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During my reading of First Chronicles 21, I wondered why God was angry with David for taking the Census of the Israeli people. I did some googling and commentators have stated that the Bible does not explicitly state why God was angry. One can infer however, that it was due to King David’s pride.

In previous chapters, God had delivered the Israeli people from all their enemies and always provided  King David with enough warriors for the battles they encountered. Then at one point, the Bible says “Satan stood up against Israel, and incited David to count the people of Israel”.  Joab, the head captain of King David’s army, questioned his reasoning saying “ may the Lord increase the number of his people 100 fold! Are they not my lord the king, all of them, my Lord servant‘s? Why should my Lord require this?” but King David was still adamant about his count. It wasn’t until something bad happened to the Israeli people that King David repented of his sin. That sin, some have said, was King David’s pride going ahead of God.

Whenever I read scripture, I try to identify the areas of my life God is trying to speak to. I read this chapter not really finding much to contemplate on except for the reason of God’s’ anger towards King David. From that, I realized that I allowed my own pride to get in the way of God. Recently, I was led to relocate to Oakland, California. The Lord told me that he would get me there. Being the self motivated, determined, and ambitious person that I am, I started applying for jobs in the Bay area. I also started to take some certification exams in order to pretty up my resume and to show how valuable of an asset I would be. I got caught up in my pride to make myself look good. What was humbling was the fact that I did not pass any of my exams. I thought to myself, I could’ve saved a lot of money and time if I had just waited on God to open a door for me. If I had not rushed to brand myself as such and such and waited for the Lord to make a way, I probably would have gotten a position already.

Am I saying that God was angry with me? Maybe, but what I am saying is that I need to slow down. Just because I may hear a word from the Lord, doesn’t mean I should  jump the gun. I need to make sure, I’m not going ahead of God‘s timing. I must remain in the stillness and align myself to the leading of his Holy Spirit.

“Lord I pray thee
Settle my soul
Your Understanding keeps me
I wait on your Spirit
For life to unfold”

If waiting on God is something you struggle with, know that you are not alone. I’m in a season of waiting on God. I don’t know about you, but waiting can be hard, annoying, and humbling. I’m learning more about myself and God. I’m learning that when it’s all said and done, His understanding supersedes mine. So be encouraged, whatever you are believing God for, His timing is perfect.

4YNFAdA7TnGqZ1Ugqugx9QThis week, I’ve been reading Psalms 95-99 and I noticed a pattern of a call to worship. Each chapter beckoned for a call to sing, a call to kneel, a call to declare, a call to rejoice, a call to make a joyful noise, a call to tremble, and a call to come. As I meditated on these verses, I began to think about my own posture and reverence towards the Lord, our G-d. I thought about whether or not I’ve been coming to Him in a state of worship or fear and trembling. Did I once go to Him while making a joyful noise?

Or, has my morning and evening prayer times just become a religious routine or task to check off my to-do list???

My relationship with the Lord is very important to me. I do not want it to be this mundane thing that I do because of obligation (I’ve been there done that). I know I have free will to seek G-d when and where I want, but the question I am asking myself is, am I really valuing the essence of communing with my Heavenly Father? When I wake up in the morning, am I regarding the time I’m given as something precious? Something sacred and holy?

I wake up really early sometimes so that I could have enough time to prayer and read my Bible before I need to get ready for my day. However, I wonder if I’ve really put it in my mind that this time I am allotted is something special, something that I should be rejoicing about, and singing about. Psalms 98:1 says, ” O sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things.”  When I wake up, I usually write my prayer in my journal and start out with “Thank you G-d for waking me up”, but do I actually consider the marvelous work that He has done? In that one simple act, the ability to open my eyes, to have breath, and the full function of my limbs should be something I rejoice about!

 

I know I’m beating myself up but I like check in and see what I need to work on internally and externally. It’s my form of therapy but I digress.

Basically, when I go into prayer mode or read the Bible, am I doing it with the intent to worship and magnify the Lord? Is my heart in the right space? Is my mind focused on our AWE-some G-d?

 

I’m glad that this Sabbath day, I took the time to really reflect on my week and remind myself of G-d’s goodness towards me. At the same time, I’m challenging myself to be more mindful and intentional when it comes to entering the sacred time with G-d.

IMG_3596After reading Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, I came to recognize how much of an encourager and edifier he was during his time on earth. In chapter 4, Paul admonishes the Ephesians on how to conduct themselves in their vocation as followers of Christ. Paul states that we should, “walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3 KJV) When I looked up the word ‘worthy’, dictionary.com defined it as, “having adequate or great merit, character, or value.” What I realized is that this chapter really focuses on who we are meant to be; it focuses on our character.

It made me ask myself, am I walking worthy of the calling? Is my life as a minister one that unifies and keeps the peace? To me, ministry is about reconciliation, edification, and unification. Now, I did not go into a full-on exegesis of Ephesians 4, it is a loaded chapter. However, I want to continue to chew on the topic of whether or not my character is worthy. Last year, I’ll have to say that my character was challenged deeply in the sense of standing up for what I believe in. Standing up for social justice and racial reconciliation. Trying not to fall into the political trap of division. Last year was a spectacular conundrum, which required a daily dose of Yeshua’s touch and redemption.

Reconciliation is not an easy task to undertake. It requires a genuine sense of remorse, understanding and humility. I found myself being humbled many a times last year. Without knowledge, there is no understanding and without any understanding there can be no unity. So, when we’re sharing scripture with others where are we coming from? Is it a place of love, lowliness, meekness, forgiveness? Or is it from pride, arrogance, and dogmatic religiosity? Speaking truth in love requires skill, it requires empathy. It requires a liberation mindset, a constructivist mindset that allows for mutual learning and exploration rather than oppressive, condemning, and manipulation and distortion of the truth. There is a lack of caring nowadays when people are sharing their truth. Especially on social media. We are not listening to each other. So, what does that say about our character?

People of God we are the saints and we need to be perfected not in our own image but in the image of God. Does our character reflect who God is? Does it reflect His love, mercy, and grace? Does it reflect His patience towards us? Are we walking worthy of the calling?

“ As I enter 2018, Lord I need you to intervene. Let my thoughts and actions align with your word and not distractions. I aim to be more like You, fill me with Your Spirit, so I can walk according to Your truth.”

(c)2018 Maeva Renaud

All my life that has been my journey, to understand who I am and what my purpose on this earth really is. Earlier this year, there was an assignment posted to find out what your name means. I did that, and I found out that my name means welcome. I also did a deeper research on it, because I know that your name describes who you are intended to be. To make a long story short, I found out that my name signifies one that receives another into the kingdom. Okay, that’s cool but how do I do that was my question.

So far with reading the word, attending scribal anointing sessions, prayer, and hearing the word from my pastors, I’ve come to an understanding that there are categories in understanding who you are:

1. What God calls you by name

2. What you are called to do

3. The mandate over your life

4. What you are required to do with what you’ve been given

5. The authority you have in Christ

6. Your position

The reason I’m writing this post is because, all the pieces to the puzzle have been revealed to me and now I have an understanding of who I am and I’m soooooooooooooooooooooooo excited! All my life, that has been my journey. I always felt like I was a mistake ,I was worthless, and had no true purpose. But I thank God for all my failed attempts of suicide and now I know that I am somebody that God created to do great things.

Today I know that I am to welcome others into the kingdom of God with my personality, unique characteristics, and godly lifestyle. I know that I am called to write. Writing is my profession, it is my vocation, it is what I do to bring back order into the kingdom! I understand that the mandate over my life is to make disciples of all nations and baptize them in the name of Jesus, teaching them the truth of the gospel through my writing. I have been given much, and much is required of me. I am to produce good fruit. I have the authority and legal power to conquer every situation because it is my right to do so. Today I understand my position. I was created in the image of God and in His likeness. He blessed me before I was even in my mother’s womb. He assigned me to spread His kingdom, to be a duplicator of what He’s done, to increase in authority, dominion, and power. He created me to be fruitful and multiply, to prosper, reproduce, fill the earth, and take charge. Therefore I stand today in the position that God blessed me in. The position of a delegated ruler of the earth, the position of one who governs, the position of royalty, the position of an heir, the position of a child of the King.

I am about my Father’s business. I know who I am, and I will live! (My declaration)

Sorry I didn’t have any scripture reference, but it’s in the word, start with your position in Genesis 1:26-28

The Barney and Friends kids’ television show has a song that goes “the more we get together, together, together, the more we get together the happier we’ll be. Your friends are my friends and my friends are your friends so the more we get together the happier we’ll be.” I sang that song religiously when I was in grade school with no true sense of understanding to the law of friendship. Today, I can truly appreciate my third grade teachers’ effort to embrace togetherness in her classroom. It really taught me how to foster relationships with others. Now as an adult, I love having get-togethers, whether it’s a group of us going out to dinner or having a blockbuster night in my living room. Gathering together with a group of friends is a great way to learn from one another, meet each others needs, and develop long lasting soul ties that are healthy and purposeful.

As believers in the body of Christ, it is our responsibility to “consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another(Hebrews 10:24-25).” Thinking back to my childhood, I remember how excited I was to sing along with my classmates. No one had to prep me or tell me to get ready to sing. I knew exactly what time Mrs. Holmes would turn on the television set to channel 8 for another rendition of our favorite friendliest purple dinosaur. I was enthusiastically waiting and ready. Today, I must admit it’s a little more challenging to be carefree and zealous about assembling together with others for the sake of friendship. I mean, we are human, we have our hang-ups, we have our doubts, our worries, and sometimes we just don’t want to deal with anyone. Trust me I know! But I thank God for His word that always shines light to my darkness. In Hebrews 10:24-25 we are reminded to consider others even through our hang-ups.

This article is entitled, “Equipping Through Fellowship”. If you look up the word equip, it means to supply and the word fellowship is synonymous to friendship, so no I’m not going into any theology or particular doctrine on the matter, I’m just keeping it as simple as the law of love; love your neighbors as you love yourselves. Supply the need through friendship.

Scripture references: Hebrews 10, Philippians 2

Most of the time when something goes wrong, either in relationships, business deals, or even on the job, people always look for the easy way out. When situations become tough and challenging, the thought of running away seems to dominate the psyche. Unfortunately, running away from difficult situations will not relinquish the stress and fear of it all when the problem rises once more.

If people are always running away from relationships, they’ll never be able to commit to one. If they are always abandoning bad business deals, they’ll never learn from their mistakes. If quitting the j-o-b is the only solution to a confrontation with the boss, stability and character development will be a decline within the today’s society.

When challenging situation arise, it is always best to refer to the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth manual- yes the Bible. The Bible is filled with answers to everyday situations. In the case of having to deal with them, the Bible says to “Lean not on your own understanding, but to trust the Lord with all your heart” (Proverbs 3:5). Trusting the Lord will quiet the soul (thoughts and emotions) and peace will infiltrate the scene. Trusting the Lord and acknowledging Him will bring about direction for any and every situation.

If people would look at their troublesome situations more as a test, it would be beneficial because according to the “manual”, tests “…produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:4-5).

So the next time a challenging situation suddenly arises, don’t panic. Grab the Bible or go online to http://www.biblegateway.com and get the word needed in order to persevere.

The famous words of the Temptations still echo in our ears as the Motown legends’ song depicts a man pleading earnestly and selflessly for his lover to stay by his side. The song passionately says, “I know you wanna leave me, but I refuse to let you go, If I have to beg and plead for your sympathy, I don’t mind cuz’ you mean that much to me…” The body of Christ should have that same zeal when it comes to a personal relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Many people think that having a proud or prideful spirit is a strong character trait. Yes, it is strong, so strong that it can destroy you physically, psychologically, and spiritually. Outside of that, it will destroy any and all relationships one has whether it is romantically or socially. A prideful spirit is a selfish spirit, a spirit that God does not appreciate. When we come before the Lord, either in our brokenness or daily prayers, our state of mind should be humble. For the word the Lord gave King Solomon in 2nd Chronicles 7:14 states, “If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sins, and heal their land.” Oftentimes we wonder why our prayers aren’t answered, but we fail to evaluate how we present ourselves to God.

The psalmist David never presented himself to God in a prideful or arrogant manner. He always humbled himself, making himself weak and needy before the Lord. For David knew that his source for strength and energy came from the Lord and that the Lord appreciated a humbled heart. In Psalm 147:6, David describes how the Lord lifts up the humble and brokenhearted and casts out those who aren’t. So many times we present ourselves before the Lord in a prideful manner, we fail to seek Him and inquire about our relationships, our jobs, and our finances. How dare we think that we already know what to do with the blessings that God has given us? How dare we make decisions about our mates without inquiring of the Lord – the author and finisher of our faith? Too often we go to God with our own agendas, but what about His agenda? Have we forgotten that He has a will for our lives?

If we fail to present ourselves before the Lord in all humility, we will never really know or understand His will and purpose for our lives. Because it is in our brokenness and neediness that the Lord reveals to us the plans for our lives. When we come before God broken and contrite, doors are opened for God to move in our lives and forgive us of our sins.

So ask yourself, are you too proud to beg or will you humble yourself today?