him. She asks him about that night and he explains that God allowed her to sleep until the 20th day because 20 represents the cycle of completeness. 20, biblically, is connected to a perfect period of waiting, that sometimes comes with labor and suffering. Think of it as serving a sentence and it’s now release day.

This woman’s cycle of guilt, shame and depression was now complete.

For whomever you are that’s reading this and thinking, God won’t use you because of your past mistakes and present sin; you’re wrong. Beloved, your cycle of shame is about to be completed. Your season of lack, it’s about to be done. But you must surrender and wait on God. I don’t care about your past or your present, God has need of you, but I need you to make it to 2020. Can you do that? Will you trust God enough, even in your labor and your suffering? Will you believe God’s promise to never forsake you? Will you take God at His word? Your cycle of completeness is on the way, but you’ve got to make it.

Psalm 138_8