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Posts tagged ‘prayer’

Freedom

 

  ~ John 8:36 “If The Son therefore shall make you free, Ye shall be free indeed.”

We recently celebrated Veteran’s Day. I honor veterans, those in active service, and their families for the sacrifices they make. I am reminded of the phrase, “Freedom isn’t free.”

I want to reflect on a different freedom today. I am talking about spiritual freedom. One definition of freedom is the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved. There is financial bondage. We can be free from this worry when we remind ourselves that God said He would supply all of our needs.

Physical and emotional pain can hold us captive.  During suffering, we can find comfort in knowing that Jesus is our healer. We can be victorious in mind and spirit even before we experience it in the natural. We find hope during depression, by knowing that Jesus said He is our peace.

This kind of freedom also isn’t free. Jesus has already paid the price, however. In hard times, especially, our prayer life should be determined and focused.  Worship, praise, and spending time with God are essential. It is important to study the Word. Be diligent to meditate on scripture to build faith. Listen to teachings from mature, proven ministries. They can offer valuable tools to use in spiritual warfare.

I know many who have had challenges this year. I myself have experienced them. We, at Gateway Believers Fellowship, have also faced some as a whole. We have stood together during this time.

Corporate prayer is a part of the strategy we use against the enemy. Encouragement for one another has been evident. Apostle David Coker and other wise leaders have brought timely messages. We are now celebrating many victories. This is due to the stand we took, and being obedient to the leading of Holy Spirit. You will reap in due season, if you faint not.

Maybe you are imprisoned in some way. I urge you take the steps that we, at Gateway Believers Fellowship, have taken. Holy Spirit directed us through this process. We will continue to follow His leading. He desires to do the same in your life. He will guide you to victory. Remember, who The Son makes free is free indeed.

~ Connie Robinson

Image Credit: Freedom © Jess Hall via freeimages.com

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Finding My Joy Again

My joy was gone for about two to three weeks. Not on a vacation. It has been completely non-existent. I didn’t check my personal emails. I went to bed with a heaviness that often resulted in me being woken up in the middle of the night, unable to go back to sleep because of a pounding heart beat.

That feeling of dread often carried over into the morning. I had things I needed to be working on, but I had ZERO desire to do anything.

How did this happen? I’ll tell you. It resulted from me carrying things I had no business carrying. Matthew 6:25-27 reminds us not to worry saying, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing?  Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”

I knew my joy was gone. I hated the way I felt. If my mind and emotions were not in turmoil, I was just in limbo. I wasn’t doing anything to move forward. I KNEW I needed to pray, but I couldn’t. I would read a few Scriptures in the Bible just to get some peace…for the moment. Sometimes I would start quoting the Word with power and authority, but end up in tears.

I KNEW I needed to confess the Word over myself. I knew it, but the circumstances and overwhelming feelings were just too much. I would try to work on things and I would just go in circles, never really accomplishing anything.

I’d had people pray for me. The feelings would lift. Then, my mouth would get me into trouble. It’s like I had an overwhelming urge to say the wrong thing whenever something happened. I am usually never continually negative, but it seemed like nothing was right. I couldn’t write because I didn’t have anything to say. The words weren’t hanging out in my mind. They simply weren’t there.

Finally, I called a friend. I talked to her for five minutes, only sharing a little of what I was feeling. She started praying for me and God showed her almost everything…even things I had thought!

I slept better that night, but the next day was a struggle. Finally, my mom said, “Something’s got to give.” “I know,” I said. “You won’t pray. You used to listen to the Word. I don’t know what you do now.”

“It’s not that I quit listening all together. The sound of anything irritated me. I irritated myself.

Mama and I committed to start praying in tongues thirty minutes every morning. If I couldn’t do it all right then, I took Mama’s advice and prayed when I could, even if that meant just a few minutes at a time.

After a few days, weightiness and heaviness that had been so prevalent lifted. I felt lighter. I wasn’t as irritated. Before I got the breakthrough, each day I had to look for something to be happy about.

When my nephew and cousin came over, I made myself get excited and do silly faces. I told Mama I felt fake doing that, but she said, “Sometimes, you have to fake it until you make it.”

If things seem bad right now, they won’t stay that way. LIFT UP YOUR HEAD! Turn your eyes to Jesus! I promise you He’s there. The enemy wants to convince you that he’s won this round. He wants you to stay down. I am encouraging you to GET UP! With God, all things are possible! All you have to do is make a choice to let God be God! He’s got this!

~ Madison Sanders

Image Credit: Happy Buttercups Lesley Cutts via freeimages.com

The Value of Pain

A nurse told me that pain is my friend. I disagreed. Pain does not fit my definition of a friend.  I do agree that pain has value. If we did not feel pain, we would not know something was wrong.  I, like most, have had a measure of it in my life.

I felt the pain of rejection as a child. My marriage was not Christ centered in the beginning years. Because of that, I experienced pain of a failing marriage. I know the pain of fear when my child is suffering, and a doctor does not know the answer.  I have experienced the heartbreak of losing someone to death.

God is love. He does not schedule bad things to happen to us. He does sometimes allow it to take place.  During these trying times, God doesn’t want to just change our situation. He desires that we also change.

Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work together for our good to them that love God. All there means all.  How can pain work for our good? I have heard many messages, read books, and heard prayers prayed about rejection, fear and failing marriages.

There is much power in the words when the person has come through these situations themselves. They speak with understanding and clarity.  Pain teaches us a depth of compassion. We know better how to comfort and do warfare in prayer for others.  Because of my past, I can relate better to the people I call “Who’s you?” than I can the “who’s who.” Did I enjoy the things I have learned from? Of course I did not.

I do enjoying seeing someone set free from despair. I find pleasure in seeing hope come alive and replace fear in others. The pain they feel is not foreign to me.  Our church is going through a transition time. Transition means change.  I am asking God to transition me. I want to become a more effective part of the body.   Maybe you are suffering in an area right now.  Find comfort in knowing that because God is good, you can trust Him through in this process.  You can be assured that your situation will change. Allow God to strengthen, teach, and change you.  The value in what you learn will be priceless.

~ Connie Robinson

Image Credit: Hospital Room © Jyn Meyer via freeimages.com

Be Encouraged

“Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. Who comforteth us is all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted.” ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Some people act as if they have an answer or solution to any situation others are going through. I call that presumption. How can someone assume they have an answer for everything? Usually it’s rooted in pride or arrogance. If you have never driven to California, how can you tell me how to get there? We have all faced situations needing an answer. Just be careful who you ask for help or advice.

I have dealt with depression for a number of years. Reflecting back, before I was faced with it, I use to tell people, ” Get over it, Shake it off. It’s not that bad”. If you have never suffered with depression, you just don’t know. We should pray and ask for the Lord’s help before speaking.

The scripture I wrote at the beginning of this article means a lot to me. God is my Father. He is the God of all comfort. He is able to comfort your mind when turmoil and anxiety are raging. He is the Peace Speaker when the storms of life are blowing. He is that small, still voice when anxious thoughts are bombarding your mind. He is a friend who will never leave or forsake you. He is that abundant, available help in the time of our need.

I find strength, hope, and comfort in reading and meditating in His word. “Heaviness or anxiety in the heart of man causes depression; but a good word maketh it glad.” ~ Proverb 12:25

God’s Word will get you through it.

~Ricky Robinson

Image Credit: Fire in the Sky © Brett Theriault via freeimages.com

Get Ready

Prayer was powerful on Saturday morning. While Mr. Bill Avant was praying, the words, “We haven’t been ready” leapt in my spirit, so I prayed that out.

Immediately, Mr. Bill grabbed the microphone and said, “We’ve got to quit seeing people as visitors.” They are part of the Body of Christ. They are our brothers and sisters. They have gifts that Jesus needs to advance His Kingdom.

We’ve prayed for God to send the hungry ones and He has. The problem is in us. We haven’t valued them. A visitor is someone who comes and stays for a little while. God sees every person as part of the family. You wouldn’t call a family member a visitor would you?

Matthew 22:8-10 says, “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.”

God has been ready to pour out His Spirit. We haven’t been ready to receive those that He has given us. We have been closed off. We still have that lingering religious mindset that says people have to look or act a certain way for God to use them. We can’t expect people to be perfect because we are not. Every one of us has been broken. We are all in need of a Savior. We all need grace. God in His mercy helped us when we were a mess, so we need to do the same for others.

We have been too comfortable with our church the way it is. We have been divided. In order for God to manifest Himself in power and might, we must be ready. To be ready to receive something, we have to see and believe that the thing we are longing for is necessary. Ready is also another word for fit. We have to be ready to be fit with other members of the Body!

Now that our spiritual eyes have been opened, we see that one of the missing pieces has been filled in. He has given us gifts in people who are often labeled misfits in the world.  I am so thankful that God looks on the heart! He said He would take the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. Confound means to confuse, stun, or amaze. God will use the foolish things – the people that others don’t want to be around, the outcasts, and the people who have always been told they have nothing to give.

Despite what these people look like or sound like, they have a heart after God. God can use that! Apostle David said that God has given him a big vision, but we can’t do a lot of things right now because we don’t have the “building material.” Look around you, friend! God is bringing in “building material.”

We don’t have more of God because we haven’t been ready. We haven’t been watchful. We haven’t been full of eagerness.

We get what we expect. We’ve gotten exactly what we’ve said. We are all guilty of calling each new person who comes to our church a visitor. No, they are pieces ready to be fit into God’s plan at Gateway and in the Body of Christ! I challenge each of you – myself included – to expect God to do great and mighty things through His Body!

~ Madison Sanders

Image Credit: Holding Hands © BSK via freeimages.com

– See more at: http://www.gatewaybelievers.com/articles/get-ready#sthash.YoxeAbCc.dpuf

Keep the Change

I have often told the cashier to keep the change if it is going to be just a few pennies.  I never wonder if I made the wrong decision when I do this.  This has not been a struggle for me.  I go on about my day and don’t give it another thought.

There is change I am determined to keep however.  This is a different type of change. At Gateway Believers Fellowship, we know that we are in a transitional time.  There is an excitement and expectancy in the air. New people are coming into the church. We are seeing salvations and rededications.  The congregation as a whole is dedicated to growing and fulfilling the purpose of an Apostolic church.

There is a price to pay. We have counted the cost and are moving forward.  With this change must come commitment.  It isn’t to be taken lightly like the small “change” I leave at the register.  The New Testament is full of examples for us to follow to become the church Christ has called us to be. Holy Spirit is here to guide and teach us every step of the way.  What an exciting time to be part of God’s Kingdom!

Playing church is not our purpose as believers.  The house of God is not a social club or past time. We are to be God’s witnesses to a lost and dying world.  We can’t do that if we appear to be a lost and dying church. We are to rise up as a mighty army. Signs and wonders will follow those who truly believe.  This will require dying out to flesh. That will take courage, commitment, and time.  We must strengthen our spirit man because that is where all permanent change starts. The rewards will be worth the sacrifice.

Prayer and seeking God’s direction and help is needed as a body and as an individual.  He will not withhold from us as we draw near to Him. There is an army rising up.  I urge you to consider finding your part as we usher in what I believe will be the greatest move of God the earth has ever seen. I challenge you to take your place.

~ Connie Robinson

Image Credit: Concept of a cash register © Kolobsek via freeimages.com

– See more at: http://www.gatewaybelievers.com/articles/keep-change#sthash.GDGSCk8D.dpuf

Waiting for Direction

With Christmas behind us and all the excitement of the holidays a memory, it’s time to slow down. We had an especially hectic December. Last May we began looking for a house. We had moved to Georgia from North Carolina in July 2011. We were living in Royston and loved this area. We had been praying and seeking the Lord’s will concerning which house to buy.

I can remember as a young couple buying our first home in 1971. We didn’t know very much about houses. We just knew we wanted one. Over the past fifty years we have owned several homes. Buying a home is a major investment with many important decisions to factor in. Number one is location. You can remodel, paint and add on to a house, but you can’t change its location.You may not learn the above until you have owned a house in a bad neighborhood.

Loud neighbors, barking dogs, heavy traffic, and school zones are just some of the negatives that you can be faced with. I have made many mistakes over my life and had to live with the consequences. We have all done dumb things and regretted our choices. One definition of a fool is never learning from his mistakes. We all have to make decisions and choices in life. Some of them are minor with little or no lasting adverse effects. When it comes down to making major decisions we need to seek the Lord’s guidance.

As I have grown in my relationship with the Lord, I have learned to trust Him for direction and wisdom.

~ Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”

It’s taken us eight months of praying, looking, and searching, but we have a home. It’s exactly what we wanted and needed. God is faithful to help us when we ask and wait for Him to answer.

~ Ricky Robinson

Image Credit: Irish House © Giuseppe C via freeimages.com

– See more at: http://www.gatewaybelievers.com/articles/waiting-direction-1#sthash.kYrrGeTu.dpuf

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