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2 Samuel 6:10 He was not willing to take the ark of the Lord to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 11 The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the Lord blessed him and his entire household.

When David refused to take the ark of the Lord to the city, he left it at the house of Obed-Edom. In the Old Testament, the ark of the Lord represented the presence of the Lord. The simple fact of the ark being in Obed-Edom’s house caused he and his family to be blessed.

As born-again believers today, we are under a better covenant. Unlike the presence of the Lord in the old covenant, which was there today and gone tomorrow, the presence of the Lord is ALWAYS with us everywhere we go. God is with us and He promised to never leave us.

Based on His presence alone, we should expect to be blessed. We should expect our health to be blessed, our finances to be blessed, our thought processes to be blessed, and our families to be blessed. This is the power of God’s presence operating in our lives. Use it for the glory of God.

Inspired by Bishop G.E. Patterson

There are going to be times where God tells us to do something that doesn’t make sense. He may tell us to leave a good job to go work at a place that pays less. He may tell us to leave a relationship that seems promising. He may tell us to give money away that we set aside for ourselves.

When it doesn’t make sense remember Jeremiah 29:11.

Jeremiah 29:11 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.

Whatever God tells us to do is to prosper us. The devil will tell us over and over again how stupid the idea is or how God is making our lives miserable but, he’s a liar. It may not make logical sense but, whatever God tells us to do ends in prosperity.

That job that pays less may be the catapult to fulfill our assignment and position us to receive double in salary. God could be saving us from a relationship where we’ll experience years of heartache. That money we gave away will bless someone else but God promises that it will come back to us with interest.

At the end of the day, in His own way, God desires to prosper us.

Matthew 19:21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” 22 When the young man heard this, he went away in sorrow, because he had great wealth.

This rich young ruler boasted about keeping all of the commandments but, when he was asked to give all of his riches away and follow Christ, he sadly went away. He couldn’t do it. Money had him bound.

Recently, there was a chance for someone to win over a billion dollars in the lottery. Believers would like to think we’d give a portion of it to the church, give some to the poor, help our families, and keep the rest for ourselves.

But, what if God instructed you to give it all away? Could you do it? Could you instantly put yourself back in the same financial predicament out of obedience to God? It would be difficult for anyone, but could you do it? Check your heart.

If we can confidently give over a billion dollars away, trusting God will return even more to us according to His Word in Luke 6:38, that’s when we’d know if we’re ready for that type of money.

Instead of hoping and praying for that type of wealth, let’s ask God to help us get our hearts and minds in position to handle money appropriately. Trust God over money.

Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

Some of us have trust issues in relationships based on negative experiences in the past. We want to trust the other person, but it’s a hump we can’t seem to get over.

As we approach relationships or marriages, God is not requiring us to trust that person. He’s requiring us to trust Him in that person. That’s why it’s important that we get in relationships with like-minded believers. The Bible calls it equally yoked.

If we get into a relationship with a person who doesn’t know God or an immature believer, we’re taking a big risk of being hurt again. They don’t have to be flawless but, are they pursuing a deeper relationship with God? Are they making the effort to be led by the Holy Spirit? Are they renewing their minds with the Word of God?

We also need to talk to God to determine if the person is for us. If not, cut all ties. However, if God tells us to trust Him in that person, let go of all fears, and trust. We’re not trusting the person. We’re trusting God through them.

Psalm 127:2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat– for He grants sleep to those He loves.

Most of us have awakened in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. At times, it’s difficult to go back to sleep. We’ll think about what we have to do that day, that weekend, or our past. The next thing we know, it’s 6:00AM, we have to get up and function through the day with only 4 hours of sleep.

As we can see from Psalm 127, a lack of sleep is not the will of God. Some of us like to believe that God is trying to tell us something during the midnight hour but in actuality, it’s the devil attempting to deprive (steal) our sleep.

The best way to counter Satan’s attack is to pray, worship, and build our faith. Use that time to pray for yourself or others, worship God, or listen to a message from your favorite minister. We’ll either go back to sleep within the hour or get an opportunity to spend time with God. It’s a win win situation.

Don’t get frustrated. Get even by spending time with God and declaring sweet sleep.

Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

We eat about three times a day to provide energy to our natural bodies. Like our natural bodies need food to be strong, faith within our spirit needs food for strength. The food our faith eats is the Word of God. We eat with our ears.

It’s important to feed our faith by listening to the Word of God daily. The more Word we hear, the stronger our faith becomes. With faith, we can believe God for the impossible and we can maintain our confidence in God when our situation seems uncertain. If we’re full of doubt, unbelief, and a lack of consideration for God doing the impossible, it’s because our faith is weak.

Become fat in faith by constantly listening to the Word of God.

Genesis 3:4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent told her. 5 “For God knows that in the day you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

The devil deceived Eve into thinking she was being tricked by God. He made her think God was withholding something from her when in fact, He was protecting her.

Today, Satan is still deceiving people into thinking God’s Word and methods are a trick. That’s why we have so many atheists, because people have been convinced that Christianity is a trick. Not only unbelievers have been tricked, but believers have been tricked as well. There are believers who are against tithing because they believe it’s a trick. There are believers who don’t believe in the Trinity, especially the Holy Spirit, because they think it’s a trick.

God’s Word is not a trick. It’s the truth. When we apply God’s Word, in the correct context, it’s meant to help, protect, and positively impact our lives.

Stop listening to people who oppose the Word of God, reading inaccurate historical data that’s been distorted, or entertaining demonic thoughts that contradict the Word of God. That’s the real trick. God’s Word is the truth.

Joel 2:13 Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. 14 Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing—grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God.

There’s a lot of sacrifice when it comes to repenting and genuinely committing our lives to the Lord. We may lose some friends. God desires that we give up certain lifestyles. We’re requested to do things that go against how we feel or our logic. When making these sacrifices, the natural side of us wants to know the benefits of these sacrifices.

As we can see, the benefit of repentance is blessings. Blessing means empowered to prosper. When we commit our lives to God, we’ll prosper in our lives, in our families, and in our careers. Ideas will come easily, and we’ll experience preferential treatment (favor) in our lives. The blessing doesn’t mean we won’t face challenges, but with every challenge we are guaranteed the victory.

Let’s commit and/or encourage someone else to truly commit their lives to the Lord.

Most of us don’t think about it too much, but there’s a lot of trust in driving. We trust people will brake when they see us brake. We trust people will slow down and let us into the lane when they see us with our signal on. We trust people will stay in their lanes while driving. We don’t nervously hope and wish people will do their part when we drive. We just believe they will.

The same amount of trust we give people when driving is the same amount of trust God wants from us. When God said He’ll take care of us, we don’t need to question everything that goes on around us. Just trust His care. When God said He’ll supply our needs, we don’t need to look at our bank account three times a day trying to figure out how to meet every need. Just trust He’ll meet every need.

Let’s not take matters into our own hands or worry how it’s going to get done. Trust God will do exactly what He said He will do.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Joel 2:25 And I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, and the consuming locust, and the cutting locust, my great army which I sent among you.

Do you ever think about the past and the things you went through? Some of us faced hurtful days where we were misused and abused by people. Some of us went through some trying times where we didn’t know how we were going to make it. Some of us simply had dumb days where our dumb decisions were the cause for our setbacks.

Those were progressive years that the enemy stole. The enemy used people, incidents, and deception to steal years from our lives. But we have hope. God, Himself, said He will restore the years that were stolen from us.

When we genuinely commit our lives to God, in some way shape or form, God will restore the years we lost. The pain we experienced at the hands of people will be restored in the form of a double portion of joy. The amount of money we could have made or invested during those dumb days will be restored. The time we wasted being unproductive will be restored to us.

Regardless of what negative event we’ve gone through, God will get the credit for restoring our lives.

Inspired by Pastor Derrick Golden

A person who’s sick may think it’s God’s will for them to be sick. A person who is let go from a job may believe it’s God’s will. A body of believers may think a “natural disaster” is God’s will. It’s something about suffering that makes people think it’s designed to bring them close to God. It’s not!

If it’s God’s will for sickness to occur or natural disasters to come, why did Jesus heal the sick in Matthew 12:15 and why did He rebuke the storm in Luke 8:24? Jesus never went against His Father’s will; therefore, it would have been unlawful for Him to heal the sick and rebuke the storm if God caused it.

Meanwhile, the devil is in the background, laughing, watching some of us blame God for something he’s caused. If something negative happens in our lives that Jesus died for (sickness, poverty, or even death), God is not responsible. It’s the devil. And according to Luke 10:19, we have authority over the devil and can destroy or override his works.

Let’s stop making God responsible for negative events in our lives. Just because God knows all doesn’t mean He orchestrated all. Let’s put our authority into action and undo the works of the devil.

Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Inspired by Pastor Bill Winston

Revelation 4:8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”

Maybe you weren’t raised in the church or know all the church rhetoric to worship God. Maybe you’re unfamiliar with worship phrases such as, “God You’re Jehovah Jireh” or “From the rising of sun to the going of the same, Your name is worthy to be praised.” You may not know all of that, but that’s okay. Take a note from the angels. All day, over and over again, they worship God by saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”

It’s a simple worship. It doesn’t require a lot of words or thought. It’s an expression from our hearts letting God know He is holy.

So, anytime we’re prompted to worship and we don’t know what to say or we run out of things to say, simply tell the Lord that He is holy.

Matthew 6:27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

In football, the difference between a basic quarterback and a great quarterback is their ability to handle themselves under pressure. A basic quarterback may get flustered and start to panic when they see defensive players coming to tackle them. However, a great quarterback will stay poised, trust their protection, and continue to look down field for an open receiver.

Staying poised or panicking is the difference between a basic believer and great believer. When trials and circumstances come into our lives, will we panic and worry how we’re going to make it or will we stay poised by trusting God, and continuing to look at the promise?

Don’t panic because of trials. Be poised under pressure, confidently knowing God has us covered.

Matthew 4:8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

When Jesus was fasting, Satan showed Him things that appealed to the flesh. Out of reverence and honor to God, Jesus resisted the temptation to sin.

Satan has an inventory list of what appeals to our flesh as well. Some of us are tempted by sexual immorality, greed, escaping reality by using drugs and alcohol, and a lack of contentment. Like Jesus, Satan will do his best to show us these appealing things and using our imagination, he’ll tell us how we can still honor God while allowing our flesh to indulge in its desires.

That’s the time we need to stop our minds from wandering and make the decision to stay in God’s will. We do this by confessing God’s Word. When the sinful thought comes, confess God’s Word that contradicts the sinful thought.

Don’t get so wrapped up in what Satan shows you. Put your feelings aside and choose to honor God.

Ephesians 1:13 And in Him you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, having heard and believed the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation.

The Holy Spirit gives us direct access to the Spirit of God. It’s our guide to all truth and provides us power to do the will of God (John 16:3; Acts 1:8).

The traditions of man have created interesting ways to receive the Holy Spirit. There are some who say anointed oil filled hands need to be laid on the individual to receive the Holy Spirit. There are some who believe we need to wait or tarry until we receive the Holy Spirit. Others say people need to speak in tongues to receive the Holy Spirit.

All these things seem spiritual, but they’re unnecessary. As we can see, the day we make Jesus our Lord and Savior, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:30 further confirms this by saying, we were sealed with the Holy Spirit the day we were redeemed. Like any other promise of God, it’s just something we have to receive.

Receive and be led by the Holy Spirit to walk the pathway God set for you.

John 4:9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

Jesus broke customary protocol to minister to a promiscuous Samaritan woman.

What are you willing to do to minister the gospel? Are you willing to speak to people who you wouldn’t normally speak to? Are you willing to go to crack houses or areas where prostitution is running rampant to tell them Jesus loves them? Are you willing to preach to people who may be considered racist? Are we willing to drop political differences to share the goodness of God?

In some way shape or form, every believer’s assignment is to go and preach the gospel (Mark 16:15). The location and the method we preach the gospel may vary, but the ultimate goal is still the same.

Our goal is to put aside our differences and preconceived notions about others and let people know God loves them, let them know their sins are forgiven, and let them know about salvation through Jesus Christ.

John 4:13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

Is God with you? If so, there should be signs and wonders in our lives.

There should be notable miracles we can testify about. Our quality of life should increase to the point where we have excess to give to others. Our knowledge and understanding of the scriptures should continue to abound to teach others. Our relationship with God should continue to grow.

What person is drawn to another person who’s struggling financially, spiritually, and in health just like they are? Not many. They want to be around someone who can help them get free. I’m not saying we won’t face trials, but our positive attitude, faith confessions, and public declarations on how this trial will end will be the drawing factor.

Let God’s signs and wonders shine through you.

Philippians 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

God is our supplier. Everything we’ll ever need in our lives, He’s able to supply. We don’t have to worry or be anxious about if the need will be supplied. God guarantees the need will be supplied.

In Matthew, Jesus says it this way…Matthew 26:26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

Trust God and keep your peace and allow God to meet every one of your needs.

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Our desires may clash from time to time.
We want updated designer clothes, but we also want to be debt free.
We want to walk in divine health, but we also want to eat cookies and cakes often.
We want a fit body, but we also want to go home without working out.

It’s during these clashes where we need to consult God the most. We don’t want to live a mediocre life with the bare minimum, but we also don’t want to live foolishly. By acknowledging God, Who knows all, He’ll tell us what’s best for us at this time. He may tell us to wait on buying those shoes or He may tell us have two cookies instead of four.

Living a life acknowledging God, takes the pressure off of us regarding if we made the right decision or not. And the great thing about God is, if we miss acknowledging Him on a desire, His grace is sufficient to cover our mishaps.

1 Corinthians 10:23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.

Let’s be honest. Would we rather see a great movie or read the Bible? In most cases, a lot of us would choose the movie. Would we rather go to our favorite restaurant or fast for a week? Most would choose the restaurant.

Our flesh craves everything but Godly activities. There’s nothing wrong with watching movies or going out to eat, but we must have balance. Knowing lines to a movie won’t help when the enemy is attacking our health or our families. There needs to be balance with Godly activities.

We need to consistently read the Word to declare the truth during times of trouble. We need to occasionally fast to be sensitive to the voice of God for guidance and direction. We need to associate ourselves with like-minded believers to be encouraged from time to time.

Let’s not spend all our time watching Netflix or playing video games. Let’s add value to our lives by incorporating Godly activities into our daily lives.

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