story

Unwanted

If you ask me, the Bible is full of some of the greatest love stories ever. With that said, I watched a movie recently based on Hosea and Gomer, and I was really intrigued by the dynamics of the story that I had never picked up on before in reading, so I did some further looking into it and was even more captivated by how it so intensely portrayed our relationship with God.

If you aren’t familiar with the story, Hosea was the prophet God had told to marry the adulterous woman Gomer. Now at first, I was always under the assumption that she was a prostitute, but more than likely she was pure before she got married and developed and the heart of a harlot. I find this very interesting. It wasn’t until after she was married that she started to wander and refused to be satisfied by a man that would do anything for her. It was almost like she didn’t want to be loved, didn’t believe she could be loved and cared for so much, and or didn’t feel worthy to receive the love of a such a man. Thus, it’s almost like she did everything to force Hosea to give up on her. Don’t we do that?

GomerThe love of God is so straightforward, yet it goes beyond comprehension, and many times we feel unworthy or less than fearfully and wonderfully made, and we either we act out, becoming afraid and doubtful of its genuineness and test the love of God, or we just don’t want it, because our pride wants us to be able to live the way we want without boundaries, but I think the latter. Like Gomer, even though God pursues us and reminds us daily of His love, as would Hosea, we decide to live a life that takes that precious love for granted and many times we end up in a far worse situation than we should’ve ever been in. Gomer was no different. As a result of her many escapades, she ended up in bondage waiting to be sold to the highest bidder. But no one wanted her. She had damaged herself so bad that she ranked lower than a slave. No one wanted her.

In spite of his heartbreak, pain, frustration, and sadness Gomer caused, Hosea bought her back and promised to always love her. Woah! What kind of love is that?! That’s God’s heart for us, no matter what we do to Him, He will never stop loving us, because His love for is does not depend on us. Even when we stray, His arms are always open, calling us back home. Now does that mean we can go and act like we ain’t got no sense? Of course not, especially when we know better. Hosea even told her she had to stop doing craziness after he bought her back.

When we get to the point where we realize that God will never abandon us or forsake, no matter who we are or what we do, something in us will want to love Him back and want to have that love with us wherever we go in life. As human, by definition, we do not want God’s love, until we meet Jesus, and even then there are kinks in our lives that we strive to straighten out, but he promises to walk with us and be with us through eternity. Matter of fact, the name Gomer means perfect and complete. That is so mind blowing.

When I read that, it clicked that the story of Hosea and Gomer is a reflection of God’s perfect and complete love and salvation (meaning of Hosea). So what’s the point?

Living a life of purpose, you can’t fight God’s love. He is a gentleman so He won’t force you to accept His love or make you love Him in return, but I mean why wouldn’t you? As Gomer did, and as Hosea prophesied to the Israelites, we try everything and everyone else to satisfy us and make us happy, but sooner or later, at some point we come to understand that the Lord was there the whole time and no one else can love you like He can; no one else has your back like He does. He is all that you need to fulfill His awesome purposes in your life. God thinks you are worth every bit of love He has to offer you, and even if every other person has stopped loving you for one reason or another, even if it was your doing, God will never change His mind about you. You can’t make Him stop loving you. So bask in it on purpose, because if you are like me, even when you are being you for a purpose and living in purpose, sometimes His love is all that is holding you together, the only thing stopping you from giving up.

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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.

Just in Case

The story of Gideon is very interesting and to cover it all, a blogsite would not suffice, so for the sake of this entry, I want to focus on the beginning of his story, which pretty much sums up much of my relationship with God in one way or another.

If you aren’t familiar with the story of Gideon (Judges 6-9), it tells of a man full of insecurity, fear, and uncertainty so God had to prove Himself, and yes, yes He did. Nonetheless, it’s the beginning of his story that draws most of my attention. Gideon was pretty much a nobody, in that there nothing special about who he was, where he came from, or who his family was. But you know what? That is the beauty of it all. God’s standard for using someone has nothing to do with who we are or where we come from. What He has spoken over your life, the purpose He has for any of us, is not dependent on such superficial factors, rather our ability to believe what He has spoken and the choice accept it and pursue it. Sandy Smith put it this way, “God has a way of using those the world calls “nobodies.”

When God first expressed to Gideon his future as a mighty warrior (6:12), Gideon didn’t believe him for much of the reason many of us refuse to trust God today: His circumstance blinded his faith and belief and he didn’t see God working.Yet, God replied “Go in the strength you have.” One of the most remarkable things that make me love the Lord all the more, is how He is able to take the little that we have and do something incredible, if we allow Him to. Just as He told Gideon, I am telling you as He also told me, give Him all you have, even if you feel it’s very little, if anything at all, because “I knew nothing, I was nothing. For this reason God picked me out,” which is how St. Catherine Laboure explained it. Living a life of purpose is giving God the all of the little that we have to offer the God of the universe and trust that He will bless it and multiply it, like He did with the boy who only had two fish and five loaves of bread.

One of the things I grasp most in this passage is how God knows our limits and strength. Gideon asked a question that many of us do, “how can I?” We question ourselves and God doesn’t correct us, instead He promises to go with us (6:15-16). Bottom line, with the Lord, we have everything we need; we are in the majority. We are finite and however ways we are limited, He is infinite and has an unlimited amount of power and riches. We are weak but He is the Almighty God.

Nevertheless, as we each do often times, at least I know I have about a million times and then some, when we hear God, we question if it is God in fact talking. Although, generally speaking, when we aren’t sure, for one reason or another, it is good to inquire, which emphasizes having an intimate relationship with God so that when He speaks you know His voice. Still, God is gracious and puts up with our stubbornness and doubt, and will comply and show Himself; we just have to be willing to see it. Truth be told, many times it does require God several attempts before we get it, but we build our relationship with Him, it takes less for us to believe what He says and does.

Overall, God has spoken, and His word shall come to pass and He will fulfill His purpose in your life, whether it looks like it or not. Furthermore, you have no capacity, strength or ability to do all He has purposed you to do apart from Him, but just in case you forget, as we all do, as long as you have Him, you have all you need to accomplish the greatness set before you. Oh, and if nothing else, remember that God likes to show off, so be careful when you ask Him to prove Himself ☺.

Punctuation w/ Purpose

Something I heard some years ago. Many times in life we wait for God to start our new chapter. However, when you end a chapter can’t end it with a comma. A comma doesn’t end a sentence. It pauses a phrase before continuing the thought. In the same manner, comma is telling God that you are going to hold on to what He told you to let go or end, in order to begin a next new chapter of your life. That may be a variety of many things: relationship, job, house, money, comfort ability, etc. It’s pretty much telling God He you don’t trust His authorship of your life. So it’s like you hang on just in case…But you won’t get to the new chapter, because you’re stuck in the old.

punctuation717548When you end it with a period, however, or even a question mark (you may not have the slightest clue what’s finna happen next), you allow God to continue the story, fulfilling your purpose. A period, says to God that you trust Him enough to leave behind what you know, many cases for long periods of time, many pages. Ending with a period, letting go that is, give God the green light to take you to new places and keeps the story in progression. Thus, it doesn’t drag out and you stay in or get in unnecessary mess that wasn’t even a part of the original story…

Lessons from Eden

GardenOfEden

One of the things I love about the Bible is the story aspect of it. The characters are so diverse, the plots are so intricate, and the lessons learned are even more dynamic. Of those stories there is the one story that started it all, “The Garden of Eden.” It is in this story that the world changed forever, and the only other time such a change happened was the birth of Jesus. Still, there at the Garden, there is so much that meets the eye, so many angles to look, and so many lessons to be learned. For the sake of this post, we’ll look at one.

The Devil still uses the same tricks as he did back in Eden today, because they still work. One of which is ungratefulness. Let’s just say, for example, there were 100 different trees in the garden. One hundred different trees, each with a different fruit or whatever element can grow on trees, and they were pretty too (Genesis 2:9). Looking at that alone, I can’t even name 50 different trees or the food that grows on them. However, out of the 100, God specifically said don’t eat of one, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17).  Now, if Eve (since she was tricked first) would have realized that she already had access to the other 99 trees and would’ve been grateful with that fact alone, she wouldn’t have ate the one tree she wasn’t supposed to. Likewise, many people today, we lose sight of the many great blessings that we do have and the value in them. Then, in some way or another the Devil comes in and shifts our focus to the one thing that we don’t have and often don’t need, we lose sight and forget the blessings we already have, which is far more compared to what we don’t have. When the temptation or lust, if you want to call it, gets strong enough, we are led to do things we know we shouldn’t do and we many times compromise and we get ourselves into situations that God didn’t want us in in the first place. The lesson here is that God knows what’s best for us in our lives, and what’s best to fulfill our purpose. We don’t. We must be grateful always for what the Lord has blessed us with, be happy with those who God blesses as well (Romans 12:15), and remember what God has for us is for us.