Fake it ’til You Make it

There’s an interlude on Donald Lawrence’s “YRM” (Your Righteous Mind) album that talks about the power of confession.

Specifically, Bishop Tudor Bismarck talks about the “I Am” principle and says this (paraphrasing): when a person says “I am,” whatever follows behind the “I am” aligns itself to that person’s life. So when you say, “I’m broke/poor/stupid/ugly/fat/a failure/whatever,” everything in the world of poverty seeks you out and aligns itself with that person.

Bishop goes on to say what we should do when we speak is to not tell our truth – the truth dictated by the world – but instead speak the truth according to God’s promises. So, as the songwriter wrote, “Let the weak say I am strong. Let the poor say I am rich.”

The reality is that many times the mess, drama, the confusion, the frustration and stuck-ness we experience is because we’ve spoken it into our lives, or have allowed others to.

How many times have you said in desperation, “Uggh, I’m so confused!” or “Dang, I ain’t never got no money!”  (Yeah, just like that!)

What are you speaking into your life?

“I ain’t never going to get married/have kids.”

“I’m too old to start over. I’ll be doing this forever.”

“My parents were poor. Their parents were poor. We/our family ain’t going to ever have anything.”

“No one will/can ever love me.”

“I just keep messing up. I can’t ever do anything right.”

These aren’t simply idle comments in fits of frustration, these are confessions. And these confessions that we allow ourselves to say out loud, or even to replay in our heads, manifest themselves in our lives because we’ve taken the power that God gave us through the Holy Spirit to do so.

Don’t believe me? Look at Proverbs 18:21 (NLT):

The tongue can bring death or life;
those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

But, despair not!  You know what’s great about confessions?  You can start to change them – and your life! – immediately, right now, today!  Because we serve THE God who can bring life to dead things and make something out of nothing (Romans 4:17) we have access to the same power.

Speak life to the dead areas in your life. Start changing your situation now!  Confess what God says about you!

I am the head, not the tail (Deut 28:13).  I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psa 139:14).  God has plans to give me future and a hope, to prosper me (Jer 29:11).  No weapon formed against me shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17).  I’m more than a conqueror (Rom 8:37).  I can move mountains (Matt 17:20). My Father owns the cattle on 1000 hills (Psa 50:10), and I’m heir to THAT throne (Rom 8:17).  I shall not want (Psa 23).  He delights in me (Psa 149:4). God is my protection (Psa 18:2).  By His stripes I am healed (Isaiah 53:4).  I am a child of the Most High God (Gal 3:26-29) of whom should I fear, of whom should I be afraid (Psa 27:1).  He blesses the work of my hands (Deut 2:7).  My gifts will make room for me (Prov 18:16).

And if you really want to grow your faith, start confessing the things God’s promised you and placed in your heart!

I am the Lender, not the Borrower.  I am a business owner.  He blesses the work of my  hands.  My seed is blessed.  My marriage is blessed.  My children are called, anointed and set apart unto God.  My husband is a mighty man of God.  I am debt-free.  I am blessed.  I am a minister of the gospel.  I will fulfill God’s purpose for my life in this lifetime.

God has given YOU the power to move the mountains in your life through the Holy Spirit.  So shake off the definitions of you that your Daddy, your Momma, your girlfriend, your boyfriend, your teacher, your loved one, your “friends”, your enemies, your boss and YOU spoken into and over your life! Step into the new: new confessions, new possibilities, and new EXPECTANT faith in Him!

You weren’t created to be a victim.  God made you a VICTOR through Jesus.  Whether you receive it and walk in it is up to you.

I am UNBEATABLE! WHAT are YOU?!

Movin’ On Up!

This is the revelation that the Lord gave me: It’s time to move beyond audacious hope to expectant faith.

We have for too long pinned our desires on hope – I hope I get the job, I hope the bills are paid, I hope it all turns out alright.

In some instances just hoping (as in, doing nothing BUT hoping) can make us feel powerless, like our lives are left to some unknown fates and we can only hope for something good.

But how many of you know that we’re called to a higher level of authority over our lives and feelings?  That God will share His plan with us if we ask?  That we’re called to have expectant faith?

EXPECTANT FAITH.  That’s a faith that doesn’t know defeat, doesn’t know want, doesn’t know lack because it only expects, claims, declares, visualizes, owns, and accepts VICTORY.

See, here’s a fundamental difference: hope is feeling that things will turn out the way we want or in our favor. But  faith is a confidence and trust in something or some person.

And let’s be clear: this divine confidence is not in ourselves, or our networks, or who we know or what we can do.  This confidence is planted, rooted, and firmly grounded in the Lord through Christ Jesus.

You see, God has called us to be set apart.  We are His chosen people.  And because we are reconciled to Him through the blood of Christ, we have authority over our feelings and in fact are called to act not based on emotion, but in spite of them and based on the Word and the power and authority gifted to us therein.  We are created to not be victims – held hostage to our emotions and feelings and flesh – but to be VICTORS.

In fact, Hebrews 11:1 tells us in the NIV version: Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Aren’t you ready to walk into your destiny?  Aren’t you ready to walk into your abundance?  Aren’t you ready to see that all now – not to simply hope that it all turns out OK?

I am!  So let’s move!  Let’s move from hoping for big things to expecting God’s best.

BUT before you pack your things, there are some restrictions…

Tell that guilt, that shame, that feeling of unworthiness, that bondage, that doubt, and that fear to “call Tyrone an’ ‘em to come help them get their stuff” BECAUSE WE’RE LEAVING THEM IN OUR YESTERDAY.

Today we are walking forward BOLDLY in EXPECTANT FAITH that God’s Word (and His Word that we declare in our prayers) never returns void (Isaiah 55:11), that all things WILL work to our good (Romans 8:28), and that there’s nothing the enemy can do (Isaiah 54:17) to change what God wants to give us and do through us in Christ’s name.

So, I’m moving y’all!

You with me?

(cue “The Jeffersons” theme song)

Stop Trying. Just Trust.

Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT):

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you.  Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

It is so easy to get caught up in “doing.”  Whether it be at home or at work, we can very quickly find ourselves stepping in to make things happen.  While some labor in the world is necessary, we should be careful that that habit doesn’t spill over into our faith walks.

The reality is that following Christ is supposed to be effortless.  Not without challenges – let’s be clear – but we should not have to worry or fret about it.  We should simply be led by a desire to seek God.  Period.   In fact, the word tells us that if we seek God first all things will be added unto us  (Matt 6:33).  That guarantees us that if we would just focus on Him, then He’ll supply everything else: all of our needs and (because he takes pleasure in blessing us (Psalm 35:27)) our desires as well.

I don’t know where you are in your life.  I don’t know your personal struggles and I don’t know what you’ve been “working” on.  However, I do know this: if you would stop trying to make it happen (whatever your “it” is) in your own power and might, and give it over to God, He is faithful to do it (John 16:23) or give it to you (John 14:14).

Let’s take an inventory of where we’re toiling.  If we’re consistently working on something, trying to make something happen in some area of our lives, perhaps that’s an area we should give over to God.  Look for areas of anxiety, fatigue in your life: they are usually good indicators of a place where you’re trying to make things happen, instead of letting God make them happen.

In fact, a book I’m reading now put’s it this way: we should work like “it” depends on us, and pray like it depends on God.  And how accurate is that? Do everything in your power to support God’s will for your life, including believing and trusting Him to make it happen.

I pray that God gives us each a full revelation of how much He loves us; because that will enable us to love ourselves and others as He’s commanded and will position us fully to take on that yoke of God and leave our burdens at His feet.  It’s a privilege we can claim simply by being His child.

I believe fully that God desires to do more for us than we could even think, as or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).  You guys are such an awesome, blessed, favored group of folks, and I want you to receive ALL that God has for you and to fulfill His purpose for your lives.  I’m just excited to be blessed to come along for the ride.

Aren’t you tired of being tired?  What are you going to give over to Him now?

Devotional: All You Do Is Win

The wallpaper on my cell phone is a picture of my daughters competing in their school’s field day three-legged race.

My oldest daughter has her arm around my youngest, and she’s leaning in.  I wasn’t there, but when I look at the picture, the way both of my daughters are looking down at their one, now-shared leg, I imagine my oldest daughter advising her little sister on how to win the race, reassuring her that everything will be OK, and that she has this whole thing figured out.

As heartwarming as that image is, the last time I looked at it I heard the Holy Spirit say, “I’ve got this.”  And that made me look at it that picture differently.

How confident does that make you to know that no matter what the race or challenge ahead, God’s got it.  That literally, you won’t walk alone.

That as you walk into that job interview or into that job review.

That when you walk away from that unhealthy relationship or that bad habit.

That as you walk into the bank with your loan application, or into your office to face the work bully.

That as you walk into your dream or walk out on faith.

That when you’re going through hell, walking through the fire, you are not alone.

No, really, I want you to visualize this.  That you’re going through your storm and walking with you hip-to-hip is the God who controls the storm, the creator of the winds and the rains that assail you.

Or you’re walking out of your storm, you’re tired, you’re beat down, you’re weary and feel like you can’t go on, and walking with you, picking up the slack and saying, “It’s OK, lean on me,” is the God that brought through will now lead you out.

Can you visualize that image?  That picture of God walking with you, shielding you from the attacks and darts and arrows and weapons of the enemy.  Protecting you from the circumstances and situations all around you.  In fact, the Word says in Psalm 91:7, “Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.”  So not only are you making it through, but you’re stepping over and past and beyond those who didn’t make it, those who tried to go it alone and failed.

I really want you to meditate on this for a minute.  Soak up the peace, allow yourself to physically feel the comfort, the confidence, and the assurance that comes with this guaranteed protection enveloping you like a hug because you are in fact running this race of life with the Lord.

Now, as great as that feels, imagine how greatly that comfort and peace are magnified when you envision this same God of protection and peace and provision, not just tethered to you going through as you do, but actually walking ahead, clearing the way.

And I’m not talking about walking ahead of you like your friends do when they’re angry with you or don’t want to talk to you anymore.  Or like how curious and precocious kids do when you’re out. I’m talking about going forward with a purpose.  Isaiah 45 says it like this:

Verse one begins, “This is what the Lord says to his anointed,” then verse 2 continues, “I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.

I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, 
so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.”

Wow.  God tells us – His anointed, appointed, and chosen – that He will go before us.  He’ll remove all of the challenges and reward us with things we can’t even see, from places we don’t even know exist.

God commits to going before us, clearing the way, and blessing us just for following the path He prescribes.

Now, before you get too worked up, I want to point something out.  Isaiah 45:2 doesn’t say that you won’t have mountains, that you won’t have hard climbs, but what He promises to do is level the mountains.  So you’ll have to climb, but if you do it the way He tells you to, He’ll shorten the height/distance.

Then it says that He will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.  That means that in order to show you how powerful He is, and to assure you that you can put your trust and faith in Him, he isn’t just going to make the things in your way disappear, He’s going to destroy them.  Sure, it would be easy for God to speak to the challenges and say, “Poof, be gone, “ but because He wants you to trust Him and know that He’s got this, He’s going to break down your challenges right there in front of you.

And then, if that’s not enough.  After He’s cleared the path, made it easily passable, and ensured that we don’t face anything that we cannot overcome, He then will begin to give us things, give us blessings that we never knew existed and from places we never even considered.

What does that mean?  That means that that unexpected blessing from that unexpected source that you got after going through hell was God.  That that opportunity you got after trudging through test after test after test was God.  That that word of encouragement you got after everyone else turned their backs and shut you out.  That was God.  That that second chance you got after feeling like you couldn’t get right.  That was God.  That door that opened out of nowhere.  God.  That promotion unexpected.  God.  That bonus.  God.  That new relationship. God.  Peace after finding the strength to leave or say no.  God.  Forgiveness when you didn’t think you’d get it, but most wanted it.  God.  Peace when everything around you was going to hell in a handbasket.  God.  Hope that tomorrow will be better when today was hell.  God.  Joy when your circumstances said you should have been broke, busted, and disgusted.  God.  Love when all you’ve ever had all your life was disappointment and abuse. God.  A clean bill of health when the doctor said it was the end.  God.

God. God. God.

Look, I don’t know what you’re facing.  I don’t know if you’re going through or coming out.  But I came to tell you today that God’s got this, whatever it is for you.  Not only is He on your every side, shielding you and protecting you, He’s gone ahead to clear the way for you to walk into your destiny.

Don’t get caught up and intimidated by what you see all around you – recession, foreclosure, negative diagnosis, rejection, layoff, heart break, crazy, folks losing their minds – it ain’t you cuz He’s got you!

My prayer for you today is that no matter what you’re facing and going through you’ll remember this today – God’s got you, He’ s got this, and all you do is win!

Amen.

Here I Stand

En Vogue once sang, “Free your mind/And the rest will follow.”

While I’ve yet to find that selection in a church hymn, I do believe there is a biblical foundation for that theory in Romans 12:2:

[NLT] Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

I am a Christian wife, mother, entrepreneur, and vessel of God on a journey to fulfill God’s purpose for me in my lifetime. The posts I share here are divine inspirations – the lessons I’ve learned (and failed) and the voice of God guiding me along the way.

I pray that something said here blesses you with renewed thinking and a radical, God-centered mind.

Let’s grow and know God together!