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.

Daily Devotional – 9/18/18 “Because you moved!

On Sunday, I preached a message from Isaiah 62 and I want to share a part of it with you today. This might not be for everybody but for somebody who has heard God but afraid to move. Maybe the assignment seems too big. Maybe the move He told you to make is outside your comfort zone. Maybe He gave you a message that is not what you would normally say. Maybe He is sending you back to a place that holds bad memories. Maybe He has told you to reach out to somebody who hurt you before. Maybe He told you help somebody who still owes you money. Maybe, what you have heard does not make sense but I need you to be obedient because this next move could be the very move to crown you. What do I mean? I will explain. Have you played checkers before? I have not so I had to study up on the game. In checkers, the object is to capture all of your opponent’s pieces or place them in a position where they have no available moves. However, the only movement you can make is one space diagonally forward. If you happen to make a move that causes you to jump your opponent, you are then able to take their checker piece. You and your opponent take turns until one of you wins. Here is the blessing I got from checkers … When you reach the end of your opponent’s board, you get to crown a checker turning it into a king checker. Once it has been crowned and it becomes king, the king checker now has power it did not have before.

Pay attention because I need you to see why your obedience is necessary, in this season.

Before, your checker piece looked like your opponent’s, only a different color but now it stands taller and becomes more noticeable. In other words, you can tell it apart from the rest because you moved. Before, you are only able to move forward but now you can move forward and backwards on the same turn. In other words, because you moved you are able to make moves you could not make before. Beloved, I do not know what God has told you but be obedient and move. I do not know the assignment He has placed before you but be obedient and move. It may not make sense but be obedient because this move is about to give you power you did not have before. Yeah, you may have to leave some people behind but be obedient. It may take a few moves to get there but be obedient. It may not make sense to your natural but move. Because you moved, you are about to tap into a favor you didn’t even know you had the ability to possess. Because you moved, you are about to experience some stuff you thought you were not worthy of. Because you moved, things are about to line up. Because you moved, favor shall be your portion!