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

Daily Devotional – 10/3/11 “Where’s your joy?”

You wake up in the morning after a great night’s sleep.  Everything in your house seems to run smoothly, no fussing with the kids and everyone is ready to leave on time.  You have a relaxing ride to work while talking to God.  You pull in the parking lot at work and find a parking space close to the building while thinking; this is going to be a great day.  But as soon as you get to your desk or inside the job, the devil sends one of his followers in your path.  Then something is said that cancels out all the great stuff that just happened not even an hour before.  Just like that, in a blink of an eye, you’ve allowed the devil to steal your joy. 

Haven’t you read in the bible that the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10)? So, when the devil steals your joy, he steals your strength. Once your strength is stolen, you are open to any line of attack the devil has.  It’s just like you have a security door to your home to keep robbers out but when they show up, it’s not locked so they push their way through. When you’ve allowed the devil to steal your joy, he’s ultimately won the battle for this round.  Because then he knows that you’re down and out and whatever he sends to brighten your day, you’ll gladly welcome.  You do know the devil can send blessings just like God can?  But we have to be strong enough, in our faith, to notice the difference.  When the joy is gone from your marriage, the devil will send that fine co-worker your way smelling & looking good while saying all the things your spouse use to say.  When the joy is gone from your worship place (church), he’ll send gossip your way about the minister that spreads like a wild-fire even if it’s not true.  When the joy is gone from your life, he’ll send temptations by way of drugs and alcohol that will make you feel like everything is fine.

But in Psalm 28:7 it states, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.”  When you have the Lord on your side, not only is there joy but there is also strength and a shield to ward off the enemy.  It’s like a bullet-proof vest, when you have it on you may get a few bruises and even be sore after the attack, but it stops the bullet that is meant to kill you.  With every battle come scars, after the scars there is healing, after the healing there is deliverance and after the deliverance comes joy! 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 states, “We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”  So, even when God allows the trouble to come, it may knock you down but it doesn’t come to knock you out.  How can you have a testimony without a test? How can you appreciate the sun when you’ve never experienced the dark clouds?  See, God doesn’t count the starters in the race but the finishers because in Matthew 24:13, it states “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”   How can you enjoy getting to the finish line if you’ve never started?

When you have the Lord in your life, you have unspeakable joy.  The type of joy the world can’t take because the world didn’t give it.  The type of joy that when folk hurt you it doesn’t break you.  When folk knock you down, you get back up and dust yourself off.  When doors are slammed in your face, it doesn’t stop your life.  You know this type of joy that makes you hum in the morning even when the sun isn’t shining, when your tire is flat, it doesn’t ruin your day, it makes you dance when there is no music, shout when everything is going right, praise when you have money in your pocket and sing when it’s not Sunday morning.  You know this type of joy that allows you to keep your mind when death attacks the family, when sickness invades your body, when you’re drinking tears for water, when you’re in need of sleep and it won’t come.  The Lord is this type of joy!  All you have to do is receive it.  God is standing at the door but you have to let him in.  Open the door and receive the joy the Lord has for you and stop allowing folk to take what is not rightfully theirs.

 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. Psalm 18:2