@Gospelfit #LentenChallenge Day 39 ~ Where’s God?

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Luke 23:46 46 Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last.

When we are troubled and going through issues or we have a plethora of circumstances that are consuming our time, money, emotions, or attention, it can become difficult to feel like God has EVERYTHING under control. We may become so consumed with what we are GROWING through that we forget to pray. We neglect the power of crying out to our God, Who, yes has everything under control. Can We Talk?!

During this Lenten season we are reminded of Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection. Jesus, being fully man felt some of the same emotions that we experience. He experienced rejection, anger, pain, doubt, and fear. In His final minutes on earth, His question to God was,  why have You forsaken me. Rest assured that just like with Jesus, God has not forgotten you. He was in control then and He is still in control now. The Word promises that He will never leave or forsake us.

As we press through this last week of the Lenten Challenge, take comfort in knowing that whatever you are GROWING through God is with you. He knew that you would have these challenges before you today. He is not caught off guard or surprised by your circumstances. God didn’t get busy and when He turned His attention back again, there was Jesus on the cross. His plan for Jesus and His plan for reconciling our hearts back to His was predestined. Your life in Him is predestined. God knows that you are able through Him to handle all the challenges you face. Trust Him to heal and handle the issues, situations, and circumstances in your world. He is still in control. He is as close as your next whispered prayer.

Aqua 4HisTemple

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@Gospelfit #LentenChallenge Day 38 ~Staying Power

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John 19:17-18 17 and carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew[a] is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them.

Are you in a period of testing right now? We know that tests and trials are designed by God to make us and mold us. We are made stronger by the tests and trials that we endure. You’ve heard folks say, that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Our tests are not designed to kill us be to strenghten our faith. Passing our tests allows us to move to the next level in God, teaching us and preparing us for what lies ahead. Can We Talk?!

As believers, it does not matter who you are and what your relationship is with the Lord you WILL face tests and trials. Our faith is tested when we go through trials. In the 1st chapter of James, he tells us to count it all joy when we face trials of any kind. He goes on to say that the testing of our faith PRODUCES perseverance. And when perseverance has finished its work in us we will be mature and complete, lacking anything.

Today, you might find yourself restless or discontent. You may be ready to give up or quit. Remember that God may testing you to teach you how to stay. He may be teaching you how to stand in the midst of adversity and uncertainty. If you quit you have forfeited the benefits of perseverance AND God will not be able to bless you at the next level, that next level blessing that will require you to know how to stay.

So if you are praying for a spouse and God is testing your staying power, He won’t send that spouse until you learn how to stay. Marriage requires staying power. If you are praying for that great career that can help you get out of debt, give you purpose, and help you care for your family, but you quit every job you get, God won’t bless you with that career until you learn how stay. Jobs come and go. Careers require staying power. TODAY you may be learning how to stay and stand through TOMORROW’s lengthy sickness of a loved one, a rocky marriage, or through the antics and confusion of a wayward child. Do you have what it takes to stay?

What is God trying to teach you today? It will bless you in the future. Surrender so that you can move to next level of your life. Learn how to stay. Learn how to stand in the face of obstacles and opposition. He will be standing right by your side.

Aqua

@GospelFit #LentenChallenge Day 30 ~ Freedom

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1 Peter 4:1-2 (NRSV) Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh,[a] arm yourselves also with the same intention (for whoever has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin), 2 so as to live for the rest of your earthly life[b] no longer by human desires but by the will of God

I got saved when I was a pre-teen. I recall thinking there are so many restrictions associated with being a Christian. You can’t do this, that or the other. You can bet that all of those things I wanted to do were things that were harmful for me. I can see it now, but certainly could not appreciate the danger back then. Even as I grew up I still thought this life of being a believer comes with so many restrictions, why would anyone commit to this way of living. Still, as I reflect now I wanted to do whatever I wanted to do, whenever I wanted to do it. Can We Talk?!

Now that I have grown up and understand better my purpose and the purpose and power of my salvation, I understand that the boundaries, restrictions or the Laws were not designed to keep me in bondage, but they were designed to set me free. When I think about no longer being a slave to sin and giving into every desire of my flesh, I understand that I am set free by those boundaries. Do I still sin? YES. Come on, you know the answer to that. Am I under the dominion of sin? NO! There is a difference.

When we are under the dominion of sin, we HAVE to sin. We don’t have a choice. Sin may in fact, be our way of life. When I recognize the power over sin I have through the blood of Christ I am able to DECIDE or CHOOSE to sin OR NOT in every situation in my life. I am aware that the choices I am making are sinful and those choices have the potential to lead to death.

I hope that you can comprehend the freedom that your salvation affords you. When we are able to live according to the will of God, instead of being driven by our fleshly desires we are set free. As a believer there are certain activities that I choose not to partake in. But that does not mean that I am missing out on anything. In fact, the opposite is true. I have gained so much through this relationship with Jesus. Riches untold. Loving the Lord makes us want to live according to His will. For me, it means that I have freedom to live a wonderfully blessed life.

Aqua 4HisTemple

@Gospelfit #LentenChallenge Day 5 ~ Main Dish

unshamed of the gospelRomans 1:16 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

I hope your season of fasting and prayer is fortifying and refueling you. I chose the Daniel Fast for my Lenten Challenge. Having participated in a Daniel Fast last year with our women’s ministry, triSistah4:12 Ministries I had some experience with this type of fast. Here we are now 5 days into the Lenten Challenge and I find myself thinking everyday something that I do not even think crossed my mind last year. After lunch or dinner I’m thinking…What was my main dish? I hope you can already see where I am going? Can We Talk?!

The way that many of us were taught to eat was that we have a main dish which would be the meat and then our side dish would be the veggies. Since I am eating primarily fruits and veggies now my mind is  challenged to think that I am full and satisfied because I have not had my main dish. As I was going down this rabbit trail in my mind this morning I started thinking about our scripture for today and the Lord whispered, “I am your Main dish.”

During this season of fasting, prayer, and surrender we must reflect on our relationship with Jesus. Some of us can’t be content in our relationship with Him because He is not our main dish in our everyday lives. Jesus is our side dish. We have compartmentalized our lives in Christ by living one way on Sunday morning and another way “in the world” throughout the week. Our everyday lives are craving the Main dish. Our everyday lives are craving the power and presence of Jesus Christ. In the 12th chapter of Romans the Apostle Paul implores us to “Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.”

Don’t you think our daily lives should be a testimony of our relationship with Christ? Living in the world, but not being of the world means that our everyday lives speak to who we are as His followers. No, that doesn’t mean we pretend to be someone or something that we are not. That also does not mean that we are perfect faultless people. What it does mean is that everyday, unashamed, with all our faults and wrinkles we pick up our cross and follow hard after our Savior who lived and died so that we would be free.

Anybody hungry?

Aqua

@Gospelfit #LentenChallenge Day 4 ~ Covered

jesus-paid-it-all  Isaiah 53:5-6 But he was wounded for the wrong we did; He was crushed for the evil we did. The punishment, which made us well, was given to Him, and we are healed because of his wounds.

Jesus paid it all! Whatever you are worried about. Whatever you are fretting about. Whatever you are throwing away your life for—Jesus paid it all! The Good News of Jesus Christ is that there is nothing that we could have done to earn our salvation and there is nothing that we can do to lose it. Can We Talk?!

When we are on a journey to improving ourselves to be more like Christ for the glory and honor of the Father, we can sometimes get lost or confused in our thinking that we somehow must be perfect or good enough to gain His acceptance and approval. That couldn’t be further from the Truth. As we go through this challenge, we may make some miss steps. We may fall short. Mostly because of some unrealistic goals we set. We may eat or drink something that we gave up and guilt and shame will set in because we think we’ve let God down.

My best advice to you is to get back up. The very next minute after you recognize you have gone your own way, repent and get back on track. Our God is loving, forgiving, gracious, and merciful. My experience will God has not been one of judgment, punishment, and condemnation. God sees us through Christ’s eyes. Christ is interceding to the Father on our behalf for our miss steps and set-backs. I can imagine Him saying “My blood covered that, all of that”. Because I know that Jesus has my back, I can get back up again!

See you at the top,

Aqua

@Gospelfit #LentenChallenge Day 3 ~ Put Your Faith On It

fear-knocked-faith-answered-no-one-was-there-85728931Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and the One who saves me.  So why should I fear anyone? The Lord protects my life.

Fear. If we all would just take a second to think about and deal honestly with the fear that has plagued us in our lives, we would hopefully be willing to confess that fear only has the POWER that we give it. Can We Talk?!

When we allow it, fear has the power to paralyze us and keep us from our appointed destiny in Christ Jesus. We all have seen fear paralyze people so much that they do not move. Literally and figuratively. These are the people that are always waiting for the right time, a burning bush, an angel in a vision, or a prophetic word before they can step out on faith. They check, double check, and verify as they wait on countless, nameless people and signs to confirm a Word from the Lord.

Conversely, we have probably seen fear make people move through life so quickly that they have not stopped to check with God to be sure that their will lines up with the plans He set before us. Busy, busy, busy, but not productive or anointed. Driven but by what? Afraid if they slow down, God will ask them a simple question. “Who told you to do all of that?”

Life changes and life challenges have a way of invoking fear. The next 43 days may seem insurmountable. You may be thinking what have I gotten myself into? Put your faith into action. Put your faith on your fear. Faith has a way of arresting fear. Stopping fear in its tracks. We are not alone on this journey. The Father has equipped us to handle every challenge, struggle, and temptation ahead. He will be here with us every step of the way. Since God is for us, what demon has the strength to oppose Him? None. Not one.

Believing is seeing,

Aqua

@Gospelfit #LentenChallenge Day 2 ~ Stand

armour Ephesians 6:10-12 10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, [c] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

There is nothing more powerful than the power of God, EXCEPT the complacency of man. I heard a minister say this about a year ago. As I meditated on this thought then and share it with you now, the truth of that statement resonates in my spirit. Can We Talk?!

We have free will. God doesn’t force us to do anything. Even salvation, the single most important decision I believe we make in our lives, God leaves to us to make freely of our own volition. I can testify that many times in my life I have gone against what God was commanding me to do because of laziness, content, or complacency. Yes, I was disobedient. Comfortable in my situation, routine, or way of life. Then here comes God, shaking the foundation of my complacency and commanding more of me. Doesn’t He know I’m busy here?!

Thank God for His grace, mercy, and love. God’s love meets us right where we are, but He doesn’t leave us there, in the same condition He found us. His love compels us to change, move, grow and be different. His love fuels our desire to obey and change.

When God instructs us to change we have to be ready for Satan to oppose us. We have to be ready for our own flesh to oppose what our spirit knows to be the right decision (Galatians 5:17). We will think of every excuse possible to remain the same and hold on to what God is trying to pry from our grip. If we are going to change and be all that God ordained we have to first get clear in our minds that the work is going to be hard. If it were easy, then everyone would be doing it and knowing us, we would be bragging about how WE did it. Yes, the work of changing our old habits, attitudes, and behaviors will be challenging, BUT God! He is faithful to complete the work He began in you. Put on your armor Warrior. Stand.

See you at the top!

Aqua

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