Spiritual

Vengeance

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Whenever we feel like we have been wronged, we have the propensity of wanting to get even. Our perception is somewhat twisted as we believe that the only way to feel good about what caused harm is to return the favor. Perhaps we may say it is our old Adamic nature or society’s culture that causes us to react this way. Whatever the reason we use to justify our actions does not negate that it is wrong. Instead of constantly repeating an eye for and eye behavior we should look to forgive.  I am in nowise saying that this is an easy thing to practice, but it is doable and will cause more joy than pain. Whenever we do not forgive we entrap ourselves behind the proverbial bars of steel. Yes, we may prevent ourselves from being hurt, but we also inhibit ourselves from experiencing pure joy.

As rewarding as vengeance may seem it will leave the soul void of untainted satisfaction. Remember hurting people hurt people as such we should view things through those lenses. Besides, if we retaliate on our own behalf, we robbed God of fighting our battles for us. Remember the word tells us that vengeance belongs to the Lord and He will repay. Allow God to fight on your behalf and to give you the ultimate victory.

Today examine the temperature of your spirit. Is it hot with angry and boiling over with vengeful thoughts? Is your spirit freezing cold so that you have become callous to individuals and situations? Do you need to defrost so that you can show emotions and be compassionate? Is your spirit temperature just right so that you can forgive those that has caused harm and repay good for evil? The Bible says that let a man examine himself to see if he is in the faith.

No matter what we have experienced and how hurtful it may have been it does not give us the right to do wrong and repay evil with evil. Instead, we should let go and let God fight for us. After all, there is not a victory like one that God gives.

Prayer: Lord help us to be able to turn the other cheek.  Break the stronghold of a vengeful spirit from operating in our lives. Strengthen us to rest in You. Empower us to apply the principle of Your word and forgive 70 x 7 in a day. Remind us that all things will work together for our good as long as we love You. Let us trust Your sovereignty. Amen. 

53/23/2017 Dr.R.A.

life, love, Spiritual, success

Dangerous Obsession

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Having desire and passion is a good thing as these are necessary to propel us to achieve success.  However, sometimes if we are not careful we can become obsessed with things, people and even places, which hampers us from seeing clearly and making good decisions. This is because all of our thoughts are consumed by that which we desire. This state of being if not checked will lead to our demise.

The Bible tells a story about a man named Amnon who was in love with his brother’s sister Tamar. This feeling of love soon developed into obsession as she was all he would think about.  He was so desperately obsessed that he became sick and it was evident that something was wrong.  His thoughts became skewed as he thought he would never be able to have Tamar. With the help of a “friend,” he devised a plan that would allow the king to send Tamar to his house to make food for him and feed him.  After she had made his meal, he sent his servants away and asked her to feed him. When she attempted to perform his request, he grabbed her and began forcing himself on her. She pleaded with him not to do this evil thing but instead advised him to ask the king for her as she was certain his request would be granted if that was what he desired. He would not give heed to her advice, however and raped her. His obsession would not allow him to hear the good reasoning. He was blinded by his dangerous obsession.

After he had done this evil, he hated her more than he loved her and had her thrown out of his house. Her brother saw her crying and hid her but hated Amnon because of what he did to his sister Tamar. Eventually, Tamar’s brother killed Amnon because of what he had done to his sister Tamar. Had Amnon not been so dangerously obsessed with Tamar he would not have been killed by Tamar’s brother.

What is it that has consumed your thoughts? Who is it that has consistently captivated your thoughts and heart? Have you become bitter because of situations that you have been through that has caused pain, humiliation, disgrace, etc.? What is the cause of you becoming dangerously obsessed?

Today ask God to turn the search light within your heart so that whatever has caused you to become obsessed can be addressed before it leads to your detriment.

Prayer: God today I ask You to help me to acknowledge the things, places or people that have consumed my thoughts. Empower me to release the pain of the past and accept healing for the present. That which has hampered my growth in You I ask You to strengthen me to walk away from it. Open my eyes that I may clearly see that the things of this world that I have been dangerously obsessed with are not worthy to be compared with the things of the Kingdom of God. Empower me to flee from the allurements of this world that will captivate my spirit and eventually cause me to die. I commit my thoughts into Your hands and ask that You help to think only on things that are just, honest, lovely and of a good report.  Help to think upon things that adds virtue to my life and give praise unto You. Amen.

5/17/17 Dr.R.A.

Spiritual

Comfortable being a Slave

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If the question was asked who would like to be a slave, I don’t think anyone would volunteer. Yet, knowingly and unknowingly we become slaves, to things, people, ideas, situations, etc. Additionally, sometimes we even become comfortable being a slave to these things. What?? Yes, sometimes we become comfortable with being a slave. Do not be alarmed you are not the only one, as all these things are common to all men/women.

The Bible tells the story of the children of Israel who for years lived as “princes” in the land of Egypt because of Joseph. However, Joseph died, and there rose up a Pharoh who did not know Joseph and thought that the children were only fit to be slaves in the land of Egypt. Initially, the children of Israel were comfortable being slaves. Even though the conditions that they were living in was not favorable, they were not in a hurry to get out of Egypt or to stop being a slave. Yes, they were crying out for deliverance, but they were still comfortable with being a slave. In fact, when liberation presented itself to them in the 390th year they were so content that they rejected it because it did not look like what they thought it should look.  This resulted in them spending another 30 years in Egypt and did not receive emancipation until the 430th year. Even after the children of Israel left Egypt they were so accustomed to being slaves that they kept disobeying and complaining all throughout their journey through the wilderness.  Physically they were free, but they were slaves in their minds and preferred to be slaves as they often expressed that they would much rather be in Egypt than traveling through the wilderness. They were content with being slaves.

We too like the children of Israel sometimes find ourselves in circumstances that have enslaved us. These conditions are often far less than favorable, but because of fear, we become captives. Some of us are trapped in dead-end jobs, and instead of stepping out we try to convince ourselves that there is nothing we can do to change our situations. We pretty much refuse to step out. Why because we are comfortable being slaves to our circumstances. As such, we find all kinds of reasons to justify why where we are is exactly where we will be forever. Some of us are in abusive relationships, addicted to drugs, alcohol, and pornography. Yet we will not make a step towards freedom as the cost to be free seems more than that of being a slave to our situations. Yes, we are crying out, but the action required for deliverance seems too much to take.

I can’t help but wonder, however, if we could come to a point where we are sick and tired of being slaves. A point where our desire to be free is more important than the cost of our comfort. Coming to a place where we realize where, who and what we are a slave to and saying enough is enough, it’s time to be free.

Prayer: God of the Heaven armies we ask that Your light will be shed in the deep recesses of our hearts. Show us where, who and what we have been slaves to and reveal to us the steps needed to take so that we can be free. Empower us with the ability to break free from that which enslaves us. Help us to walk out of our comfort zone so that we can step into the liberty that You have died for us to live in. Break away complacency and procrastination from us. Please place a spirit of urgency within so that we will do what it takes to live in the place that You have designed for us. Amen.

5/13/17 Dr.R.A.

Daily Post, Spiritual

Pursue

In hot pursuit of who You are

Seeking Your face and not just the blessings of Your hand

Acknowledging my need for so much more of You

Your character and nature

My eyes affix to You

My ears attuned to heaven’s frequency

Refusing to allow the world to distract me with its pleasurable woos

My desire is to daily be transformed

By the power, You have given to become

Therefore. I intensify my prayer life and the reading of Your word

While additionally, putting on the armor stipulated

So that I can stand no matter what I encounter

I desire more

So I will continue to fiercely pursue You

Until I awake in Your likeness

 

5/10/2017 Dr.R.A.

via Daily Prompt: Pursue

Spiritual

Temporary

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Not wanting to let go

Got me twisted

The habit of being in control

Got me distorted

Not being able to see clearly

That where I am is only temporary

The grind called life

Got me confused

Causing me to think this is permanent and all there will be

So I try effortlessly to fit into your mold

When we both know that a circle does not fit into a square hole

I got to thinking is it just me

But then I remember that the children of Israel also got caught up in the cycle of “permanency.”

Their goal was to make it through the wilderness in 40 days

However, they became bewildered and thought the wilderness was permanent

Resulting in them being there for 40 years

So I pray open my eyes Lord and let me see

That this situation I am in is not about me and more importantly, it is only temporary

 

5/9/2017 Dr.R.A.

via Daily Prompt: Temporary

Daily Post, Spiritual

Bitter

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Whenever we encounter hurt we feel like we have no choice but to react negatively. This, however, is a very jaded and twisted perspective as we all have the power of choice.  We can choose to be better and not become bitter over a hurtful experience.  I am not saying that it will be the easiest thing to do, but with a little effort, one can achieve what seems impossible at the sight of raw pain.

Bitterness occurs when we allow hurt to fester within our hearts. We meditate and regurgitate every detail of what caused pain.  This causes our heart to become sick and eventually our bodies as poison (hurt, anger, malice, envy, hatred, revenge, etc. ) is being pumped through our veins. So how does one know if they have become bitter? Well, I am glad you asked.  Below are a few indicators of a bitter person.

  1. Holding a Grudge: Forgiveness is not a priority for a person who is bitter. Bitter persons like to hold grudges and nurse the wounds that have been incurred. So if you find yourself nurturing hurtful experience, then chances are you are bitter. If you find yourself constantly talking about what has impacted you, then you are bitter.
  2. Always Negative: Bitter persons are unable to see anything in a positive light.  The glass is always empty for them. There is always things to complain about even when there is nothing to complain about. If you find yourself complaining always complaining chances are you are high on the bitter radar.
  3. Skewed Perspective: Bitter persons think that someone is always looking to hurt them. They are very suspicious of everything and have the attitude “me against the world.” If you think you have to defend yourself against the whole world, then you are bitter.
  4. Attention Seekers: Bitter persons love attention as such they will act out to get the attention they are seeking.  No matter how minor an incident may be, they will make a mountain out of a molehill.
  5. Being Jealous: Bitter persons are usually jealous of others and childish. They seem to think that others have what they want. They feel like they are more deserving of what another person has. If you find yourself constantly comparing yourself to others, then you are a bitter person.

So now that you are aware of some of the traits of a bitter person how can you overcome bitterness? Well, the answer is simple. After doing a soul search and acknowledging your location on the bitter radar, forgive. FORGIVE, FORGIVE, FORGIVE and then forgive some more.  Forgive and let things go. Forgive when it hurts until it hurts and let it go. In doing this, you would have freed the individual(s) that has caused harm and also free yourself. You will become a better person for having done this. Remember the Bantu proverb which says ” a bitter heart eats its owner.” Forgive! Let it go and release you from the prison of bitterness.

5/8/2017 Dr. R.A.

via Daily Prompt: Bitter

Daily Post, Spiritual

None

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Who is like the Lord?

Who is like God?

Who else but God can make crooked paths straight?

Who else but God can dry up rivers and seas?

Who else but God can mend a broken heart without surgery?

Who else but God is from everlasting to everlasting?

Who else but God can keep you alive in a burning furnace?

Who else but God can keep you alive in a den of hungry lions?

Who else but God can quench a thirsty soul?

Who else but God can give peace that passes all understanding?

Who else but God can set shrubs on fire, and the bush is not consumed by the flames?

Who else but God knows your every thought and sees your every tear?

Who else but God knows your uprising and downsitting?

Who else but God can satiate every desire?

I could go on and one but I say None

None to all of the above.

 

5/3/2017 Dr.R.A.

via Daily Prompt: None

Daily Post, Spiritual

Control

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Lord it is not easy not being in control, but today I come asking You to please take control

When I am weak, please take control

When emotions floods my senses, I ask You to take control

At times when I believe I have the handle on life – take control

I surrender my thoughts and ask You to take control

I present my heart to You and ask You to take control

I submit my will to run ahead of You and ask You to take control

When I can’t see clearly – take control

When my strength fails – take control

When it seems like all hope is lost – take control

When discouraged – take control

When I forget just how awesomely amazing You are – take control

Continue to be the Creator, Sovereign One, and Manufacturer of my entire being and take control.

5/3/2017 Dr.R.A.

via Daily Prompt: Control/

Daily Post, Spiritual

Apprentice

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Always a student never a master

Constantly learning this trade called life

With no guide book or recipe to follow

I boldly place one foot before the other

The scenic routes and adventures are indeed breathtaking

Exposure to various cultures is quite enlightening

Although sometimes I feel like I have attained

Situations occur which reminds me there is still changes to be made

An apprentice is what I will always be

As indispensable skills, I continue to pursue

Not focusing on wages received

So that with the dawn of a new day I can never be replaced

While all the while discovering life’s true meaning.

5/1/2017 Dr.R.A.

via Daily Prompt: Apprentice

Spiritual

Your Hair will Grow Again

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Life is filled with choices being served as a dish on a platter. This results in us constantly making decisions, whether right or wrong. These decisions sometimes have a way of sapping our strength, leaving us extremely vulnerable to the attack of the enemy. Unfortunately, sometimes our choices may even lead to our ultimate demise as they have ripple effects.

As we grow older, these decisions become harder to make as we become more aware of the consequences of our choices. However, the pressure to perform or to prove that we are grown can tip the scale to the left. Therefore, supplying us with a greater degree of influence for making wrong choices. As everyone wants to be their own superhero and advertise their independence.

This is not unique to our dispensation. As a matter of fact, it was quite prevalent in the days of old as depicted in the Bible with stories about the patriarchs. Some of these choices made by these patriarchs were good and showed great rewards. Whereas, some decisions were wrong and proved to be very costly.  Regardless, however, because of their desire to serve and please God, He had a way of working things out in their favor.

In the book of Judges, we learn of a man named Samson who although was chosen by God and dedicated to Him from birth seemed to be prone to doing only that which was wrong because of the lust of his eyes, lust of his flesh and the pride of life. He placed a downpayment on temporary pleasure with his future power which was extremely dangerous and costly. The consequences of his choice left him blind, head shaved and imprisoned by his enemies. This left him in a position of shame, ridicule, bondage, pain and loss.  From the perspective of his enemy, all hopes were lost for him. As a matter of fact, he may have believed for a moment that there was no hope left and this would be his destiny. However, somewhere in the pitch darkness his eyes and heart got fixed on God, and he began to pray.  The change of perspective and his spiritual disposition resulted in his hair starting to grow again. His strength was regained with every strand sprout until his strength was matchless.  He then was able to destroy his enemies, essentially taking back everything that the enemy had stolen from him.

Maybe like Samson, you feel despondent, and your life is filled with despair because of the decisions that you have made. Maybe like him, you are experiencing ridicule, shame, pain, broken heart, sickness, insecurity, drug addiction, promiscuity, loss (financially, emotionally, physically, etc.). Maybe you feel like all is lost and there is no reason to continue to live. However, I say to you that your hair can grow again. Regardless, of what you have done if you fix your eyes on God, your hair will begin to grow again. This is not the end although it seems like the end. How do I know this? Because things always work out in the end. The fact that your heart is beating is proof that there is still hope for tomorrow. Therefore, if it has not worked out it only means that it is not the end. God can make a way out of no way. He can turn every crooked path straight and every Red Sea into dry ground.

It does not matter how deep you have fallen. You could be beneath the deepest depth of the sea, God can still reach you if you are willing to be pulled up. It does not matter how sick you are. The only thing that matters is if you are willing to be made whole.  You may want to disqualify yourself because of the numerous times that you have fallen, but remember that a just man falls seven times but gets back up. All you need to do is be willing to get back up. God has a future plan for you that is filled with good and not evil to give you and expected end.

Prayer: God, please let Your light shine in the deep dark areas of our heart. Let failures, weakness, insecurities, hopelessness, etc. be exposed so that Your people can regain strength. Let our hair begin to grow again. Open the prison cells that we have locked ourselves in because of bad choices that we have made and set us free to fulfill our purpose which is to worship You. Clothe us in Your righteousness as we ask for Your forgiveness. Help our eyes to affixed to You from this day forward. Amen.

4.27.17 Dr. R.A.