Go Again!

Theres a cartoon type of picture that has circulated on the internet for a few years, its of a man digging his way through a cave trying to get to diamonds, the picture shows that at the moment he gave up, he had one more wall to knock down and the diamonds were right. there. That picture kills me every time, because what if in life we saw the scale of our progress and how close we were to that thing, was right on the other side of us saying,”I”m done! Its too hard/taking too long”.

You have a desire, passion, career goal, house goal, car goal, family goal, weight goal, etc. You’ve tried so many times and ways to achieve this goal. For some it only takes one failure for you to stop, for others you have tried countless times and now you give up! Whatever the case is, GO AGAIN! 

Some, if not all, of the successful people in life that a lot of us reference had to fight against so many no’s, so many doors slammed in their face, but still they kept trying and were able to obtain the thing they have been working so hard for, especially when their circumstances appeared to be telling them “This is never going to work, just give up!

The scripture I am using today, is from the Prophet Elijah, who told his servant to check the sky over the sea for the evidence of rain coming. *Backstory* in 1 Kings 17, Elijah prophesied that there was going to be a great drought for a few years. In the third year of there being a drought in the land, God told Elijah go present yourself to Ahab (Ahab was a King, who was married to Jezebel and Jezebel made it her mission to kill the Lord’s prophets, so Elijah going to him was risky business), present yourself to Ahab and I will send the rain. Elijah does as he is told and when done, tells Ahab raining is coming back to the land, and sends his servant to look for the evidence.

“Go and look toward the sea,” he told his servant. And he went up and looked. 

“There is nothing there,” he said.

Seven times Elijah said, “Go back.” 1 Kings 18:43

Elijah sent his servant to look seven times. Seven times! Here why this number is A LOT. Elijah was on the top of Mount Carmel. So seven times his servant climbed up, seven times down, to say, “Bro! There is still no evidence of rain!!” Elijah is like, “I’m sure you’re not looking correctly, “Go back!” Just imagine the way the servant wanted to fuss at Elijah or say “Why don’t you go?!” 

Sometimes, we aren’t looking at our progress through the right lens. Sometimes, we expect it to look a certain way and if it doesn’t turn out that way, we count it as a loss. Sometimes, we want to step on the scale and it say down 10 pounds, instead it says .1 pounds down. But if you keep trying, and you look at things with the right perspective of all progress, whether big or small, as something to be celebrated, maybe then you will accomplish the things you’ve been hoping for all along.

“The seventh time the servant reported, “A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” So Elijah said, “Go and tell Ahab, ‘Hitch up your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’” 1 Kings 18:44

I’m sure the servant expected to see thunder clouds covering the sky in order to bring back proof that rain was coming, instead he saw a cloud equivalent to a human hand. But regardless of the packaging of the progress, an accomplishment is still an accomplishment,  and rain still came upon the land!

So stop beating yourself up for what you haven’t done yet, put on your faith glasses and GO AGAIN!

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God’s Love

I had something really incredible written up, but I heard God say start from the top, share my love. I hope that as you read this and the way that He has me write this erases any doubt you had in your mind about how God feels about you.

The main scripture that jumps out to me is :

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?” – Romans 8:35

I love this scripture, because it is first positioned as a question, that is later followed by an answer from the Apostle Paul. A little back story on Paul – before his conversion on the Road to Damascus where he encountered Jesus, Paul was known as killing followers of Christ. Actually, on that journey where he encountered Jesus, he was traveling to go capture groups of Christians: (Paul formerly known as Saul)

“Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem.” – Acts 9:1-2

So, back to my point Paul, whose career was based around coming against everything of God, could present a question like this and help us answer it based on his past. Surely, a man who imprisoned/killed followers of Christ would have the testimony of knowing the power of God’s love:

“No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:37-39

Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? There is nothing more powerful than the love of God. A love that has the power to heal, deliver, and set free. A love that knows the depths of your heart, the things that we hide from everyone else and He still gives us His love. No mistake you have and will make, can separate you from His love. There is a scripture that says that we are His special possession (1Peter2:9). He is the Creator of the universe, but refers to you and I as his special possession?! Just rest in that! Read the scripture over and over to yourself, to understand the depths of NOTHING EVER being able to get in the way of how much God loves you! There is nothing that can compete against it! It is hard to truly comprehend, because as humans we cut someone off if we don’t speak to them often, but how many days have gone by where we don’t acknowledge Him? Even during those times He is staring at us through the eyes of His love. What an awesome God we serve!

 

Prayer: Lord, I hope that the reader of these words can move on today and for the rest of their days, resting under the power of Your love. I pray that they understand that your love has power and it triumphs over all fear, doubts, worries, and insecurities. I pray that we all are motivated to spend more time with you, daily. For those, that are struggling right now with forgiving themselves and seeing themselves worthy to receive such a perfect love, I pray that you whisper to their hearts, mind, and soul, and even right now as they rest in You let your Holy Spirit begin to minister to the parts of them that have been holding them back with having a real relationship with You. We love You, we honor You, and we receive Your love today. Thank you Father God, Amen.

 

Please feel free to share this with any and everyone you think would need to read this. You never know there may be someone in your contact list that needs to hear this right now! Love you all and I hope you pray for me as I pray for you!

 

Keana Harlow 

Are you a “hoarder”?

We can have a hoarder’s mentality without ever collecting or keeping a physical object.

We can be hoarders over yesterday’s troubles. Yesterday, in this doesn’t necessarily mean 24 hours ago. Many people are holding on to trash from 6 days ago, 4 months ago, 10 years ago.

Wherever you fit in numerically, you need to ask yourself “am I a hoarder?”

Why am I holding on to this junk? It’s killing me from the inside out, but I can’t let it go!

I read a quote that said “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”. Your “junk” may not be anger. It may be resentment, self-esteem issues,  abuse,  etc. Either way its killing you and you HAVE to let it go.

Some things are easier to let go of than others. Some things take a little more time…..but, guess what?! With one simple act of surrender, God can and will take those burdens from you and give you the grace to move past them. He will strengthen you and give you the freedom you were always looking for.

ALL OF THIS is coming from an ex-hoarder! I’ve been there and I’m still on a journey of letting things go. The thing is, it may be scary, because you’ve become so used to living this way that any other way seems foreign. Be brave, like I know you are! The life without this “junk” is peace, freedom, joy, wholeness and its waiting for you! “Let go and let God” may have become a bit of a cliché, but it’s so true. Give it to the craftsman of all craftsman, and let Him make a masterpiece out of you!

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 NIV