Your Time in the Cocoon

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2


Why Am I Going Through this? I’m A Good Person! Right now, you may be going through something that is undesirable, dark, lonely, and hopeless. “The struggle is real!” you keep professing to everyone every chance you get. You are in a cocoon. It’s not necessarily cocoon-02because you did something wrong.  You’re most likely in a place of growth. You were not meant to stay on one level in life. God wants to elevate you and keep you rising. The journey includes the struggle, allow yourself to be changed for better.

The frustrating thing, for humans anyway, is that cocoon seasons come when we least expect them.  Caterpillars don’t know their day or time. In their lives, like ours, presumably, all is well, and then things start changing. Their time of merely crawling is about to be over, but they don’t know it. The caterpillar is forced into a dark, lonely, hopeless place. Movement is restricted, options are removed, and comfort is something that used to be.  Sounds familiar, right?

Personally, I often feel as though I’m always going through something, and I watch those who don’t even believe in God or care about others, get favor and comforts ahead of me. However, I am reminded today, that I’m always going through, because I’m always growing, always improving, always advancing. That is the type of person I am; needing change, desiring more.  When we pray for elevation, what we see in our minds is instant elevation. We don’t consider the changes and growing pains required for the journey. Going to the next level will always be an uphill climb, so don’t listen to the people who don’t understand your growth and darkness. It is in the darkness of the cocoon that things shift and change into something greater.

How Long Will I Be in the Cocoon?  That depends on you. The average time for a caterpillar to be in a cocoon, is about 2 weeks. However, the length of time also depends on the species, (reference.com).  So, your time depends on the type of person you are. Are you patient, prayerful, hasty, ungrateful, faithful, vengeful?  God knows your timing; no man can define it for you. We emerge when we are fully prepared to do so. Butterflies are not able to exit the cocoon until their wings are strong enough to push through the confinement. When you are strong enough, you will breakthrough.

What Can I Do To Get Stronger? “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9. Confess your weakness and admit that you cannot get to the next level without going through the process.   Pray continually and worship regularly; focusing on God keeps you from focusing on your cocoon-01circumstances. Keep it moving; hiding from life is not an option on the path to growth. Be determined to make it; having an attitude of success will greatly influence your time in the
darkness. Remember that you are not experiencing something uncommon; it will be easy to fuss and cry and blame everyone else for your struggle, don’t give in, (1 Corinthians 10:13). BELIEVE!  If you don’t believe it will get better, it will not because all you will ever see is the struggle. Have faith (all you need is faith the size of a mustard seed – Matthew 17:20) that you will emerge better, stronger, and wiser. Believe in the good, and the good will come.

Don’t Kill My Confidence!

Look at the picture again…those words were scratched into a rock in the Grand Canyon. His trip proved to be impossible for him; the challenges of the journey wearied him. The way was rough, disappointing, and hopeless.

Don't let someone else's failure keep you from fulfilling destiny.
Don’t let someone else’s failure keep you from fulfilling destiny.

But he wasn’t the last to make the journey. Many have rafted down the Colorado River that runs through the Canyon far beyond the point of this inscription.

I want to encourage someone today to move past the negative.  There will always be a person, or a team of people who think you will never get past their unrealized dreams or their failures.  Don’t let the fact that someone else failed, never tried, or gave up keep you from pressing on. You were created for excellence, greatness and success! Let another’s lack of determination, faith and confidence inspire you to go farther and reach for more.

Are You On The Edge?

Joshua Chapter 3:14-16

“… So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, 15 and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan standing-at-the-edgeoverflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), 16 that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho…” (read full chapter online)

Where is 2014 leaving you? On the edge of despair, on the edge of anxiety? On the edge of wellness?   Perhaps you are wondering what will become of your life, your marriage, your health, your family, your status, etc once you cross over to 2015. Can you trust God enough to show up for you.? Can you trust him enough to turn the raging sea ahead you a dry road to cross on? Maybe you are wondering if God will finally deal with your persecutors. ‘

Consider the Israelites who were facing the Jordan river, they may have been wondering too, if their leader and their God would be with them when they got to the other side and would have to face Canaanites on the other side.  Just like the Israelites, this is your opportunity to activate your faith, and then move.  The promised land would not bet theirs if they stopped and refused to step over the edge of the river bank, or if they didn’t really believe in the one to whom they entrusted their lives.

Also, just like the Israelites, exercising your faith will allowed  you to see that God is indeed with you all the time, even in the messes and questionable times.

If you are facing a test right now that is leaving you  ON THE EDGE, move forward knowing that your situation  will not be the first case God fails. God’s promises to help you, heal you, care for you, provide for you, and promote you, are not conditional, and are not time sensitive. Reach out to him, his strength will uphold you. Draw nearer to him, and he will draw nearer to you (James 4:8).

Relying on Him will help you move from where you are to where He wants you to be on the edge of hope, promise, prosperity, and elevation.

Guarded

 

dusty-bibleProverbs 4: 11-23

“… Keep hold of instruction; do not let go; guard her, for she is your life…”

I’ve always been a guarded person, something that doesn’t appeal to everyone, but this text is very important. God’s instruction ought to be the very life we live and care for; a life that is guarded, and carefully lived. Today’s verses [that discuss instruction and wisdom], speak to my own desire to hold things (and people) that will help me do better, and live, well close to me. We are advised to hold instruction and guard it. Instruction is life, but it is not something that comes and lingers, it is something that we ought to pursue, keep close, and protect.

Where does instruction come from? The Word of God; the Bible. Learning is a process of taking in information repeatedly. Read your Bible daily, not just for 5 minutes, take your time, immerse yourself in the Word; get to know it, and apply it to your life.

Dust off your Bible and go to church. If you haven’t been to church in a while, find a good faith walking, Bible teaching church and get there every week. Church is where you will get the necessary instruction for a prosperous, victorious life.  Attend Bible study, become a member of a Cell Group, show up at Sunday School each week. Sunday school is NOT just for children, it is for everyone who desires spiritual growth. Guard, treasure, and appreciate instruction; commit it to memory so it becomes your life.

The Reason That Person Doesn’t Change…

… is because it is not within your power to change someone’s heart. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).  The God who formed us, is the only one who can change us and he does not work according to our schedule of demands.

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Many an argument has been waged in futility because we have convinced ourselves that the habits and annoyances of other people are within our control. Certainly there are things we can say or do that may curb or extinguish a certain behavior, but it requires God to search the heart and make the desired changes last. Often times, we see results but they are short-lived because a real change of heart has not occurred. Most often, people do it our way for the purpose of shutting us up, but all of the nagging, and insulting, and put downs will not change a person for good. In fact our words will only serve to harden the heart because we’ve just sparked resentment in the other person and resentment breeds anger… and now the stage is set for more relationship destroyers.

 Many people may truly WANT to change, but find it hard. Again, that is because God is the only one strong enough to turn a hard heart to a heart of flesh. We need to call on the power and might of God to help. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him,(Psalm 91:15). If someone is always on you about a certain behavior, and you want to change, call on God and he will help you. If someone you are close to, someone in whom you desire to see changes, (for example: children or a spouse) understand that constantly badgering them about what irritates or hurts you only causes them to harden their heart. Call on the Lord and he will help you.

 When you stop making it about your own discomfort and take it to the Lord in prayer, you will find peace.  Just because you don’t like something about someone else, doesn’t mean they see it has something wrong, Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.” (Proverbs 21:2).  All of us are flawed individuals and God will not remove everything from the other person to make us happy. What he will do is change our own hearts to be less selfish, and more accepting.

  It is God’s pleasure to redeem us. He wants to see marriages restored, and children saved. It may take time, but God will answer you. Let God do his job in HIS way in HIS time, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9    Inasmuch as God has been patient with you, be patient with that person. Pray for them and ask God for the grace to be a source of support and encouragement. Ephesians 4:15 says, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Call him, he will hear you, and he will help you.

May God bless you richly, in Jesus’ name!

Are You Spiritually Fit?

 

1 Timothy 4:7-8

” But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.  For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”Spiritual Fitness

 Are you spiritually fit?  Most people who quote the Bible would probably say “yes,” but knowing scripture is not what I mean.  Have you ever purchased a work out video, with every intention of actually working out, but you find yourself just watching the workout instead of doing the workout?   Being spiritually unfit is similar. Many people go to church religiously every Sunday, but that’s it. They heard a good sermon, sang moving songs, possibly watched a presentation of some kind, and they believe that is all that is required. Like physical fitness, spiritual fitness requires exercise.  First Timothy chapter four tells us to “train yourselves to be godly…for godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come,” (Vs. 7-8).

We must consistently engage in spiritual exercises in the same way we must regularly do physical exercise to train our bodies.  Consistently read the Bible, study the Word and what it means for your life, and spread the Word – it was not meant to be kept, but shared. Do all that is necessary to follow the commands of God. In doing do so, you will become a healthy and mature Christian; one that will attract others to a life in Christ.

Make the time to train yourself. The life if a Christian takes dedication and practice. Study the guidelines as prescribed in the word of God.  May God bless your workout!