By Myla Rayford
I’ve always had a calling on my life ever since I was born. I was deemed a miracle. The life I was living was short of that. I’m not perfect but I do strive to be more Christ like. We all fall into sin. No one is perfect but when you fully submit to the Lord and you give him your all that is when you take the time to really become thirsty for him and want to abide by his word.
1 Corinthians 10:13
“No temptation has over taken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
God says it so it has been written. As it says here we all go through tests. He will not put anything on us that is more than we can endure. Now how you choose to curb your desires that is all in the way you worship during your personal time with the Lord. This part of the journey is what makes us Unique.
I am asked, “How do you fight the temptation?” Well, God has already fought the battle for me, but I pray spend time with God daily. Not just once a day but twice a day. I had to cut off things that were not for me. Things like, random men, secular music (yes I had to let this go no matter how much I loved Trey Songz and Usher) and just be in steadfast prayer and devotion unto the Lord. Those were the things that would make me think about sex and want to back slide. Like I said I am no saint. I will be honest I back slid October 19th 2012. Again I stress the fact that I am not perfect. This isn’t my first time going through my walk with Christ. I am not ashamed. That is what I want you to gain from this most of all, we are all human one mind one sound body and if we are human we are entitled to make mistakes. That’s how you grow and learn.
I am just like you, I am the little girl lost just wanting to be loved. I am the woman that ends up with the no good man who doesn’t want me for more than my body. I am the woman who thought if you really loved someone you have sex with them. I am that woman who has done strange things for just a little bit of change. I was the good girl yes, but I had a lust and carnal desire for sex. Just call me the resident freak of the week! You name it I have probably participated in it. I am the stripper; I am the ecstasy pill popper, weed smoker, drinker, and swinger. I am that woman. I am just like you.
1 Corinthians 6:18
“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.”
Pack your bags; it is time to go on the journey with the lord. My light bulb moment was when I realized this was not for me. This life style was not something I wanted to live. It was not fulfilling. I felt like I was getting nowhere. It’s time to then do it God’s way. Not my way I have been doing that for way too long now and it got me bad results. Time for a great change! It took me losing someone that was pushing me towards Christ to figure out what I had right in front of me. I am a child of a King most high! I’ll never forget it! I am blessed to say that person gave me the tools I needed to see my value and self-worth.
So I say unto you, if you want to embark on this walk with the Lord and you think that no one has been through it, there is always someone who really has been there. I’m tired of sinning against my body it is a temple and it should be cherished. I should not give it away to any random guy that is not my true love that I will be marrying. God has covered me and made me whole. My sins are forgiven. I confessed with my mouth and he has heard my plea! This is a mindset you have to be in every day to get closer to the Lord. It is not an easy road but you definitely can concur all things though Christ who strengthens you! The battle has not been won it has just begun.
I am no longer that woman I am free from bondage.
Guest post by Coleen York
When receiving something new, have you ever had a hard time letting go of the old? I had a pair of moccasins that I wore all through college. I loved them. They were my “sole” mate. I wore them to the beach, I wore them hiking, I wore them places I probably shouldn’t have because unlike the moccasins Native Americans made, these were fake leather and not at all weather proof. They eventually started to smell like low-tide and somehow trapped sand under the sole. At random times this sand would leak out to form a trail or force its way in between my toes making me look like a beach bum, but in a really gross way.
Although I quit wearing them, I was so afraid that I would never find another pair of moccasins as good as these, that I kept the stinking things in my closet until this past summer. Although I eventually bought a new pair of moccasins it was still hard to throw away my old ones. We had history together. But I could actually WEAR the new pair. And they didn’t make my feet smell like seaweed.
Obviously this was a really lame analogy about letting go of the old, the familiar, in order to step (quite literally) into the new. The difficulty is, God often asks us to let go of things so much larger than shoes.
In Exodus, God sends His messenger Moses, to tell the Israelites it was time to leave Egypt (where they had been living for about 400 years) and follow Him to a new land (that they had never seen). I don’t know about you, but I would have a seriously difficult time leaving home to go someplace I had never even seen before. I would have to give up my routine, my life, all for the unknown. And okay, so the Israelites didn’t have the perfect life in Egypt (they were in fact slaves who were treated brutally) but it was at least familiar and it was theirs. And what evidence did they have that the next place would actually be better? Exodus 5 tells us that after making this grand announcement, things actually got worse for the Israelites and they rejected Moses and his ideas. But God had a plan beyond what they could even imagine and the amazing feats He performed convinced Israel to follow Him away from Egypt.
Exodus records the journey that the Israelites made with God to the land He had promised them. It was not a straight shot down Highway 109 to the vacation resort land of their dreams. He repeatedly presented them with challenges which forced them to decide, “Will you release your ideas about how to do things, follow Me in faith, and receive what I have planned for you?” Repeatedly Israel said, “Yes we will,” then promptly dropped the ball to do things their own way. The result was 40 years circling the Promised Land but never going in because they lacked the faith to follow.
Now fast forward to the book of Joshua. God has selected Joshua to actually lead Israel into the land He promised them when they left Egypt. And God gave three simple steps to receiving all He had planned:
It’s funny how many of us hang onto our slavery even when God is promising us something new and beautiful if we would just let go.
- Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1: 6, 9 and 18. God repeated this so I think He means it!!)
- Study His word (Joshua 1:8)
- Obey what He says to do (Joshua 1:8)
But the truth is, not knowing what lies ahead is frightening when we can so clearly see what lies behind. Many of us cannot hope to receive our futures when we are blatantly clinging to our pasts, or find it to be more comfortable in the familiar routine of the present.
My conversations with God sometimes go like this: God: “Coleen I am calling you to………….” Me: “But God, You know how it has been before. There have been so many things that have hurt me and I’m afraid to mess it up. I really don’t think I can do this.” God: “I know you can’t but I can. I don’t ask you to do anything that I can’t help you to do.” Me: “Yes but what if …….happens ? That just scares me to death. I really don’t want to do this. Can’t You just do a miracle and fix everything? ”
God may be calling you to change something in your life, to take a stand, to move forward on a plan, or to face a painful or frightening circumstance. He is calling each of us to release all that we are and hold onto to Him and receive all He has for us. Good is not great. Better is not best. God has promised His best, if we are willing to step out of what is familiar and trust Him totally to deliver and take care of us.
Sometimes the transition is scary as all get out. We don’t know how to get to where we are going and we don’t even know what it will look like once we get there. The path may be filled with challenges. For the Israelites they didn’t know how they were going to get across a giant sea with all of Pharaoh’s army chasing them. It wasn’t until the Israelites had reached the edge of the sea that God parted the waters. Sometimes you have to get up and GO before you get to see the path.
Are you willing to release your day-to-day, your usual, and take the next step into what God has for you? What God wants to do in your life doesn’t depend on how awesome your abilities are, it’s based on how awesome HE is and your ability to follow.
Coleen York is an ardent Jesus follower and writer (and she sometimes fancies herself a part-time comedienne). She is passionate about ministering to the hearts of women by showing them their true worth and identity in Christ alone. This passion led her to found She Has Worth, a website designed to reinforce the worth and beauty God has given each and every woman, regardless of her past or relationship status.
By Portia Weeks
When one decides to accept Christ into his or her life, we are presented with an opportunity to start anew. We are re-birthed, changed, regenerated and every other word that is synonymous with being born again. According to web definitions, “Reborn” can be defined as brought back to life or activity; having experienced a complete spiritual change. How AWESOME is that? Because we are “Reborn” we become children of “The Light” and we can now walk in that wonderful light as opposed to darkness. So, I’m sure many often ponder on the thought of what does it really mean to walk in “The Light”? Quite naturally, we think of things like living a life in accordance with God’s commandments, separating ourselves from worldly things, as well as worshiping and serving God daily. Sounds pretty simple right? Well, I was recently provided with a startling reminder of what it means to truly walk in “The Light” through reading Ephesians 4: 22-32. The scriptures explain that as Christians we should do away with worldly natures. In verse 26 it reads, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” This is a scripture that we often hear, but do we adhere to it?
Just a few days ago, I was tested on walking in “The Light”. Prior to the test, I felt as if I was doing just that. I was working hard to give God my all and I was focused on being a true follower of Christ through my actions (not just “lip service”). I thought I was doing pretty well. I was making conscious decisions to walk upright. I started to be more mindful of the things I said, the things I exposed myself to (e.g. wrong environments, relationships, TV shows, movies, and music), I prayed that God would help me be led by Him and not by my emotions, I worked on reading God’s Word more, and I was spending time with Him daily, to worship and praise Him (not just coming to Him when I want to ask for something). I was in my own little world, just doing my own little thing and then THE TEST came. Long story short, I was at work and was confronted by a co-worker on something that I felt was unwarranted. It hurt me to my core. I felt attacked, I felt wronged, and I felt misused. As a child of “The Light” I should have handled the situation by being kind, tenderhearted and forgiving (Ephesians 4:32). Sadly, I didn’t react that way. I reverted back to my ways as a child of darkness. The minute things were thrown at me, I got “caught up in my emotions,” I let every bad thing develop in my mind and heart. I was bitter, I was angry, I worried, I cried, and I yelled. I even wanted to “sic” God on the people that had wronged me as if God was some pit bull or something. I tried to pray, but my heart was in the wrong place. I was a total, unequivocal, emotional wreck!
After crying and whining about it all day, I went to bed that night only to wake up the next morning feeling totally drained. I decided to read a few scriptures and devotionals and I was immediately convicted through everything I read, particularly the scriptures in Ephesians 4: 22-32. I realized that walking in “The Light” was not something that was to be done at my convenience or when things were running “smoothly”. As a renewed woman in Christ, I should walk in “The Light” at all times, even when I feel like I am falsely persecuted. As I sat there and reflected on the situation, I thought about Christ and how he was falsely persecuted. I thought about how Christ pleaded for the forgiveness of the people who had wronged Him while he was hanging on the cross. I had to repent, and ask for forgiveness. I prayed that every negative thought and every feeling of anger and malice would be ripped from my heart. I thank Christ for making me a child of “The Light” and I realize that I must RELEASE all things of the darkness (e.g. bitterness, wrath, anger, evil speaking, evil thoughts, etc.) and RECEIVE all things of “The Light” (e.g. love, tenderheartedness, kindness, forgiveness, etc.)
We are loosed of the darkness! For Christ has renewed us and he wants us to walk in “The Light”!
And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption (Ephesians 4: 30 [NLT]).
By Shal-Mar Hill
This is the season that we celebrate the birth of Christ, and how he has shown his mercy and goodness to us throughout the entire year. If it had not been for my Lord Jesus Christ, I don’t know where I would be without him. I have grown in such capacities in my relationship with him. My love for God has gotten deeper, as his love for me has spread abroad. I no longer hold grudges against people, walk in offense and unforgiveness. I have learned that those things can hinder the blessing flow of God and cause you to be bitter and have a stinking attitude towards people. Believe, me walking out God’s Agape love is a process, but we are commanded to love as well.
Leviticus 19:17-18 says: (17) You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason with your neighbor, lest you bear sin because of him. (18) You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord (RSV).
We all have been in a place in our life when we wanted to turn back the clock of time to redo some things that were bad choices and mistakes in our life. When we needed mercy and God’s grace; he gave it to us, when we needed his unconditional love we got it. Ask, yourself this question? Do I give people the same fairness that I received from God? Whether it’s a wrong situation, a bad decision, or a terrible past. God has forgiven me for all, because we all fall short of God’s goodness. I ask you to not let this year, 2012, close without releasing unforgiveness, hatred, anger, faultfinding, selfishness, and malice in your heart. Receive the Lord’s Peace, Agape love, kindness, forgiveness and compassion, for yourself, so you can pour it out on others. God would not have us to be bitter, mean Christians. Loving Christ is also forgiving and loving others. We should treat people the way we would like to be treated. The more we let go and let God, the more his light shines through us. Look beyond people’s faults and issues to allow others to see Christ in us.
Here are some tips:
1.) Say I Love you!
2.) Say Thank you!
3.) Being Kind
4.) Do for others
5.) Community or health awareness involvement
By Kieya Hudson
And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour. –Matthew 9:20-22
She had every right to give up—but she didn’t. The woman with the issue of blood in the bible truly shows us how faith and healing work hand-in-hand. In order to receive healing, you must release your faith first. She went to Jesus—He didn’t come to her. God is waiting on you to make a move of faith.
Faith is the first step to wholeness. But sometimes, as broken people, we hesitate to take this step because we allow our emotions to rule over us. So we say with our lips, “God, I believe You can heal me.” However, our feet remain motionless. You see, many times we get in the way of our own healing. Never allow your emotions to block your breakthrough. The woman with the issue had plenty of opportunities to back out of this whole thing.
“Should I go?” What if the woman with the issue stayed home that day? Comfort zones are a place where we feel secure. However, she didn’t allow the fear of being judged or condemned to block her opportunity to get to Jesus. When will you leave your comfort zone? Doubt, fear, and insecurity could have stopped her—but she didn’t allow it. She didn’t stay at home in her comfort zone.
The crowd. What if the woman with the issue let the crowd get in her way? She could have seen the crowd and went back home. Even as she pressed through the crowd, the negative words from the crowd could have even discouraged her to turn around. When will you get over people? Stop letting negative people around you cause you to turn away from Jesus.
No matter what the situation looked like, she continued to press through her emotions to get to Jesus. You see, she knew that no one could make her whole like Jesus. Oftentimes, we do the opposite. Instead of running to Jesus for healing, we run to everything and everyone else.
Are you releasing faith or emotions?
The differences between the two are pretty simple. When you release emotions, it usually stems from your mind. Releasing faith flows from both your heart and mind. However, the thread between the two is your actions. For example, you want God to heal you from your past broken relationships. But instead of truly turning to Jesus, you turn to that man you know is not good for you. Or perhaps, you turn to porn. So in actuality, you released an emotion of loneliness, instead of faith that God has a husband for you.
You know that you’ve released faith when your actions reflect the Word of God. Like the woman with the issue, our actions must line up with our faith.
Stop releasing emotions to God and release your faith. The woman with the issue could have seen Jesus and immediately released her emotions. “Hey Jesus, why did this have to happen to me?” “I thought you were God?” “Why am I being punished?” But instead she released her faith by taking a step closer to Jesus. “If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole” (Matthew 9:21), she said. Take that first step of faith toward Him. He’s waiting for you to move.
It takes our radical movements of faith to receive radical healing from God.
Today, release your faith and receive the healing God has for you. Releasing emotions only lead to more brokenness. God wants to make you whole. All He desires from you is your faith. Run to Him. Crawl. Do whatever you need to do to get to Jesus. Every day, let your actions of faith reflect the Word of God. Ask the Holy Spirit daily, to give you strength to conquer your emotions.
Identify the emotions that block your healing. Is it fear? Loneliness? Insecurity? Doubt? Right now, wherever you are, release your faith.
Instead of… “I can’t do this because I’m afraid.” Move… “I can do all things with Christ” (Philippians 4:13).
Instead of… “I doubt that will work out for me.” Move… “God, You make all things work together for my good” (Romans 8:28).
Get the idea?
Beloved, Jesus is the ONLY one who can make you whole. All you need is one touch from Him. Jesus is waiting to say to you, “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole” (Matthew 9:22 KJV). Will you move?
By Nikki Johnson
December is upon us and what a year it has been. It has been good. It has been bad. It has been up. It has been down. It has been in. It has been out. It has been right. It has been left. It has been all over the place and in one place at the same time. I've felt like this year has had me spinning around and around but at the same time I have been elevated to an understanding of just how much the Father loves me. He loves me so much that he sent His only begotten Son. No matter the challenges we've faced this year, each time I was reminded that God is in complete and total control. Nothing that happened this year caught him off guard. NOTHING.
The bible says in Psalm 139:7-12 (MSG) "Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, You’d find me in a minute—you’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you;
night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you." The psalmist declared that no matter where he was, the presence of God is there. From the pit to the palace, from the deathbed to the land of the living, from the unemployment line, to the place of gainful employment, God is there. And He is waiting on us to see the fact that He is there.
We have to come to a place where we can see what our eyes can't see. Busta Rhymes said "If you really wanna party with me, Let me see just what you got for me, put all your hands where my eyes can see". God says, "If you really wanna walk with me, you gotta just see what I got for you." See that He is our Healer and Deliverer. See that He is our Strength and Shield. See that He is our Strong Tower. See that He is all that we need. See that life and death is in the power of the tongue. Uh Oh. Stop. Go back. Now that you see it, you have to speak it. You have to release words of adoration and affirmation. You have to release who God is in your life. You have to speak increase in your bloodline. You have to decree and declare a thing. You have to release words of wealth, health, prosperity, peace, and victory. What does that look like? It is the very essence of "speaking those things that are not as though they were". We must learn the art of releasing words in power and accuracy. Only if it is what God has declared already is what we should speak. For my single ladies, if God did not say he was the one, do not go around speaking words that claim him as your husband. If you must, write out the characteristics that you find attractive in that person, pray over that and WAIT.
My spiritual father, Bishop Terrell L. Murphy, wrote a book titled "It Had Already Happened". The essence of the book speaks to the fact that God has a plan and a design for our lives that is a complete and total setup for prosperity and all we have to do is follow the Spirit of God. There are divine connections made in heaven that will manifest on earth when we walk in radical obedience. Walking in radical obedience requires action. Sometimes those actions will seem foolish, but remember that God will use the foolish things to confound the wise. How foolish it must have seemed to the wise to see one who proclaimed to be the Son of God, to be crucified the same as a common criminal. Even in that, Jesus prayed that they would be forgiven because they had no understanding of what they were doing. In essence, He released them into forgiveness as He was released back to the Father and into his rightful place of authority.
What is the dream that you have forgotten or put to the side because of the hindrances of 2012? What has hindered you from seeing the presence of God and His divine will for your life? What do you need to release over your life and sphere of influence that will cause miracles to take place? It is now time to release every hindrance of 2012 that you felt was a sucker punch right in the stomach of your faith. December brings about the remembrance of a virgin girl in Luke 1:38, who in the midst of the most ridiculous situation, was able to say "Behold, I am the handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to what you have said." Mary was able to release all preconceived notions for her life, walk in radical obedience, and receive all that the Lord had prepared. I speak and pronounce over you, Whole woman of God, the grace to release words of accuracy, clarity, insight, creativity, healing, and prosperity. Grace to you to walk in radical obedience.
Whatever the Lord says, do it!
By La Toya "Boyce" Wells
Born into dysfunction
No peace did she discover
Chaos and destruction in the household's structure
Innocence taken at the tender age of five
From a man named father-no love in the heart inside
Abuse she suffered of every kind
So the more she withdrew inside
She escapes in her fantasyland when the dark draws near
Frail little frame always filled with fear
Mother drinks her problems away-denial of her actions
As father inhales the devil's drug-not a care in his soul to his children's reactions
Introduced to parties and fights-no peaceful sleeps
Neighbors get tired; cops began to creep
Authoritative bangs on the door-mother too busy to see
While she meets face to face with steel of a nine millimeter
Inner city chaos; she moves from place to place
Her abusers change faces and gender- such a disgrace!
Confusion in sexual orientation from all the molestation
BUT GOD brought clarity- YES! He always comes through.
Lowest point in her life, the fire took all her possessions
She would pilfer just to eat
Mental breakdown because of suppression
Thoughts of suicide, she tried to die a slow death
Anorexia nervosa-she was a hot mess
Relatives laughed at her eighty-eight pound frame and crooked smile;
Taking painkillers to sleep away life, bad dreams & body pains
Insecurity taunted her everyday
Never felt she was good enough in all her young days
Drunk with wine and impaired by marijuana
She tried to follow the crowd, but it only brought more drama
Laced drugs almost took her life-BUT GOD
She screams to Him..." Why am I here Lord?"
Bad relationships in young adulthood- baggage she failed to properly unpack
Fornicated to have a title-no man showed her real love and respect
She never knew how to first love herself
Still searching in the world for acceptance; discouragement met her every time
Brought low many times, now she begins to see
Time to stop running, purge & become clean
Still finding her way, God is working within
She prays to Him daily for a clean heart
...He strips her away from toxins and sin.
By Marquisha Harden
This is one of the best times of the year! It’s the season for harvest, sharing, and celebration. However, while we are in the season of receiving and releasing, we mustn't forget our silent nights with God. Every time we get a fresh idea, great news, or a Word from God we’re so eager to tell the world, or maybe our closest friends. However, every great piece of news should not be shared with everyone in your path, including your closest confidants.
Although you get the urge to share, all responses may not be beneficial. As a result, distractions and doubt can surface to slow down, or possibly stop your progression. You need time to digest your news, idea, or Word from God without any outside influences. Outside influences can push you towards greatness or hinder your progression.
Unfortunately, it is not always easy to determine which at first.
As exciting as it is to have someone on your team who supports your ideas,
you must be careful about the advice you receive. Some people will mean well and tell you anything you want to hear. They actually want to see you happy, so they will tell you “yes” to every idea you dish out. However, just because you think it is something you want to do, it might not be beneficial at the time. Outsiders will try to push you towards the next step, without fully understanding the timing, or necessary details. God may not have given you the “go ahead”; he just placed it in your heart until further notice. You may move out of position by listening to others encouraging you to make the next move. Moving out of position will either leave you stagnant or push you further away from your goals. For every person who gives you the answer you want to hear, there will be many more giving you the answer you dread the most, “NO!”
Hearing the word, “no”, when you hoped to receive a “yes” is often disheartening. It is even worse if the person who doesn’t
agree with your plan is someone whose opinion you truly respect. “No” could hinder you from moving forward because you want to appease your family, friends, and associates. Unfortunately, they may tell you your ideas aren’t great because they are envious or fearful of your growth. They could be envious and hoping they received whatever you envisioned; they could be fearful because you are doing something out of the ordinary; or they may simply want you to fail. Whatever the reason they say no, you can’t base your decision on their opinions. If God gave you the “go ahead”, then obedience to Him should be your next step.
Some may think “well, I know so-and-so
speaks to God, but they told me not to do it.” God doesn’t release everything to everyone in your life. God might not have released the vision to the person you believe
has the wisdom to give sound advice. However, they should tell you to pray, so they aren’t releasing fleshly opinions. They should also pray with and for you to receive the best answer from God. Job 12:13, “But true wisdom and power are found in God, counsel and understanding are his.”Colossians 3: 16, “Let the message about Christ in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with the wisdom He gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts
God knows who to trust with the information. He doesn’t want you to get notified prematurely and He doesn’t want the person He told
to release it, to withhold anything. He wants you to trust in His abilities to work everything out according to His plans.
When the time comes, He will send the right people to give you understanding and confirm what he has already told you. When He gives you confirmation, you’ll know it’s from him, as oppose to someone who has carnal knowledge of what you are hoping for. Daniel 2:30, “And it is not because I am wiser than anyone else that I know your dream, but because God wants you to understand what was in your heart.”