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Persuaded

Persuaded

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities nor powers, neither things present nor things to come, neither height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

-Romans 8:37-39

We need the hope and understanding now more than ever that God is for us and that He is with us and that He loves us. He is our hope, He is our our strength and He is our salvation in all things. In this eighth chapter of Romans Paul encourages us with many truths and in many cases he reminds us of what we already know to be true. (v.1-17)>He starts off by reminding us that there is now no more condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus and for those that are led by the Spirit of God, he confirms the fact that we are in fact sons of God. (v.18–30)>Paul goes on to remind us that what although what we may be experiencing in regard to suffering or sorrow isn’t easy, it still doesn’t compare to what we will one day experience, thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. He also assures us that the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses and that the Spirit searches our heart and know its depth. (v.31-36)>Paul then introduces a foundational piece of our faith by telling us that all things work together for our good. He then reveals the universal truth that if God is for us- who or what can be against us! Paul then concludes the chapter with the verses above: Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities nor powers, neither things present nor things to come, neither height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:37-39).

Paul tells us that we are more than conquerors through Christ and that he is persuaded that nothing can separate us from the love of God! The word persuade means: to convince by argument; an inward confidence that produces a change of mind by way of argument or analogy; to win over, persuade or prevail. Paul uses extreme conclusions to support the fact that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Take note of the extremes: (1) Neither life nor death- neither one! (2) Neither angels nor principalities nor powers- neither one! (3) Neither things present nor things to come- neither one! (4) Neither height nor depth- neither one! (5) Nor any created thing shall separate us from the love of God! Paul is persuaded and he wants you and I to be persuaded too. He wants us to know beyond a shadow of doubt that there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God! Nothing that is dead and nothing that is alive! Not an angel or a demon- nor a spiritual power to be or that is! Not anything that currently exists in the present moment, or anything that will ever exist in the future! Nothing that is high above us or anything that is deep below us! And, in case you have a doubt he reiterates by saying, “Nor any created thing!” Paul wants us to know that NOTHING can separate us from the love of God!      

3 Things to Remember About Being Persuaded: 

  1. When you are persuaded no one has to convince you.
  2. When you are persuaded you will desire to persuade others.
  3. When you are persuaded it will bring you joy, peace and hope.

Paul was persuaded by the personal evidence of his own experience and we can be persuaded by the evidence and proof of God’s love through Christ’s sacrifice for us.

Who Me?

Who, Me?

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:11

Have you ever felt like that, “Who, Me?” In Exodus chapter 3, God and Moses are having a dialogue and Moses is trying to convince God of why he couldn’t do what it was that God was asking him to do- the very thing that God was sure that he could do. In the process of dialogue with God, I don’t think that we give it much consideration, but I believe that we often try to persuade the “I Am”…  with, “Who, Me?” When in reality what God wants us to do and expects us to accomplish, has more to with Him, than it actually does with us! Nonetheless, I believe that we still play a vital part and a crucial role in God’s purposes being accomplished in the earth. And, I believe that how we view ourselves will in most cases determine the outcome of what is to follow and ultimately decides what will be accomplished. God puts His confidence in us and we must put our confidence in Him, but very little happens if we spend our time debating God’s decision to use us. Very little gets done while we debate God’s decisions. God has more faith and confidence in us, than we do in ourselves. And, that’s not always a bad thing, unless it hinders and delays the process of what God is trying to do in us and through us. We must remember that He made us and He created us for His creative purposes! And here’s the unbelievable truth: He knows us, He loves us, yet He chooses to empower us and He chooses to use us to accomplish His purpose.

Like Moses All of Us Are:

 

1. Doubtful- (feeling uncertain about something).

  • Most of us don’t doubt God, but we doubt ourselves and when we doubt ourselves, we are doubting what He created and the purpose He created us for.

Most of would say, I am not ___________ enough.

  • Our confession and God’s confession are usually not the same. Nonetheless, God doesn’t need for you to approve or disapprove of His decision every time He chooses to use you or anyone else for that matter. What God has spoken, He will bring to pass, but He chooses to use people to fulfill His plan. Your part is simple! You just have to come into agreement with what He is desiring to do, by being obedient, and by believing it and doing it.

Andy Stanley says, “We should be more worried about making a difference then we are about making a point.” *(what point are you trying to prove, especially to God?)

  • God is saying, “I Am” and Moses is saying, “but who am I?” Creation debating with the creator. The clay questioning the potter. And yet, you and I tend to do the same thing today. What would happen if we would be obedient and agree without debate, dialogue or disbelief. What if we just took God at His word and acted upon it.

 

2. Dysfunctional- (troubled, distressed or unsettled).

  • When God wants to use you, bless you or promote you, He will send a person, an impression or a word. When the enemy wants to deter you, distract you or discourage you, He will use a person, an impression or a spoken word. It’s our job to discern the encounter as being either a promotion or a distraction.
  • When God speaks the truth that He wants us to receive it, however, there is always an inner voice that will come against that truth. *(doubt, fear and unworthiness)
  • Moses doesn’t actually doubt God, He doubts himself. But, in doing so he is actually doubting the very thing God wants to use, himself- that’s right, Moses!
  • The voice of the inner enemy speaks in 1st person. The devil internalizes the argument so that we are saying whatever it is that we are saying, to ourselves. Things like:  (“I’m so ________.” “I will never _________.”) >(fill in the blank)
  • It’s not just the things in our past that comes up when we doubt ourselves. It’s also those things in the present that we have never gotten right or that we haven’t had the courage to deal with yet, these things also comes up in these times when we our doubting ourselves the most.
  • You need to hear God’s voice above all other voices. He knows you, He created you and He loves you! If you needed whatever “it” is to accomplish what it is you need to accomplish, then you would already have it! If you don’t have it, then you don’t need it to accomplish what it is that God is desiring for you to do. In reality- all that you truly need is Him! Believe Him! And trust Him! And see what happens. Insecurity is actually the ultimate insult to God, because He created you. When we debate our shortcomings with God, we are insulting His judgment. *(quit trying to convince God of what He already knows and believes).

 

3. Deficient- (lacking something that is needed).

  • We are all lacking something in some area.
  • We are never strong enough, decisive enough, patient enough, loving enough, good enough, strong enough or more than enough.
  • God is saying whatever you don’t have I will give you. He is saying that I will give you the words, the faith, the perseverance, the strength and the courage.
  • God wants you to believe in yourself and lean on Him all at the same time!

He said to Moses, “I made you.” *(when you doubt the product you insult the manufacturer)

God is saying, “I am.” (Moses is Saying I know you are, but “who am I?)

Moses says, “If I did do this, who do I tell them sent me? And God says, “I Am.” Moses says, “Who?” God says, “That’s my name, I Am!”

I Am- the God Who Was… I Am- the God Who Is… And I Am- the God Who Will Always Be!!!

(the God of your grandparents, the God of 2021 and the God of whatever the future may hold)It’s not who you are, but it’s who He is in you… He is I AM!

– I’m not very good and God says I know, but I am…

– We say I’m not______. But God says, I know, but I AM!

  • Moses said, “I’m not clever with words” but God said, “I know, but I Am!”
  • We say, “I’m not patient enough” but God says, “I know, but I Am!”
  • We say, “I’m not sufficient enough” but God says, “I know, but I Am!”
  • We say, “I’m not faithful enough” but God says, “I know, but I Am!”

We need to say, “I know that I am _____!” Not in a arrogant or egotistical way, but in the confidence of I know I am, because I know the I Am! And, I am! Because the I Am lives in me! *(I move and breath and have my being in Him, the great I Am!)

He made you. He knows you. He loves you! He is the great I Am and you can know that you are_________, because you know Him and He lives in you!

Being confident of this very thing, that He who begun a good work will complete it!

He is, I Am! And because He is – I am – I can! And I Will! And I am _______ enough!

The Least That You Can Do!

 

The Least That You Can Do

Just Because Someone Carries It Well – That Doesn’t Mean That It Isn’t Heavy.

I love this statement: “Just because someone carries it well – that doesn’t mean that it isn’t heavy.” In other words, some people just have the grace  to carry things well, even though the things that are carrying are often heavy and sometimes burdensome. But, just because they make it look easy- or, they don’t seemed to be burdened or bothered by it, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t actually burdened by it, or that it isn’t a heavy load for them to carry. On the other hand, I also believe that there are some people that can just handle way more, for whatever reason. I also know that there are people who are burdened or bothered by things that they don’t want to burden or bother anyone else with as well. Therefore, we need to pay close attention to those who have obstacles in their life and for those who have various things that are going on in their life that they have to juggle and keep up with. With that being said, be mindful, be supportive and offer help when you can. You can be kind, considerate and offer to help out, or at least lend a listening ear, even if you don’t fully understand the magnitude of what someone may be going through or may be experiencing at the time. Sometimes the least that you can do- is the most that you can do! You may not be able to fully relate or understand entirely someone’s pain or problem, but, you can be kind, and considerate of them in whatever they may be going through.

We all carry burdens and concerns that are specific and unique to only us. We also not only carry burdens that are specific only to us, we also share in similar scenarios of stressors that are both common and similar. Now, with that being said, I believe that we can only truly relate to one another experientially- to a certain extent. That’s because although we may have had or shared certain experiences, we all process, experience, feel things and express things in different ways. Therefore, I believe that we can only truly relate to one another to a certain extent, in the sense of feeling what the other person may be feeling or experiencing. Even if we have been through the same experiences or have had similar feelings- we still can’t have the exact same experience or the same mutual understanding. And, again that’s because we all process, experience, feel and express differently. In other words, if you have a troubled marriage, or a rebellious child or have lost a loved one or a pet. Even though I may have had the sane experience, I still can’t feel exactly what you are feeling, nor can I experience exactly what you may be experiencing.  However, with all of that being said, we can still be kind and considerate of one another.

When I was trying to tell a friend who had asked what we were doing now as a family, he couldn’t relate! And, he couldn’t believe it, nor could he understand! And, even if he did relate or he did understand, he couldn’t fully relate to what was taking place and that’s because he has no way of feeling exactly what we are feeling and he has no way of processing the events the exact same way that we do. However, he was concerned and he did sympathize and he was kind. Sometimes the least that you can do- is the most that you can do! When I use to travel and play gospel music we would have breakdowns. This would lead to being up all night and showering in a truck stop and getting a new mode of transportation to get us to the venue for the concert. And of course, we would tell the audience about our misfortune. But, they couldn’t fully relate. And that’s because most of them had never traveled on a bus and broken down. And, even if they had, we still all feel, think and process differently. Just recently we made a trip to the Smokey Mountains and on our route to our destination, there was a bad accident that had shut the interstate down. So, we had to reroute. Immediately I called the hotel in TN to notify them of our late arrival. The lady on the other end of the phone was kind, considerate and sympathetic, but you guessed it! She couldn’t feel exactly what we were feeling or experience exactly what we were experiencing. And, you guessed it! Even if she had experienced the exact same delay, we all feel, process and think differently.

So, some of you may be saying Rob, what are you saying!? What I’m saying is this: Sometimes the least that you can do is the most that you can do! And, sometimes the least that you can do is be kind and considerate of someone, even if you can’t relate or you don’t understand. And, I feel like I have reiterated the fact that even if we have been through the exact same experiences, or have had similar feelings in less than fortunate circumstances- we still can’t have the exact same experience or understand exactly what someone else may be experiencing or feeling. That’s because we all process, experience, feel and express things differently. Therefore, we can never truly feel or experience on the same level that someone else does. However, I do believe that we can be understanding, kind and considerate of one another regardless. Nonetheless, as I was processing these thoughts one day, the Lord reminded me of this scripture found in Romans 12:15:Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” This simple verse is the key! You see, that’s the least that you and I can do- we can rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. And, we can also lend a listening ear to those who need to be heard. Now more than ever, it is a time when we can give some grace and be considerate of everyone that we encounter. Regardless of what levels you can relate to someone on, or, how easy it is for you to navigate through the unfortunate scenarios of life that you may experiencing yourself, now more than ever, especially during these uncertain and unprecedented times, we can be considerate of one another in the process of doing life together…

And Here’s a Formula to Follow:

1. Be Kind.

2. Be Considerate.

3. Understand Before You Are Understood.

4. Be a Hand of Hope to the Hurting.

5. Rejoice with Those Who Rejoice.

6. Weep With Those Who Weep.

7. Listen to Those Who Need Someone to Listen to Them.

It’s the Least That You Can Do!

Forgive and Forget

In Philippians 3:12-14 Paul talks about forgetting the past and reaching forward to all Christ has laid hold of for him. When he says that he forgets those things that are behind, he doesn’t forget by accident, he forgets on purpose. If you are going to have true peace you will need to learn the art of “forgetting” on purpose.

Here are 3 things to remember in regard to forgetting things that don’t matter:

  • Forget on purpose.
  • Forget by replacing the thought.
  • Forget by not rehearsing it.

Jesus forgave so that would could forgive, forget and be forgiven. *(Luke 24)

  • “This day you will be with me in paradise.”
  • “Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing.”
  • “Into thy hands I commit my spirit!”

Forgiveness doesn’t minimize the fault of the offender, it brings freedom to the offended.

 

Jesus made this difficult, awkward, and private matter of forgiving a public matter to empower us.

 

It’s difficult to forgive when you can’t forget and it’s difficult to forget when you can’t forgive.

5 Reasons Why It’s Hard to Forgive: 

  1. You feel like you are letting the person off the hook or minimizing the fault.
  2. You want to rehearse the fault instead of releasing it while being empowered and healed.
  3. You want to talk about it; therefore you can’t forget about it and no one else can either.
  4. You verbalize it because you want others to know what you’ve experienced and how you feel.
  5. You want to get back at or at least allow the offender to feel what you have felt and are dealing with.

“Don’t take it on yourself to repay a wrong. Trust the Lord and He will make it right.” -Proverbs‬ ‭20:22‬ ‭GNT‬‬

“Confess forgiveness not the fault.”

“Release it don’t rehearse it.”

Romans 8:1 “There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ.”

*Christ was convicted and condemned by man. But, He was accepted by God. (He was convicted and condemned undeservingly. So we wouldn’t receive the condemnation we deserved. We are accepted by God through Christ). It’s hard to forget when you are feeling condemnation or conviction. Conviction has to be resolved. Condemnation has to be rebuked. The cross says there is now no Condemnation for those who belong to Christ

  • Conviction comes from God through the Holy Spirit
  • Condemnation comes from the devil, self, and other people.
  • Conviction corrects something that’s not right in your life.
  • Condemnation puts you down and makes you feel guilty, miserable and ashamed.
  • Conviction is from God’s love for you and His desire to help you be better.
  • Condemnation is from Satan’s hatred and his desire to make you miserable. 
  • Conviction is specific. 
  • Condemnation is general.
  • Conviction has a solution from it’s source.
  • Condemnation has no end from it’s source (It’s only end is found in Christ).

The cross empowers us to conquer our convictions and cast down our condemnations.

Sometimes you have to face it to fix it, but sometimes you have to release it to receive true peace.

Striving to Keep Peace

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.” II Thess. 3:16

“I’ve come that you might have peace; not as the world gives but that only I can give.” Jn. 14:27

“I will give peace to the one who’s mind is fixed on me.” Is. 26:3

“The peace of God will transcend all understanding and guard your hearts and minds.” Phil. 4:7

“Blessed are the Peace Makers for they will be called the children of God.” Matt. 5:9

How Do You Strive to Make Peace? 

Find a Way by figuring out what it takes to make it work!

 

1. Learn to celebrate instead of always being critical.

 

2. Learn to speak the right language. *(words matter and tone matters)

 

3. Don’t complain about what you allow and don’t tolerate what you could confront.

 

4. Don’t excuse what should be expressed. *(Say it, if it needs said, but say it in love!)

 

5. Destroy assumptions, perceptions and feelings by having those tough conversations.

 

6. Learn to concede and to compromise (What’s best may not be what I think, feel or want).

 

7. Learn to “give and take” and Learn to “let it go!” (If it’s always about you, you will never have true peace)

 

8. It’s not about winning; it’s about working it out! (If you have to win every argument and conquer every battle you will never have real peace)

 

9. Don’t keep things stirred up that need to die down.

 

10. Don’t walk away from what you  you were meant to walk through. (you won’t have peace if you choose to live in regret)

 

11. Seek first to understand- before being understood.

 

12. Deal with what needs to be dealt with and let go of what you can’t change.

 

Peace is an atmosphere that is produced by proper patterns that embodies a Spirit-Led – Christ-Centered life.

To be a peace-maker means that you produce peace in situations, circumstances and in the lives of others by giving what you have received from God first.

Sometimes you have to face it to fix it, but sometimes you have to release it to receive true peace.

Face It!

“The Comfort of Peace”

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.” II Thess. 3:16

“I’ve come that you might have peace; not as the world gives but that only I can give.” Jn. 14:27

“I will give peace to the one who’s mind is fixed on me.” Is. 26:3

“The peace of God will transcend all understanding and guard your hearts and minds.” Phil. 4:7

“Blessed are the Peace Makers for they will be called the children of God.” Matt. 5:9

They say that a human’s greatest desire is to have and obtain peace. And, most psychologist would tell us that mankind’s desire to have peace falls into one or more of these categories: (1) Peace with God. (2) Peace with one’s self. (3) And Peace with others. Over the next five weeks I want to share you practicalities on how to make and obtain peace in these three categories. Week 1 will be: Face It! You can’t fix what you won’t face. Week 2 will be: Fix It! Fix what needs to be fixed, but keep the main thing the main thing and don’t get distracted with what doesn’t matter. Week 3 will be: Forfeit It! Sometimes you have to forfeit your feelings! If you don’t forfeit what you feel and deal with reality, you will end up frustrated and fatigued in your pursuit for peace. Week 4 will be: Find It! Sometimes you have to find a way to make it work, so that you can work it out. Week 5 will be: Forget It! It is one thing to forgive, but  sometimes you need to forget about it in order to have peace!

> Let’s look at week 1:

How Do You Strive to Make Peace?

You can’t fix what you won’t face.

12 Ways to Face It!

  1. Ask God for wisdom and a way.
  2. Make the first move if no one is else is moving and you feel impressed to move.
  3. Don’t wait on someone else to make the first move; especially if you are the one in the wrong.
  4. Don’t accuse or excuse.
  5. Don’t build hateful or hurtful opinions when you don’t know all the facts.
  6. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
  7. Know that sometimes the only thing you can do is keep the peace; but don’t let it steal your joy or peace in the process.
  8. Realize making peace is not contingent upon you alone.
  9. Focus on the person more than the problem.
  10. Focus on reconciliation more than being right.
  11. Stop talking and start listening.
  12. Quit confessing what needs to be forgotten.

Peace is an atmosphere that is produced by proper patterns that embodies a Spirit-Led and Christ-Centered life.

To be a peace-maker means that you produce peace in situations, circumstances and in the lives of others by giving what you have received from God first.

Sometimes you have to face it to fix it, but sometimes you have to release it to receive true peace.

Weekly Word [6.23.21] Do It Without Complaining!

“Shining Lights”

Philippians 2:14-15: Do all things without murmuring and disputing, that you may be blameless and harmless, sons of God, without fault, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine as lights in the world.

I read this scripture a couple of Sundays ago as I was waiting for for church to start. I’ve read it many times and have also seen verse fourteen used many times in various applications. It is a challenging verse! I’ve  often said that I could spend the rest of my life working on just one truth or principal from God’s Word and this could be one of those principals. Do ALL THINGS without murmuring or disputing. Wow! You mean all things? Even those things that I don’t like? Even those things that aren’t fair? Really? Then to top it off, Paul goes on to say that if we do this, we will be blameless and harmless, sons of God without fault. He even finishes the verse off by saying that we would be like shining lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation. In other words, if we do things without complaining and disputing we will be  lights in dark and perverse places.

Paul uses words in the passage that are intriguing. The original text uses the word complain instead of murmur, but when you look the word up it is defined as murmuring. It’s definition is: murmuring; grudging. A secret debate. A secret displeasure not openly acknowledged or declared. In other words, Paul is saying don’t complain quietly or under your breath. This word to me means complaining silently to one’s self in a negative or derogatory manner or expression. Compliant, frustration and disgust being expressed under your breath for what you are having to do. The next word is disputing and it is similar because it refers to reasoning, but reasoning- within one’s self. In the definition it actually says: imagine a man having a debate with himself while questioning what is truth. So, these words don’t necessarily even include someone else. It just means you and I murmuring and arguing within our own being about the truth of whatever it is that we may be doing. But, Paul says, “DO ALL things  without complaining or disputing!”  I could spend the rest of my life working on this one principal of truth, how about you?

9 Ways To Show Love and Be A Shining Light in a Dark Place:

1. Listen without interrupting.

2. Speak without accusing.

3. Give without expecting.

4. Pray without ceasing.

5. Answer without arguing.

6. Share without griping.

7. Enjoy without complaining.

8. Forgive without punishing.

9. Disagree without disrespecting.

– Bishop Tony Miller

 

Weekly Word [6.16.21] The Fight of Faith

“The Fight of Faith”

Proverbs 3:5-6: God doesn’t desire for us to understand everything He desires that we trust Him.

• Trust is Faith.
• @robalancollins: “Fear and feelings can be fatal to faith.”
• @keithcraft: “Faith is believing God’s way is best.”

Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7 that he had fought the good fight of faith and because of that there was a crown of righteousness awaiting him in heaven. Heaven is the ultimate reward for those who have kept the faith and have believed. Faith is a fight worth fighting and it has great rewards. The greatest battle in regard to faith is trusting God in spite of what you may see or feel in this present moment. Fear and pride are unwanted companions that attack trust. Fear causes us to lag behind and pride causes us to run ahead. I believe that God wants us to trust Him and to keep the faith by keeping in step with Him, not lagging behind or moving ahead. You must have faith that God is with you and that He is fighting for you!

Joshua 10 tells us how Joshua defeated the enemy armies because God was with him. It also tells how he prayed and the sun stood still, as well as the moon. But, there were 5 kings who ran and and hid in a cave. (vs. 16-27) Those kings were: 1. King of Jerusalem 2. King of Hebron 3. King of Jamath 4. King of Lacish 5. King of Eglon. Kings rule – but these kings hid. These 5 kings represent what tries to rule from a hidden state, instead of from a public authority or dominion. They were hiding out waiting to  defeat Joshua at just the right time. When Joshua had the kings brought out of the cave he had his soldiers put their foot on the neck of each king. Sometimes you have to take authority over what is trying to take authority over you. There were 5 kings who had dominion, but instead they hid in a cave. We do the same things at times. We allow those things that are hidden, rule us.

We have 5 senses and those senses can control us at times if we let them. They hide out in the caverns and caves of our soul waiting for just the right time to defeat us. Our 5 senses are used to help us determine what is going on in our world. God gave us our senses for a reason, but when we are controlled by our senses rather than our faith in God – they will rule us, and ultimately defeat us. Just like the 5 kings in the cave! Kings rule. And we must decide whether we are going to be ruled by the 5 kings of our senses or by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords of our life and faith! The five kings are our flesh, not our faith, they are our senses, not our Savoir. These kings can be what we: 1)See. 2)Hear. 3) Smell. 4) Taste. 5) Touch. You can’t always trust your feelings!  You can’t always trust your senses! But, you can trust God and you can put your faith in Him, because He is faithful

1. Are you controlled by what you Smell? (something smells funny)
God’s desire is that when you go through something you don’t come out smelling like it: The 3 Hebrew Children in Daniel 3- “didn’t even smell like smoke.” They were thrown in the fire bound, but what bound them was burnt up. They came through the fire better – not bitter! If we are going to come through fires and trails of life and not smell like it, we are going to have not allow how we feel dictate how we respond. Nonetheless, here’s the good news: God steps into the areas of our life that stinks, even if you feel like it’s too late. In Luke 11 Mary and Martha said, “It’s too late our brother Lazarus stinketh!” But, Jesus called him forth and he lived! You may need to put your foot on the neck of something that doesn’t quite smell right, something that stinks and declare in faith: “This situation may stink, but that doesn’t stop God and with Him all things are possible and it is never too late!

2. Are you controlled by what you Touch (Feel)? (Feelings…)
God desires for you to be moved by Him not just what you feel. “Don’t be so touchy”- refers to the fallacy of your feelings that sometimes misunderstand and reacts in an impulsive way to situations. In Genesis 27 Jacob went to his father pretending to be Esau. His father said, “Come here so I can touch you.” Then he said, “You sound like Jacob, but you feel like Esau.” Isaac trusted what he had felt, over what he had heard. Romans 10:27 says, “Faith comes by hearing.” You may have to put your foot on the neck of how you feel and declare: “It’s not all about how I feel, it’s about what I know and I know whom I’ve believed in and I’m persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him until that day!”

3. Are you controlled by what you See? (seeing is believing)
God wants you to see His face above what you are faced with. Sight can be a powerful king that controls you through your senses. However, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. In Genesis37 Jacob was old when his sons brought him the coat they he had made for Joseph. It had been stripped from Joseph when they threw him in the pit. It was torn apart and splattered with blood. This shows it is possible to put faith in a lie. Jacob believed Joseph was dead when in fact he was very much alive and in a position to bless his family in their time of need.  Jacob lived all those years in grief because he believed a lie. What are you believing? In 2Kings 6, Elisha prayed and asked for their eyes of his servant to be opened so that he could see the host of angel armies that were surrounding them – the angels surrounding them were more than the enemies that they were facing.  You may need to to put your foot on the neck of what you see and declare: “God, above everything I see – help me to see you, first and foremost!”

4. Are you controlled by what you Hear? (I heard that.)
God wants you to hear His voice above the voice of everything else. The scripture tells us to: “Be still and know that I am God.” Elisha heard the sound of rain in the midst of famine. There are many voices that need silenced: 1. The voice of self. 2. The voice of others. 3. The voice of the devil. 4. The voice of doubt. and 5. The voice of fear. You may need to put your foot on the neck of what you hear and declare: “God help me to hear you above all of the other voices and noises that are keeping me from hearing you!”

5. What do you Taste? (taste and see that the Lord is good)
Don’t allow life to leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Don’t allow life to make you cynical and bitter. You may need to put your foot on the neck of what you taste and declare: “God is good all the time. And, all though I have reason to be disappointed, I refuse to allow life to leave me stale, sour or bitter. That’s because I have tasted of the Lord and He is good!”

The problem with our senses is sometimes we can’t trust them. In life we are not meant to understand everything, but it is God’s desire that we trust Him in spite of what we: 1. Smell. 2. Touch. 3. See. 4. Hear and 5. Taste. Trust is faith! Our senses will try to rule us and rob us of our faith. They hide out in the caverns and caves of our souls and wait for the opportune time to defeat us. Nonetheless, we are victorious as we put our faith in God and declare and believe that His way is best. Don’t lag behind in fear or step ahead in pride. Just trust God and stay in faith. You can trust Him, because He is faithful!