♕ Today's Promise: “And your ears will hear a word behind you, 'This is the way, walk in it,' whenever you turn to the right or to the left.” Isaiah 30:21
Words of Encouragement
Last month I wrote about the importance of not shrinking back. Paul said to the early church that he did not shrink back from his mission. It is so important that you press on to the promise God asked you to wait and believe Him for.
Back during my restoration, God spoke to me about my marriage restoration in dreams that kept repeating themselves and He gave me the strength to stay the course. This month I encourage you to examine your emotions and your actions. Take time to examine yourself especially if sometimes you feel discouraged, feel frustrated, you are hurt and want to shrink back. Ask God, “What’s going on with me when I’m feeling discouraged, feeling frustrated, feeling hurt and wanting to shrink back? What or who am I fighting?” Sometimes we feel like we are surrounded by an audience who wants us to shrink back, who want us to fear the unknown and it wears on us daily.
2 Peter 1:10-12(ERV)
"My brothers and sisters, God called you and chose you to be His. Do your best to live in a way that shows you really are God’s called and chosen people. If you do all this, you will never fall. And you will be given a very great welcome into the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, a kingdom that never ends."
One of the things that made me feel like shrinking back all the time was the shame I was carrying. The shame of sin, the shame of being a failure as a husband and feeling I could not come back from that. Feeling I had lost my chance. On bad days, I used to not want to believe for my marriage and personal restoration because I was afraid of being or looking like the fool. I was afraid that marriage restoration was just a risk that I could not take. People scoffed at me. Do you identify with how I felt? What if your spouse never talks to you after all your prayers? What if you never see your children again?
All that is fear and worry—a waste of your time.
Fear is a huge enemy and sometimes everything, and everybody around you wants you to shrink back. You have to take it on by controlling your thoughts and emotions and fight those feelings. It’s like something washing over you, you have to fight it off, dust yourself off, shake it off like Paul did.
Acts 28:3, 5 Voice
"When Paul had gathered an armful of brushwood and was setting it on the fire, a venomous snake was driven out by the heat and latched onto Paul’s hand with its fangs... But Paul shook the snake off, flung it into the fire, and suffered no harm at all."
Confront what you’re feeling with the Word of God. Remind yourself of when Jesus wanted the cup of suffering taken away from Him but when it happened, thankfully for us He did not hop off the cross and say ‘I’ve had enough’—never! He endured until the end for our sake. You are being called to do this for your wife and family’s sake (and your own sake)! Endure this to the end until your journey and this mission is complete.
Luke 22:42 (ERV)
"Father, if you are willing, please don’t make me drink from this cup. But do what you want, not what I want."
God is faithful to His Word, and He has called you to fight on. So as long as you’re staying within His word, His promises will come true for you. Fight! Shake off doubt; Shake off fear; Shake off taking offenses; Renew your mindset to long-suffering and be prepared for the fact that the “heat” in your situation is going to rise for a period of time. Fight off your distractions; fight off insecurity; fight off comparing yourself or situation to anyone else’s —anything that does not build you up. Do not shrink back from your mission and the Divine appointment He’s called you to.
1 Thessalonians 5:19-21
"Don’t stop the work of the Holy Spirit. Don’t treat prophecy like something that is not important. But test everything. Keep what is good, and stay away from everything that is evil."
Being productive in the Lord’s house.
I believe that because I had been so lukewarm in the first four years of my marriage that I found myself having problems in my marriage. My wife was looking for me to rise as the spiritual leader in my home but I was not aware of what to do. I was lulled to sleep by comforts of this world like the seed that fell upon the rock and thorns (Luke 8).
I went to church, I read the bible now and then but not wholeheartedly committed. Going through marriage restoration is the time I drew closer to the Lord. I was facing divorce and I had nowhere to turn but to Him. It is during this time is when God started to deposit large dreams in my heart. Some had always been there but grasping the possibility of the dream and vision coming true happened during this time. I started to see that IN Him only could I be more helpful in the family of God. I now understood that previously -because I had been lukewarm, I was either cut off or too far from Him to be productive. Now I was back in, grafted and part of the vine. Can you relate with any of this?
John 15:1-4 (ERV)
Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that does not produce fruit. He also trims every branch that produces fruit to prepare it to produce even more. You have already been prepared to produce more fruit by the teaching I have given you. Stay joined to me and I will stay joined to you. No branch can produce fruit alone. It must stay connected to the vine. It is the same with you. You cannot produce fruit alone. You must stay joined to me."
During this time you will find out these a lot you did not know about yourself. Your capacity will be stretched if you only if you draw close to Him. I urge you to start believing for and living intentionally towards these goals (that the Lord will deposit in your heart), God will reward your efforts. Ask the Lord to give you more of what somebody else has or had- more of what Joshua had; more of what Moses had; more of what Job had. I believe you can get to a point where you are running with the Lord like Elijah (1 Kings 18:46). If you keep looking at who you used to be or who we are now, you may be discouraged. I believe that you should pray for clarity for purpose and for the Lord to speak to you directly. Press on to the future, repent and shake off shame, shake off sin and always remember that we are new creations grafted in.
"Remember that in the past you were without Christ. You were not citizens of Israel, and you did not know about the agreements with the promises that God made to his people. You had no hope, and you did not know God. Yes, at one time you were far away from God, but now in Christ Jesus, you are brought near to him. You are brought near to God through the blood sacrifice of Christ."
When you pray ask the Lord to fulfill his purpose for your life or expose it. You are a steward of your talents given by Him and God will hold you accountable for them someday so better to start using them now. Be prepared for the fact that the heat will rise in your situation and change your mindset. One example is that it was during this time that I started really listening to Christian music wholeheartedly. In that, I mean from high school I used to listen to Kirk Franklin and Mary Mary now and then. But at this time I found myself stretched and trying new music and I discovered it. I had always falsely believed that secular music was unrivaled but now it was incompatible with my new way of life. I was exploring new music and I found this very rewarding because there’s so much good Christian music that is encouraging and building me up; full of worship; helps you recite the scripture instead of secular music which is deadening. Also during this time that I started to serve in church. I put my hand up to volunteer. I believe God rewards the small starts and that is how I wound up at RMI.
Matthew 25: 15-28
“For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servant and entrusted to them his property. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents."
"If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either."
If you use this time that you are in a crisis to draw close to the Lord. The lord is love and he does not turn away the brokenhearted. You will discover new things about yourself. He will grow ou and stretch you. So go ahead and break the fallow ground in your heart. Start small by serving others and don’t be easily discouraged.
~ Patrick RESTORED in Australia
If you haven't already done so, please take a moment to read my testimony and then my wife's encouragement.
Also, here are the previous letters from prior months that I hope will inspire you in your Journey.