PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE

Patience street sign

You’ve heard the old adage, “Patience is a virtue.” However, many of us struggle with God’s seemingly slow timetable when it comes to doing things in our lives and the lives of others. As you well know, God is not in a rush to do most things. Sometimes He will act suddenly, but usually after a long wait time. He is more like a crockpot than a microwave oven when it comes to cooking up things in our lives. The reason is that God is the most patient person in the universe.

I John 4:8 says, “God is love.” I Corinthians 13:4 says, “Love is patient.” Therefore, it follows that we must conclude and accept that God is patient. 2 Peter 3:8-9 says, “With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like a day. He is patient with you.”

The definition of patience is “the ability to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.” That’s exactly how God wants us to be. He says, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Perfect means mature, and God expects us to mature and progress as we continue on our spiritual journey by developing patience in the following areas:

Be patient in waiting on Him. Psalm 37:7 says, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” God is omniscient and omnipotent, and He knows what is best for you. As you wait on him, let that truth empower you to remain content and anxiety free in your circumstances until your change comes.

Be patient with other people. Ephesians 4:2 says, “Be completely humble, gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love.” When we are patient with others, we are showing love. Again, love is patient, and you have the ability to be patient because of the fruit of the Spirit that lies within you as a believer. Also, it helps when you remember if you are able to do something better or faster than someone else, it’s only by the grace of God.

Be patient with yourself.  Matthew 22:39 says, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Since love is patient, you love yourself by being patient with yourself. When you condemn yourself for your failures or for not being where you think you should be in life, you are not being patient or loving towards you. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). God is patient with you, and He wants you to be patient with yourself.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 says, “Patience is better than pride.” That says that impatience is a form of pride. Patience is a form of humility. Impatience is a form of idolatry. Pride says, ” I know better than God what the timing should be or where I should be on my journey.” Pride looks at others and thinks, “Why can’t you be as far along as I am?” or “Why are you struggling with that? What’s taking you so long?” Pride says, “I am responsible for making my own way, and I will make myself pay for my own sins and short-comings through self-condemnation.” Therefore, let’s be determined to defer to the timing of God, be patient with others when we have gained mastery in areas that they have not, and be patient with ourselves when we fail to live up to our own standards.

How is God teaching you about patience at this time in your life? Please leave your comment below. 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my book, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth Click here to find out ways you can help.

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CONCLUSIONS DRAWN FROM THE TRAGIC DEATH OF ANTHONY BOURDAIN

Anthony_Bourdain

Last week, we were informed of the tragic suicidal death of Anthony Bourdain, world renown chef, author, storyteller, and star of CNN’s popular show, Parts Unknown. Apparently, Mr. Bourdain was struggling in his emotional life behind closed doors, although he looked as though he had everything to live for. He had fame and fortune, and traveled all over the world, taking one excursion after another. He appeared to be at the top of his game, but in private, he battled the demonic and was not able to overcome the sadness and hopelessness that had overtaken his soul.  This is such a tremendous loss, and I am so sorry this happened. When I heard the news, I was completely stunned.

I have no idea what Tony Bourdain’s spiritual state was when he chose to leave this world on his own terms. I am not judging him in any way because I Corinthians 4:5 says, “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.” I pray that he knew the Lord as his personal Savior. However, after pondering this sad situation, I came to the following conclusions:

  1. It’s important to share the Gospel with people, even if they look like they don’t need it or want it. Jesus said the Pharisees were like whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones (Matthew 23:27). Just because someone looks good on the outside, doesn’t mean that is a reflection of what is going on inside them. There is a popular song called People Need the Lord, and that is so true in today’s world. Regardless of what a person looks like externally, he or she is in desperate need of the Lord.
  2. We need to have an attitude of urgency. People are dying without Christ every day and being doomed to spend an eternity apart from our heavenly Father. We have to put aside our own agendas and pursue God’s agenda: winning souls. If we urgently share the Good News with others, perhaps we might be able to help those who are in the same desperate situation that Mr. Bourdain was and head off disaster. Our sense of urgency could end up changing the course of someone’s life.
  3. We must be as bold and relentless in sharing the Gospel as Satan is in spreading his deception and lies. The enemy is on the attack. His goal is to steal, kill and destroy, but Jesus said He came so that we might have abundant life (John 10:10). The enemy is bold in his attempt to destroy lives, and he boldly injects his lies into our minds as often as possible. He also is very persistent and does not give up easily. Therefore, if we are to win people to Christ and snatch them out of the kingdom of darkness, as believers, we must wage a fierce counterattack that is equally as bold and relentless.

In closing, I urge you to reflect on how you can step up your game in sharing the Good News. Who in your sphere of influence needs to hear about Jesus? Who looks like they have it all together, but in reality, they are suffering in silence? Who is the Holy Spirit telling you to talk to, but you have turned a deaf ear to the still small voice? Is fear is keeping you from sharing the Gospel? If so, I encourage you to pray the following prayer I found on the Internet (http://voice-wilderness.org/questions-about-god/how-to-overcome-the-fear-of-man):

“God, if you will take the fear of man away from me, I will never miss an opportunity to speak for you. Wherever I am, if I feel your elbow in my ribs, I’ll say whatever you want me to say, to whomever you want me to say it.” Amen.

Therefore, let’s follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, die to self, overcome our fears, share the Gospel with abandon, and take as many people to heaven with us as possible.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  1-800-273-8255

 

What is your strategy for getting better at sharing the Gospel with those who desperately need to hear it? Please leave a comment below. 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my book, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth Click here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and sign up to receive my bi-weekly newsletter via email.

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A PROPER PERSPECTIVE ON WEAKNESSES

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Today, I want to talk to you about weaknesses. Yes, weaknesses. We all have them, and we don’t like to talk about them. The enemy continuously tries to heap guilt and condemnation on us because of our imperfections. Therefore, how you view your weaknesses can make all the difference in the world. In fact, if you don’t have the proper perspective, your mental health is destined to be adversely affected.

God Himself purposely built strengths and weaknesses into each of us when He fashioned us in our mother’s womb. Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” That means He knew what imperfections you would possess before you ever showed up on planet earth. The question is why did God “equip” you with weaknesses? Believe it or not, weaknesses serve several good purposes:

  1. They differentiate us from the Creator. God’s perfect, we’re not. This is a simple but profound truth in that if we were perfect, we would be God. Therefore, our weaknesses force to recognize that God is on a different and higher level. Matthew 23:8 says, “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters.” Therefore, we must reverence Him for Who He is, the Almighty Creator of the Universe.
  2. They equalize us as human beings. Regardless of what strengths you may have, how beautiful your exterior, or what your socioeconomic status may be, the Bible says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  Our heavenly Father built in weaknesses so that we would not get a haughty spirit and think that we are better than others. Everyone has strengths, and everyone has weaknesses. That truth keeps us grounded and helps us to fight pride, condemnation, and inferiority the devil attempts to heap upon us.
  3. They keep us dependent on God. In 2 Corinthians 12:8, Paul asked God to take away the thorn in His flesh three times, but God refused and said, “My strength is made perfect in weakness.” He forced the apostle to depend on Him, and our weaknesses serve the same purpose in our lives. God built in weaknesses so that we won’t become self-sufficient.  They are a necessary part of our existence that keeps us divinely connected to the Father.
  4. They force us to depend on each other. Because of our weaknesses, the Body of Christ is unified. Our weaknesses compel us to be an interconnected group of people who need each other. I Corinthians 12:21 says, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’ And the head cannot say to the feet, ‘I don’t need you!’” Therefore, God allowed each of us to have weaknesses so that we can depend on each other to get the help we need and provide access to spiritual gifts we lack.

So, you see?  Weaknesses aren’t so bad after all. They are nothing to be ashamed of, and we can freely admit that we have them. The enemy is the one who wants to shame us over our weaknesses, but God is merciful and will never reject us because of them. In His wisdom, He lovingly built “flaws” into us for an express purpose. Therefore, we need to embrace the righteousness Jesus died to give us and remember that we are accepted at all times by God in spite of the weaknesses He has “blessed” us to have.

What is your view on weaknesses and how have you come to terms with your own? Please share by leaving a comment below. 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my book, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth Click here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and sign up to receive my bi-weekly newsletter via email.

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POSSESSING YOUR PROMISED LAND

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All of us have a “Promised Land” that we are striving to reach. Surely we yearn to get to the eternal Promised Land called Heaven. However, each of us has a unique and personal Promised Land that God wants us to possess on this side of glory.

In the Bible, Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun were only two of twelve spies who inherited land in Canaan. Numbers 14:24 says, “Because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it” (italics mine). Therefore, if we want to inherit our Promised Land, we must have “different spirit” as well. A different spirit will cause you to stand out from others and put you in position to be blessed. What does that entail? What are the characteristics that Caleb had which set him apart from the other spies?

  1. He agreed with God. The Lord said to Moses, in Numbers 13:2, “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites.” God had promised He would give the land to the Israelites, but they did not believe Him. Caleb said in Numbers 13:30, “We should go up and take possession of the land.” Therefore, Caleb was in agreement with God. If you want to possess your Promised Land, you and God must be in agreement about what He says is yours in the future.
  2. He had a positive attitude. In Numbers 13:30, Caleb said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” Now, that’s a positive attitude! Those with a “different spirit” have to be positive in spite of negative circumstances. They walk by faith and not by sight (II Corinthians 5:7). They have to have a “can-do” attitude that refuses to be denied.
  3. He was fearless. Caleb said in Numbers 14:9, “And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.” He had no fear. Why? Because he knew as long as the Lord was with them, they had nothing to fear. He had placed His confidence in Almighty God and was willing to take a risk.
  4. He followed the Lord wholeheartedly. The definition of wholeheartedly is having complete sincerity and commitment. In other words, Caleb was “all in.” He did not waiver in his commitment to God, and He was willing to follow the Lord’s directions no matter what (Numbers 14:24) and thereby was able to possess his Promised Land. Remember, if you fail to wholeheartedly follow God’s instructions you, too, will run the risk of wandering in your own wilderness for years just as the Israelites did.

Do you want to possess your Promised Land? Then you too must have a different spirit. That means that you must be determined to be positive in spite of what you see in the natural. Furthermore, you must get in agreement with God’s Word, have faith, and speak the Word of out of your mouth regularly. Finally, a different spirit will require you to be fearless, follow God with your whole heart and refuse to be double-minded. Make up your mind to follow the Lord wherever He leads without question, knowing that only those with a different spirit will possess the land. Are you one of them?

 

How do you see having “different spirit” helping you to possess your Promised Land? Please share by leaving a comment below. 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my book, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth Click here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and sign up to receive my bi-weekly newsletter via email.

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RECEIVING THE GUIDANCE OF GOD

Compasss by Ammer

Know that your heavenly Father loves you dearly and wants to guide you in this life. In fact, He wants to guide you more than you want to be guided. However, if you want to be led by the Lord you must listen intently and follow His instructions.  Therefore, today I just want to put you in remembrance of some things.

In Proverbs 3:5-6, King Solomon writes, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways him, and he shall direct thy paths.” This is an awesome conditional promise of God. If we want His direction, we must remember that certain conditions have to be met:

  1. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. That means that you trust Him with every area of your life. You trust that His character is impeccable and He has your best interests at heart. You trust that He is faithful and will keep His Word. You have no double-mindedness, trusting Him one minute and doubting Him the next. You must be firm in your belief that He can indeed be relied upon.
  2. Lean not unto your own understanding. This requires that you admit to yourself you don’t know it all. He has a perspective on things that you don’t have, and your understanding is limited. You renounce self-sufficiency and make up in your mind that you will rely on His limitless, infinite understanding instead of your limited, finite understanding.
  3. Acknowledge Him in all your ways. This means that you continually consult Him before you move out in any direction. You are submitted to Him consistently, not taking counsel with yourself and saying, “I’ve got this” on certain things, and on others, you may consult Him if you think about it. You must make acknowledging Him a habit as you daily seek His direction in your quiet time with Him and pray without ceasing throughout your day.

When you meet these conditions, God says He WILL direct your path. That is a promise. And be mindful of the fact that hearing the voice of God is a learning process. We have to move out on what we think we hear which may be in the form of an impression, a thought, a word of wisdom or knowledge given through a person, or circumstances which line up a certain way.  Right or wrong, you need to be moving for Him to be able to guide you. Isaiah 30:21 (NIV) says, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.'” You must take God at His Word and believe that you hear Him and He will direct you as He promised. According to your faith be it unto you.

When you think about it, God is the best communicator in the world. If He knows you speak English, will He speak to you in Spanish?  Of course not! Is He not perfect in all of His ways? Therefore, He is able to communicate His instructions to you in a way that is clear because He wants you to hear Him. He wants to direct your path. He knows you inside and out and the best way to get you to hear and understand Him. The question is do you believe it? Are you listening? He wants to direct you into your destiny. Therefore, trust Him, lean on His understanding, and acknowledge Him in everything you do, and He will guide you safely to your destination, the fulfillment of the purpose for which He created you. And remember what God said to Joyce Meyer when she asked Him, “What if I miss You?” He replied, “If you miss Me, I’ll find you.”

What has God taught you about how to hear His voice? Please share by leaving a comment below. 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my book, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth Click here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and sign up to receive my bi-weekly newsletter via email.

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DELIVERANCE FROM THE FEAR OF MAN

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Today I want to discuss a topic that many people struggle with, and if you have gotten the victory in this area, please pray for the rest of us. I am talking about the fear of man. This is something that God has laid heavily on my heart lately, and I refuse to go into 2019 with the enemy still getting the victory in this area of my life. Therefore, I am sharing this because the Bible says, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” (James 5:16).

The truth is that the fear of man is a trap of the enemy. Proverbs  29:25 says, “The fear of man brings a snare: but whosoever puts his trust in the LORD shall be safe.”  When you fear man, you end up allowing others to control you. Fear of man will cause you to disobey God. Fear of man will cause you to say “yes,” when the Holy Spirit is telling you to say “no.” Fear of man will cause you to keep walking after the Holy Spirit has prompted you to witness to that person in your path. Fear of man will ultimately cause you to miss your destiny. That is why it’s imperative that you and I get to the place where the devil no longer has control over us in this area. This stronghold has to come down.

To address this issue, I’d like for us to look at Isaiah 51:12-13 (NASB) which reads as follows:

12“I, even I, am He who comforts you.
Who are you that you are afraid of man who dies
And of the son of man who is made like grass,

13That you have forgotten the LORD your Maker,
Who stretched out the heavens
And laid the foundations of the earth,
That you fear continually all day long because of the fury of the oppressor,
As he makes ready to destroy?
But where is the fury of the oppressor?

This passage reveals that the fear of man is really the result of having a faulty perception in three main areas:

A Wrong View of God.  The prophet Isaiah relays in verse 13, “You have forgotten the LORD your Maker who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth.”  Fear of man is a form of amnesia where I have forgotten Who God is. When the fear man is ruling us and we make decisions based on an attempt to please man, God is not being properly viewed as the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Creator of the universe that He is. This improper perception of the heavenly Father must be dealt with if you desire to get the victory over the fear of man.

A Wrong View of Man. Verse 12 says, “I, even I, am He who comforts you.” God wants us to stop looking to man for comfort and approval.  He goes on to say. “You are afraid of a man who dies and the son of man who is made like grass.” God reminds us that man is simply a mere mortal who will die, and like grass, he is temporary. When you seek man’s approval, you have effectively elevated a mere human being to the level of God (which is idolatry), and the inevitable byproducts are disobedience and being controlled by man. Only when man is viewed in the proper perspective, will you and I be delivered from the fear of people and be controlled only by the Holy Spirit.

A Wrong View of Ourselves.  God asked the question in verse 12, “Who are you?” If I am going to obey God and overcome the fear of man, I need to have my identity secured in Christ. Our need for people’s approval is based on a fear that our value and worth is ultimately determined by what others think of us. Therefore, when you know who you are in Christ and have a correct view of yourself based on the Word of God, people will no longer be able to control you because your value and worth no longer rises and falls based on the thoughts and whims of man.

Beloved, Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” If you are ever going to fulfill the plan and purpose that God has preordained for your life, overcoming the fear of man is an absolute must. In Acts 5:29, when Peter was told to stop preaching the name of Jesus, he said, “We must obey God rather than men” (NASB). Therefore, purpose in your heart that you will obey the Holy Spirit and trust Him with every outcome knowing that God is the omnipotent Creator of the universe, mere mortals have no power to negate what God has decreed and declared over you, and you are the righteousness of God in Christ.

How has this post challenged your thinking in this area? Please share by leaving a comment below. 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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LORD, I NEED A RESURRECTION!

He is Risen - Rattikankeawpun

I hope that you all had a glorious Resurrection Sunday! Unfortunately, I spent mine battling the flu.  I have never failed to be at church on an Easter Sunday in my life!! I guess there is a first time for everything. Not being able to participate in the celebration was disheartening, but I was able to fellowship with God at home and rejoice in the fact that Jesus has indeed risen from the dead!

When things happen that you don’t expect, it’s easy to get despondent. Life can knock you down sometimes, can’t it? In those times we need a resurrection! Below is a poem that I wrote called “Lord, I Need a Resurrection.” Perhaps you will be able to identify with the sentiments in the poem, but I also hope you will find encouragement.

I once heard Gordon Robertson of the Christian Broadcasting Network say, “You’re never too dead for a resurrection.” No matter how dead your situation may seem, God can flood the scene with His resurrection power at any moment. Remember, Jesus got up, so that you could get up no matter what is going on in your life. Hallelujah!

 

LORD, I NEED A RESURRECTION                                                                                  Copyright 2014 by Tracey L. Moore

Lord, I need a resurrection,

Please do a work in me,

Without Your resurrection power

I’ll never be truly free.

Lord, I need a resurrection,

A resurrection of my shattered dreams,

A resurrection of hopes that have long been dashed,

When “Enough!” my soul doth scream.

Lord, I need a resurrection,

A resurrection of my faith,

A resurrection of my trust in You,

On this journey that I face.

Lord, I need a resurrection,

A resurrection of my peace and joy

When the storms of life are raging,

And I’m overwhelmed by the enemy’s ploys.

Lord, I need a resurrection,

I need your resurrection power

To do the miraculous for me,

To manifest this very hour.

Lord, I need a resurrection,

The same spirit that raised You, Lord,

Now quickens my mortal body

As I stand upon Your Word.

I know You are the resurrection,

Your life for me You chose to give,

Because You got up from the grave,

I praise You, for I, too, now live.

Because you were resurrected

And that same power’s available to me

In the midst of my lifeless situation,

You’ll speak life, and it shall be.