Today is December 30, 2021. I just realized that I have not written one blog post in almost a year. In fact, a year tomorrow! My last blog post was "Uncover to Heal." I have absolutely no idea as to why I haven't blogged any. I guess because we were recovering (and still IS recovering) from 2020. However, that's no excuse. I truly do apologize to those who do read and enjoy my blog posts for not sharing anything this year.
2020. A year to remember, don't you agree? The "co-co" took the globe by storm and is still having a field day with all of its "varieties." But even in the midst of this "viral storm," God is still so good and faithful to us all.
2021 has been filled with many ups and downs. Praise God, I've had more ups than downs. I can honestly say that God has taken me to a new level of faith. My husband and I stepped out on faith and moved into a new apartment home in a new city we both enjoy. With wonderful amenities and a plethora of places to shop from within walking distance, God gave us just a glimpse of what our future looks like. This is truly a steppingstone to our greater.
I stepped out on faith and left a job after 10 years to pursue other ventures. Thank God for a supportive husband who prays with me and for me! There are some big things on the horizon in 2022, and all I can say is that God is faithful, and great is thy faithfulness!
I've learned the importance of a few things in 2021.
Be intentional with God. And be intentional without any motives or self-serving agendas. Be intentional because God loves you, so much so that He sent His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus, to die for your sins. And because He rose from the grave, this guarantees that we, too, will live again (John 3:16). Be intentional because we need God--we need His guidance through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in all truth. We need Holy Ghost power to stand against the wiles of the enemy. Can I get an amen?
If 2020 has taught us anything, it has taught us two things: We need God and we need to take care of our health!
So how does one become intentional with God? Along with reading the Word of God daily, set aside some alone time with God. You may have to sacrifice a couple of hours of sleep to do this. And God is deserving of that, and so much more. Play a worship instrumental and pray. Or simply sit still before Him. No music, no TV, no phone. Sit still with an opened Bible and notebook/journal and invite God to speak to your heart. Be open to what Holy Spirit has to say. I've received many instructions from God simply by being quiet before Him. I've learned that prayer is a dialogue. We have a tendency to do all the talking and give no room for God to share what He needs us to know. Discipline yourself to sit still and quiet enough to hear from God. We need God to be our compass as we navigate the waters of life. He won't let us drown. (Ask Peter. Matthew 14:28-31)
Stay in Thanksgiving. **sigh**
Just like praise, I believe that thanksgiving, too, is a weapon of warfare. We are commanded numerous times (especially in Psalms) to give thanks unto the Lord. Why? Because God is good and His mercy endureth forever (1 Chronicles 16:34, Psalm 107:1, 118:1, 29). I have disciplined myself to go into thanksgiving when flesh tells me to murmur and complain. This is a spiritual discipline that's strengthened over time as you make proper application. But I also believe the Bible writers also had the "inside track" on the beauty of giving thanks. Yes, God is good, but I believe giving thanks is a magnet that attracts God's attention (Just my own little personal belief. Don't get theological on me, lol). However, I believe this based upon my own experiences. Instead of focusing on the problem, I focus on the promises of God (Jeremiah 29:11-13, 33:3; Philippians 4:19). As my pastor, Ovella Davis, once stated (not verbatim):
The more I thanked God, the more He gave me to be thankful for.
Let me tell you: stepping out on faith will come with some challenges and adversities, but the question is: will you be able to stand? Listen. I've had my spiritual "temper tantrums," tears and frustrations (I'm sure God is nodding His head, right now, like, "Yuuuup!"). But God is a faithful Father, and He understands us. But it was a "growing up" moment for me. It also exposed an area where I was weak in. I asked God to mature me in that area so that when greater trials come (and they will as long as we are on this side of the dirt), I can stand strong, armored up with praise and thanksgiving.
2022 is literally around the corner. As we cross over, I encourage you to be intentional in pursuing a deeper relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and to give thanks in all things
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). If you do not know Jesus as Savior, I invite you to accept Him into your heart. Jesus loves you so much that He thought you were to die for. He paid the price so we wouldn't have to suffer eternal damnation (going to hell).
Say this prayer with me:
Father God, I know that I am a sinner in need of salvation and your forgiveness. I believe that Jesus Christ is your only begotten Son, sent to die for my sins and the sins of this world. I believe that Jesus died and rose again for me and he lives even now. Come into my heart, dear Lord.
Thank you for saving me, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Praying that this new year will be one of the best years for you and yours, in Jesus' name! As I tell my followers on my Instagram page (@theeoilyeditor),
"Stay prayed up and oiled up in Jesus' name!"