fear

The Storm Everybody Can See

jesus-calms-the-storm

Jesus calming the storm is a very familiar story in the Christian community, and if you are like me you’ve heard it preached backward and forward 2,000 different times. However, the beauty of Scripture is what Pocahontas sang “you can’t step in the same river twice,” meaning every time you read it something else is bound to grab your attention, big or small; it always keeps you guessing. This story is no different.

A sermon I heard recently referred to Mark’s account of Jesus calming the storm,  I went back over it and there was a line in his description that struck me and I had never noticed it before in any of the other accounts and wasn’t expounded on in the sermon. In verse 36 of chapter 4, you will find this detail, “There were also other boats with him.”

You know what that tells me? First of all, you are not the only one going through the storm you are in right now. There are others that share you burden(s), some lighter some heavier, either way, you are not the only one. So always strive to be a light, because no matter where you are in the storm, everyone you talk to is in one of their own that the majority of the time, you will know nothing about. Furthermore, like any storm, people are scared, nervous, panicking, fearful, uncertain, doing everything in their power to survive, and truth be told, some don’t make it; they give up, wear themselves out trying to find shelter or deny it’s even happening. But you know the difference between us and the rest of the world? Jesus is in our boat. Which brings me to the main piece that I took away.

Simply put, people are watching. You are not the only boat on sea, you are not the only boat in the eye of the storm, and the faith [in Jesus] that you say you have, people are looking to see how you respond. Will you give up? Will you freak out? Will you start cussing everyone out because things aren’t going your way? Will you hide? Will you jump off the boat and leave others to fend for themselves? Though others are caught up on their own boat in their own storm, they will still be watching you to see how you are handling it, and if they see a peace in you no matter how bad the storm is, at some point they will wonder what is happening.

Now, these other boats in the story, more than likely they knew Jesus was on the boat, just as others may already know Jesus is in your boat, which puts more focus on you. The question is, when these storms come, will they see you losing your cool in the midst or will your reaction draw attention to the only one who is able to calm the waves and the wind with his very word?

I just want to encourage you, on this boat called life, there will be nasty storms that appear as though you won’t make it out alive, but you have Jesus in your boat, and that should be your strength each and every day. For it’s his words that calm the raging waters and fierce winds, and it’s still his voice that calms the anxiety, weakness, and fears in our heart, soul, spirit, and mind.

The Lord has promised to be with us wherever we go and will cover us no matter how furious the squall gets, and living on purpose, we should act as such, because people are watching us. So when it is revealed that we are in a storm, there should be no evidence of it, because our faith would be stronger than our fear (v 40). Therefore, since people are watching us in these storms, be you for a purpose, because their survival depends on what you do before Jesus even steps in.

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Fire

FireJeremiah was such a complex person with a lot of emotion, which is why he is known as “The Weeping Prophet.” Still, his story reflects many of ours today. He was called at a young age and when God first called him, he was apprehensive and had excuses as to why he wasn’t able to do what God had purposed for him to do. Many of us are like that. We feel that the task God has for us is too big and we are too small, but that’s the beauty of it. If what He has called you to do doesn’t scare you or keep you on your knees, something is a little off. God, as when He called Jeremiah, wants you to go past your own limits in thinking, strength, and ability and do what takes you out of your comfort zone to prove His power and show His glory.

Jeremiah’s calling was hard and very uncomfortable; he was called to tell the people of Israel about themselves and the doom of the nations. I mean seriously, who wants to go around telling people daunting words from God and not only that but God give you a warning that the people will fight against you and pretty much hate you? Like whoa!

Maybe you feel that way. Maybe what God has chosen you to do and what it will take to do it or get there frightens the mess out of you. Maybe what He purposed you to do, if you know it yet completely takes you way out of your comfort zone. Maybe who He has called you to be is the you that you have hidden or covered to fit in. As God told Jeremiah, don’t be afraid, for you will overcome and He will protect you and rescue and deliver you from whatever you will face. What the Lord has put inside of you is what this world needs to see and or hear, even if they don’t know it or want or accept it. Do what God has purposed you to do. Be who he destined you to be. There is a purpose.

As time goes on, you realize that people are even crazier than what you thought or expected and it’s much harder to complete the task than you could’ve ever envisioned, and as we do, like Jeremiah, we begin to complain and fuss because things aren’t going as smoothly as we like or it’s just getting too much to handle, and you want to give up just like he did and curse the day you were born. At some point he gave up and decided not to fulfill his purpose any longer. It was then that he realized that he couldn’t quit. He couldn’t give up, no matter how much he was hurt, mocked, insulted and reproached, and no matter how much he felt like God had set him up. He had a word; he had a duty that God had given him to do. The moment he stepped out from it, he felt a fire welling up in him that was more intense than what he experienced from other people.

Whatever it is that you have been destined to do, to be, it will get difficult, people will get on your very last nerve seemingly more that ever, people will look at you funny and talk about you, and the Devil will come at you with everything he’s got. But what you have the power to become, why do you think the Devil is trying to stop you? Why do you think God placed you where you are and called you out? They both see something in you and all you have, are, and will face is in either to prepare for greater or hinder you from greater. Know the difference. Either way God has promised to be with you, so like He told Jeremiah, get yourself ready and stand up, for he has already covered you, so no one has power over you or the ability to destroy any part of you unless you allow them to.

Whatever it is that you may be trying to hold in, don’t. It will burn you until you unleash it. So I encourage you, whatever it is that you are called, chosen, destined, and purposed to do, no matter how terrifying or uncomfortable it appears to be or already is, don’t give up. The world desperately needs you, even if they think they don’t. You have Jesus. So yeah, they need you, because they need Him. You work is not in vain, because it will hurt you and them more if you didn’t than if you do. You have been blessed with a burden.

Man of Steel, (Wo)Man of Spirit

I am not a big Superman lover, other than Dean Cain, but I did in fact see “Man of Steel” not too long ago, and I did fairly enjoy Henry Cavill. However, it wasn’t until this last time I watched it that God encouraged my heart, and thus this post.

In the beginning, Clark parents decide to put the Codex, the power of a race, in him to man of steelpreserve their people, and had to send him to Earth, knowing he would stick out, but possibly help it. When I was thinking about that, it reminded me of God and how he put his Spirit, all of Heaven’s power, in us as believers, and we are called to stick out, but it’s that power we have that can change and impact the world.

As Clark grows up, he becomes overwhelmed by his gifts and often times is frustrated and afraid. His journey is all about learning to control his powers, rather than his gifts control him. In the same way, our life of purpose provides us gifts that if not used properly, can prove to be too much, thus God has to prune and purge us, so that we can properly develop and strengthen our gifts. Truth be told, sometimes our gifts scare us and we are afraid of what God is ultimately calling us to do, and it never helps when there are the naysayers and those that always have something to say and will criticize you at every chance they get. But remember, as a child of God with purpose, people are supposed to talk about you; they talked about Jesus, It may make you cry and may make you want to give up, but there is greater yet to come if you hang on.

The most profound line, in my opinion, is found in the first 25 minutes of the movie. When Clark is in the classroom, his powers start to kick in overdrive and he runs out the classroom and hides. Let me stop here and say, don’t hide from your gift and or your purpose. God gave it to you, He chose you for a reason. It was then that his teacher called his mother who came to console him and made this statement, “focus on my voice.” I was floored. There are so many voice that we are out there some that sound reasonable, but are still just plain wrong. When you live a life of your God-given purpose, you will have to block out all the other voices you hear in books, on social media, in music, on television, in politics, from family and friends, etc. Nevertheless, God is saying the same things Clark’s mother said to him, “focus on My voice.”

God’s voice is the only one that matters. He is the only one who understands what is inside of you and wants to be your support, refuge, and strength. His voice knows your destination and your future. It’s only His ‘yes’ that matters, even when everyone else says ‘no.’ So, to whoever is reading this, focus only on His voice, which means getting into His word, calling out to him, believing he will answer and show up every time, as Cal did with his Kryptonian father, and surrounding yourself with like-minded and like-spirited people. Still, the story isn’t over.

As Clark grows up and begins to accept his gift, there are many times he wants to use it, but his father won’t let him, because he doesn’t think the world is ready for what he has to offer. In the same way, you may feel like you are ready and that this is your season to break free and make your mark on the world. I encourage you to have discernment, many times we think we are ready, but God is saying “not yet My child,” because we may have some maturing to do. Other times, as for Clark, the world just isn’t ready for your full glory to show, and at times you may show glimpses of it, enough for people to notice the greatness locked inside of you, but don’t get prideful. God, your Heavenly Father, is Sovereign and knows best so just wait on Him, and sooner than later, you will hear him say, “this is your time. You are ready. The world is ready.”

It is then that Superman was born, but it happened at a time of fear and struggle, and as it often times happens here, God usually calls us off guard or when we least expect it, and like Superman you are thrust into your calling, which is why the Scriptures say “be ye also ready, in season and out of season.” More importantly, don’t doubt God. Of course, Satan, like general Zod, will try to misuse and destroy you and or your gift, or make you doubt or question it or belittle what’s inside of you. but you are an overcomer, so keep fighting and  “keep testing your limits,” don’t doubt yourself or your gifts.

I am so sure of Jesus and who he is for the simple fact that even when people attempt to discredit or devalue or cover him up, he still leaves footprints if you watch for them, and this movie is no different. You are a super man or a super woman, and you are called to be different and for people to talk about you, but you are destined for greatness and are the hope, like the ‘S’ symbol on Superman’s chest, that the world has yet to see and so desperately needs. Don’t be afraid, don’t run, don’t hide, but rather embrace and learned the gifts and the power that is inside of you. And when that moment comes, you. will. fly. And the world will never be the same.

Crazy Stuff

Recently, the women’s Bible study at my church is focused on “The Bibdavidle” television series, and may I say, I did watch it back in the spring and it was really good. Anyway, today’s lesson was focused on the story of David and Goliath and we watched that particular clip from the series. Now, David and Goliath is one of the most familiar and prominent stories in and out of the church, so it’s not as if I had never heard it before or heard it used in whatever form of analogy, quite the opposite. Still the great thing about Scripture, is that the more you read, the more God reveals to you, and tonight was no different.

As I was watching the clip where David volunteered to fight Goliath and just about everyone, the Israelites included, thought he was out of his mind, but that’s when I begin to think. Whenever God calls us to go up against our Goliath as he begins to orchestrate the purpose He has for us, we should do it with a smile and with great expectation, because the moment God uses something so small to accomplish a task so big, He must be ready to do a miracle.

On the flip side, you may not be the David in a situation, but you do begin to see God just doing crazy stuff that makes no type of sense, things that seem so small and insignificant to carry out the greatest of tasks in the midst of other more logical possibilities, anticipate that God is about to do something more than amazing. When you see him bless 5 stones, as a believer in Yahweh. we should smile understanding that God is about to move in an marvelous, miraculous. and incredible way.

As the people laughed and questioned what David was doing, remember that God enjoys proving Himself, so stay faithful and trust God even if all you have is 5 loaves and 2 fish, and watch Him multiply to feed 15,000, or if all you have is 5 stones, watch God use one to kill your giant and ultimately defeat whatever army is against you.

When you walk in purpose, God will lead you to do some crazy stuff and or will allow you to see Him doing some off the wall things. Don’t fret. God likes to show off. So let Him.

Infamous Zone

This post is partly a continuance of the last post, although, this is one of the biggest things I’ve learned this year. Life is about adaption and finding that place in life where you can reside peacefully with the least amount of awkwardness and or apprehension. However, as we become older, patterns, habits, and ways of thinking begin to set in and many times it will dictate what we will or will not [want to] do. You call that your comfort zone.

This zone can become very hazardous and detrimental to fulfilling your purpose. Now people have their various reasons for doing or choosing not to do certain things, some practical and others that are more in depth. Living a life of purpose, you have to be willing to shift and to get out of your comfort zone. As many people can attest as I’m sure you have heard, many times God leads us to those unfamiliar places and unknown territories that can be frightening to be quite honest. Even more, it’s not uncommon for Him to answer prayers in ways that we didn’t want or anticipate, but it’s by His sovereignty. When either of these things happen, some people respond and are willing to take the risk and jump off the cliff believing He will catch them or teach them to fly, and they have soared ever since. Still, others clam up and live in fear.

This fear is another trick of the enemy to hinder God doing amazing things in our lives. We all have our place of comfort, let’s be real, but God often does His best work when we are willing to step outside of the box, trusting Him all the way.

In the same breath, too many people put God in a box, which is the craziest thing anyone could ever do. God is so humungous that no box can fit His very essence, so why would we limit Him, and therefore limit ourselves? More than likely, the comfort zone is rather small, but the world is so big and God is even greater, and the more we step out, the more our eyes our opened and the more we get to experience, taste, touch, smell, and hear. You can’t live a purpose-filled life never leaving your comfort zone; I am a witness to that. So I encourage you not to just start doing weird stuff all willy nilly for no good reason, rather with prayer, wisdom, discernment, and good judgment of course, get out of your infamous comfort zone! – whether it be taking online classes, joining a ministry, having children or adopting, trying something new, following your dream, or confronting an issue that has plagued your life – The more you do, the greater your life will be. I promise. Your faith will grow and your relationship with God will go to higher heights. If God is leading you, don’t be afraid, for His grace will keep you. Take a risk, in Jesus’ name ;).

OH! And be careful not to tell God what you won’t do (normally things outside of your comfort zone). I did, matter a fact I had a list of things, He laughed at me, and now I’m doing or have done them with in the last year :).