Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Time for Everything

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

This verse of scripture came to mind as I was seeking the Lord for what to share for my final blog of 2011. I thought of many other things, but as I read this verse in regards to the close of the year, it was quite appropriate.

The close of the year signifies transition. It's like the close of a chapter of a great novel; the previous chapter ended and it is now time to transition into what is to come in the next chapter. This is where we are now. 2011 has come to a close and it is time to turn the page into 2012.

For some, this creates a great sense of relief because of the hardships and challenges of the previous year. Finally, a fresh start. For some, the close of the year and beginning of a new year creates a sense of expectation and anticipation. This is the year for the manifestation of my expectations. For some, it's a time of resolutions. Time to get the weight off, set priorities, develop my relationship with the Lord.

No matter where you find yourself, this truth remains; 2011 is over and 2012 has begun. This is indicative of a season of change. I am grateful for this change because it reminds me that the past is over and my future awaits. What will I do with what is to come? Will I wallow in my past failures or will I worship with an expectation and anticipation of what the Lord has for me in the year to come?

Take a look at the following verse in Philippians for the correct question that we should ask ourselves as we embark upon 2012. Philippians 3:13-14 says, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." This verse clearly encourages us as believers to forget the past (the good, bad and ugly), and "press toward the mark." This pressing is indicative of moving forward toward something. You can never move forward in anything if you wallow in world of what it "coulda, woulda, shoulda been." God clearly tells us to forget all that was and press toward what He has already preordained to come.

I pray that this creates a sense of excitement, expectation and anticipation in your soul. Don't allow the enemy torment you another day over the past. Trust God to enable you to live in the present to prepare you for the future. In 2012, the Kingdom Shall Prevail! He has given us the keys to the kingdom through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord! He has given us the victory to receive as a gift, not something to be achieved! Therefore, rejoice in the Lord! The victory has already been won! You are triumphant and victorious in Him!

So, get ready for what is to come in this season of transition. The way as already been paved. Don't look back. Press forward. Your destiny awaits!

2012 The Kingdom Prevails,

Dr. Sheila

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Acknowledge Him

The Bible says in Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths." Many of us know this scripture by heart, but is it in our hearts to the point that we are applying it to our every day lives?

I know for myself that I have asked the question, "What does it mean to 'acknowledge Him'?" I have heard many messages on the subject, but the statement, "acknowledge Him," still seemed ambiguous. Therefore, I, as perhaps you have too, struggled to acknowledge God and find it difficult to apply this scripture to your every day life.

Today I want to bring some clarity to that phrase. Very simply put, to acknowledge God is to consider Him. Take a look at these two verses.

Hebrews 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

Notice the command to "consider" in both of these verses. To consider Him means to acknowledge Him. To acknowledge Him means to consider Him. This is practically done by rehearsing who He is, rehearsing what He has said, rehearsing what He has done and rehearsing what He will do.

Now, let's put this into an everyday situation. Suppose you have a long forgotten debt that has now made it to a collection agency which has an attorney now trying to collect the debt from you. You are frustrated because you don't remember the debt, nor do you have the money to pay the debt. This is how you acknowledge Him in that situation.

1. Rehearse who He is - He is El Elohim, the Creator of heaven and earth. He is El Shaddai; the God of more than enough who promised to supply all of your need. He is Jehovah Jireh your provider. He is Jehovah Nissi; your victory, banner and standard. He is Jehovah Shalom your peace. He will give you peace in the midst of the storm.

2. Rehearse what He has said - He said in His Word that He is a refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. He said nothing is too hard for Him. He said that if you would call upon Him, He will answer you and be with you in times of trouble. He said if you would give it would be given back to you. He said that if you do not rob Him in your tithes and offering He would rebuke the devourer for your sake. He said that if you would give cheerfully, He would make all grace, every favor and earthly blessing come to you in abundance so that you will always, under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient, possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation. He promised to supply all your need!

3. Rehearse what He has done - He has provided in the past. You have always had a roof over your head. People have given to you to help meet your needs. People have blessed you with the things that you have wanted. God did all this through them.

4. Rehearse what He will do - God is not like people. He tells no lies. He is not like humans. He does not change His mind. When He says something, He does it. When He makes a promise, He keeps it (Numbers 23:19 GW). When God sends forth His Word, it does not return void. It produces fruit. It will accomplish what He wants it to.

The word "rehearse" means to recite or say over. Therefore, to acknowledge Him means to say out loud, over and over who He is, what He has said, what He has done and what He will do. As you do this, He will direct your paths. He will make the crooked things straight and the rough places smooth. He will do this because by acknowledging Him you are saying that you trust Him to work your situation out for your good.

So there you have it; how to practically acknowledge Him. Apply this teaching to your life today to whatever challenged with, whether it be your money, health, marriage or any other area. Acknowledge Him. He will produce results.

Understanding the Kingdom of Heaven in 2011,

Dr. Sheila

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Trust In The Lord

The other day while I was praying, the Lord spoke this to my heart, "It all boils down to trust. Will you trust Me to do what I have said in My word? Trust in Me with ALL your heart and lean not to your own understanding. Acknowledge Me in ALL your ways and I will direct your paths says the Lord."

This word just resonated in my spirit as life has been presenting itself unfavorably in a few areas. Then today during my devotion time I was reading an article from a newsletter that our Bishop had written. In this article he was sharing about the Ten Kingdom Keys to Maturity. Key number 2 is The Ability to Trust God When Things Go Wrong. This is what he stated about this key: "Trust in God when things go wrong, when people disappoint you, when you are mystified and don't know why things are happening to you." As I read this, I knew God was speaking to my heart to trust Him when I don't know why things are going the way they are going.

One of the scripture references for this key was Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. I also want you to look at Psalm 91:2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Notice that both of these verses reference the Lord as the one in whom our trust is to be placed. Now, I'm sure that you, like myself have put your trust in other people and you have been let down. However, these verses don't tell us to put our trust in other people. We are instructed to put our trust in the Lord. Why? Because He is God, He is faithful and He is in ultimate control. Since He is in ultimate control, you and I can both trust that it's all going to work out for the good.

I do realize that life happens and many times leaves even the strongest believer mystified. Nevertheless, we must fix our eyes upon Jesus. We must concentrate on Him and what He has said in His Word. He is not a man that He should lie; nor the son of man that He should repent. That which He has promised He shall bring to pass. He promised to perfect that which concerns you so no matter what it is, He shall perfect it by making the crooked places straight and the rough places smooth.

Let this bring great consolation and comfort to your soul. As you do, you are teaching and training your soul to trust God. The enemy may blow smoke, but remember the Lord and listen for His voice when in the fog and follow that voice. He will lead you to safety every time which will strengthen your trust in Him.

I pray that these words will be a source of encouragement for you; especially during this holiday season when you may be tempted to trust in what you may be getting instead of in the giver of all things. Remember Joshua 1:8 and meditate on Proverbs 3:5. As you do, you will be able to say in the midst of any situation, "In Thee O Lord, I put my trust."

Understanding the Kingdom of Heaven in 2011,

Dr. Sheila

Friday, December 16, 2011

Stay In Your Lane

Have you ever watched a track meet and one of the runners crossed over into his or her opponents lane? Most of the time, if not all the time, because of the crossing over, someone gets hurt or doesn't finish the race. When I think of this in terms of a believer's walk with the Lord, the implications are clear. Stay in your lane to avoid problems and pitfalls.

God has created each and everyone of us with a specific purpose (or lane) that we are to function in. Romans 12:4-6 says, "For as we have many members in one body , and all members have not the same office: So we , being many , are one body in Christ , and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us , whether prophecy , let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith." In other words everyone in the body has different gifts that we are to function in the capacity that God has given us to function.

This is a powerful truth and frees us all up from coveting someone else's gift. God showed me this the other day when the fifth book that I wrote, Treat Him Like a King, came in the mail. It was during my devotion time and I was listening to the new William McDowell Arise cd that God showed me a track with many lanes. I saw people in those lanes holding signs representing the gift that was on their life. I began to rejoice because though I love to sing and worship, I don't have to covet William McDowell's gift. He is a worship leader. I am a preacher. He has his lane. I have mine.

I pray that those struggling with their lane would embrace the gift that God has placed within them. This is for the greater benefit of the individual and the Kingdom. After all, that's what it's all about anyway right? It's all about the Lord Jesus Christ and His Kingdom purposes being established in the earth in, through and by His people.

Therefore, let this inspire you to stay in your lane. It is a wonderful place to be where God has created you to be. Ask Him for the grace to discover, develop and walk in dominion in the area He has given you. Let this drive you to run your race of life with endurance purposing not to cross over into someone else's lane. It's not worth the injury to you or your fellow co-laborer in the gospel.

Until next time, remember as always, it's all about Him!

Understanding the Kingdom of Heaven in 2011,

Dr. Sheila