Posts Tagged ‘Divine’

It would come on suddenly…the migraine headaches, the palpitations, the squeezing pains in my chest.  Occasionally at first. You know–when I was out of my comfort zone.   Speaking in front of a crowd,  writing this blog,  any monumental change.  A twinge of anxiety that would assert  it’s presence and disappear as quickly as it came.   Then it seemed to happened when I thought about the tasks I had to do for the day or even my life.  Really God? You’re going to have me doing this, going here, doing that?  Why me? How am I going to do all you called me to do?  But by God’s grace I pushed past that. I was good.  I got it Lord. No fear. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13, NKJV).  I had licked this thing so i thought.  But then, more relentless.  More insidious. More forceful.  Suddenly everything seemed like a task and  everything brought on panic attacks.  I didn’t answer this text; I didn’t check in with this person; I have to call my family; I have to go there, finish this, do that.  My mind wandered and my body reacted to the most irrational thoughts.  I couldn’t sleep, I was tired and I couldn’t take anymore.  I mentioned it to a few folks–casually threw out a “yall pray for me” and tried to downplay it.  I prayed, I rebuked and demanded that this thing called panic go! Get out of my life.  It seemed to get a little better, but this time the devil was stubborn and was hell bent on not budging.

Hmm…alright.  New month.  My fasting the first 3 days  should take care of this.  Day 1 and 2, it seemed this thing is getting worse instead of better. Lord…don’t you see what’s going on? Don’t you see me fasting and praying?  By the morning of the third day, I literally thought something was squeezing me.  Waves of pressure and panic seized me intermittently.  I had 3 events that day and couldn’t go to the first because I felt so sick.  With tears pouring down my face, I cried out to the Lord that August 3  and said “Lord I need You. I am tired of feeling this way.  I can’t do this without You.” That was all my Father needed to hear.  One of His dependents was crying out to Him and He wasn’t having it.

You see, in this world where independence is esteemed, encouraged and exalted, dependency is viewed as a sign of weakness.  Women boast of being financially independent of men, children eager to taste adulthood strive to  move independent of their parents and every one wants to be their own boss.  But I am not ashamed to say that I am absolutely dependent on HIM.  When we humble ourselves and realize we are truly nothing without God, that  His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9) and that He is looking “….to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him…” (2 Chronicles 16:9, NKJV), then we will really learn to lean on and trust  in Him.  You see dependency brings deliverance; dependency brings breakthrough; dependency shatters bondages and breaks every chain.

How can I articulate the  awesomeness and sovereignty of God ?  How absolutely NOTHING escapes Him?  How my last blog post “Remember My Chains” unbeknownest to me, was a prophetic plea for my own struggles? How God remembered my chains and arranged the entire weekend to break them just because He loves me?  How I called Dr. Pat (Lunch Date With Jesus), that gifted praying intercessor who prayed for me on a non-prayer conference day?  How after her prayer, I had strength to attend the only event that I was ordained to attend out of 3:  an informal get-together with my fellow Greater Allen Haiti missionary team family.  How evangelist Caroline Clemmons, a mentor and guide to many did a praise dance and exercise to that encouraging song “Break Every Chain” that charged the atmosphere for praise, worship, warfare against the devil and ultimately ushered in the very presence of  God’s Holy Spirit? How all I could do was worship and bow in the presence of Jehovah Mephalti (the Lord my Deliverer) until I was weak and passed out, overwhelmed by the power of God as He broke the chains in my life and used others to intercede for me.  Chains were shattered all around the room that night.  God absolutely blew us away.  Words cannot articulate that experience.

Yet that wasn’t enough.   God loves to stun, shock and amaze. Jamaican people have a phrase that a certain person may be “extra.” Meaning extravagant, over the top, excessive. For me, God can never be too “extra.” His “extra”means extra favor,  extra blessings, extra mercy and extra grace.  Still reeling from the night before, the next day  the Reverend Terrence Mckinley Director of Ministries at Reid Temple AME North Campus who has  had such a positive influence on the lives of so many of us as the former young adult pastor of Greater Allen AME,  ends his powerful sermon on hope with an  altar call.  An altar call and a mighty prayer to the song”Break Every Chain”; the very song from the night before. The words that stuck out the most to me in that prayer? Something to the effect of ” don’t stop praising.  Your mind getting right and your heart getting regulated is in this praise.”  I was beside myself. God who am I that you are mindful of me?  God was saying it is finished. Signed, sealed and delivered.  There is nothing like the love of God.

So you see good people, we have to learn to develop a healthy and necessary dependency on God.  If He was filing taxes, could you be claimed as one of His dependents?  Those who learn to rely on Him won’t lack any good thing.  Because I learned to  depend on Him, yet still I rise….

With peace and blessings may you continue to rise always,

Stillirise323

“God is a divine orchestrator of things.”  In the world of Christiandom it is a fairly familiar saying.    Yet it was something the Lord made a point to drive home from the beginning of the weekend.  It all started Friday….

A good friend made an off-handed suggestion about a few of us going to the beach .  Someone I would say I have grown fairly close to.  I hadn’t  really hung out  recreationally on any grand scale with her and some of our other close friends in the recent past, although I see them pretty regularly at church.   I explained I could not go to the beach that day because I had other plans to support a church member, one of the evangelists, who was preaching at another church.   Needless to say I was a little taken aback  when I was accused of something to the effect of treating this particular group of friends “funny” or that I had been acting in some unfavorable way toward them.   This was shocking to me because I have had a slew of family visiting over the past couple weeks , which left little time for anything else.  My first thought was something along the lines of :  But wait!  A who dis gyal a chat to? (Jamaican patoisTranslation:  Wait a minute.  Who does this girl think she’s talking too?  Let’s just say my initial thoughts weren’t so holy.  Yeah, yeah…the Lord is working, but frankly folks I can admit I ain’t fully there yet.  Thank God for some measure of growth, because after the Holy Spirit warned me not to go there, instead of reacting with my mouth like I would have in the past,  I gently reminded her I had been busy with family and she retracted.

Fast forward a couple of days later and I attend that forum I mentioned to support this seasoned, awesome woman of God preaching.  Unbeknownst to me, it is this church’s missionary day service and celebration. And if I know nothing else, the Lord has undeniably called me to the mission field; my first journey being a little over 1 year ago to Haiti.  Not only was the service and message fantastic that day, but they called all missionaries, non-members and members of the church alike, up for prayer and to be annointed with oil.     As the woman prayed for me, I clearly heard the Lord say “new levels.”  Not only that, just  a few hours earlier in the wee hours of the morning I was just up talking to the Lord and crying out to him for strength to do all that He has for me to do.  It seems like so much and I need His strength.  What did the woman pray about at that service as she prayed with me? Giving me strength and endurance for my specific purpose and tasks. If I didn’t know better it was almost as if the woman had been in my bedroom sitting with me  the night before, to pray so accurately for my need.

My point?  Of course I would have loved to go to the beach.  That day the weather in NY was ideal for a beach outing.  I would have liked nothing more than to be frolicking in the sun and the sand.  But all I knew was that I was suppose to go to that event.  I wasn’t sure why  I was going—here I thought I was simply being an encouraging sister in Christ.  But God had something specific for me as well.  So much so that 2 other friends made plans to go as well and did not end up making it there.  Because God divinely orchestrated me to be where I was at that church and them to be wherever they were for their specific purposes at that time.  When the day was over, the Lord brought back to my remembrance that earlier conversation with my friend, laid out this whole lesson and here I am sharing it with you.

My prayer almost every day has been Lord delegate my day.  Take control of my life.  What assignments do you have for me to do today?  Orchestrate my steps.

I can’t ask God  every day to orchestrate my life and order my steps  and then purposely go against what He is telling me to do.  Regardless of what friends and otherwise have to say.  I know that in her way, I guess my friend was trying to express that she missed hanging with me.  I love her dearly.  But imagine if I had not gone to that service,  how I would have missed my blessing.

“…Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord”(2 Corinthians 6:17).   In the strict sense, that scripture is talking about Christian believers not mixing or succumbing to the ways, practices and sins of the world. To stand out and be different in that you are living holy and righteous, even when the societal norm says otherwise.  But it also means that sometimes the Lord is going to call you out of the “group”.  Doesn’t mean that group whether it be friends, family, church, work is necessarily inherently bad.  But God will not hesitate to pull us out at different times and at different points for His purpose.  It  may be for varied reasons:   your protection, to spend time alone with Him, in preparation for something,  to minister to someone, do a specific task or test your faith and obedience.  I can now look back at many times in college and at different points in my life when I wanted to hang with the group and I just was not allowed.  I never got to go to a Freaknic in Atlanta (some of you know what I’m talking about);  I missed when the Superbowl was in Miami around the time I was in college; I couldn’t go on some of those trips or social outings my girlfriends took.  And the Lord is saying to me, you were not suppose to be with the group at those times—I separated you for a reason.  I have called you out.  Now I won’t sit on my high horse and act all holier than thou as if I always  consult God about everything I do.  Like anybody else I often make decisions based on my mood or  my emotions, my preferences of what I want to do and whether I feel led in my spirit to do something–not based on what the group is doing.  That has never been my way.  It is now more and more that I try to seek God for specific direction in my life, in every area and no matter how small the details.  Something we should all do  and I certainly could do more.   I want God to be involved in something as grand as choosing my husband to something as miniscule as what outfit I should wear to work.  And He wants to be involved in every detail of our lives as well.  Every detail.

Maestro, latin for Master is the title given to : a master usually in an art; especially : an eminent composer, conductor, or teacher of music (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/maestro). Isn’t  God  the ultimate Maestro in that He is Master of everything?  No one stands beside Him.  Nothing can compare to Him. Isn’t He the composer/creator of all life and things beautiful,  is sovereign in conducting all the affairs of the universe and in His hands He teaches us to live  harmoniously in tune and sync with His perfect will and with one another?

Lord, I say  direct the symphony of my life…..Maestro please!  Yes, I travel on  with the Master and yet still I rise….

With Peace and Blessings May You Continue to Rise Always,

Stillirise323