Decide

by Sister Felicia

Yes-No-Maybe-2

It’s been a while before I’ve had a chance to blog.  God has blessed.  I now am a homeowner, he’s blessed my son with a reliable vehicle and the opportunity to go to a private school.  Lastly, this past week I interviewed for a big promotion with my current employer.  Needless to say, life has been busy!

With all the things God has added unto me, I also now have added responsibility, additional expenses, additional work that needs to be completed.  I’ve experienced major life changes the last 6 weeks.  I prayed for God to bless, but I wonder if I was truly ready when he did bless me?  Quite frankly, it all feels overwhelming at times.  I’ve had to pray to God for help to manage all of the new things I am experiencing.

To be honest, I have also found myself questioning the blessings I’ve received.  Will God provide for me to sustain a new home?  Am I qualified and capable to perform for this new role, others may not think so?  When will he provide for all these needs?

After I go through this brief time of questions, I remember the word where it says in Philippians 4:19, “God shall supply all my needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus”.  Therefore, if God blessed me with a home and a child in private school, he will supply the finances for them.  The bible also says in 2 Corinthians 9:8, “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”  I can check that question off too, since God has led me to a promotion, he will not leave me to fend for myself.  He will be with me.  I’m reminded of Matthew 6 that states that I should simply focus on his kingdom (what He’s told me to do) and all the things I needs will be added unto me, so I do not need to worry about what I cannot control.

I don’t have all the answers right now.  I also don’t know why I must work extended hours or why my financial blessing did not arrive sooner.  What I do know is that I’ve decided to be thankful and praise God for what He has done and what He’s doing.  I’ve decided to be joyful even when working late.  I’ve decided to be joyful even when my bank account isn’t where I want it to be.  I’ve decided!

We’ve got to realize that the blessing will come, but so will tests and trials. The words clearly tells us that in the book of James.  We can feel sorry for ourselves during these times, blame others, quit or wonder if the promise we heard from God is true.  It’s in these times, I believe God is testing us to see if we’re ready to go to the next level.  Will we praise Him in good and difficult times?  No matter what we may not have or prayer that may not have been answered yet, He is still God and is worthy of praise.

My prayer today is that you also decide to be joyful and praise Him regardless of your present circumstances.  He hasn’t left you. Nor will your prayer go unanswered. It’s just test time. The teacher cannot answer questions during the test, can He?  Stand strong in the Lord and in His word.

PASS THE TEST!

Sister Felicia serves as a blog contributor on behalf of The Ministry of Linda L. Johnson

theministryoflljohnson.org

 

 

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Season of Change

N.pngAutumn — Marks a Season of Change

Autumn “marks the transition” from summer to fall. We notice the difference in weather, daylight, plant life….

Autumn can affect:
-Mood
-Skin (becomes dry)
-The body (needs change as our environment has transitioned.) We should begin eating in-season foods and fruits that come as a result of the season change.

-Don’t wear spring clothes in the fall.

Important: We must move physically, mentally, spiritually, and otherwise, with the season’s transition of change.

The Autumn Season is Harvest Time! Hallelujah! It’s the time we are to reap, gather, and profit from those things in which we have already sown. (Back in March, farmers began planting the soil.)

Self-Reflection: This time of the year can show just what you have sown previous to autumn. If you now have “no harvest” to gather, it’s because “you haven’t sown anything.”  Beloved, sow!  So that next autumn you too may joyfully be prepared with your basket to gather your harvest amongst the reapers.

The Ministry of Linda L. Johnson
theministryoflindaljohnson.org

Victory Comes with a Cost

nbaI was recently at my son’s basketball tournament in Chicago, IL. My son and his teammates are a good group of players, but each of them have one or two weaknesses. In past tournaments we would do really well. We would earn the right to play in the semi-final game, but then would fall short. Surely this time in Chicago would be different. We worked on our weaknesses, made improvements and won the championship! I’m sorry to say this did not happen.

Here’s what did happen. As in past tournaments, we won every game to earn a spot in the semi-finals. Our team was up by 10 points most of the game. Then it happened. Slowly, but surely the other team begins climbing closer and closer by our own self-implosion. What’s happening? Our weaknesses, the things each player was supposed to be working on throughout the season had not been worked on or had not been worked on consistently. We were up by 3 points with 10 seconds left, all we had to do was prevent the opposing team from making a three pointer. However, the other team scored a three pointer at the buzzer. They tied the game to send the game to overtime, our team lost confidence, the opposing team didn’t give up and they won the game.

While it was only a game, we were all praying for a victory, surely, we wouldn’t be defeated in another semi-final. “God please allow us to get over this hurdle”. God did not allow us win.

We were all saddened by the loss, but the coach said something profound that stuck with me. He said, “I’m glad we did not win that game. We did not earn it and winning that game would not have allowed each of you players to improve on the area in which you need to develop. You would have forgotten about what you need to do to win and get better. Each of you must focus on developing your flaws over winning”.

I immediately thought about our loving, good father in heaven. We’ve all prayed asking God for victory or to overcome something. However, some of us wanted this victory without any cost to us. We wanted the degree without studying, we wanted the promotion without working hard in our current role, we wanted the spouse without changing our ways and preparing for him/her. This is the reason God does not always allow us to win. If He gave us the victory without any effort on our part, we wouldn’t learn what it means to work hard or we would receive a thing and lose it simply because we weren’t prepared.

Know this – God is good. He has our best interest in mind, but we must play a role in gaining victory. He will not promote us to receive his promises until we have proved we are ready. James 1:4 says, “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” This means that if we’re not successful the first time (at something within God’s will), we must take a step back and determine if we’re working hard, doing are part to be successful. God teaches us to work hard and be good stewards of what he’s given us. I’ve found that when I’m working hard, the enemy will try to discourage me (the opposition). However, it’s time for us to stand against the enemy, persevere, until the manifestation of the victory is evident – completed! Put in the work child of God and God will promote you when he feels you’re ready.  ~Sister Felicia   fmland32@gmail.com
Felicia serves as a blog contributor for The Ministry of Linda L. Johnson. The Love of My Life is the first of a series consisting of 12-monthly blogs

Moving Forward with God

arrrowRecently, I was studying Genesis 12 & 13.  It is the beginning of Abram’s, later Abraham’s, journey with God.  Genesis 12:1 reads, “The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.””  That was quite a great call the Lord gave to a man and it would be a response of great faith Abram would have to take to follow what the Lord instructed him to do as he did not know where he was going.  Yet in verse 4, we’re told that Abram went as the Lord told him.  He obeyed the call the Lord gave to him.

God often calls us to do things that are bigger than us because he thinks so much differently than we do.  We’re all praying for God to bless us and do great things in our lives, yet we do not want our faith stretched.  Abram was tested to the limit, he was asked to leave his home to an unknown place that he was unfamiliar with.  I don’t know about you, but it would have been difficult for me to leave certainty for a land of uncertainty, however, that is truly what God is asking from each of us.  He wants to choose where we live, whom we’re in relationship with, where we work, where we fellowship at, etc. Often however, we’re stuck in our comfortable place and convince ourselves that truly if it were to have come from the Lord the path would be easy.

I would like to turn your attention to Mark Chapter 6.  In the beginning of this chapter, we see where Jesus has just fed five thousand.  Following this great miracle, verse 45 tells us that “Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd”.  It goes onto say in verse 47 & 48, “Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land.  He saw the disciples straining at the oars because the wind was against them.  Shortly after dawn he went out to them walking on the lake.”

The disciples were in the will of God, going to the other side of the lake as he instructed.  Yet in the midst of their obedience, the winds were against them.  We must be reminded that we have an opposition, the evil one, that will do anything to keep us from the destination God has called us to go.  The bible said, they were in the middle of the lake, so they had journeyed through faith quite a distance.  It would have been easy to turn back, give up and stop fighting the wind, but the bible tells us they were “straining” at the oars which means they were forcing the boat with great effort to stay on the path to the other side.  When God saw their fight, he went to them.  Hallelujah!  He went to them, just like he will come to us.  Through the pain, the tears, the courageous battle God sees you and will help when you need him.  He doesn’t leave us out perish during our struggle forever.  He sees and will come along side to join you in the push, but we must be in his will and we must be moving forward trusting that we’ll get to the other side!

Since the beginning of the year, God has called me to make many decisions that I wouldn’t have necessarily made had I been the decision maker (I now allow God to make my decisions).  I would normally make the comfortable decision, the one that wouldn’t be too risky.  After all who enjoys being uncertain and uncomfortable?  It’s been a bumpy ride, but God always shows up on time to let me know he’s with me on my journey.  I know God’s destiny for me is greater than I can imagine.  He can truly do exceedingly, abundantly more than we ask or think, but we’re required to put our faith in him greater than ever before as well.  That means we must believe on him and take action as if he’s telling the truth about things he’s promised, about the direction he’s told you to go.  James 2:17 says, “In the same way, faith by itself, if does not have works, is dead.”

We are required to do something.  God works through us and with us to accomplish great things for his kingdom.  Each of us must play a role in the fulfillment of his promises.  We must follow through on God’s instructions even when we feel fear, doubt and moments of discouragement.  Abraham is a testament of where great faith can take us. After all, he is the father of many nations having lived a blessed life.

God wants to do so much in our lives.  He wants us to dream big, but we may have to fight to take hold of it.  We may have to face our fears, break shackles, be delivered from strongholds, sacrifice our time, sacrifice our money, stay in a place God has told us to stay though we want to leave or like Abram leave a place we’re comfortable being.

Though we’d like it to, victory doesn’t always come as easy.  Wherever you are on your journey with the Lord, remember that he is with you.  Hebrews 13:5 – “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

~Sister Felicia

http://www.theministryoflljohnson.org/blog/moving-forward-with-god

Is it God or You?

Is it God or You?

By Sister Felicia

fmland32@gmail.com    

As we walk with God and ask Him to lead our path, we know to walk by faith.  We ask for him for direction and move accordingly.  However, there were times when I would ask for direction, but I didn’t quite get the result I was looking for.  I knew God was telling me to move that way, but I didn’t understand why it felt like a struggle.  That’s when I discovered I was asking the wrong question.

In August of 2017, I began to praise dance at the church I attend.  The dance isn’t choreographed, rather the praise & worship team sings, the praise dancers minister in unison with a lead dancer in the front.  When I say lead dancer, this is not a designated position for one person, but it’s a role that changes throughout the song service.  This dancer is selecting the movements as directed by the Holy Spirit and the other dancers are following the exact movements.
When I initially began to dance I would only take on the role of a dancer who followed as I was learning the basics.  I had never danced in the past so just submitting to dance in front of the church was a big step for me.  Over time I became more confident in the abilities God gave me, but as we all know once you are comfortable in one place, God never lets you stay there.  It’s time to continue to grow!

Towards the end of the year in 2017, I was positioned as the leader and it was difficult.  To begin there were too many things going on in my mind, such as what should my next move be, I’m not sure what to do next God, that move didn’t look right, etc.  I was frustrated.  God had positioned me to lead, but I felt as if he wasn’t helping me when I asked him, “Lord what should I do next?”.  I planned the initial movement when leading, but keeping up with the counts, trying to follow the move of the Spirit and thinking of the next movement was just too much.  There was simply too much going on in my mind that was causing confusion. (We all know who the author of confusion is don’t we?)  At that point I wanted to avoid the lead role altogether!

I continued to dance and seek God, when he revealed I was not asking the right question.  During a praise dance training session, I was leading and speaking to a veteran dancer.  I was expressing the difficulties I was having and advised I was asking the Holy Spirit “What should I do next, but I wasn’t hearing anything?”.  She then replied and said, “No Felicia, you must ask, “God what would you have me to do?”.  While this may seem minor, God was trying to show me that this is not about me, but the fact that he wants to move through me.

Without God we cannot do anything he’s purposed for us, but the bible says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”.  I wasn’t getting direction because I was asking what “I” should do.  He taught me, Felicia cannot do anything.  When I tried I was confused and I failed.  However, the next day when I went forward to be the lead dance minister, I asked God what he would have me to do next and his anointing fell upon on me like never before through dance.  I was no longer thinking about what I should do next, but asking him to be glorified.  I was asking him to minister through me, to his people.  I didn’t focus on the next move too much, I simply focused on the Spirit and flowed wherever it led me.  That’s how breakthrough occurred for me as a lead dancer.

Therefore, I ask you today, what question are you asking God?  Is it a question centered around “I” or is it “God”?  God wants the glory in all things he does in our lives.  We must always remember that we can do only because he is doing through us by the Holy Spirit, not because we have power to do anything on our own.  I urge you to apply this question in every area of your life and take all focus off of yourself. Ask, “Holy Spirit, what would have me to do?”  At that point, trust him at his word that he will indeed do it!God bless you,
Sister Felicia
EMAIL: fmland32@gmail.com    Felicia serves as a blog contributor for The Ministry of Linda L. Johnson. http://www.theministryoflljohnson.org/blog.php

All Things God Works for the Good

By Sister Felicia

Felicia serves as a blog contributor on behalf of The Ministry of Linda L. Johnson. “All Things God Works for the Good” is the sixth of a series consisting of 12-monthly blogs.

Blog #6 
EMAIL: fmland32@gmail.com        

All Things God Works for the Good

On this Resurrection weekend, God has had me to just stop and meditate on him. Jesus, the Son of Man was sacrificed and slain for the crime of blasphemy. He claimed to be the Son of God. Little did the men know at the time, that He was telling the truth as He is the Son of God and cannot lie.
It is written in Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things God works for the good of those who love him. Who have been called according to his purpose.” It’s hard to believe the things we consider to be bad are considered to work together for our good at times. How can fornication, loneliness, a barren womb, drug addiction, fear, sickness, or debt, work together for the good of those who love him? Consider Jesus’s life. He came to die. His entire purpose in life was to die. We now know why that was necessary and considered good. For he was the lamb that was slain that we may be reconciled to God. That is a good thing for mankind.

However, I’d like you to place yourself back in the time of Jesus. Jesus had healed others, opened blind eyes, raised Lazarus from the dead, delivered men from demons, yet he could not save himself from death? The people were confused. They had thought this was the Son of God, The Messiah. They didn’t understand why he would give himself to die if he was the king. He should have saved himself! If I’m honest, I would have thought the very same thing at the time because the full story had not been written. Because we have the Bible and Christ lives within us, we know Jesus chose to die to save us from our sins. And we know that all that he went through was not in vain. There was a purpose for each and everything that occurred in his life, including his gruesome death.

Why then do we question when trials occur in our life? Why do we fear and try to chase away obstacles? Yes, sometimes the storm comes and it is not of Christ, but sometimes it is. God is trying to strengthen us and teach us a lesson to increase in Him. How can we know God as a provider if we’re never lacking? How can we know God as a healer if we’re never been sick? We cannot. How can our faith increase in Him if we are never faced with anything? Sometimes, God has to send us storms to develop us.

Most of my life was lived on the straight and narrow path. I thought I knew God, but I didn’t really. I had accepted God’s salvation but I had not allowed him to be Lord of my life. Sometimes I didn’t understand how others got into certain predicaments and would be judgmental towards them. That is when the Lord tested me and I failed miserably! I was an adulteress for 3 ½ years. I now could see how this could happen and why this happens. I was ashamed for a long period of time. I wondered how I had gotten to that state of being, but then I made Jesus Lord of my life and asked him to deliver me. He took that shame away, lifted my head and now I can sympathize with others and feel their pain from place I could not before I went through this myself. Now I’m not wishing this on any of you, but God used this sinful period in my life to teach me how to forgive others. Love others and minister to others in this predicament. At the time I blamed God for all the hurt and pain I felt he led me into. “Why God, why did you allow this to happen?” Of course this wasn’t God’s fault, it was mine, but it is my testimony to say that if I had not experienced that level of brokenness and pain from this period of adultery, I would have never gotten to the point in life where I asked him to be my Lord. Now almost 2 years later, I can say,“I see now Lord! I understand and I’m thankful to have gone through that painful, confusing time in my life. For if I had not, I would not know how marvelous and loving you are oh God!”

I now look upon others from a place of love and compassion. Having fallen short, as we all have, I don’t judge others in the place they’re at, I just try to love and accept them. I want others to experience the great love of the Father. I want him to speak to your heart and guide your path. Take away guilt, shame, fear, break generational curses and deliver you from any stronghold you may be facing!

I ask you today to look deep inside yourself and have a conversation with your God. Do you really know him and love him? Are you allowing God to steer your wheel or are there areas in your life where you are taking the wheel back, especially when storms arise? Though often scary, I would challenge you to allow him to steer your wheel and remember Romans 8:28 which states, “And we know that all things God works for the good of those who love him. Who have been called according to his purpose.”Although you cannot see it right now, everything happens for a reason. Ask him to help you navigate through the storm. Ask him to teach you and most of all trust him that at the proper time he will deliver you.
God bless you,
Felicia

Blind Faith

2B Faith2.jpg

By Sister Felicia

Felicia serves as a blog contributor for The Ministry of Linda L. Johnson

“Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”, Hebrews 11:1 .  “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7….These are two of the most popular scriptures on faith in the bible.  In my opinion, having faith is one of the most difficult aspects walking with God.  I pray and ask God for things. I start out with great faith, but then when I don’t see it, sometimes I get discouraged, anxious, or nervous that it will not come to pass.  Other times I may doubt God ever promised me what I was believing for to begin with.  It’s at these times of confusion and uncertainty, I know to turn to the Lord, be still and allow Him to minister to my Spirit.  We all know God is not the author of confusion and Satan would like nothing more than to rob us of what God has promised us. It’s at these times our faith must increase, opposed to decrease.

A few weeks back I was in what I consider to be an “old school” gas station car wash.  I say this because there was an attended inside the car wash and there were brushes cleaning your car opposed to the more modernized water pressure type of cleaning.  There were multiple cars in line for a wash that day, so I sat patiently awaiting my turn.  Before the wash started, I could see the very expensive limousine truck not too far in front of me going through the wash.  The attendant took my number to verify I had paid, ensured my wheels were aligned to the washer and told me to put my car in neutral to start the first step.  While in neutral, my car was moving along the path and then immediately, I could not see anything.  I wasn’t sure if the truck was still in front of me or those were brushes.  Everything was blurry!  Was the attendant still watching or had he moved to the car behind me!  “God, please do not let me crash into that expensive truck I thought to myself!  Is this over yet?  Should I turn on the windshield wipers? When will this be over?!”

Although I was tempted to stop the process multiple times, I allowed my car to continue moving through each step. I managed to calm my nerves and trust the process.  I trusted that the attendant knew what he was talking about and patiently waited for the car to rinse and dry.  By the time the wash had ended, all was well, I had a clean car and did not slam into the limo truck that was in front of me.

Many of us have gone through car washes multiple times in our lives, but God used this experience to show me how many of us are regarding believing him and taking him at his word.  We get fearful in the middle and want to Stop The Process because we don’t understand what is going on.  Others wonder why exactly God is taking so long. Remember God says in his word, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8).  He is a God who is ordering our steps.  We won’t receive all the answers, understand, or see it until the process is completed.  Trust that God knows better than you do.

I don’t know what God has promised you or what obstacles you are facing but remember as I said in my previous blog, “Press on!”.  Faith is placing hope in God for something we cannot see.  Just because you cannot see it now or it didn’t happen when you thought it should doesn’t mean God isn’t going to do it for you.  Often, He’s testing you to see how much you really want it.  He wants to develop your faith to continue to ask for greater things in the future, because if you cannot believe God can bless you to pay your rent for, how can you believe him to pay for your home mortgage?

Allow God to stretch your faith, knowing you will not be able to see it.  For the word says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9) I’m not sure who God is speaking to but keep the faith! Trust that God will come through FOR YOU!
God Bless, Felicia            Email:  fmland32@gmail.com
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