5 Stones

In the book of 1 Samuel, it takes me through the beginning passages of David’s life. I love David. He fascinates me. His character in the beginning. He was just a shepherd. But God saw something greater in Him. He saw leadership. He saw kingship. He was a man of courage. He was not the tallest of his kind. But..he was tall in his heart. Skipping ahead, he encountered the biggest Philistine during that time. A man named Goliath. Goliath was prideful, boastful, and ultra confident in himself. But he was also a Pagan. He did not believe in God or anything relating to Him. What he had in stature, he lacked in spirit.  On the other hand, what David lacked in stature, he had such strength in His heart. He was confident in his God and loyal. 

Goliath challenged anyone to come up against him. 

Why have you come out to line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and you the servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us. And the Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.”  -1 Samuel 17: 8-10

 

It reminds of of a scene that is out of Gladiator or something. I love that movie. Maximus reminds me of what I think David would have been like. A man of integrity and honor. Someone who faced adversity and still held onto hope that he would overcome. And he did. Well, like, Maximus, David faced a challenge. He wasn’t really looking for one. He was back home with his father, Jesse, to take share of the sheep. His father sent him back to bring food to his brothers and things for Saul when he overhead Goliath say: 

And the Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together.”

 

David heard Goliath talk smack about Israel as well as the name of His God and thought…I’m up for the challenge. Who does this guy think He is?  He told Saul he wanted to fight him. “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and ight this Philistine.” And said said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to right with him; for you are a youth and he a man of war from his youth.” 

David tried to convince him saying that he had already killed a lino and a bear that tried to attack his sheep. And he was pretty confident he could do the same to Goliath. So Saul gave in. He put armor on David, that frankly didn’t fit and was too heavy. David took the armor off, took a staff, and gathered 5 stones and a slingshot. To the eyes of disbelief, no way would this work? Goliath was three times bigger than David and David would kill him with 5 little stones? However, the strength and spirit of the Lord was upon David and it wasn’t upon Goliath. David actually killed Goliath and beheaded him. As I read those chapters, a few more times. God put something in my spirit. A lesson. All it took was 5 stones to kill his enemy. Oftentimes, we are attacked by an enemy. The main enemy. The devil. Satan. He uses people to do it. How do we combat him? Just like David, we use our 5 stones. 

I prayed, “God, what are these 5 stones?” And he showed me. 

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1. Forgiveness. Unforgiveness toward someone enslaves us. We are tied to that person(s). When Goliath said if anyone were to step up to his challenge and defeat him, He would be their servant. When you choose to forgive that person or person(s), you are throwing a rock at Satan’s head. He can’t put a hold on you. You are no longer a servant to them or what they said or did to you. You become freer.

2. Confidence. There is nothing more annoying to the devil than when you are confident in yourself and in God. David exercised confidence by saying that he would destroy the Philistine and feed his flesh to the birds. And he was confident that God would fight the battle for him. He knew God was on his side. Confidence and trust go hand in hand.

3. Speaking the Word.  Remember when the devil “tried” to tempt Jesus in the wilderness? And he said “Man shall not live by bread alone. But by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Mind you, Jesus had not eaten in days when he spoke that. However, he gained strength from speaking the Word. Read the Bible more and more. Let it get inside you and become a part of your lips. Your words that you speak should emanate Christ.

4, Strength. How do you get strength? “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”-Psalm 28:7. We get our strength from God himself. You know that thing that you didn’t think you would get through and no one else was around? That was God who gave you the strength to endure. That was God who held your hand. That was God who gave you the breath to keep fighting. You have more strength than you think. Hold onto Him and you will keep your strength. 

5. Humility. As I mentioned before, David was small in stature. I’m sure he was made fun and looked down on. They probably looked at him and chuckled when they heard he wanted to fight Goliath. I’m sure at one time or another, we were laughed at. People pointed at the finger and said…they can’t do that. Look at him/her. Goliath took one look at David and probably thought to himself, “Who is this little troll that wants to fight me???” David could have said,,,”How dare you! I may be small and young, but…” I think his stature kept him humble. Don’t look down on your shortcomings. Let them keep you leveled. Sometimes our flaws keep us humble. You can humble and confident at the same time. Don’t let your flaws keep you down. Don’t let your weight keep you down. Don’t let your freckles define you. You are capable of doing anything with the strength of Christ inside you!!

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So next time, the devil throws something at you this week or next week, carry your 5 stones with you. Right now, I am fighting battles with people at my job. But I will not let it stop me from doing what God called me to do. I will not let it break me or change me. I will walk in forgiveness, confidence that God is who He says who He is and trusting in that, speaking Scripture to combat whatever words or actions are thrown at me, gaining strength in my trust in God, and staying humble. You can do this too! I know it’s easier to give advice or encouragement when I am not battling anything. I find it insincere when people do that. But I am in the trenches with you. I am facing battles every day. So I am not speaking through my own strength. I am speaking through His. This is my prayer for you.

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God, whatever me and my followers are facing, I pray you will give us strength to keep fighting. We may feel like giving up. We may feel like everyone is against us. But I pray we will find your arms comforting us and holding us. I pray that you will let us forgive people who have done us wrong. Who have spoken evil against us. Who have wished us harm. I pray that you will speak death to those words that torture us. That you will speak truth into our hearts and our minds. That you will reign in us and rule with all your glory. I pray for strength to help us keep fighting. For battles we are facing. And battles that lie ahead. We are overcomers with you by our side!!

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If you are struggling with something and need prayer, don’t hesitate to email me with your requests. 

Maramor_24@yahoo.com 

Stay strong and keep fighting. And don’t forget to let God fight with you and for you! He is fighting for you even now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Who/What Reigns Over You?

Some of you who have read my past blogs know that I started reading the Old Testament in the beginning of the year. I have tried to keep up with it as much as I can. I’ll admit a few books were hard to get through. But…I am really enjoying it. I am in the book of 1 Samuel. I read about 5 chapters and something stood out and spoke to me. Samuel, had appointed a king.

A quick synopsis. Samuel was the high priest in that day. He was getting older and appointed his sons to judge Israel. They were not fit to be judges. They were acting out and living in sinful ways. So the elders got together and told Samuel that he was too old and they didn’t like his sons to be judging since they had quite the bad reputation. Make us a king. This hurt Samuel. And he prayed and God told him that they aren’t rejecting him. They were rejecting God. Anyways, he appointed Saul to be their king and warned them of the consequences if they didn’t turn back to God. 

Skipping down to chapter 12, Samuel gave them the big speech, reminding them of what God had done for them. That he had delivered them from Egypt. Out of slavery. Out of the oppression of other kings. Out of the hands of their enemies. And still…after all of that, they wanted a king of their own. 

And when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites came against you, you said to me, “No, but a king shall reign over us”, when the Lord your God was your king. -1 Samuel 12:12

It was a slap in the face to God, their Father. The one who they kept disrespecting and rebelled against. Even after their constant rebellion, He delivered them. The part that got me was “No, but a king shall reign over us”. I received revelation. So many times, I myself included, look for another king. Another thing or person to fill the void of God which only leads to disappointment and emptiness. 

Recently, I had been chasing a dream. I felt convicted. Because I felt like chasing the dream more than Him. So many times we wish for something other than God to reign over us “when the Lord God should be king”. This could be in the form of relationships, the pursuit of a dream, friendships, etc. When God stops being King in our lives, something else is replacing him. Something else takes the scepter in our lives. When we replace Him, it ruins us. It turns into disappointment, shame and regret. 

It could even be a good thing. It could be a spiritual thing. A ministry. A person. No matter what it is, if it replaces God, it has the ability to reign over you. It can control you. You can become a slave to it.

When God is King, he reigns over my life instead of my life reigning over me. When God reigns inside my heart, my heart doesn’t reign over me. When God reigns over my thoughts and words, my thoughts and words don’t reign over me. When God reigns my emotions, my emotions won’t reign over me. When God reigns over my future, my future doesn’t reign over me. 

When we allow Him to reign and Him only, it releases us from the stress of control we had. We are no longer enslaved to our thoughts, desires, emotions, words, feelings. We are released from the burdened of reigning. “With great power comes great responsibility.” That is true. When we have the power, we are stressed. We are worrisome. We are fearful. Because we don’t really deserve that power. Only God does. When we release the “reins”, we can live in peace and faith. 

Does this mean we never make a decision? Definitely not. We do have to make decisions. BUT….we need to include Him greatly in making those decisions. Just like if you were married, you wouldn’t make a huge purchase or take a huge chance without including your spouse, right? God wants to be involved in EVERY aspect of our life. Big and small. I like giving Him the power. Because I know I can’t handle it and I mess up. I don’t always know what is best for me. But God does. He is my Father. He knows how I was made. He knows what I’m equipped for and what I am able to handle. And the same goes for you. 

If you are dealing with a difficult decision, I challenge you to pray about it first. Pray and include God. You may not get an answer you want or even an answer at all. But…if you are open to hearing and listening to what He tells you, then you will be better off in the long run and might prevent yourself from making a decision with major consequences. 

Worshipping the World AND God??

More and more, I become disturbed with what church is becoming today. I don’t know about you. But I was raised and have been a part of several type of churches. Churches with contemporary worship and modern worship. And I was raised listening to Hilsong worship music, music by Hosanna, Passion, and Paul Baloche. Darlene Zschech, Delirious. And I have also listened to old fashioned music from the churches I went to. I like both styles. I have to admit, the more beat it has, the more I am drawn in. But the lyrics is the most important part. If it is not worshipping Jesus in all ways…it is not worship. 

I have witnessed the evolution of worship music in our culture today. It has changed drastically. There used to be very heartfelt lyrics that had meaning. Now…not all, but most Christian music has become worldly. Making the beats faster and becoming more entertainment value and not glorifying God at all. I’m not saying that you cannot have a good beat, guitar riffs and crushing vocals. I’m just saying…what is the intention of doing all of that? To be worshipped or to worship??

Once we become the focal point of the congregation, we have lost our way. Once we become the rock stars that everyone aspires to be, we have lost our way. Jesus is supposed to be the focal point. Jesus is supposed to be the rock star. Better yet, He IS the rock we lean on. So why do we lift our hands for the attention of someone else? If we truly believe in the message we share, we don’t have to wrap it up in a trendy bow. It speaks for itself. Jesus died for you and me. The murderer, the adulterer, the homosexual, the thief, the beggar, and the leper. It is the most important message ever. 

There are a lot of churches who are so full of the world that you can’t find the church. I’m not pointing any specific fingers because that is not my place. But I have been a part of worship teams of all kinds. Even I was tested in my loyalty to the Father. I was trying to please man and get a crown from Him when I should have been trying to please God and receive my crown from Him. So, in the brief time, where I had experienced life on a stage on Sunday…I struggled. People would compliment my voice and I reacted in false humility. Initially, I didn’t do it for human praise. I did it to honor God with my gift. But sometimes you can worship your gift more than the giver. And God gets leftovers. 

I am careful now in what I listen to. Even worship music. I am careful in who I listen to. I tend to shy away from most TV preaches and evangelists. Because, if I don’t focus on Jesus truth, I can be swept away by someone else’s. Some people in the world might not have any truth and instead of reading the Bible, they just watch a watered down version of church on TV. But what these people may not know is there is a lot of untruth out of there. And it is disguised as Christianity. But is more like World-ism. 

When you look at the word “world”, you will notice the “L” in it. When you remove the “L”, you have the word “word”. Jesus came to take the “L” out of the world and bring the word. L stands for lies. He took the lies out of the world and replaced it with His word, the truth. But they don’t go hand in hand. You cannot worship the world AND God. You cannot worship lies and truth. You cannot make the church into a club scene. That is where sin breeds more sin. And sin is in contempt of God’s word. I think the reason why we make church so accessible and accommodating is because we wan’t to make Christianity look cool. But Christianity was never meant to be cool and trendy. That is why there is so much persecution in the world. Why do you think Jesus was persecuted? Because he was a the hub of popularity and social media? No. He spoke the truth, he showed the truth and He died for it. He is the martyr of our hearts. He is the martyr of our salvation. He bridged the gap between our sin and the love of our Father. 

So next time you go to a church service, if it looks more like a concert than a sermon, maybe you should re-examine what YOUR priorities are. Are you going there to feel good and be entertained? Or are you going to truly seek what it means to be saved and walk in God’s mercy and grace. Personally, when I see a worship leader in ripped jeans, moussed hair, and looks more metro, I question on the image he is trying to convey. You can be a rock star or a disciple. But you cannot be both. 

While churches should be accepting, they should not accept everything. Churches say dress how you want, live how you want, and act how you want. We accept you anyway. We are all about love. Love can change a person. But love without discipline can be the downfall. We must love, but that doesn’t always mean accept. When you love someone, it doesn’t mean you agree with them all the time. Love crosses boundaries. Love touches nerves. Love does not watch someone fall off a cliff. Love sometimes requires taking a plunge. Even at the risk of losing someone. You can love someone. But you cannot truly love someone and never expect any change. Churches can say they love. But if they never point out what people are doing wrong, they are not really showing them true love. They are crippling them with the false idea of love. 

I pray that churches will rise up and lead their sheep to a greener pasture. They should not masquerade their music as the world’s. They should not add or subtract anything from the Bible. And most importantly, they should speak the truth firmly but loving. They should not see dollar’s signs on a person’s soul. Or misuse funds for material or personal agenda. 

My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.-Hosea 4:6

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.-Romans 12:2

“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.-Matthew 15:8

You can say you love God. But if you never give up anything for Him…your dreams, money, time, fame and any gain, then you don’t really love Him. You love yourself and your possessions more. 

In conclusion, I speak this with love and full conviction. I am not perfect nor do I strive to be. I just pray that people’s eyes will be open as mine are being opened.

Year of Consecration…

It is my birthday in a few hours. Am I blogging to receive praise for being born? Nope. I am blogging because lately, especially this week, my heart is full. It is full of joy. It is full of expectation and promise. The last few weeks, I was headed toward a downward spiral. I’m talking depression, suicidal thoughts, oppression, you name it. I will tell you readers, from my own experience, the closer you get to the heart of your creator and your heavenly Father, the harder the hits will come. And they are not from Him. They are from your adversary. El diablo, the devil. 

The stronger my heart gets, the harder the hits are. The stronger my love is for God, the harder the obstacles become. This doesn’t mean I will stop my pursuit from knowing Him more and more. This just means I will have to prepare for mental, spiritual and physical attacks. I am a marked woman for God. But knowing that makes me a target for the devil. He will use people, ideas, places, vain imaginations to distract me. He will use suicidal thoughts to try to make me doubt God and His immense love for me. 

But….I will press on. 

Just as Paul says:

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. -2 Corinthians 4:8

 

Life is never easy. Life is hard as heck sometimes. Things in life will press us and try to crush us. But…it is not the end. It just means that God has a great future for us. His plans will prevail no matter what powers of darkness try to crush us into oblivion. 

As I get older, I am discovering things that God has planted/is still planting in me. Maturity, confidence, and determination. I used to be so weak that when I would be physically ill, it would stop me from what I want to do. But no longer. Today, my parents wanted to take me to lunch and I was not feeling well. But I thought…No. I will not take this lying down. I want to share this experience with the people I love. So I got up, forced myself to get ready, and went. And I was blessed by it. Because I persevered. My spirit is strong, even though I may be physically weak. Because Jesus in me gives me strength. I can do all things with His strength, even though I am failing at having my own. 

Earlier this week, I broke down and cried. I was in a pit of despair in my mind. And I prayed that if my life doesn’t get better or things don’t change for Him to just take me to heaven so I can be with Him and stop the suffering in my heart. He didn’t. I begged him. I kept saying I don’t want to experience His goodness just in heaven. But on Earth. And that if all to life are these sacrifices, then I don’t want to be present. It’s not that I wanted to hurt anyone. I just wanted my hurting to stop. 

He has heard my cry. 

From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.-Psalm 61:2-NIV

 

He has taken my sadness and filled it with joy. Even in the midst of my dark hour, He held me. I suddenly felt peace. I suddenly felt joy. It brought my to tears (Ironic, I know.) But that is how much He cares about me. And how much he will care for you. 

When I usually talk to him and groan about single hood, I figured it out. I said, “God if I could just physically feel you and touch you, I would never desire another man. I would never have a longing or a need that couldn’t be filled.” I just poured my heart out to Him. We all want a love we can feel, see, hear, and touch. Since I had that heartfelt moment, He has shown me more love. I feel as if I am in a relationship, a true relationship with someone I cannot see. 

But, even though I can’t see Him, I can hear him. I can hear His voice as the wind blows. As I look at the sun, I can feel His warmth. When I feel the raindrops, I can feel His tears. Looking at the moon is like seeing His eyes. I try to explain it to the best of my ability. 

This is my year of consecration. From the struggles, I have started the journey. I have lost a job and found a new one. I had friends and lost them. Well, really by choice. And I may be living here in Ky, but probably not much longer. So things are constantly changing. I am stepping onto each stone of my life with more focus. 

My prayers have become much more personal. It is as if I am talking to a loved one. They are private and special. It is a special love that was given to me and that I am giving back to the one who made me. The one who will always understand me even when I don’t understand myself. The one who died for me because He knew that I would die to myself for Him. 

I don’t know where this consecration will take me. It could take me to higher heights that I could ever imagine. But I know when I am walking, I am not alone. I will not fear because my Savior is always with me. I want people to see Him through me. I want them to experience His joy and love through mine. He is mine and I am His. Forever. 

I just want to say, lastly, if you are struggling with your will to live….tell God. Tell Him exactly how you feel. He will not cast judgment on you in feeling the way you feel. But it would absolutely break His heart if you didn’t. And if you gave up on yourself. And gave up on Him. Don’t ever give up on Him. You may even give up on yourself. But He will never ever give up on you. Even if you don’t come to Him. Even if you never surrender, He will still fight for you. His love is the love that never dies, never fades or falters. His love is eternal.  You will never find a love on Earth that is that special. If you need a reason to live, look up at the sky. You are made from love and you are worth loving. You don’t know how special you are. It doesn’t matter what you have done and haven’t done….grace is for you. Just say Jesus..I believe in you even though I can’t see you or touch you. I believe that you have a promise for me. Come into my heart and help me fight this fight. And he will be there. If you need someone to lift you up in prayer, don’t hesitate to email me. 

Maramor_24@yahoo.com

Take care, my lovelies. 

-M

The Heart of A Servant

So many times, we as people, myself included, wish for an easy life. We wish for good jobs that don’t require more of us than we have to give. We wish for relationships that take no work. We wish for people to treat us with respect, without giving any back.

Recently, I came into a different job. It is a job that is hard work. I kept wishing my first week that God will give me a different one. And that I wouldn’t have to stay long. It is mentally and physically demanding. Saturday is one of the hardest days. Everyone and their mother, brother, sister, and son are out gallivanting at grocery stores or the mall. The store I worked at was absolutely packed. Their stomachs were hungry and you couldn’t get the samples out fast enough. This job requires serving.

I kept begging God to answer my question. Why me, God? Why do I have to endure physical labor? Why did you put me here and allow me to go through physical pain to get the job done?

And he was telling me as clear as the day: “If you want to serve, you must first become a servant. If you want to serve in my kingdom, you must first serve the world. Which is my kingdom.” 

Whoa. In that moment, it brought clarity. Jesus didn’t come to Earth to be served hand and foot. He didn’t come to live as a prince. He washed feet. He was a carpenter. Which was physical labor. He never had an issue of pride. So he was ready to be serving at the lowliest of positions. He didn’t have the money pouring in to support his lifestyle. But he wasn’t homeless. He wasn’t without. He had just enough to get by.

In the world, we are taught the more money you have, the more successful you appear to be. In God’s word, we are taught that to love is to have success. To be righteous is success. To put others’ needs above yourself and staying humble is success.

Recently, I’ve been delving into Ruth. The thing about reading the Bible is I can see myself in all of these stories. They are not just fiction to me. They are real to me. I can see certain traits in the characters that I identify with. I can relate to Ruth. Especially recently in my situation. It seems every time I read Ruth, I see it in a different way.

Ruth was of Moab. She married a man, who later died. She left her father and mother. She left behind her family. Her relatives. Everything that felt like home to her. And for what? To live with her mother in law and live in the struggle with her. She felt the need to take care of Naomi. She was somewhat of a caretaker. She put her mother in law’s needs above her own. Naomi did not expect her to make that sacrifice. Naomi even said at one point

But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? Are there still sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? Turn back, my daughters, go—for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say I have hope, if I should have a husband tonight and should also bear sons, would you wait for them till they were grown? Would you restrain yourselves from having husbands? No, my daughters; for it grieves me very much for your sakes that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me!”
Orpah, Naomi’s other daughter in law left. But Ruth stayed. She stayed and returned with Naomi to Jerusalem to start a new life. Was this an easy life? No. Ruth went out to the fields to get food for her and her mother in law. She got her hands dirty. That is what I like about Ruth. And to make a long story short, she found favor with a husband. God put the right guy in her path because she was willing to serve. She was willing to eat what the dogs would not. I’m sure it was physically exhausting. She was probably starving. But still she persevered and did what she had to do. She could have married someone rich. She could have pursued an easier life. But her huge heart took her far.
When God revealed to me that to serve, you must first become a servant, I was humbled. It is one more way I can identify with Jesus. He went as far as to wash the disciples’ feet. This is the son of God getting his hands dirty. And for what? Love. Ruth got her hands dirty because of her love for her mother.
That morning on the way to work, I prayed.
God, may my hands be the hands of a servant. Dirty. I would rather have dirty and bloody hands from fighting the fight than soft and silky hands of a princess who sits on the sidelines. May I have  the feet of a servant. Calloused, sore and swollen. It shows that I work hard to serve. That even though it is small in comparison to the suffering that Christ did for me, I will do it. 
I saw this quote on Pinterest that resonated with me. It said “Don’t pray for an easy life. Pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”-Bruce Lee
Concluding this post, I pose to you a question. If you have a ministry written on your heart, would you be willing to go through every step in the process? No matter how painful it might be, if you want it bad enough, you will do whatever you have to do to get there. I know for me, personally, I want to lead others in worship. It is the very cry of my heart. It is my ultimate dream, passion and desire. My number one heart’s desire is to love God more and more each day. Having a ministry is serving. But in order to serve, you must first become a servant.
He is placing us where He wants us. In complete adoration of Him. In complete submission of Him. This may rule against what we want to do. But it is what we need to do.
Do not give up. Whatever passion is placed inside you did not originate from your own mind or heart. It originated from his. Keep your head up. Don’t stay a downtrodden warrior. Keep fighting through the pain!!
Stay strong,
-M