2018

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him." - 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT) 

As the year is coming to a close and the new year is quickly approaching, the scripture above has resonated with me deeply. I firmly believe in 2018 no one has ever seen, has ever heard, and could ever imagine what God has in store for you. Everything you do in 2018 will reflect this verse. People will be so amazed by the opportunities, ideas and breakthroughs that God will bless you with. They will keep asking you how and the only response you will have is who, and that's God. God is always prepared to do more in our lives than we could possibly do for ourselves. However, in order to fully receive these blessings we need to practice the act of surrender.

We need to surrender our plans, our careers, our futures and our lives to God so we can give Him room to do extraordinary things. We live in a society that conditions us to take control over everything but in 2018 I pray that we will mirror God's idea of a fruitful life, which is having faith in Him and allowing Him to move in our lives as He sees fit. Surrendering to God is a bold act of faith. It shows that we acknowledge that He is ultimately in control of all things and we believe in His plan for our lives. Surrendering to God helps us let go of whatever has been holding us back from living our best life in Christ. 

What does surrendering to God really mean? It means we set aside our own plans and fervently seek His. I know God has called me to be a great leader and sometimes I put unnecessary pressure on myself to achieve this vision He has for me. At times, I find myself trying to navigate life on my own, trying to get what I want out of the opportunities God has blessed me with and ultimately trying to be the master of my own destiny. This has left me feeling  drained, burnt out, stressed and anxious, and that is not of God (see 2 Timothy 1:7). God promises us Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Rely on that and remember if God has appointed you, He will anoint you, If He has assigned you, He will equip you. When you surrender, He will give you everything you need to fulfill His divine purpose for your life.  

God's ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9) and He will exceed our expectations (Ephesians 3:20-21) but only if we let Him. That new business venture? Give it to God. That idea that has been keeping you up at night? Give it to God. That degree? Give it to God. That relationship? Give it to God. Give everything in your life to God and watch Him take it to places you didn't even know existed. If you want God to do the impossible through you, you need to ask Him to give you the power to let go and let God. Because the more you let go, the more Christ will be exalted in your life and the more you will see 1 Corinthians 2:9 manifest in everything you do. 

Prayer: 

Father, I thank you for everything you've done in my life this year. I thank you for all the struggles, the hardships, the breakthroughs and the victories. I thank you for taking me to new levels and reminding me of your goodness and faithfulness through it all. As I'm stepping into 2018, I step in with bold confidence and firm assurance in the plans you have for me. I surrender every worry and anxiety into your hands. I believe that you will do things in my life that eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, and no mind has ever imagined. This will be my testimony for 2018. I receive it in Jesus's name, amen! 

Stay Blessed,

God's Vessel 

 

Plot Twist: It's Working Out For Your Good

Romans 8:28 (NLT) "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them."

This verse is a promise from God. According to the dictionary, a promise is "a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen."  In this season of my life, God is constantly reminding me of His declaration and assurance. He is reminding me there is a plot twist with my name on it and He is continuously working through all things for my good, even the things the enemy intended for evil. 

I've been wrestling with challenges and have been facing disappointments that lead me to question whether or not I am still under God's favor. I've been feeling like everything around me is falling apart, that all my efforts have been in vain and my best has not been enough. When you repeatedly feel this way you may start to lose hope in the purpose God has for you and faith in His promises. That's where I've been until recently. 

God's promises are easy to understand and believe until they don't mirror certain parts of your reality. I've found myself in situations that make me look to God and ask:

  • "You said You only have plans to prosper me and to give me a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11), then why doesn't my future feel promising?"
  • "You said if I ask in prayer and believe that I've received it, then it will be mine (Mark 11:24), then why do I feel like my prayers haven't been answered?"
  • "You said I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37), then why do I feel defeated?"
  • "You said that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13), then why do I feel so inadequate?" 

These are a few of the MANY questions I've found myself asking God and here's how He answers every time: 

  • "You said You only have plans to prosper me and to give me a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11), then why doesn't my future feel promising?"
    • Romans 8:28
  • "You said if I ask in prayer and I believe that it will be mine (Mark 11:24), then why do I feel like my prayers haven't been answered?"
    • Romans 8:28
  • "You said I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37), then why do I feel defeated?"
    • Romans 8:28
  • "You said that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13), then why do I feel so inadequate?"
    • Romans 8:28

God's Promises > Our Feelings

Notice how after every promise I speak of my feelings. God is telling me that the way I feel about the things I'm going through does not accurately depict what's happening in the spiritual realm. He is telling me that although you feel defeated everything is working out for your good, although you feel inadequate everything is working out for your good, although you feel like your prayers haven't been answered everything is working out for your good. God wants us to realize that there is nothing that we will face that won't end up working out on our behalf. We need to remind ourselves that the race is already rigged in our favor, we are already victorious. We cannot let the troubles that come our way give us amnesia on what God has proclaimed. There is nothing you're going through that undermines His promise for you.

God's Reality

God understands that life is hard, He's not dismissing that. This is why He made it very clear that our reality isn't always His reality and when it looks like everything is falling apart, it's simply coming together for our good. The Amplified translation of this verse says, "And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose." God is deeply concerned about every detail of our lives and He wants us to have great confidence, unshakeable faith, in His plan and purpose for us. He orchestrates everything that happens in our lives and even the things we can't see the good in, He works out in our favor. We need to have the type of faith that makes people think we're crazy. Some people may look at your situation and think there's no way they're going to get out of that, but let God's reality be your new reality. God knows how to restore everything the enemy convinced you that you lost, so when it looks like you're losing you know that you're winning because He has already gone before you and worked it out! 

For His Glory

I've made mistakes in my life that I thought I could never come back from. Mistakes that I thought would have a detrimental effect on my future but I'm thankful I serve a faithful God. A God that needs and uses our mistakes for His glory and our good. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, "Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me." See, this is why I love God so much. He wants all of you, not just the great parts of you. He wants to take your mistakes, your insecurities, and all your weaknesses and show you how powerful He is by turning it around for your benefit. I have mentees that come to me all the time worried about the grades they've received. They feel like they won't get the internship or job they want and I tell them that God will use those grades to surprise you and those around you. He will take the GPA you have and give you your dream job, so when people ask how you did it the only person that will get the credit and the glory is God. The shortcomings that you thought would hold you back, God will take those things to advance you in your purpose. There is nothing in our lives that is too bad for God to use for our good. 

Ultimately, God wants us to know that despite what it may look like now, He is working everything out for your good, His glory, and your purpose. 

REFLECTION

Here are a few scriptures that you can reflect on this week when challenges arise: 

 1 Peter 5:7 (NLT) "Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you."

  • Whenever you feel overwhelmed, give it to God. Simply say, "God, I can't do this on my own so I surrender it all to you." Ask Him to help you carry your burdens. Whether it's school, work, or relationships, God has your back and He wants you to have faith that He will come through for you. You don't have to do it alone, He's here to help because He cares about you.

Deuteronomy 31:8 (NLT) "Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

  • A few weeks ago I was listening to a sermon by Sarah Jakes Roberts and she said whenever you feel alone or abandoned, it's only because God has gone ahead of you. God never wants us to be afraid or discouraged, these are feelings of the enemy. He wants us to have confidence in what He's doing and what He has already done. Whenever feelings of neglect or hopelessness arise, use this scripture as your backbone. Tell your emotions and your situation that you will not be afraid or discouraged because you know that God has gone before you and He will never fail you.

Philippians 4:6 (NLT) "Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done."

  • Growing up my mom always said that we should talk to God like it's already done. If you're worried about a job interview, instead of talking to God through the lens of worry, speak to him through the lens of thanksgiving. Say, God, thank you for making me more than a conqueror and letting Your will be done in my life. A lot of times when we're in the midst of difficulties our first response is to stress out and fear, but God is telling us that we should do the complete opposite. Instead of drowning yourself in anxiety, immerse yourself in prayer and in the Word of God. In Matthew 6 God says, can worrying add a single hour to your life? Spoiler alert, the answer is no. However, when we pray, it not only changes our situation but it also shifts our minds and our hearts to be more hopeful for what He has planned.

PRAYER

Father, thank You for Your faithfulness and Your unwavering promises. Lord, thank You for giving us hope for what You've already accomplished. Father, I pray that as we face challenges we will not let our feelings get in the way of Your truth. We will be reminded that You are sovereign and have control over every area of our lives. We will continue to have great confidence in Your plan and purpose for us. In everything, we go through please remind us that it is all working out for our good. There is nothing in our lives that You won't use for our favor and we thank You for that. Amen! 

Stay Blessed,

God's Vessel

7 Prayers For Creatives

As creatives, it's important we understand who our source is. We cannot come to the fruition of who God has called us to be if we do not fully depend on Him. I know we all want to be pioneers and trailblazers, but we need to go to God first and ask Him to equip us with what we need to achieve these goals. He is the only one that will help us tap into the creative power we're looking for. Below are 7 bible verses and prayers I believe every creative should pray continually in order to live a life of divine creativity and success. 

1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT) - “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him."

  • Prayer: God please help me create what's next. Lord, please give me ideas that eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, and no mind has imagined. The root of creativity lives in You, You know where the gaps are. Please plant ideas in my heart and mind that will help me fill these gaps according to Your plan and purpose. Lord, I'm on this earth to be a vessel for Your glory and Your greatness. Do the impossible through me. Give me divine inspiration and instruction to carry out Your plans. Lord, I want to create ideas that are so ingenious that when accomplished the only person who will get the credit is You. Ultimately, I pray my ideas inspire people to get closer to You. 

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NLT) -  "Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me."

  • Prayer: God thank You for Your promises. I know that You work best with underdogs, people who are overlooked and are unqualified in the eyes of men, but in You have everything they need to be elevated. Lord, please use my weaknesses to elevate me and bring more glory to Your name. When people are looking down on me, doubting my ideas, and questioning Your call for my life, please do not let me join them in that discouragement. God, please encourage me to be confident in my weaknesses because I know that Your power, Your strength, and Your everlasting grace works best when I am weak. You use my weaknesses to emphasize Your greatness and if I claim to be Your vessel, I need to find power in what You will enable me to do through You. My weaknesses remind me that I can't do it alone, they draw me closer to You, and force me to depend on You more so I thank You for that. The more confident I am in my shortcomings the more I will gain power and strength through You. I thank You because the same weaknesses that people look down on me for are the same weaknesses You will use to raise me up high.

Proverbs 3:5 (NLT) - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding."

  • Prayer: God thank You for being my creative director. Thank You for guiding me and leading me into the divine destiny you have in store for me. It's easy to think that I know it all, but I don't. I don't have all the answers, You do. More often than not, I won't know the "how" but I know the "who" and that is You. You are the one that will strengthen and qualify me. You are the one that will fill me with ideas and creativity that the world has yet to witness. You are the one that will give me the wisdom to carry out those ideas so that they will be manifested in Your name. Lord, even when it doesn't make sense to me, give me the confidence to trust that You know what You're doing. Lord, please do not let fear or anxiety push me to depend on my own understanding. Lord, not only are you my creative director but you are my creative consultant. Help me to consult You before I act and lean on Your direction alone. 

Ephesians 3:20 (NIV) - "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us."

  • Prayer: God please work through me and equip me with everything I need to accomplish immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine. According to the dictionary, immeasurably means "to an extreme or extensive degree." God take my ideas to the extreme. Lord push the envelope of creativity when it comes to me. Help me exceed expectations in every area of my life through Your power alone. God with You, I am limitless and my creativity knows no boundaries -- let this be a constant reminder whenever the enemy tries to convince me other wise. 

Matthew 10:20 (NLT) - "For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you."

  • Prayer: Lord I pray that every thought, every word, and every action that comes from me originates from You first. I pray that my thoughts embody Your wisdom, my words embody Your power and creativity, and my actions embody Your love. God, please enable me to walk into every presentation and meeting with words of authority, so when I speak people hear Your voice and not mine. 

2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) - "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."

  • Prayer: God being a creative can be trying at times. I have so many ideas brewing in my mind and it's easy for fear to penetrate my thoughts to discourage me from carrying out what You've placed in my heart. Father, please remind that You have not given me a spirit of fear. Your ideas don't come with fear, they only come with power, love, and peace. Lord help me tap into the power you have given me. Help me understand that I am powerful and a force to be reckoned with. Remind me that my ideas have the power to change lives, creatively disrupt, and dominate industries. Regardless of my circumstances, remind me that I have the power to overcome every roadblock that is trying to stifle my creativity. Lord help me tap into the love You've given me. Even when people don't show my ideas love, remind me that the only love I need is from You. Do not let me grow dependent on the validation of others. Allow me to seek validation and love for my ideas from You alone, and in doing so I know You will send the right people to invest love into the plans You have for me. Lord help me tap into the sound mind You've given me. To be of sound mind is to float with peace even in the midst of the storm. God some people will reject my ideas, discourage me, my finances might not be where they need to be but help me to have peace that surpasses all understanding. Lord, I know You will not give me ideas that Your grace cannot sustain. Help me to regulate my thoughts so I'm only inviting the type of thoughts that will establish and maintain my peace throughout this creative process.

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

  • Prayer: Lord I thank You for Your all-encompassing power. I thank You for being a whole God. In You, I can do all things, not some, not one, but everything. Lord whenever the enemy tries to infiltrate my thoughts and convince me that I am not capable, help me to rely on the truth of Your Word. Because of You, I am more than a conqueror. Because of You, I am the head and not the tail. Because of You, I am the house on the hill that can never be hidden. Lord, please do not let the doubts people have on my calling make me doubt what You've called me to do. Let this Word constantly dwell in my heart to remind me that in You I am all that I need to be to do all that You've destined for me to do. 

 

Stay Blessed,

God's Vessel