We will serve the Lord

As I continue my reading and studying of Joshua what has become more and more apparent is that the Lord is faithful to his children. Although Israel rebelled by building altars and worshipping other gods, they complained and doubted more often than not, the one True God remained merciful and blessed them anyway. It took them 40 years to get to their promise land but the journey was well worth it because they dwelled in unimaginable abundance. God always led the Israelites in victory and delivered the enemy into their hand to obtain the inheritance he promised.

“See, I have divided to you by lot these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from the Jordan, with all the nations that I have cut off, as far as the Great Sea westward. And the Lord your God will expel them from before you and drive them out of your sight. So you shall possess their land, as the Lord your God promised you.”      Joshua 23:4-5

God has already written out the playbook for you and I, nothing catches him by surprise. I believe that even in our stubbornness and our idleness and complaining, he provides us with valuable lessons and refines our character to bring him Glory.

“For the Lord has driven out from before you great and strong nations; but as for you, no one has been able to stand against you to this day. One man of you shall chase a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, as He promised”.               Joshua 23:9-10

I don’t care what or who the obstacle is, our God is BIG and POWERFUL. He will weaken the enemy and bring them to their knees and by doing this all will know HE is the GOD of all the heavens and the earth.

Please keep in mind that although our God is gracious,  forgiving and loving, that he is also a God of chastening. He expects his children to walk in obedience and a strong love for him.

“When you have transgressed the covenant of the Lord your God, which He commanded you, and have gone and served other gods, and bowed down to them, then the anger of the Lord will burn against you, and you shall perish quickly from the good land which he has given you.” Joshua 23:16

Let me clarify that other gods aren’t always carved out of wood or sculpted metals. Idol worship can be relationships, money, pride, witchcraft, horoscopes, superstition, jewelry, a job, or a position. Basically any object, place, or person you exalt above God and has priority could possibly be a god or idol in your life. To be honest with you, just recently I fasted from watching TV for three days because I was forfeiting my time with God to some of my favorite shows (Say Yes To The Dress on TLC). It is so easy for us and all our flesh to get unaligned, so we must repent and focus our attention and heart back on God.

“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day, whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the river, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

Do not dismiss the conviction of the Holy Spirit or the Word of God. Do not dabble in darkness, and do not give Satan any foothold to creep into your life but serve the Lord with all your heart. Your inheritance of God’s riches and glory await you my friends.

I leave with you a clever saying that I saw on a church billboard:

“Give the devil an inch and he’ll become your ruler”

 

 

 

Let it go.

I was watching TBN yesterday and the show It’s Supernatural with Sid Roth came on. (plug: watch it if you haven’t seen it, there are awesome testimonies) I make it a habit to watch this show every week for a new episode, and the reason being is that it really activates my Faith in Christ. There’s a reason it is called It’s Supernatural, some of the craziest things that could ever happen actually come to pass. Anyway, this particular episode had a woman on it who spoke about her experience of God taking her to hell and how real it was, and how frightening and awful it was. She even got teary-eyed reliving it through the testimony.

She described how hot it was, the scorching temperature made her skin melt and she became distorted. She said, you know God made us in his image but once you are in hell that changes. She then started talking about the screams that never ceased, her body hurt and she could feel the pain although she was not experiencing any physical torment at the time. Let me tell you that as I was watching I’m sure my mouth was gaping and my eyes were as big as an orange. God brought her back to reality minutes later but he revealed to her that she was holding onto unforgiveness and that the believers of Christ she saw in hell were also. Quite honestly it scared the hell right out of me…I mean literally.

As soon as the show finished, I felt my spirit stirring and God was prompting me to go to a quiet place and get right with him. I most definitely have some harsh feelings towards people who have treated me unjustly and cruel but I was not entitled to hold onto the offense. Straight up, God checked me. I thank God for doing it though because I don’t want to end up in hell. Some people may read this and think that is not the God we serve, but I am not going to gamble with this. “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” (Matt. 6:14-15) So I started talking to God and asked him for forgiveness, and asked that he help me with my damaged flesh and spirit. The Lord knows every believer’s heart and he will give them the opportunity to repent from behaviors, feelings, thoughts, and even when we turn our back on him, he is merciful and forgiving.

The Bible says,
“Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17) It is clear, if you know what the Bible says and deliberately disobey his Word there will be consequences. My dear friends don’t let the little offenses, the big offenses, and our fleshly desires hold us from our heavenly destination. Get right before the Lord, talk to him truthfully, confess your sins and be washed by the Blood of the Lamb that cancels and cleanses us from all unrighteousness. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

God is doing it differently

I kept hearing the book of Joshua for many sermons and I thought to myself “maybe God is telling me I need to read this book again”. As believers in the Christ we are to renew our mind’s daily on the Word of God. Even if we have read a verse one hundred times, God grants us new eyes and gives us fresh revelation for the season we are in. The same scripture can speak to us in several different ways because our Father knows what we need to hear. Maybe it’s a confirming word we need, or words of encouragement, a word of healing, whatever it may be God loves for us to engage him.

So I started reading the book of Joshua and from the get-go verses were speaking to my spirit, I found myself highlighting almost everything I was reading. Although everything was very meaningful, Chapter 3 in Joshua stood out most. Let me set the tone for my readers.

Joshua is leading the Israelites through the desert to get to the promise land, and at this point he is taking the place of Moses. The Israelites are traveling with what little belongings they have and the sacred ark of the covenant. The ark of the covenant is the dwelling place of the Lord, and the priests were the ones to carry it because they were Holy people. In this particular chapter the Lord spoke to Joshua and said to have the priests with the ark of covenant walk ahead of him to cross the Jordan river. He also told Joshua, “Yet there shall be space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you have not passed this way before”. And Joshua said to the people “sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you”. Jos 3:4-5

Fast forward a couple of verses. God was going to be glorified in this miracle about to take place but he also wanted to exalt Joshua among the Israelites and show them that he was anointed like Moses. The same promises that God has made to Moses were extended to Joshua.

God instructed for the priest to cross the Jordan with one man from each of the 12 tribes of Israel and that when they crossed with them, the waters of the Jordan river would cut off, and the waters that come down from upstream will stand in a heap.

“So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priest who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off, and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. Then the priest who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.” Jos. 3:14-17

There are a couple of things I took away from this amazing story.

  1. If we think we have God figured out and know exactly how he is going to move. God is doing it differently. Because he says; “do not go near it, that you may know the way by which you must go, for you HAVE NOT passed this way before”. He is basically saying stand back and watch the way you need to go. Stand back and let God lead so he can get the Glory.
  2. Walk in obedience to the Lord’s instruction and he will perform the miraculous.
  3. Step out. Joshua gave instruction to the priests, the 12 men from the tribe of Israel and the people, and said step into the Jordan river and the water will cut off. The crazy part is that the Jordan river overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest, so for it to stand still was supernatural.
  4. God is the God of promises. He cannot lie, everything he speaks is truth and going to be fulfilled. He kept his promises to Joshua, the same way he did Moses, and the same way he will for you and me. God set the Israelites feet on dry ground across the Jordan river in order to get to the promise land.

After reading this story my faith was fueled by the power, love and promises of God. The Lord guided me to read the book of Joshua again because in my spiritual season I needed to be reminded of the supernatural God I serve. I pray this blessed you all and that you keep walking in obedience to see the mighty power of God unleashed from the unhinged heavens. Amen.

Seeing is not always believing

The Lord has pressed upon my hurt during this dry spiritual season Hebrews 11:1 which says,
“Now faith is the [a]substance of things hoped for, the [b]evidence of things not seen.”

I feel like every believer in Christ has clung to this verse at one time or another in their life. It is such a rich verse and really means more than what meets the eye. God repeatedly showed me the scripture and I was like “ok I got it, having Faith means not looking at the natural” but God wanted me to study this particular verse. I thought well if I’m going to study the Word of God I might as well read scripture in its entirety. For anyone who is down on their luck and discouraged, read all of Hebrews chapter 11, it is the Faith chapter and full of examples of the supernatural.

As I started to read and take the time to study every word of that chapter I realized that with every miraculous occurrence throughout the Old and New Testament God gave his disciples and prophets a vision or told them what was to come. He basically prepared them for the miracle but it also required them to act in Faith.

So I reflected and started going down memory lane of prophetic visions I had and promises God had spoken to me. Years had passed and so I stored these things on the dusty shelf of my mind under disappointment and discouragement. I had given up because they didn’t come to pass in my timing. I allowed doubt to settle in and listened to the lies of the devil telling me “that wasn’t really God’s promise to you, you made that up in your own crazy mind”. The truth is I am a little crazy but I am also in tune with MY God. At the time of receiving the visions and hearing God’s voice, I knew without any doubt that it was him. Let me tell you that when you hear God’s audible voice it’ll stop you in your tracks.

So as I am reading Hebrews chapter 11 over and over, God starts telling me “Courtney I gave you spiritual insight years ago, and gave you them to hold on to so you would have hope”. Just as he showed his people throughout the Bible the things to come, he showed me also. Sometimes in my mind I make God out to be a bad guy and I know that’s awful for a Christian woman to say. The problem is that my flesh always goes against what my spirit knows. My flesh tells me to give up on hope and my spirit says “Now faith is the substance of things HOPED for, the EVIDENCE of things not seen”. When God gave me the evidence of the supernatural things he was going to do it provided me with hope. Years have passed and here I am focused only on what I could see in the natural. NEWS FLASH!! GOD ISN’T ON THIS LEVEL- HE DOES NOT STOOP TO OUR LEVEL. GOD IS KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS-HE IS OVER THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH!

Listen up, God will give all of his children glimpses of the heavenly realm if you seek a relationship with him. He desires the intimacy with his children and wants to reveal great things to you. It’s true, here is scripture to back it up in Jeremiah 33:3,
‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

Do not lose Hope or Faith no matter what you see with your natural eyes and don’t acknowledge what you hear with your natural ears, seek the supernatural God. I pray you have been blessed in Jesus’ name.

Rest for your restlessness

Lately I have had zero solid sleep, tossing and turning, neck ache and back ache, every hour I look at the clock..ENOUGH ALREADY! I cry out to the Lord asking him to give me sound sleep and for two weeks my prayers were not answered.

And then it happened, God gave me scriptures and spoke through sermons on rest. I’m sure you all know them;

Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Exodus 33:14 ESV

And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Psalm 127:2 ESV

It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.

Psalm 91:1 ESV

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

These are just a couple of verses but there are actually over 100 referring to entering God’s rest or peace. If I can be honest with you, I have not been in the Word this past month as much as I usually am and it was evident. God presented me these scriptures and reminded me “Courtney, you have to abide in me and you will be at rest”. I didn’t realize it at the time but my mind was on overdrive thinking about circumstances going on in my life while I was trying to sleep. In the middle of the night I’d be trying to put the puzzle pieces together. Enough was enough. Right when God showed me what I needed to do, I jumped into Word before bedtime and really meditated on it and sure enough I fell into a deep sleep. Praise God! If you are restless there is nothing that’ll cure it except spending time with our comforter, Jesus Christ.

Sex and Lust, the overlooked addiction of this world.

As I sat on the couch watching a 1950’s romance movie, I thought to myself I am so happy this is a clean movie. There wasn’t any bad language or sexual connotations, no making out or groping, it was just a guy who fell in love with a woman and they shared respectful boundaries. The love story was so beautiful and pure, it literally made me cry. At the end of it all I said, “that’s what I want”!
My love stories have never been beautiful, in fact, they were completely horrible, and I believe that’s because there were never boundaries. Boundaries set the tone of respect, it lets people know how you expect to be treated and what you won’t tolerate. My mom always told me that you teach people how to treat you. The truth is that I never knew how to treat myself, I created a false worthiness through sex and being desired. Sadly, I feel like more than half the women in this world do the exact same thing.
There has been a big blindfold placed over the eyes of this world that obstructs us from seeing the destructive results of lust and sexual immorality. Sex is obnoxiously in our face daily, with commercials, billboards, tv shows, the internet, ads, radio, and out in public. That expression “sex sells” couldn’t be more true and we are all falling victim to it. We have been brainwashed to accept even the most filthiest things as “normal”. We start acting on desire and lust instead of having any kind of self-control, and we can get anything we want instantaneously.
We have now entered Fantasyland. No this is not a park at Disney World but instead is a deep and dark pit that leads to the end of relationships and humanity. When one becomes so addicted to the world of perversion they will go to great lengths to satisfy their desires. It’s just like a drug addiction, it always gets worse. People wonder how an adult can molest a child or why a spouse would cheat, it’s because it goes beyond that one single act. The seed was planted and it started as just seeing nude pictures, then watching videos, then going to strip clubs, and the temptation continued to grow. So to speak, the bad dog continued to be fed in them instead of the good dog.
We have ignored the “red flags” and as a result there are dysfunctional homes, infidelity, divorce, children are repeating observed behavior, pregnancy in teens is more prevalent, human trafficking is racking up in the millions, more abortions, more sexually transmitted diseases, more rape, solicitation of women, mental issues and lack of self-worth. And that’s the problem my friends, we don’t think about the repercussions or consequences of our instant gratification. Look around, be aware of these things going on, and do not pass off the “little things” because they too evolve. The agenda of evil is very sneaky, it is disguised as something good or funny but your intuition says it’s wrong. Turn the tv channel when things get inappropriate, set browser restrictions, don’t let temptation rule over you but take control of it.
In closing, my prayer is that where Satan tries to creep in and destroy families and lives, and tries to pervert the purity man is called to, that God’s power severs the chains of addiction, and that his great love covers the heart of every person. May we walk in righteousness and the abundance of his mercy every day. Amen.