Daily Devotional – 10/12/18 “Obedience and Sacrifice”

I was looking over Facebook memories and the devotional, from last year, reminded me of obedience. Not that I needed reminding because I often reflect on where I used to be, when I was out of God’s will and it’s hard not to remember when all I had was struggle. Reality is, it didn’t just start in 2013 because I was out of God’s will long before that. Yes, I was raised in church with memories dating back to childhood but church wasn’t in me. I had the religion down but no relationship with God. (I’ve shared this before.) I was good at dressing, talking and acting the part but I wasn’t living the part. If there was something needed to be done, in the church, I was there. Something going on, I was there. Prayer breakfast, I cooked and served. Yet, I was leaving there bound, confused and struggling. Why am I sharing this again? For somebody who read it last year and still stuck. For somebody who, on this day, is struggling and suicidal. For somebody who is, like I was … using your lunch break, on paydays to renew check advances and still struggling. Paying on title loans and still struggling. Barely eating because you’re still struggling. In over your head and can’t figure a way out. I am talking to you today. Yes, you know you need to be in God’s will but here is what I need to share with you. Getting in God’s will won’t make your struggles disappear overnight because obedience comes with sacrifice. Bible says in Isaiah 1:19-20, “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

Y’all know my story. My husband and I packed up a 3 bedroom apartment in 2 days and moved without having a new address because God said so. Because we did, our lives changed. However, with obedience came sacrifice. See, before I gave God my yes and got serious about His will, we’d filed bankruptcy (a 2nd time). Yet, here is the blessing. After I gave God my yes and willingly obeyed Him; we converted from Wage Earner to full Bankruptcy. While a tow truck driver waited to pick up our old car, we were getting approved for a new car with the same finance company. While we didn’t have our own address, we weren’t homeless. We trusted God! We obeyed God. We moved by God. We didn’t get six figure jobs, we’re still with the same companies. We didn’t hit the lottery or win big gambling; we obeyed God. Yes, on the surface it looked like we were in God’s will but we were anything but. We had to take a step back before we could go forward. Will you do that? Will you willingly get for real about God and obey Him? Will you give God a yes then take a step back and for real reexamine your life; naturally and spiritually? Will you obey God’s voice even if it doesn’t make sense? I know you’ve been handling it on your own but how has that worked for you, so far? Look, I’m not saying every day since, for us, have been all great, they haven’t but we’re better now. And that came with obedience and sacrifice. Put your life into perspective, stop being mad at God and start being obedient and see if your life doesn’t change. And because you do, others will be changed as a result.

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Daily Devotional – 10/9/18 “Getting up is the hardest part!”

I had to be at work “earlier” because I am facilitating a training class for the next two days. Sure, I get nervous every time I have to stand in front of people (even when I preach) but that’s not the issue. No, the real issue is getting up earlier. Baby, it’s a struggle because I stay up at night. However, here is what I’ve realized. The hardest part is getting up. What do I mean? Well, once my legs are over the side of the bed, my feet touch the floor and I get that one good stretch in; I am good. The hardest part is getting up. What does this mean for you, the person reading this? It’s simple really … the hardest part is getting up. Yea, you’re struggling to get out of debt, sickness, a bad relationship, a dead-end job or maybe your spiritual war but the hardest part is getting up. Why? Because it’s easy to lay back down. It’s easy to turn over and pull the cover over your head. It’s easy to close your eyes and pretend it don’t exist but it’s hard getting up because then you’ll have to face the reality of your day and/or your problem(s). Yet the blessing is, when you face what you’ve been running from, you now have a chance to be free from it.

I know you’re tired but it’s time you get up. I know it hurts but it’s time you got up. I know your surroundings look dim but it’s time you get up. I know it doesn’t look as if things will work out but it’s time you got up. Swing them legs over the side of your bed (burdens, emptiness and destruction), put your feet on the floor, stand up, get a good stretch in and go forward. The hardest part is getting up but once you’re up, move because although you fall, the failure is in not getting up. This is why the word tells me that I am, “persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4:9).” The hardest part is getting up but getting up is where you blessing is. Bible says, “take up your mat and walk.” Yea, the hardest part is getting up but Bible says, “your faith has made you well, go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” The hardest part, beloved, is getting up but when you do, stretch and then go forth to conquer the world.