Meditate 1.0

Sometimes, we can get stuck in a rut where our motions run through autopilot cycles.
In that limitless moment of the mundane we can forget: forget where we've been, where we are going, where we are.
We forget who we are and why we are in this moment in the first place.

And I'm asking for us to wake up. Don't let the ordinary, the run of the mill lull us asleep.
We need to be aware and awake especially now. The enemy walks around with the intent to devour us; he is on the hunt to destroy us. Imagine his glee to find us blind, deaf and mute to everything around us. What easy prey we have made ourselves to be.

Wake up and realize that we are made for more.
Wake up and remember that we are citizens of a kingdom not of this world.
Wake up and recognize the mandate that God placed inside us.

God made us His image-bearers. We are the world's conduits of God, direct staircases into His presence and vessels of His goodness.

When we pour out, Heaven becomes a reality here on earth.

Change won't come unless we do. The culture will not change unless we change.

Wake up and fix your eyes on heaven. Change won't come if we stare at what's around us; it only comes when we are connected to the original intent found in Jesus and walk, stumble- hey, if crawling is all that's manageable, then crawl- through it in our here and now.

Walk through heaven here on earth.

Heaven is not a far-off concept. Eternity is closer than the air we breathe in. God didn't create us to twiddle our fingers and dwindle our time. A God-sized calling is on our lives. We need to get active with the power that's already activated within us.

With God, we are able!

But first we have to turn our minds onto the things above. We have to meditate on the reality we want to usher in.

Because we cannot be a sign of something we aren't first immersed in.
Despite our best intentions, we cannot lead people where we have yet to enter.
We cannot reflect what we don't first behold.

Fortunately, God has given us a way to take in His glory: His Son, Jesus. If we lock our eyes on Him and think about all He has done and all He will do, then His courage, His goodness, His love will flow out of us.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:8-9

Before we can do, we have to be and before we can be, we have to think.

Effective change happens within. It starts with us first and only then will we be agents of sustainable change.

We need to start with our thinking, start with what's going on between our ears. So meditate. Don't be passive with the thoughts and words running through your mind. Capture every thought and place it against His truth. Can it stand? Does it hold up? If not, throw it out and replace it with God's word.

And feast on His word. Fill yourself with the wisdom within the pages of the bible so that you can recognize when something is not right. God has equipped us with tools to empower us. Let's jump into the Word and see what He says.

The following is what happens when you're aware of what's being said. When you actively listen, His truth comes in and teaches you, leads you, reminds you and fills you up again.

♬Death could not hold You♬

But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. David said about Him:
I saw the Lord always before me.
Because He is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
Acts 2:24-25

It was impossible for death to keep its hold on Jesus. The grave was borrowed.
Underground, the enemy celebrated, thinking that he won. But Joseph's tomb was a loan.
And three days later, He rose from the dead, making a spectacle of those who triumphed in darkness.

Jesus is ALIVE!

♬The veil tore before You♬

While He died our death on the cross, miles away, inside the city's gates, inside the temple, the curtain that hung between us and the presence of the Holy of Holies tore from the top to the bottom.

When Jesus uttered "It is finished," those words, along with His blood, ushered in a new covenant, a new era. There was no longer a chasm between God and those who bore His image. No!
Jesus became the bridge that brought together man and God once again. Forever!
He did what we could never do after centuries of behavior control.

He made us home to the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords. He made us clean; Jesus cleansed us and paved the way to God's throne.

...since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Hebrews 10:19-22

♬You silenced the boast of sin and grave♬

“Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:55-57

Sin separates us from the presence of God. The minute our predecessors in Eden took a bite of the forbidden fruit, we couldn't approach God. To have a relationship, to be connected with Him was difficult.

But the blood soaked cross swallowed the consequence of sin. Jesus took on our penalty and broke us free from everything that could ever separate us from heaven. Everything.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:37-39

♬The heavens are roaring
With praise of Your glory
For You are raised to life again♬

♬You have no rival
You have no equal
Now and forever God You reign♬

♬Yours is the kingdom
Yours is the glory
Yours is the name above all names♬

Acts 4:12 is one of my favorite verses. It encapsulates the Good News and its radical power. 

"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved."

The great divide is healed and sealed in the personhood of Jesus. Once we accept Christ into our hearts and confess with our lips that He is Savior and Lord, salvation is a guarantee: we can't be separated from God's presence any longer. Jesus has paid the price; He gave up His own life to redeem us from the curse of sin and death. And with His sacrifice, God has subjected everything in heaven and on (and under) earth under His authority. 

Nothing, not one circumstance, can uproot and steal His power.
There is not one district outside of His jurisdiction. 
When Jesus speaks peace, chaos has to leave.
When Jesus speaks light, darkness disappears.
When Jesus speaks healing, diseases have to flee.

" the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Philippians 2:10-11

♬What a powerful name it is♬

This is the name you carry within. All of who He is, all of what He does rests inside of you.
The Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead finds it's home in you.
With Jesus, you can do anything.

The Importance of Discipleship

Leaving the disciples behind, Jesus ascended into Heaven with a promise wrapped inside the Great Commission:

“Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation… And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name, they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people and they will get well.” (Mark 16:15, 17-18)

For the past three years, the disciples have lived with Jesus. They walked with, worked with and watched how Jesus did the miracles He became known for.

He even equipped them and released them to cast out demons and heal the sick way.

And it worked! The outcast, the uneducated, the disdained, the misfits, Jesus’ closest friends were able to do the miraculous too!

But, for a little while, the disciples stood frozen on that hill, after Jesus disappeared behind the clouds, and probably wondered, How, Jesus? How are we going to do this when You’re not here?

We’re probably wondering the same thing, if we’re willing to be honest with one another. We’re most likely standing at the foot of a mountain, of a bill, of a sickness with another promise that says if we have a mustard seed of faith, we can tell this problem to move. But we’re stuck, petrified, thinking that we possibly can’t do this alone.

Fortunately, we’re not. Once we, like the disciples, have accepted and declared Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, Jesus sends His Spirit to us.

The Holy Spirit is our assurance that we are now sons and daughters of God. Not only that, the Spirit is also our companion and guide. If we listen to Him, the Spirit will conform us into Jesus’ image.

We won’t only have the belief that we are Jesus’ followers, or His disciples, but we’ll look and act like it if we submit ourselves to the Holy Spirit’s promptings.

Remember the Holy Spirit is the same that rose our Savior from the dead.

And that same Spirit that robbed the grave and defied death is now inside us as a deposit, as a treasure, as a seal that can never be broken or stolen.

No matter the background, the education, the past, the Holy Spirit can work us into the image of Christ, into His followers. He will teach us to do what Jesus did and say what Jesus said. In Him, we will have the authority and power to go out and share the good news, to go out and heal the broken, to go out and bring the light into the darkness.

In Him, we can become disciples of Jesus.

But we have to spend time with the Holy Spirit. He has many gifts for us. He holds so much insight and truth for any situation we are in because the Spirit only gives what He first receives from Jesus. And there is no lack in Jesus.

When He conquered sin, God set everything under His feet. Because Jesus has total dominion, so do we.

The only way to receive is to make room for the Holy Spirit. There are many ways to do so such as studying the bible, worship and praise, and solitude and fasting; but whatever you choose to do, don’t forget to invite the Holy Spirit.

Jesus once said, as His disciples, we will do more than what He did while on earth.

So we will, with Him.


We are finite beings. We have limits, and we make mistakes. Sometimes, if not all the time, we are not able to do what God has called us to do.

No one knew that better than Moses.

In his youth, Moses killed and buried an Egyptian who tormented one of his own, a Hebrew. Then his deed was uncovered and the Pharaoh wanted him dead. So Moses ran away and spent the next forty years in the desert.

And that’s where God, in a burning bush, met with Moses.

In a dry place, outside of his native home, with neither palace nor accolade, watching over sheep that weren’t even his, Moses met with the living God who asked him to do something way above his pay grade.

“Go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.” (Exodus 3:10)

After that command, Moses probably took a step back, looked around and realized only miles of sand and a herd of sheep surrounded him and the burning bush.

It was certain that God was talking to him, but Moses was equally convinced that God had the wrong person. So he decided to correct Him.

“Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (verse 11)

We do the same thing, don’t we?

We know that God has called us and asked specifically for us to accomplish a task, but we take in the huge order He’s calling us to fill and make the unanimous decision that Someone made a drastic mistake.

So like Moses, we ask, “But who are we that You would ask such a thing of us?”

And God replies to us with the same answer He gave Moses thousands of years ago: “I will be with you.” (verse 12)

But I don’t have enough?

I will be with you.

But I don’t know anyone?

I will be with you.

But I didn’t come with the right thing.

I will be with you.

God doesn’t look at our resumes, our skills or our incapabilities. When He asks us to do something, He’d already counted the cost. There is no need for us to go over the plan with a fine-tooth comb. He already knows what it will take for us to do what He’s asked of us.

While we look at the gaps in His plans (He wants me to do what now?), God sees Himself filling the gaping holes in us so that we are empowered to do what He said.

We’re right when we say that we can’t but God absolutely can. We should never forget that.

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

Even in our mistakes, and in our wrongs and in our lack, God certainly can.

That is the power of grace. Grace doesn’t hold us to the level of perfection we so desperately cling ourselves to. Grace doesn’t expect us to figure it out on our own and do it in our own strength. Grace doesn’t hold our past against us.

How can grace do that when He already died for our sins?

Instead, grace comes in and fills us to completion. Grace comes in and becomes our strength. Grace comes in and shines bright in our jars of clay.

There are always two sides of a situation. Like a coin, we can flip the perspective. We can either focus on the missing parts and talk ourselves out of God’s plan. Or we can trust His grace and join Him.

The Word 1.0

People forget the power of words, I think as I watch their conversation unfold.

TI is on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. They had discussed the shocking imagery from TI’s new video, “War Zone”—where it depicts the all too familiar scenes of police officers killing innocent, unarmed people— when Noah asks TI the dreaded question that comes up when blacks are too vocal about the brutality against us.

“How is this helping the dialogue?”

How is this helping the dialogue when there is black on black crime? How is this helping when hip-hop lyrics are riddled with bullets just like the ones that litter our streets? How, when the hostility, the disdain for the police oozes out of the speakers? When the images the music portrays aren’t different from the real-life scenes that elicit our outrage?

How can we critique it when we condone it in our music?

In his answer, TI shares that hip-hop finds its roots in reflecting its environment. Then he says, “If you want to change the content of the music, change the environment of the artist and he won’t have such negative things to say.”

People forget their power over words— the phrase plays over and over in my head as I take in TI’s words.

I couldn’t agree with him because throughout history, the Word never took its cue from its environment.

In the beginning, in the chaos and darkness, God stood over the earth.
(And He still stands over it all, now)

Empty and formless with deep, churning waters, it all laid at God’s feet and He spoke to it.

He didn’t call the earth as He saw it. His first words to it weren’t of disorder, confusion or absence. God didn’t call it as He saw it in the natural.

“Let there be light,” He said.

Before that moment, light never existed on earth but that didn’t stop God from calling it out. And it didn’t stop light from appearing. It came forth and filled the expanse of what we call home all because the Word took lead.

Power rests in our words and they don’t have to follow our environment.

We all know the story of Abraham and Sarah and no one knew it better than God.

God saw Sarah and He knew her.

Past child-bearing years, light-years away from actually having reasonable hope to conceive, Sarah listened to Abraham recount his encounter with God and the promise that their offspring will surpass the number of stars in the sky. Little did either of them know, the star-filled night rested inside her womb.

What she thought was impossible, God said— with Him, through Him, in Him— everything is possible. Out of her womb came the nations that rivaled the stars all because God spoke it.

She was old but God called Sarah a mother; and Issac, the promised one, came from the same womb that disappointed her for decades.

The environment never dictates the Word. The Word shapes the environment. We have to remember that this is the power we hold.

We hold the same power that God used in the graveyard.

In a valley, full of dried bones, God asked Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?”

In this violence, in this madness and anger and frustration, God asks us the same, “Can these bones live?”

Can these bones live in the disappointment, in the uncertainty, in the disorder? Can they live?

What does the environment say? What does the Word say?

More importantly, which will we echo? Which will we allow to reverberate inside our ribcages? Which will we invite to vibrate against our hearts?

Yes, God sees the division and the reality just like He saw the emptiness of both Sarah’s womb and the world.

He sees what we see.

But His question is still the same: “Can these bones live?”

God said yes then. He still says yes now.

The power of life and death was never in the environment. It’s in our words. It rolls off our tongues. Because God lives in us, the power will always originate from us.

When we are in Him and He’s in us, His power is for us and will come out of us.

And we never have to be in agreement with dire situations.

It’s shocking to say, quite blasphemous to how the world works to point out that the current circumstance has no say in any matter.

It only has the power when we yield to it in agreement, when we call out what we see.

Where do we get this annoying habit to be so observant?

Not from God.

He stood at the brink of emptiness and called out light. From a defunct womb, He spoke out a child. He revealed Himself to Gideon, a quivering, small minded man, and named him a mighty warrior.

Forgotten by his own father because he was out with the sheep, David was anointed king by the King. A graveyard full of dried bones, dead hope, forgotten dreams and dimmed visions rose again to a stature far beyond its prime— a graveyard became a promise land— because God said, “Breathe again. Live again.”

We don’t live by bread alone but by the word of the Living God.

Any situation we encounter is not life or death. It doesn’t have that power. We do.

An environment might scream death but life comes forth if we speak it out.

Let’s speak out what God says and watch the change come.

Break Down 1.0

Deuteronomy 32:8
The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

The Lord Himself

God, the Uncreated One, the Source, the Creator of the Universe, the Alpha and Omega, The King of kings and Lord of lords, has a personal interest in you.

He doesn't just leave you to your parents, guardians, mentors or angels. You have access to Him. He doesn't hide Himself from you.

When it comes to you, God wants to be active in your life so He

Goes before you

Proverbs 3:6 in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight

He will set the table of your destiny, the stage for your entrance.

Isaiah 45:2 I will go before you and will level the mountains, I will break down gates of bronze and cut through iron

He is the One who fights on your behalf and secures your victory.

And will be with you

God Himself will not only be your guide, light and pathway, He will also be your companion during the journey. 

He's not just your lighthouse, He's with you on the ship. 

He has enough patience to be right here with you in this moment. 

He is present in your current situation. He's not in a rush. God doesn't expect you to play catch-up. 

There is no other place He would rather be than to be here walking and working with you through your process.

He will never leave you nor forsake you

He won't change your mind about you. 

He won't reject you or pass you off to someone else. 

God Himself will be with you 'til the end of time. 

He's made up His mind. He's committed and faithful to you.

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged

The One who is in you is an ever present help. He is your peace and He is greater than anything you will ever face.

Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?

Romans 8:31-32  If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 

What's A River to God?

Has this ever happened to you? Where you’re minding your own business, not really expecting to be knocked over the head with a simple, yet profound nugget of truth that grips you and asks to take hostage of your mind until you understand it?

“What is a river to God?”

I still remember vividly how the pastor posed that question to the congregation: I sometimes watch sermons online and my mind wanders, as it usually does, catching good revelations here and there but once that question was voiced, it brought me back to the moment and I had to rewind just to hear it again.

“What is a river to God?”

The pastor taught from Joshua 3 where The Israelites, after forty years in the desert, were about to enter their Promised Land. But the Jordan River overflowed at that point of the year; it was impassable from where they stood.

So Joshua told the people, “Watch God do something amazing” and instructed the priests, who were carrying the Ark, to step into the rushing river.

However, the miracle of the Jordan River was nothing like that of the Red Sea. Whereas Moses raised his arm over the sea and, in an instant, it split in two, the priests had to get into the water and wait.

Everyone must have thought that something instantaneous was going to happen, like it happened a generation ago,  but once the priests stood in the middle, nothing like the Red Sea occurred.

No, God did a new thing that day. The second that the priests stepped into the Jordan, at “a great distance” the river backed up in a town named Adam and it eventually emptied out into the Dead Sea.

But it seemed like nothing changed at that moment. The Israelites couldn’t see about fifteen miles north from where they stood that their miracle, their way to cross over, was taking place. They just watched as the priests stood in a swollen river, no dry land in sight, and all they had was God’s promise that they will enter and inherit the Promised Land.

And thousands of years later, here I stand in front of my own Jordan River, wondering “What is a river to God?”

Right now, I’m living at my parents’ house. And yes, I know most twenty-somethings transition back home for a while to get back on their feet to pursue their careers they’ve been working towards most of their lives, but I had a plan, and in this plan I wasn’t supposed to be here. In tenth grade, I wrote my life out in an essay: I was going to be a very good doctor and married with kids at this age. But during senior year of college, I told my plans no, no I didn’t want to be a doctor anymore. Med school was no longer in the picture because at that time, my heart did a complete one-eighty and returned to its first love: writing. I didn’t say it out loud at the time but I wanted to become a novelist.

So I did my research, picked out maybe seven grad schools for creative writing, got into one and crossed the country to pursue that degree. Now about seven months out, I have half a novel done and I’m in a job that challenges me but still life isn’t what I imagined it to be.

And the question “What is a river to God?” won’t leave me alone.

Has it ever happened to you? Where you take inventory of your life and compare it to the blueprint you started with and realized you are nowhere you thought you would be at this stage of your life? Instead you notice the false starts and dead-ends and winded roads that took you way off course and you begin to wonder where God figures into this madness masquerading as your life.

The Israelites probably felt the same. They faced a similar situation forty years ago and everyone knew how it turned out: body of water splits down the middle and they cross. They commemorated the moment for forty years. Their parents boasted about God rescuing them from the Egyptians. They knew what was going to happen but when it didn’t, I wonder if they got worried and asked, “What is a river to God?”

I don’t know what river you’re facing while reading this but whatever seems insurmountable, confusing or unfamiliar right now in your life, you’re probably wondering the same thing: what is this to God that He won’t do something about it?

Let’s try to answer the question together.

Now this God who seems slow to reveal His plans or slow in moving is the same God who created everything from nothing. He hovered over the brink of creation in all its chaos and spoke all that we can see into existence. He placed the sun, the stars and the moon carefully into the sky and made sure that they always went where they needed to go. He chose the border between the land and the sea and the sky. He has a fleet of angels at His control. He didn’t get off His throne to deal with Lucifer and his band of bad angels. The second his heart turned against Him, he was thrown out of heaven. God is the same God who said, “Abraham, I will make you the father of nations,” and did it, although Abraham was old and Sarah’s womb was out of commission. With a shout, the walls of Jericho fell at the Israelites’ feet. In a second, He lit up the soaked offering that Elijah made in front of Israel who turned away from Him to follow Baal. He walked with Daniel’s friends in the inferno. He shut lions’ mouths. He cleansed lepers and made the lame walk. He brought people back to life.

What is a river to God? What is the job you’re waiting for to God? What is bringing in your future spouse to God? What is your bank account to God? What is everything that worries you to God?


He’s not stressing out that you aren’t where you thought you would be. He’s not worried about bringing you and your future spouse together. He’s not losing sleep over your finances or your career. Those things are nothing to Him. He can handle all that.

The correct question to ask is “What are you to God?”

And the answer is everything. You are worth His only Son to die on a cross for your sins. You are worth the throne and all of heaven He left in order to meet you where you are.

A river is nothing. But you are everything to Him.

That’s why in Matthew 6:33, Jesus says, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Jesus said that God knows what you need and it’s not too hard for Him to clothe you and feed you and provide for you. He takes care of the lilies and the birds of the sky, of course He knows how to take care of His most prized possessions, the only ones in all of creation who bear His image.

No, His focus will never be on the stuff that worries us. His focus is on us and His relationship with Him.

Have you noticed that the enemy likes to give us stuff to distract us from God? The enemy is not after our stuff: a relationship with God is what the enemy aims to steal, kill and destroy. The only time he comes after our stuff is when we won’t budge from God, when we won’t give up God as our number one priority.

God is not worried about our stuff. He creates everything from nothing. Whatever is weighing you down can change in an instant with His word. And if it doesn’t, remember that about fifteen miles up north God is working something for your good that you haven’t noticed yet.

None of that which worries us is a concern to God. His main focus is our relationship with Him. Everything else will be added. We don’t have to work overtime for them, chase them, scheme for them. They will be added at the right time.

So as I sit here in a room I’ve grown up in, I remember God’s faithfulness. I remember His promises and His confirmation. I remember the way He’s helped me when I was unaware, the way He’s kept me safe all this time. I remember how I’ve grown during all this and although I may not be where I thought I would be, where others figured I would be, I’m exactly where He wants me: with Him.

Stop looking at the river and wondering where God is. Hold on to what He’s done for you in the past and know that if He did it before, He will certainly do it again. Even if it looks different this time, God will do it. Let go of your cares and lean into Him. Don’t allow them to put a wedge between you and God because in the greater scheme of things, when you look back on your life, you’ll see that they are nothing compared to who God is in your life. Nothing.

Faith, It Grows

Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

But moving a mountain was just the beginning. Towards the end of His ministry Jesus promised His disciples (and us) that we "will do what [He] has been doing. [That we] will do even greater things than these because [He was] going to the Father."

And Jesus is at the right hand of the Father. Jesus kept His word but have we acted on it?

Have we planted our seed of faith to reap more faith in God?
Have we moved the mountain with the seed we have already been given?

In Matthew 25, Jesus shares a parable about the talents. Before a man leaves on a journey, he gives each of his servants talents. He gave five to one, two to another and one to the last. In the bible it says that each man was given "according to his ability." Then after their master leaves, each servant deals with his own lot. The one who received five went to work and doubled his talents. The one who received two did the same and got two more. But the last servant who got one hid his talent until the master returned.

When the master returned, the two servants, who profited from their deposit, pleased the master and were put in charge of more. However when the servant returned the one that he received, the master was infuriated, especially after hearing his servant's excuse,
"Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours."
The master then took the last servant's talent and gave it to the first, who now had an ability of ten talents, and threw the scared servant out.

God doesn't want us to be the servant full of fear. We are His image bearers. Every good and praiseworthy thing that reside within us are a reflection of His glory. We are not meant to be hidden. We are not meant to play it safe. Our lives are a beacon full of His light meant to bring the broken back home to Him.

And in order to do that we have to sow the seed of faith in our hands. It's only after that moment will God begin to stir even more faith inside of our hearts.

Sow for yourselves righteousness
reap the fruit of unfailing love,
and break up your unplowed ground; 
for it is time to seek the Lord,
until He comes and showers righteousness on you.
One encouraging thing from the Matthew 25 passage is that our faith can grow. The first two servants doubled their ability.

Your ability of faith won't stay the same. So don't compare your faith to that of another. That's not fair or conducive. Everyone has a different walk with God. The only thing that's the same is the God we serve. The way He is with one, He wants to be with you. But that takes time; don't give up.

Your level of faith has to change when you put your hope in God.
It won't stay the same.
It can't stay the same because what you believe God is able to do, He is willing to do more.
God is limitless: He will always surprise you, always out-give you.

So how do we grow?
  1. Ask: "Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you." Matthew 7:7
  2. Lean on Him: Don't do this alone. Don't do it in your own strength. Don't rely on your ability. Remember you have access to all of Him. When you are weak, He is strong.
  3. Stand: Stand on His word even when it hurts, when it doesn't make sense, when it's easier to just walk away and quit, stand. Your knees may be shaking but His word is firm. It stands forever. He doesn't lie. He doesn't change His mind. You can stand, kneel, sit, you can lie down, if you have to; His word will never pull out from under you. You can rest in it.
  4. Pray: Talk to Him. Hand over your worries to Him. Then listen to Him. He wants to lead you, He wants to help you but you have to be open to Him. You don't have to beg Him for His attention. He's already captivated by you. He wants to share His heart with you.
  5. Walk in His word: "Faith, without works, is dead." James 2:17. A seed remains a seed if it remains in your hand. It's only when you put it in the ground does it grow. The same can be said of God's promises. It remains a promise, an outlandish idea, if you decide to camp outside of the promise land. But when you decide to walk towards what He has for you, then a harvest comes. 
  6. Know Him: The third servant did not sow his talent because he thought he knew his master. He had a small perspective of his master that caused him to act small with his talent. When you know God, you're able to see yourself clearly: all of who He is rests inside of you and nothing will scare you because "He who is inside you is greater than he who is in this world."

This post has been hard to write. I think God first brought the Hosea verse to my attention a month ago. The word righteousness was repeated twice in the same passage and I didn't realize it at first when I wrote about it two years ago. But what I felt Him saying this time around was "Believe in Me for this and I'll give you reason to believe in Me for more."

When you believe in God for something and He fulfills it, it gives you a chance to believe in Him for something else until there comes a time when it's in your nature to trust Him to be there for you, when you trust Him with your whole life even with all the bumps along the way.

When you sow faith, you reap more of it. You open yourself to more opportunities to trust in Him. And there will never be an end of it because God is inexhaustible. He has no limits.

I guess the difficulty I found in writing this was the seeds that were tight in my hands, the ones I have yet to plant. Writing these words convicted me and I would rather write from a safe place of already arriving. 

I have seeds in my hands and I'm scared to plant them cause who knows how they're going to turn out. But one thing He wanted to assure us of is that in the planting, in the toiling, in the plowing we will be met by His love, His faithfulness will be seen. 

We will see Him and know Him a bit better each and every time we plant.

No matter the outcome, He will meet with us and reveal Himself to us.

I think that's better than any harvest that could ever come from these seeds.

Mini Bites 41.0

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is- His good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:2

That's what we all want- what I really want: to know God's will for our lives.

But it's not as cryptic as we sometimes make it out to be.
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities- His eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen... Romans 1:20
And we know that God's will is tightly tied to His character. God will not do something that does not align with who He is.

So in order to know His will, we have to learn who He is.

When we have a crush on someone, we get a Ph.D in cyber-stalking our crush. We know their favorite color, the car they drive, where they go to school, if they are dating anyone and this is all without talking.

But then we have God's Word, the bible, the only book where the Author actively interacts with us, speaks to our heart while we're reading it and we sometimes couldn't be bothered to open up its pages.

God is not hiding. His will isn't difficult.
"You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord... Jeremiah 29:13-14
"Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." Matthew 7:7-8 
Come near to God and He will come near to you... James 4:8  
He wants to talk to us and He will when we make the time to talk to Him.

He's not far from us. God's already with us.
For in Him, we live and move and have our being... Acts 17:28
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things... Romans 11:36
We can't discover ourselves, we can't uncover our purposes outside of God because without Him we are nothing.

There is no way we can recognize God if we don't take the time to know Him.

Open up your bible, invite Him into your life and know that He will meet with you and talk with you.



It's always going to be like this...

How many times does a variation of this phrase whirl around your head?
How many times do you look around and convince yourself that there has been no progress, no change?
How many times have you given up because you've resigned to the fact that whatever this you're standing in will always be here?

How many times?

I have a bad habit of looking at my current circumstances and projecting them onto my future. At times, I can't make plans because I always think, if I don't have the money, time or resource now, I probably won't have it in the future.

My small mindset limits my vision to see the more that is possible.

And maybe it's not something that you do but something that you've been born into. You walked into a legacy, a tradition, a pattern that's entrenched into your family's history, embedded into your family's DNA that you know, more likely than not, it will pop up into your own life. And this norm influences the way you live.

To live in fear, to live stuck, to live small, to live on a hamster wheel, exhausted and getting nowhere.

There are three accounts (and countless others) where Jesus meets people in their habits, in their patterns and they have to choose: what's familiar or what Jesus has to offer.

1. The woman at the well

The samaritan woman leaves her house to draw water from the well. The town she lives in knows about her life. They know that she hops from relationship to relationship and the current man under her sheets wasn't even her husband. Intent to avoid hushed whispers and unabashed stares, the woman leaves home when the sun is highest, knowing that she'll be alone. But lo and behold, once she arrives, there's a man sitting on the well.

2. The man at the pool of Bethesda

He's been disabled for 38 years, he's alone and what's worst, for a long time, he's been a few feet away from his miracle. If only he could get to the pool first when the angel comes in the morning to stir the waters. But every time he got within an inch of the edge, someone else beats him to it and he has to wait for the next day. Then one day, the man looks up to see someone standing over him. And the person asks, "Do you want to get well?"

3. The woman caught in adultery

The Pharisees and the teachers must have been watching her for days. How else would they know where to find her? The man she was sleeping with must have made a deal with them. Why else would she be alone, dragged towards the center of the village with just a blanket that could barely cover her body, let alone her shame? They throw her at the feet of some man named Jesus, demanding to know what sentence she deserves. She watches her accusers pick up the stones. Everyone knows that this warrants death, they didn't need the input of this man. She braces herself but nothing comes. She lifts her head and finds Jesus looking at her. He asks, "Where are your accusers?"

In the middle of their normal, Jesus shows up.

In their routine, Jesus interrupts.

In these cases, they've settled into their lot, into what the world has offered them. Then Jesus comes and offers all of them something different.

He enters their usual, looks around and says that they didn't have to stay this way, that this is not the only way and showed them another: He showed them Himself, that He was the way, the truth and the life.

They thought that this was all there was but Jesus said no.

No, you don't have to hide in shame. No you don't have to do it like everyone else. No, you don't have to wait to be healed, to be filled from a broken cistern. No, you don't have to go back to your old ways, to your sins. No, you don't have to be okay with this. This is not here to stay.

Jesus came in and broke down cultural barriers and decorum.

He revealed to a Samaritan woman, an outsider, that He was the Messiah.
He told a lame man to walk.
He showed mercy and forgiveness to a sinner.

The world thought that they knew what to expect from the Savior but Jesus trumped everyone.
They thought they knew what He would do but He didn't come to condemn. Jesus came to love us.

He didn't hold Himself back from the outsider. He drew near.
He didn't push the man into the pool. He told him to stand.
He didn't sign her death certificate. He forgave her.

Jesus came into the world as God fleshed out into the form of a man and gave Himself up as the sacrifice. He came to redeem us from sin and death by taking on the wrath of God. He paid our price so that we can have His life. He died so that we could live. The nails that kept Him pinned to the cross were our sins, our insecurities, our fears, our this, whatever this got you thinking that you'll never change.

Jesus died for this and destroyed its hold on us. We are free.

We are subject to nothing but Him and His love, His mercy, His grace, His truth, His sovereignty.

This has nothing on us. If we are in Him then this has no power over us, no matter how this looks like.

Bonus: The woman with the issue of blood

It's been twelve years of blood rushing out of her. It's been twelve years of being an outcast, of people avoiding her, of being contagious. It's been twelve years of trying everything and I mean, everything. She's been to doctors. She tried all the home made remedies. All her money has been spent, investing in anything that can stop the flow. But nothing's worked and it's been twelve years. But in the middle of her despair, she hears the crowd rushing to the shore outside her village. And she hears that Jesus, the Jesus who heals, who saves and who frees, is coming here, to her neck of existence.

Like this woman, we know who Jesus is. We've heard what He can do.

And like us, this woman had to not only push through the crowd, but she also had to hurdle through twelve years of false hope, twelve years of doubt and twelve years of disappointment in order to get healed, delivered and freed from her this.

I don't care how long this has been with you, always remember that one touch, one second in His presence causes this to change.

So with this new year, be resolved to push through this because this lost its power to stop you.

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3:13-14