Daily Devotional – 1/16/18 “Start with goodbye!”

Here it is, the third week of the New Year and you’ve been doing, almost, everything right. You’ve been to church every Sunday, bible study once and you’ve even been faithful to the church’s fast. You created the vision board. You’ve prayed, shouted ‘I surrender,’ and told God you’re letting go yet it still feels like life is in a downward spiral. You’re emotionally drained because you cannot sleep and instead of vitamins, doctor says you may be depressed. You’re trying to budget but then the flu happened and it put you behind, again. The kids and spouse are acting half way right but that job, it is an entirely different story. You said you’d pray more and you have but nothing has manifested. You’ve been to the altar, got prophesied over and still nothing. Well beloved, maybe it’s because you haven’t really surrendered. Maybe you haven’t, for real, let go. Sure, on the surface, it looks like it but dig deep. Go on and take a for real look and tell me what you see. Do you still see the old text messages you occasionally go through? Do you still see the inboxes? Do you still see their social media pages? Do you still see the stuff they left at your place? Do you still see the programs, you won’t throw away, from the church you left? In other words, do you see the attachment you still have to your past?

You do know the heart never lies, right? You do know that staying connected to emotional stuff can drain you spiritually, right? Why do you think your new relationship doesn’t work? It can’t when you’re comparing it to the old. Why do you think you’re still stagnant at the new church? You can’t move when you keep saying, we didn’t do it this way at my old church. Trying to do something new with an old mentality is like putting a new garbage bag in a funky garbage can, remove the bag and you will still smell the stench. Yes, the New Year can be new for you when you’re ready. That’s when you for real surrender and for real let go. Stop stalking their pages, answering the “Hey,” texts, showing up to support them and being pulled back to the place you left. Stop pulling off the scab and let the wound close AND heal. Sever the ties that bind. Forgive and/or apologize and move on. Write the eulogy, have the funeral, perform the burial and grieve it. But it starts with goodbye.

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Daily Devotional – 1/11/18 “From struggle to sacrifice”

On my ride to work this morning, the song “Different” by Tasha Page-Lockhart was playing and she said, “You can see it, I’m different in my walk. Others see it, in how I talk. I can see it in how I pray, I start to shed some tears each word I say. See I’m different. They tell me, I’m different.” Listening to those words, the Holy Spirit said to me, the difference is moving from struggle to sacrifice. And as I thought about that, it begin to resonate within me. See, one definition says struggle is to have difficulty handling or coping with and sacrifice is an act of giving up something valued for the sake of something else regarded as more important or worthy. Let me break this down in order for you to shout.

In my struggle, I found it difficult to make ends me. In my sacrifice, my ends have met with the same money I had in my struggle.
In my struggle, my prayers were empty promises I kept making to God knowing full well I probably wouldn’t keep them. In my sacrifice, my prayers changed to use me Lord and I’ll go and I meant it.
In my struggle, I was going to church. In my sacrifice, the church is in me.
In my struggle, I cussed folk out. In my sacrifice, I pray for and still love them.
In my struggle, I did some stuff I’m not proud of. In my sacrifice, I forgave myself for those same things.
In my struggle, I answered to my past. In my sacrifice, my name changed to favor.
In my struggle, I used God. In my sacrifice God uses me.

So you see, your struggle isn’t meant to harm you but it’s preparing you. The things I thought I needed in my struggle proved to be an obstacle in my sacrifice. The things I thought I couldn’t live without in my struggle were the very things I willing gave up in my sacrifice. This is why you cannot discount your struggle, no matter how hard it is or how much it hurts. Come here Abraham. Your struggle, beloved, is the very thing strengthening your trust in God to be able to take the thing you love (Isaac) to a mountain with wood, rope and a knife as your sacrifice when He tells you too believing He will show up with a ram in the bush!