The last couple years of Dia's life have been nothing short of a testimony of God's work, grace, and love in the midst of trial and tribulation. Knowing Dia, when I listen to her newest single Breakthrough, it hits different for me. This is music you feel. Dia is joined on this joint by Mike Teezy. The way Mike and Dia's voices work together is nothing short of magical. Don't believe me? Give a listen yourself below (if you haven't already), and just wait until you get to the third verse when they bring the heat lyrically, and harmonically. It is absolutely fantastic, and a part that I listen to on repeat.
Lyrically, Breakthrough is a refreshing message about trusting God's plan in the midst of the chaos and weight of life. My favorite line in the chorus "Even if it don't look like what I want it to, I know you'll send a breakthrough." To me this line screams that God's good and perfect will in our lives is what matters way more than how we think God should move. This is a profound set of lyrics draped in a beautiful melody.
Breakthrough reminds me of a modern day Psalm. Dia and Mike are crying out to God who is the author and perfecter of their faith. In 1 Peter 5:7 it reads; "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." This verse echoes what Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is comfortable, and My burden is light.” Dia and Mike do a wonderful job of being open and transparent as they musically lay their worries, cares, and burdens at the feet of Jesus, while trust Him with their lives. We need more of this. Again, Breakthrough is music you feel.
Are you following Dia on Instagram? You should be :) Click Here. You can also check out other songs by Dia on Spotify.
If I may start by being transparent. God has used both marriage, and having children, to draw out just how selfish I am. I mean, I knew I was a sinner in desperate need of God’s grace but wow, could I really be that selfish? The answer sadly is a resounding “yes!” Having a spouse and kids changes everything, and it tends to expose everything. Our natural tendency is that when things are exposed we beat ourselves up. There were many nights I went to bed thinking I was a bad husband or a bad parent for letting my selfishness drive my decision making. If you're like me, this sort of beating yourself up doesn’t lead to change, it just makes everything worse. The reality is, I should not let my selfishness drive my decisions, the other reality is, I’m not perfect, I am a work in progress. When it comes to reviving our family life, it first starts with submitting ourselves to Jesus. This sounds over simplified but we all know it’s not as simple as it sounds. Philippians 2:3-5 states; “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” When it comes to reviving our families, we must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. We must surrender our lives to Him first, and regard the interests of our spouse and kids as more important than our own.
I am a husband so I want to speak to the husbands that are reading this though it can easily be applied to wives. A.W. Tozer stated; “I believe spiritual ministry flows out of a heart that has been in the presence of God. When we come into His presence, we begin to take on a ministry that can come from nowhere else.” How intentional are you when it comes to being in the presence of God? Do you make quiet time with the Lord and reading His word a priority? Do you make sure that you regularly attend church with your family, and do life with other believers as a family? Do we make time for family Bible reading or devotional? I don’t share this to brag, I simply share it because it is what I need to do. I learned early on in parenthood, that if I want to have any quiet time with God, I need to get up before everyone else, so I do. It’s obvious to me when I don’t get this time. When I choose sleep over reading and praying, I feel it. We must be filled up in order to pour out. If we want revival in our families, it starts with us. Our families are our first ministry. We are to disciple our family, and we can only do that if we ourselves are submitted to Jesus, having spent time in the presence of God, and are being discipled.
When I find myself making my walk with Jesus a priority, I also find my selfishness lessens. I am more attentive to my family's needs, and I no longer see them as an inconvenience getting in the way of what I want to do (which could be simply sitting down after a long day). We are all in desperate need of Jesus and our family needs to see us fighting the good fight, surrendering to Jesus, and pouring out our lives for them. I have not arrived, I am still very much learning and growing. Instead of beating myself up when God uses my wife and kids to expose an issue I have, I rejoice and thank God that He loves me enough to show me. We all fall short, yet God is rich in mercy, and He is good to show us in His word what needs to go so that we may correct it. Instead of beating yourself up, recognize your need for Jesus and make spending time with Him a priority, even if it means you need to get up early. May we see revival in our own lives, and may that revival bleed into our families, remembering it is only by the grace of God we go.
Beach photo credit: Nick Giammarco – Instagram @capecodgio
Article by Simply Kerri
Do you ever see a picture that just captivates you? This picture did it for me. I stared at this picture for so long when I first saw it. Then I went back and looked at it a few more times. I kept seeing this picture in my head. The simple, raw beauty of an amazing sunset. The way this photographer captures the sun just before it disappears behind the clouds and retreats for the night. The clouds in their own shapes and colors, perfectly imperfect. The way he captures the ripples in the sand from the ocean having pushed back and forth with the changing of tides and currents. The reflection of the sun and the clouds, how the water mirrors them so beautifully. The colors of every corner of this picture, like on a canvas, mixed so wonderfully by the artist. Every aspect of this picture captures nature’s splendor.
But even in all it’s perfection, that’s not what I noticed at first glance. It’s not what kept me going back to look at it a few more times either. It was the 𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙡𝙡𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙨 That I saw. Everything seems frozen, like time and the weather, the sun in its setting, the clouds, the water, even the birds, like everything just stopped for this moment. Sure we can say the photographer pressed the button at the perfect time. But he can’t make the waters still. He can’t still the birds or the clouds or the sun.
I felt God stirring something in my soul with this picture. I contacted the friend who took this and asked if I could use it for a post because I knew it gave a perfect visual to the words my heart needed to speak. But as I began writing my original post, something happened… Everyone in my home became sick with you know what. The extreme fatigue I have felt over the last, now 10 days, has been not just physical exhaustion, but so mental too. Quite honestly this post has been driving me nuts. I knew the words I wanted to say but they weren’t coming out. Mixed with being sick, I had zero desire to pick up my phone and even type it out.
As I sat in bed battling fatigue, discouragement, little flickers of guilt for not being able to even have energy to write this post, or work on the projects I have started, clean the house, cook dinner.. All of the things I should be doing. Even sick, I have always had the grit to push through and get it done. But not this time. So I sat there, feeling hopeless, not even having enough energy to have my own pity party. But one thing was for sure, this post bothered me. All the words I had wanted to share were just gone. Erased by sniffles and kids with fevers and headaches, repeat days of doctors calling and checking in, friends and family checking in, cat naps through out the days. Little ripples of life just happening around me, the tides and currents changing and there was nothing I could do to stop them.
One day, I opened up my Bible app, determined to at the very least stay connected to God, even if I could do nothing else. The scripture that was on the screen was the very scripture that this post was going to be centered around. It was my scripture. The very same scripture that long ago God gave me as a life line that has come to be so precious to me. Some day I’ll share that story, but for now, I will tell you, this scripture He spoke to my heart in a very dark time in my life. A time where anxiety and fear and feelings of pain were so deep, where everything in my world seemed so very out of control, I was spinning like a top that wouldn’t stop. And ever since those words hit, God has shown me hope with this one scripture over and over and over again through the years. Not just hope, but reminders of faith, and of His power.
So when I saw this scripture again, no my life isn’t in quite the same whirlwind it was that day so long ago, but the last 10 days it has been on pause, by something I cannot control. And so, this scripture, once again reminded me of His promise. Of His love. He was once again reminding me that I am not in control. That I cannot do all the things.
I looked at this picture again, and most of the words I had wanted to speak came flooding back. The main points at least. It was that 𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙡𝙡𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙨 in that photo that captured my heart. It reminds me that every time life’s ebb and flow of changing tides comes to leave little ripples in our world, we have to learn to be still. We have to learn that just like this photographer didn’t create this beauty, but only captured it. We too can capture the beauty in all areas of our life. Even the hard ones. Being sick and feeling betrayed by my own body has forced me to slow down to a complete stop. A pause. A stillness. A resting place. To know that, we are not in control of these things, but we have to surrender knowing that God is in control. When I reflect on the things I see as important like, cleaning, cooking nice meals, growing my little business…. All the things we often think are so important.. God is reminding me, just where on the kingdom scale are they important?
Sometimes we need to hit the pause button. We need to embrace the stillness that God allows and remember that even when we stop, He never does. We may not be working or growing, or creating, or even functioning at any capacity that seems right by our own measure, but maybe, maybe being still is the lesson we need to learn. Maybe being still just like in that photo, in all its perfection and beauty, is a beautiful part in our journey too. The endless snuggles with the kids, the restful state that your body needs to recover. The quiet intimate moments with God. These are the ripples that matter.
The ripples on that sand look beautiful in that photo, but they were formed by the rough oceans ebb and flow of changing tides. The currents that are constantly pushing and pulling. The sun in its beautiful setting, offers a picture of hope. Darkness comes, but so doesn’t light.
Friends, if you find yourself in a place of stillness, embrace it. Remember who is in control, surrender the emotions, the fighting and striving for strength and just 𝙗𝙚 𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙃𝙚 𝙞𝙨 𝙂𝙤𝙙.
“”Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!””
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Article by Simply Kerri
Sometimes we need to slow down, take a few deep breaths, and refocus. As a single Momma, I find myself constantly striving to just maintain even the most basics. Always pouring out all I have for everyone around me. Being a mom is my job and I fully understand sacrifice and being tired. Running on empty just comes with the territory.. But does it need to? I mean, how can I possibly pour out if I have nothing left to pour? It eventually causes me to lose my focus in every area! I’m stretched so thin, giving only half the effort here and half effort there… If we only watered a plant half way, or fed it half way, it may continue to grow some, but it certainly wouldn’t be thriving.
I’m a giver. I love to give. Whether it’s gifts or time or whatever I can possibly give, I want to give it. It’s how I operate. It’s how I show love. Sometimes; however, I come to this crossroad where I literally have nothing left to give. I am so burnt out, so depleted of everything I need to keep thriving. Then follows a spiral of emotions and feeling like a bad mom, bad daughter, bad friend, etc.. But honestly, I’m just empty. Anyone else?
I get so tired. Especially as a single mom, my burdens of parenting are doubled. I won’t lie, every darn thing is hard and some days I just want to have a pity party for myself. I reach for things of this world to keep my cup full. Friends, family, coffee, book, tv; whatever lifeline I can find to try and hold on to and keep me going.. But still, nothing satisfies the emptiness that can only be refilled by one thing and one thing only.
Why is it so hard sometimes to turn our hearts toward the one we know is the only one that will satisfy our thirst? The living water that fills our cup so full that it just overflows so easily. There is no striving for it. There is no effort at all except to acknowledge that,
I need Him.
It makes me think of the scripture in John,
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” JOHN 15:5
See, much like a vine, if I am disconnected from the very thing that gives me life and sustains me, then I have zero access to the vital water and nutrients that I desperately need to grow. It’s the same spiritually, mentally and physically. If I am apart from the Lord, the stresses I have on my shoulders become too much. My cup will constantly be low or empty.
He knows how empty and dry our cups get. Lord, tether our hearts to yours. Help us that struggle with striving and pouring from empty cups to just stop. Help us to just abide in you and stay there; where we can keep our cups full. Where your love and joy and peace overflows like a dam that has just been broken; where the water flows freely and abundantly with such a force that our cups are overflowing and flooding the lives of everyone around us with your love. 𝙏𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙝𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙩𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙮𝙤𝙪𝙧𝙨, where the nutrients are pure and rich. Where we are fed. Where we can do all things in your strength and not our own.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” JOHN 15:5
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” PHILIPPIANS 4:13
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By Joe Bragg
Marriage is hard. Marriage requires us to put in the work. Marriage is the joining of two fallen people who tend to think of themselves first. Marriage requires sacrifice, patience, and surrender. Marriage is beautiful, it is a precious gift from God designed by Him, to help sustain us, grow us, and shape us. Marriage is hard, but God is good.
We see all over the scripture how husbands and wives are to function. God is good to give us instructions on how this should look, I for one praise Him for this. Ephesians 5 verses 21-33 will be the source text. Please take a minute to read it and then come back here.
This is a heavy passage but I would like to simplify it by using verse 21 & we will go from there. “And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” We don’t tend to like the word submit, it carries with it negative connotations. However, I contend this is a beautiful and powerful word when properly understood. Paul, in Ephesians 5, gives us a picture of what it means to be submitted to one another as husbands and wives. Paul shows us how marriage is a reflection of how the church, the bride of Christ, finds itself submitted to Jesus, the bridegroom. Paul uses this illustration to show us how our roles are to function in marriage, but simultaneously he makes it plain that it is an “illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.” Again, submittance is a beautiful, and powerful word. We as believers are first and foremost submitted to Jesus, He is our Lord, and our submittance to Him is wonderful as it is life giving, and redemptive. Jesus laid down His life for us, and as a result we live for Him. Now check this out. Paul in Ephesians 5 tells wives to submit to their husbands as they are the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He goes on to tell husbands to lay down their lives for their wives like Christ laid down His life for the church. Do you see it? Husbands, if we long to revive our marriage, we must be submitted to Jesus and we are to follow His example by laying down our lives for our wives. When husbands live in this way, their wives have a tendency to follow them, why? Because like Jesus, when we lay down our lives for our wives, they see it and much like we follow Jesus, they follow us. This relates to marriage between believers, but what about those who are unequally yoked, or have a spouse that proclaims Jesus but isn’t currently following Him? I’m glad you asked…If you are the believing spouse, you are called to simply live for Jesus. Take some time to read 1 Corinthians 7:12-16 which ends by saying; “Don’t you wives realize that your husbands might be saved because of you? And don’t you husbands realize that your wives might be saved because of you?”
It is certainly difficult to reduce such a heavy topic down to a one page devotional, so if you are serious about reviving your marriage, may this simply be the starting point of much more study and investment. Paul ends Ephesians 5 with these remarks; “However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” It boils down to love and respect. Husbands love their wives (regardless of whether they are following Jesus), and wives respect their husbands (regardless of whether they are following Jesus). Speaking to those who are devoted followers of Christ, live for Him in your marriage. Be submitted to Christ, and then one another. Husbands, lay down your lives for your wives as Christ did the church, and wives, submit to your husbands as the church submits to Christ.
By Simply Kerri
Article by Simply Kerri
Let’s talk friendships. I love having best friends! Best friends are the best! I tend to keep my close circle small because, well, less drama and, honestly, I’ve been burned by some close friends in the past. It hurts. It stinks. Jealousy is ugly, judgment is ugly, betrayal is painful, being honest and speaking truth can be hard. And when you have been hurt by a friend, confronting them is reallllly hard! Let’s be honest, even the best of friendships can sometimes be difficult to maneuver. As with everything, there are seasons. Seasons of joy, and seasons of struggle.
I’ve recently had a loss of friendship of sorts. It has been really bothering me. It hurts! I don’t even know what I did. I think that’s what makes it even harder. I’ve talked with a couple people, understanding what I believe the main issue to be, even justifying what could be possibly going on, but it still bothered me. So I got down on my knees and took it to the Lord. Over the last few months every time I thought about that person I was so angry. Hurt, confused. Every time I got this way, God would just put it on my heart to pray for them. So I did.
For months I prayed for that person. Then, one day I heard an Internet friend talking about letting go of “those friends”. It kind of hit me, and made me sad. It would seem that God has me in a season of learning to let go and although it’s sometimes needed to prune away the dead parts that don’t bring life, it’s also painful and hard. I loved this friend.
As we all know sometimes our pain turns to anger and we start picking away at everything they did or didn’t do. We want to lash out, write long letters that share our hurt and anger. Maybe if you’re like me you just want to be like, “what did I do?!” But in the end, it’s the hurt that is rearing its ugly head.
I started looking through the Bible at how Jesus handled his friends.
My conclusion: He loved them.
He encouraged them, He cheered for them, He supported them, He served them, reached out to them in their time of need, washed their feet. He spoke truth to them. He loved them. Even when He knew He was being betrayed or rejected. He still loved them. And eventually, He died for them.
This brought new questions in my heart. And a feeling of, but it’s not fair. And as God lovingly convicts the human heart, He asked me some hard questions back. Have you loved them back, supported them, cheered for them or with them, served them and their needs, reached out, spoken truth to them? Have you loved them in return?
Some things I can clearly say a strong “yes”, but there were also some very big “no’s” in there too.
Jesus was judged, and mocked, and I’m sure faced situations where people were jealous of Him or his friendships with others. He was betrayed and hurt! In today’s society we are so quick to walk away without a second thought. And don’t get me wrong, there are certainly some situations that are toxic and you should really just take the loss, forgive, bless and release. It’s probably healthier. I also believe that you can still love someone, pray for them from a distance, want good for them, but still protect your heart.
But I’m talking about those deep rooted friendships that have taken years to cultivate. I think it’s important to seek the Lord before you let go and walk away. As I said, some times it’s needed. But also, God doesn’t desire for us to be divided. So, I think we have two choices. One, we can love them and wish them well, pray for them, and just accept the fact that we are in different seasons of life. Or two, you can dig deep, first in your own heart, asking God to show you your own errors in the friendship. Then begin praying for them. Not that they would be convicted, but that God would bring healing to the friendship, that He would give you wisdom whether or not to address a particular issue. Confronting someone that you love can be really difficult and if their hearts are not ready to receive it, you’re just throwing pearls before the swine and it will most likely end with more conflict.
Here’s another thing you can do.. Be their squire. A good knight always has a squire. A squires job was to serve his knight. He would carry his armor, shield and sword. He would sharpen his knights sword. He would protect his knights back during battle. And if the knight was captured it was the squires job to try and rescue him. We need to be as Jesus was to his friends. It’s not our job to rescue them, per say, only God can do that. But we can be there for them just as Jesus was there for his friends. He served them with a true servants heart, just as a squire serves his knight.
Lastly, we are called to love. Love can have a pretty big definition with a wide range of acts to show it. Another thing God showed me was; we cannot control others or what they think, feel and say. And that is not our business anyway. That is between them and God. But we can control our own behaviors. Our own choices. Our own thoughts and feelings. We can choose to stay angry and hurt, or we can get down on our knees and be the squire for our knight. Iron sharpens iron. One of my favorite friendship scriptures. Maybe, like me you’re in a season where you’re not speaking to that person. If that is so, you can still be that iron for them. Pray and intercede for them. Prayer is powerful! Continue making small efforts as God leads healing and conviction on the other end. But also allow God to convict your heart, let him search your heart and motives so that you too can be a good friend in return.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
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By Ashtyn Washington
Right now, the world is in a frenzy due to the Coronavirus and the effect that it has had on families, schools, businesses, etc. It’s so easy to be consumed with news, fear, worry, and anxiety. Right now, it is important that we remain grounded and remember that this won’t last forever. We will come out on the other side.
So I wanted to write this post for anyone who is feeling worn out, fatigued, tired, or unsure of what to do in this season. You can still remain purposeful in seasons of uncertainty. Here’s how:
1) Spend Time With God Now is the time that we as believers need to get serious about our relationships with God. It’s not just enough to go to church on Sundays. We must learn how to meet God in our own homes and secret places. During this time, we must seek God’s face for His direction and guidance. I urge you to spend at least 30 minutes every day in prayer and bible study.
If you need help, I have multiple bible study videos that you can find here, as well as a Bible Study Journal that I use daily. I also have a post on how I study the Bible myself.
2) Develop a Morning Routine + Daily Habits
The next thing that I would encourage you to do is develop a morning routine and daily habits. When your life gets turned upside down, it’s easy to feel anxious and overwhelmed. The one thing that you can control is how you start your day. Make a list of everything that you would like to accomplish in the morning, and start creating a daily habit of doing those things.
For me, I know that I need to make coffee, read my Bible and pray every morning before I do anything else. You can check out my full morning routine blog post here.
3) Journal + Make Gratitude Lists
It’s easy in times like these to be upset over the way that things currently are. One way to keep yourself grounded and purposeful during this time is to journal through your thoughts. Another good thing to do is to make daily gratitude lists. Writing down what you’re grateful for each day brings a new perspective and can change your outlook.
Every day I write down my prayers, and I also write in my 90 Day Affirmation Journal. This journal has helped me remain calm in seasons of uncertainty and has encouraged me that I can and will make it through these times.
One of the things that I am trying to do to get myself through this season is reading more. Not only is reading a good distraction, but it’s also a great way to learn more about something that you have been wanting to do. You can read books and learn new languages, how to start business, how to have a better relationship with your spouse, etc. Use this time to build yourself up and become a better you!
5) Work On That Thing You’ve Been Putting Off
Lastly, you can remain purposeful by remaining productive. Use this time to work on that special project that you’ve been putting on the back burner. If you’ve been wanting to write a book, you can check out my Author Bootcamp. If you’ve been wanting to start a business, now’s the time to do your research. If you’ve been wanting to learn how to dance, draw or play the piano, there are plenty of places that you can take classes online for free during this time. Just remember that we will come out of this, and you can come out better than you went in!
By Ashtyn Washington
In 2019, I published a blog post about my morning routine and how I spend more time with Jesus while balancing being a full-time college student, having an internship, writing for my blog, and trying to maintain a social life. That has been one of my most popular blog posts to date.
Now that I have graduated from college, and work from home, I thought that I should update you guys and share what my quiet time routine looks like now.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below! I would love to hear what you guys include in your morning routine as well!
My 2020 Morning + Quiet Time Routine
WAKE UP - 8:00 AMSHOWER + MAKE COFFEEBIBLE STUDY - 8:30 AM
By 8:30 AM, I am usually ready to start my quiet time. I think it’s important that you are fully awake when you are getting ready to spend time with God, which is why I try . to wake myself up by showering, brushing my teeth, and getting my coffee before I start my quiet time. I like to also set the atmosphere before I open my Bible. So I usually light a candle, turn on my gospel playlist, and say a quick prayer.
Usually, my bible study consists of reading one to two chapters of whatever book of the bible I’m in. I’m currently reading Numbers. I read the chapter a few times, and highlight and jot down notes in my Bible. After I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of what I’ve read, I then pull out my Bible Study Journal and write down a quick summary of the chapter, as well as the things I learned and how I’m going to apply them to my daily life.
Then, I try to remember to read my bible study plans in the Youversion bible app. I don’t get to these every single day, but I do make sure to read my actual Bible every day. The plans I’m currently reading are Dangerous Prayers and Rick Warren’s Daily Devotional.
PRAYER + WORSHIP - 9:30 AM
Typically, I spend about an hour just studying the Bible and really trying to walk away with a firm understanding of what I have read in the chapter for that day. After my bible study time, I then spend time in praise and worship. Lastly, I pray over my day and over what I read for that day. I usually write down my prayers in my prayer journal, but I have also been trying to get used to praying aloud, so sometimes I walk throughout my house praying as well. I usually pray and worship God for about 30 minutes.
So my quiet time generally lasts from 8:30 to 10 am. I didn’t want this post to just be about me and my morning routine, so I wanted to share some tips to help you develop your morning routine!
Tips for a Successful Morning Routine
COMMIT TO YOUR MORNING ROUTINE BEFORE YOU START
My number one tip for developing a morning routine is actually committing to the carrying out of your morning routine. It can be hard to go from rolling out of the bed at the last minute to waking up hours before you need to. The only way that you’re going to be successful in your routine is to make a decision from the beginning that you’re going to stick to it.
CHARGE YOUR PHONE AWAY FROM YOU OR USE AN ALARM CLOCK
Another tip for a successful morning routine is to charge your phone away from you or use an alarm clock. I suggest this because it can be easy to press snooze when your phone or alarm clock is right next to you. If you have to get up to turn off your alarm you are less likely to get back in bed. Secondly, if you use an alarm clock you can jump right into your morning routine without being tempted to spend time scrolling on social media, checking emails, or responding to messages.
MAKE PRAYER AN INTENTIONAL PART OF YOUR ROUTINE
I mention this as a tip because it can be so easy to pray as you’re running out of the door or on your morning commute, but it’s important to be intentional about prayer. Make time to actually sit down and converse with God so that you can hear from Him.
By Ashtyn Washington
“WALK BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT.”
It’s a simple command, but it can be so hard to actually put into action.
For we walk by faith, not by sight [living our lives in a manner consistent with our confident belief in God’s promises].” - 2 Corinthians 5:7 AMP
Does the way that you live your life prove that you confidently believe in the promises of God? Does every action you take align with the idea that you completely trust God’s Word and plan for your life? Are you truly walking by faith and not by sight?
I’m not going to lie and act like it’s easy, especially because we’ve been conditioned to only do things that “make sense”. Often times, walking by faith requires you to do things that don’t make sense to you or anybody else. It didn’t make sense for me to quit my stable job to go into entrepreneurship. It didn’t make sense for me to move back to my hometown. None of it has made sense in the eyes of man, and that’s exactly why we can’t walk by sight.
If I was walking by sight, I would’ve waited to leave my job until I felt like I was financially secure. What does that say about my trust in God if He told me to leave knowing my financial situation? Often times, walking by sight instead of moving by faith indicates a disconnect between us and God.
When we are saved and enter into relationship with God, we acknowledge Him as not only our Savior but our Lord as well. This means that He becomes our master, ruler, and boss. So when He says go, we should go. When He says move, we should move because we are submitted to His Lordship and authority in our lives.
if you are struggling with walking by faith and not by sight, here are three tips for you:
SURRENDER FULLY TO CHRIST
If you are not fully surrendered to God, it will be very hard for you to walk by faith. When we surrender to God, we are laying down our will and our desires, and picking up God’s will and desire. When you begin to want what God wants, it will be easier to walk by faith even when it doesn’t make sense.
“And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to follow Me [as My disciple], he must deny himself [set aside selfish interests], and take up his cross daily [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me].” - Luke 9:23 AMP
STAY IN CONSTANT COMMUNICATION WITH GOD
Because it doesn’t often make sense to walk by faith, it’s important to pray continually and without ceasing. That is how we stay up to date with what God is doing and get directions for where to go next. When we fail to communicate with God, we often fall back into walking by sight or simply doing what makes sense to us.
“Rejoice always and delight in your faith; be unceasing and persistent in prayer; in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 AMP
MOVE WHEN GOD SAYS MOVE
When you’re walking by faith, it’s important that you move immediately when God says move. If you don’t, you are giving Satan time to plant seeds of doubt, fear, and uncertainty. The time between Gods instruction and your obedience is Satan’s playground. Don’t give him any time to play with your mind.
“Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.” - 1 Peter 5:8 AMP
While walking by faith and not by sight may be difficult, it’s not impossible. Remember that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.
“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 NLT
The definition of “Revive” is pretty awesome. To revive something simply means to restore to life or consciousness, give new strength or energy to. When we put our faith in Jesus, He revived us. Ephesians 2:1,4-5 states; “Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins...But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” This is no small thing, through Jesus we go from death to life, praise God Almighty! This is a beautiful truth but let’s get real with each other for a minute. You and I both know that even in Christ life is hard and continues to weigh us down. We were revived when we put our faith in Christ but we are also in desperate need of His constant reviving, so often, daily. Time and time again in the Scriptures we see God telling His people to wait on Him, to run to Him, to lay our burdens at His feet, to not be anxious but to trust Him, and so on. God knows we will experience many trials, but even more so, He knows He is the answer, and He is what we need. Our God is in the business of restoration and we will not find true strength, true life, anywhere other than in God Himself.
You and I, we have a tendency to try and take the world on by ourselves. We often think “I’ve got this” or that we are in control. The reality is, we don’t have it, and we are not in control. God wants us to know that He has it, and that He is in control. When we lay our life out before the Lord, trusting that He knows what He is doing, it is not only freeing, it is life giving, it revives us. The Lord our God is the orchestrator of our lives. He desires to play a beautiful melody that is for our good and to His glory. So often we seek to add notes that simply don’t belong. Let us meditate on Hebrews 12:1-2; “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.”
Revival in the Lord boils down to trusting Him with our lives. I don’t know where you are at in your walk with Jesus. Maybe you have been following Him for years, maybe you are yet to enter into the most glorious relationship one could ever have, or anywhere in between. The truth is, we are all in desperate need of Jesus, from the seasoned saint to the non-believer, Jesus is the answer for everyone. Another reality is not everyone will come to know Jesus, but if you are reading this and you are looking for answers, look no further than the one who plainly stated in John 14:6; “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” If you have been following Jesus for a short time or a long time, this is still true and a truth that we must never forget. It’s not our way, it’s His, as He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. If you are seeking revival in your life, turn to Jesus, “the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”