Conviction, Growth/Maturity, Righteousness, Sin

Confrontations

Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.  Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’ (2 Samuel 12:7-10 NIV)

You cannot run from God.  You cannot convince Him that your sin is justifiable or escape punishment for the sin you have committed, especially if you have any sin in your life you have not confessed.  The Bible says that David was a man after God’s own heart.  However, David was blinded by the sin in his life and had to be confronted on it.  We can live with a sin so long that it does not even become recognizable as sin.

For some reason, over the past few months my fire for God began to dwindle.  My church attendance fell off, my reading diminished, and I would fall asleep during prayers.  I am ashamed to admit all of this, but I would be more ashamed if I was dishonest with where I was and what God had to do to get my attention.  You see, God loves you and me so much that He will not allow us to wallow in sin and our poor choices without first sending us warning signs.  My first sign came from an email I received from a member of the EmpowerMoments team.  This sweet lady said she had a Word from God, but was hesitant to tell me exactly what He had told her.  I already knew I was in trouble because this lady and I had never met or talked before.  She gave me a call and began to tell me that God was not pleased with how I was living and how my relationship with Him was suffering.  I had “lost” Jesus. Now this absolutely scared me; I didn’t realize how far from Him I had gotten.  But I thank Him for people who are not afraid to confront (in love) those who are perishing or spiritually slumbering.

“Son of man, say to the house of Israel,” This is what you are saying: “Our offenses and sins weigh us down and we are wasting away because of them.  How then can we live?” (Ezekiel 33:10 NIV)

I was at a weak point because I had not immersed myself in God’s Word and just like Eve, when the serpent tempted her in the Garden of Eden, I began to question the fairness of the laws God had set in place.  Whenever we find ourselves far from the Shepherd, we leave ourselves open for Satan’s attacks.  It starts with a simple question: “Are you sure it is that bad?”  Then it might turn into you comparing your sin to someone else’s sin.  Do not be fooled!   ALL sin is equal in God’s eyes and ALL sin will cause separation.  Once we begin to entertain the questions of the enemy our sure footing on the Rock begins to slip.  It is my hope today that this EmpowerMoment is another woman’s wakeup call before it is too late.  I would like to leave you with a quote from my friend that confronted me out of love.  “Nothing can separate you from the love of God, but that same nothing can steal your anointing.”

Dear Daddy,

Thank You for Your loving patience and grace.  Without it, who could stand?  Help me to rid myself of any besetting or unrecognizable sin.  Reveal to me any grudge I may have against another so there can be no hindrances between You and me.  Send Your Holy Spirit to lead and guide me and place a hedge of protection around me so I can withstand the temptations of the enemy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Lovely Ladies, I EMPOWER you to break strongholds in your life.  If there is anything you are dealing with that is not of God, please let it go!

Has God sent you a warning before? Did you take heed? Share your story with us below.

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Ms. Renee` N. Chaffin is a single mother who has a heart for helping those less fortunate.  She has been active in the non-profit sector, whether through volunteerism or professionally, for the past six years.  She is passionate about sharing the love of God, her testimony and empowering people to discover their true potential that was bestowed on them by King of the Universe.  Renee` is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration.  While on her pursuit of higher education, she is also on a seven-year journey to challenge God to do ‘exceedingly and abundantly above all she can imagine’ in seven areas over the next seven years.  Check out her journey at http://radical7even.wordpress.com. Her favorite scripture is I Peter 5:6. “Humble yourselves therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.”

Finances, Gratefulness, Health/Sickness, Inspirational, Praise/Worship, Stress, Trials

Get Up and Dance!

Let’s face it. The holiday season is supposed to be jolly, hopeful, fun, and filled with moments of joy with friends and family. But the reality is that along with this intention, the truths of this year’s events often settle here. You all of a sudden realize you are cuddling up by your fireplace without a companion or you miss your loved one dearly who passed away earlier this year or even 7 years ago. As January approaches, you realize the goals you set forth are nowhere near being completed, or started in some cases. Quite frankly, you just feel overwhelmed with the financial pressures of trying to decide to purchase gifts or tithe, or to skip your car payment to try and visit your family members.

I’m reminded through various instances in the Bible where situations seemed quite grim, but these biblical role models chose to make the best out of their situations. Let’s first look at Ruth. The interesting thing about this story is it begins when Ruth is mourning the death of her husband. But throughout her misery she made a life changing decision. She told her mother in law, “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16 NIV) They settled into a new country, just at the beginning of the harvest season. Now what’s interesting here is that just when Ruth was faced with the death of her husband and painfully close to being sent away by the only woman that cared for her, she pressed through, dusted herself off and entered into a new land…just when the harvest was beginning, and she didn’t even know it. The story goes on to mention how she was blessed from the remnants of the harvest and met a husband. What if she decided to call it quits in the midst of her pity party? She wouldn’t have experienced the harvest.

Let’s look at the woman with the issue of blood. “A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.” (Mark 5:24-29 NIV) Now I don’t know about you, but twelve years of bleeding could definitely weigh on my faith and my strength to be the least bit optimistic about being healed. But she made a decision. She thought if she could just touch the hem of His cloak, she would be healed. She got up, traveled, fought the crowds and made it to Jesus. “He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” (Mark 5:34 NIV) Now, what if she decided to call it quits in the midst of her pity party? She wouldn’t have experienced her healing.

So what do you do now? What do you do when you have decided to keep going for Jesus, even in the midst of sorrow and pain? You praise!! I am reminded of David and the Ark of God. I am so blessed by this story because David praised so hard that his wife started hating on him. “As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart.” (2 Samuel 6:16 NIV)  But David knew that God was in control of his life, his blessings, and his future. He praised, not when the Ark got there, but when the ark was on its way. David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the LORD’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the LORD.  I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.” (2 Samuel 6:21-22 NIV)

I want to encourage you to praise on your way to your harvest and on your way to your healing. You may get hated on, but I dare you to be bold and do like David, Get up and DANCE!!

Dear Daddy,

For every woman reading this EmpowerMoment, I pray that You empower them through this holiday season and remind us that this is the season to celebrate the goodness of life You have blessed us with. Help us to find joy in giving and strength in enjoying the smiles and love of those around us. Help us not to focus on the things we don’t have, but the abundance You have already given us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

Ladies, I EMPOWER you today to get up and dance! Dance out of your misery, your pain, your anguish, your loneliness, and insecurities. John 8:36 NIV reminds us, “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” You are free from these things that bind you. Dance and let the liberation of God carry you through!

As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic three-year old daughter. They attend St. Luke Christian ChurchCheck out Khalilah’s Christian weight loss blog here.

Contentment, Gratefulness, Inspirational, Praise/Worship

Praise The Lord Anyhow!

“Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.” Psalm 150:6 NIV

Have you ever been faced with a negative situation or dealt with a person that has the ability to quench your praise? I declare that while you read this message, you immediately receive a breakthrough of boldness to Praise the Lord Anyhow!

Take a good look at this picture. I passed this bed of flowers one day walking around campus. The first thing I noticed was that the flowers were reaching towards the sky. I began to ignite a praise on the inside; I was full of joy and enlightenment. Even the flowers praise God in their beauty, through His glory. As I stood there, looking pretty odd taking pictures of a flowerbed with my cell phone, I noticed the dead flower attached to the two live ones. This spoke volumes to me. Although the two flowers were connected to the dead flowers, they did not allow that to stop their growth, nor their praise. Sometimes we find ourselves connected to people or dead situations where we have to, with all of our might, continue to Praise the Lord Anyhow. Sometimes we are connected to family members, spouses, or even children with dead attitudes, but I encourage you to Praise the Lord Anyhow!

Keep looking at the picture. Look at the flowers to the distant top right. Those flowers are on a mission. Not only are they declaring to PRAISE THE LORD ANYHOW, they have relieved their connection to the dead flower and changed directions. “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV). The flowers at the top right are not even going in the same direction. Do you need to switch directions to pull away from your crowd to be able to praise the Lord freely, without inhibition?

I’m reminded of the story of David when he danced so hard, he made an outward fool of himself in the eyes of some. The Ark of God was headed to the City of David. This was considered a major reason to praise. (Get this, the ark hadn’t even reached the City of David yet, and David was already praising out of control. This is for another post, but I encourage you to PRAISE HIM even while in PROGRESS.)  Back to the story, David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, “While he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets.  As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart.” (2 Samuel 6:15-16 NIV)

Michal was David’s wife.  When she saw David praising so hard as to being described as dancing out of his clothes she referred to him as undignified.  “When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”  (2 Samuel 6: 20 NIV). She basically told David that due to the type of praise he displayed, he was being tactless and disrespectful as a king. David replied, “It was before the LORD, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the LORD’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the LORD. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.” (2 Samuel 6: 21-22 NIV). David was saying, I will Praise Him Anyhow, even if I look like a fool to you. And not only that, “I may become more undignified than this.”

Dear Daddy,

Help me to continue to reach to You in boldness. Teach me how to praise You while I’m in the pit, the pause, or in progress. Help me to not be restrained when I praise, help me to remember that David praised You even when his wife thought He was being undignified, but for You, it is all worth it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

I EMPOWER you to PRAISE HIM ANYHOW. You may feel unforgiven, sinful, lost, or even unworthy. But David reminds us, to praise Him ANYHOW. Now get up and praise Him! Just as the Ark was “on its way” to the City of David, your breakthrough is on its way! So praise Him in expectancy, just as David did.

As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is College Biology Instructor. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Ed and Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV) She teaches Young Adult Bible Study and Sunday School and also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment.  Khalilah resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their energetic three-year old daughter. They attend St. Luke Christian Church.