Test, trial or other…

When it comes to the various troubles that we deal with, one thing I try to do is categorize them. Is this a test, a trial or something else?

I truly thank God for these letters that I write each day. I know that the consistency and the sacrifice that I put in every morning is preparing me for greater things. One of the key elements to these letters is that I “fact check” before I publish. Why? Because even though these are my thoughts, feelings and emotions, I am also learning as I write.

There is a phrase that we quote that says, “Our tests and trials come to make us strong”, which WAS the basis for this letter. Well, that’s a nice phrase and it is encouraging but it isn’t Bible. There are so many things that we quote that just aren’t in there, that it’s funny and aggravating. You see, right now I’m going thru an issue or two and I really need help and when I began searching for that ‘scripture’, all results were null.

You see, we have been taught an erroneous gospel. The error isn’t in what was being passed down but the error is in the follow-up. In the black church, many times we err on the side of hype. We are jumping, shouting and dancing on a ‘word’ that will tickle our fancy and encourage us but isn’t really in the Bible. The reason for this is that we have been taught what was passed on to us by our forefathers and that message was passed down to them by their forefathers and so on.

The passing of the message is great but here’s the problem, “Where did the original message come from?” The preacher that started the message in the first place, in many cases, was a slave. As we know, many slaves could not read. So, when the Bible was relayed to them, it was up to them to remember, or translate, that message to the people. That’s issue number one but here’s the second issue… Have you ever wondered why there are so many different versions of the Bible today? The reason for all of these translations is what I call ‘relevant speech’. One of the “best” translations to read is, “The Message” Bible because it speaks in OUR language. We can understand it better because it speaks in the lingo of the day. I don’t know about you but I don’t know anyone who speaks in King James… and if it’s hard for US to understand the KJV and we are super-educated then what about those early preachers who didn’t have any education at all?

Please don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that we didn’t need the word that was passed down. What I am saying is, the Book was given to great grandfather, and passed to grandfather, then passed to father and now to you BUT is anyone going to OPEN the Book?

The Bible says in Revelation 12:11 , “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony;…” The part that I want to pull out is the “word” of their testimony. We can talk all day about what’s going on but where is the “word” at? The Word is what brings victory!!! My question is, “How can we truly overcome if we don’t truly know God’s word?” We have to search it out…

So, as you go thru your day today, seek the Word of God. Listen for His direction, leading, guidance and counsel. You may be surprised at what He has in-store for you!!!

I love you ALL!!!
Stay Blessed,
Jackie

 

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Trust in the Lord…

As believers, one way that we know that we are on the right track is when we experience our tests and trials. One of the worst places for a child of God to be is in a place of uneventful-ness. You see, when our lives are uneventful, that’s generally a sign that you, as a Christian, aren’t a threat to the enemy.

I was watching the movie, “Battleship” and as long as the ships did not aim their guns and fire on the aliens, the aliens didn’t see them as a threat and ignored them. Many times, in our spiritual journey, we’ve turned into that vessel that’s fully armed but not fighting and the enemy doesn’t view us as being significant. But, I have to tell you… you aren’t a rowboat. You’re a Battleship!!!

You weren’t called to sit on the sidelines. You weren’t equipped to ride the bench. You were meant to be in the game. But, just know that once you begin, or get back into, the fight… the battle will be tough. There will be times of regret, resentment and reason. Reason? Yes, there will be times that your greatest fight will be in your mind! It doesn’t make sense to fight. It isn’t reasonable to put yourself out there like that and no one receive you. It’s dumb to keep doing what you’re doing…

But, when the battle gets hottest and your doubt seems the greatest… that is when we must understand that the battle isn’t ours but God’s. We are only instruments fit for His use. We are the pieces on the chessboard. He is our Commander and Chief, we are the soldiers and we must put our trust in Him.

I’m reminded of a seaward voyage. During this trip, a great storm came up. The waves were incredible! Some of them could have easily eaten the ship. The ship was being flung around like a toy boat in a child’s bath water. The crew and passengers on the ship were distraught. People were seasick. There was water everywhere. Even the captain, began to worry about the ship’s ability to stay afloat. Then a couple of guys remembered their friend, the one who brought them on this trip. When they found him, he was in a room, in the bottom of the ship… fast asleep. Everyone onboard had lost their minds but here he lay sleeping. They are like, “Dude, we all gone DIE!!!” Irritated that they woke him up, he got up, and came up on deck. He then rebuked the wind and told the water, “Peace, be still”.

There are a lot of different things that can be said about this story but the greatest at this moment is this… When we follow the Lord, there will be storms but just know that He called you and He is in the ship. The storm may get rough but He has the power to settle it.

God is working a mighty work, particularly in one area of my life. This area has been a place of great struggle for me. I have placed this area on the altar many times and He has given me great grace to handle it. Sometimes, when it looks like things are starting to come to a head, the enemy brings turmoil back to it. But, that only tells me that the end of that thing is near!!!

Proverbs 3:3-6 NKJV
Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
And so find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.

I love you ALL!!!
Stay Blessed,
Jackie