Category Archives for Jesus Talk

Does It Take All That?

Many think we can live a loose life, abusing grace and continuing on in our sin and still make it into heaven. They want to relax God’s standards of holiness and will say, “it doesn’t take all of that to live saved.” But judging from the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:29-30, it takes all of that! In this passage Jesus states, “If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” Jesus makes it clear that we are to go to extreme measures to keep ourselves in a place of purity and to flee temptation. He is not encouraging us to harm ourselves by gouging out our eyes and chopping off our hand. He instead is saying that we should remove from our lives the things that will cause us to succumb to temptations, even if our actions seem radical. Living saved is not for the faint of heart, and the temptations of the enemy are real. We cannot take a passive approach in resisting temptation. We have to radically reject what the enemy brings us and the things that make us stumble. If you have stumbled, don’t stay knocked down. Repent and, as the Lord reveals the things that threaten to ensnare you again, be mindful to flee from those things. We don’t have to do this in our own strength, God’s grace is there to keep us from falling if we want to be kept. The sinful pleasures we deny ourselves of now are nothing compared to the reward that awaits us in heaven.

Be Blessed

Anika

Now Is Not The Time To Be Distracted! NOT TODAY SATAN!

“Not today, Satan!” These words must be more than a cute saying on a t-shirt or hashtag. We must live in the reality of telling the enemy to get behind us and that he will not stand in our way of moving forward in God. We won’t succumb to his evil tactics. We won’t get caught in his web of lies. Saints of God, this is not the time to become distracted! We have to armor up; we are in a full fledged war and we have to engage in warfare even if we don’t want to. When soldiers are on the battlefield, they must remain sober and press beyond how they feel and remain focused on the mission. They fight with victory in mind and they focus. It is easy to get distracted by tangential issues and lose sight of who the real enemy is. If we are not careful, the devil can trick us into fighting those who are on our side instead of galvanizing together and fighting against the real enemy.
What would happen if husbands and wives put aside their self-serving agendas? What if they focused not only on being happy but becoming holy, adopting a servant’s heart towards each other, not insisting on always being right, and came together in prayer and declared with boldness, “NOT TODAY SATAN!”
What would happen if different denominations stopped arguing over the nonessentials, holding higher the tradition of men than the word of God but band together to bombard heaven and declare with boldness, “NOT TODAY SATAN!”
What would happen if we spend more time with God than we do with our electronics? What if we stopped saying we don’t have time to spend time with God and instead humbly admit that we have not made it a priority and have idols in our lives that take our worship? What if we were intentional about positioning ourselves to hear His voice and declare with boldness, “NOT TODAY SATAN!”
What would happen if the church would reach across racial lines, stop being racist towards our brothers and sisters in Christ and pursue authentic unity that comes from seeking the face of the father together? What if we stopped taking cues from the world on how to address the sin of racism and instead humble ourselves and pray with one voice defiantly declaring, “NOT TODAY SATAN!”
What would happen if we were more focused on getting more of God instead of more earthly possessions and status? What if when the enemy comes to lure us away with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, we declare with boldness, “NOT TODAY SATAN!”
I tell you what would happen, Satan would have to flee and we would see God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven! I repeat, this is not the time for us to become distracted. We have to fight to claim the victory that is already ours in Christ Jesus! I pray that the church will awaken from spiritual slumber and see the distractions for what they really are. I pray we will get over ourselves and our own agendas and pursue the agenda of heaven!

Colossians 3:2 NIV
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Be Blessed

Anika

 

Deliverance Requires Maintenance

A few weeks ago, I purged my email account and deleted thousands of messages in my inbox. It felt so good to get rid of all those emails. This was something that I needed to do a long time ago, but I was afraid of letting go. Since that day I have been diligent about deleting read and unwanted emails. I don’t want to return to that place of having an overcrowded and overwhelming email account. I have had to do daily maintenance, and this same principle applies to my walk with God. God has delivered me from so much baggage, and I have had to fight to maintain that deliverance. The enemy actively attempts to hinder me from walking in the freedom I receive. He is always looking for ways to pull me back into old sinful habits and wrong mindsets. I can’t assume that once God has delivered me, I can live on cruise control. No, I must put in the work to maintain the deliverance I received. No one can do the work of maintenance for me, I have to be an active participant. The best way to maintain my deliverance is to daily commune with my deliverer through praying and reading His word. I didn’t deliver myself, so I can’t think for one second that I can maintain deliverance in my strength. That’s foolish thinking. What has God delivered you from? Are you still walking in that freedom or have you become lazy and drifted in the wrong direction? If you want to remain in a place of deliverance, know that God’s grace is there to help you maintain it, I encourage you to tap into that grace that is readily available to all believers!

1 Thessalonians 5:23
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Don’t Panic, Read The Manual

We are a family of eight, so most mornings I do laundry to avoid having a mountain of dirty clothing by the end of the week. This morning as I was doing laundry, I noticed that my washer had a blinking signal that I was not familiar with, panic ensued. Initially I tried figuring out the problem by pressing random buttons to see if I could clear the screen, but it was not working. Before I could get into full-blown panic mode, I realized I could just check the online manual to see what to do. I paused, grabbed my laptop and within a few seconds of googling, I found out how to fix the problem and I carried on with my duties.
In that moment, the Holy Spirit reminded me I must have the same response when things malfunction in my life. There will be times when things don’t go as planned. It’s easy for me to panic and try to fix situations on my own instead of going directly to the manual and the manual maker-God and His word. I can think of times where I just pause, refuse to panic and seek God and His word for how I should respond in my crisis moments. When I use this method, without fail His peace attends me. The problem may not disappear right away like it did with my washer but when I consult the manual my fears and impulsive sin nature are over ruled and instead I receive the peace of God and His perspective. Consulting the manual (God’s word) doesn’t mean the problem will disappear, but it will give you the correct way to respond. I encourage you to make getting in the word of God a DAILY priority. This life promises difficulties, but when we remain in God’s word, the difficulty won’t cause us to panic.

Psalm 119:105 (NLT)
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.
Psalm 61:2 (NLT)
From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety.

Be Blessed

Anika

Make Time To Hear The Voice Of God

Often when we are in moments of crisis, we spend more time telling God how we feel and leave little time to listen to what He has to say. There is nothing wrong with sharing our burdens with the Lord; in fact, he invites us to do just that. HOWEVER, we must not only tell God what is on our hearts, but it is imperative that we make the space to hear His heart. It is easy to buy into the idea that the sky is falling. The world and all its sin problems are a disheveled mess, but children of God, don’t think for one second that God does not have an answer to all that is going on. Don’t think for one second that God doesn’t want to share with you how you should respond.  You just have to take time to hear His voice. We remain in a place of panic when we choose not to slow down to hear the voice of the Lord. Turn off all the noise and steal away to a quiet place to hear the voice of Abba. Insist on making time to not just read but also study his word. He has much to say. Be mindful of what you are taking in throughout the day, you want to have clear reception when it is time to go to sleep because God may have an answer for you in a dream. In Matthew 1, Joseph found himself in a crisis, his fiancé Mary became pregnant and he knew he was not the one who impregnated her. Before he could carry through his plan to silently put her away, the angel of the Lord spoke to Him in a dream and give Him an answer and directives. Fast forward to Matthew 2 and God speaks to Joseph three others times (vs. 13, vs. 19, and vs. 22) through dreams and it was imperative that He had the ability to hear because it was literally a life or death situation. We have many other examples of God speaking to people throughout scripture and He does not limit it to dreams. He speaks in so many ways, but we MUST make the time to listen. Yes, the world is in crisis, but what do I have to fear? I’m connected to the creator of the universe and if I slow down to listen to His voice, I can gain wisdom on how to respond. I can then walk in peace even when everyone else is worrying. Do you make time to hear the voice of the Lord? If not, I encourage you to.

Be Blessed

Anika

My Heart Is Heavy For My Black Brothers And Sisters

My heart is heavy God. My heart aches for my black brothers and sisters who have allowed their pain to make them take their eyes off you. My heart aches for my black brothers and sisters who have become convinced that this praying thing is not enough. My heart aches for my black brothers and sisters who are choosing to stray from you because of the oppression of black people. They have loss sight of the bigger narrative. God, I don’t know how to fully convey what’s in my heart, but this burden is overwhelming. We are allowing anger and bitterness to overtake us. Some of us have exalted our blackness above our God! Father I know it must hurt your heart to see how in this pain we are doubting your love for us, we have forgotten that you sent your son to die for our brown skins too. We have allowed our anger to cause us to tune our ears to the lies of the enemy and fight a spiritual battle with carnal weapons.

Teach us God to guard our hearts. Help us understand that choosing to repeatedly forgive the ongoing offense of racism doesn’t make us lose our black card, it just helps us to maintain our kingdom citizenship. Help us understand that our willingness to guard our hearts against roots of bitterness and refusing to sit and stew in the offense doesn’t mean we are excusing the sin of racism it just means we are more interested in imitating Christ and His humility and His willingness to forgive. God help us realize that you see the injustices. You have not turned a blind eye to our pain, and that we should run to you and not to those in the world who look like us for comfort and strategy! God let us mature and not use our pain as an excuse to remain in a place of immaturity and respond to racism in our flesh. Help us remember that this is a perfect opportunity to let our lights shine beyond our pain so you can be glorified in our response and racist souls be drawn to you through our actions. Help us remember that despite our pain, we still have a responsibility to carry out the ministry of reconciliation-your way! God, let us remember what is at stake. Let us remember that this world is not our home. Let us live with eternity in mind. Help us realize that as your children you are calling us to a higher plane.

In Jesus’ name, I pray amen.