Tag Archives: spiritual

Going into the Heat of the Battle

Today… if you are facing a giant that has been in your land for some time … there is a new hope. This is the hope of tenacity. Tenacity is the quality or fact of being able to grip something firmly (Google.com). Tenacity is the ability to keep fighting, but purposeful fighting that has the hope of victory. Tenacity alone is not enough. In Christianity, the battles we face within our souls are determined by our tenacious spirit. All that’s within you, as a born-again believer, is already victorious, but our fallen souls must be redeemed by our saved spirits. We do not go into battle without victory leading us. We cannot face a giant that is stronger than us. Nor do we go of our own will and strength. The victory has been determined on the cross, what you do with it, remains to be your victory.

To put it into perspective, there are habits and old experiences that continue to haunt us. They determine how we live today. They continue to dictate our perspectives and feelings. Christ came not only to set the spirit free, but the soul and body with it. Today, there is no excuse for our behavior, attitudes, and feelings. We were not bought with cheap coin, but with the blood of the one and only holy Man. He has determined your thoughts and actions to be set free from all bondage and if you are not, well then, Calvary hasn’t fully taken place in your heart yet.

A tenacious spirit doesn’t come easily, but it starts with a choice. A choice to be victorious, a choice to be patient, a choice to be content, a choice to endure, a choice to have hope. The question today is how are you dealing with the giants in your land? Are you overcoming in the heat of the battle? Or is your foe continuing to be triumphant over you?

When the heat of the battle comes, you may not be ready for it, but it is here that your giant falls. When you feel the pressure of everything around you closing in, it is here where the fighting gets tough. It remains tough until you begin to welcome the pressure not as a foe, but as an agent of victory. In this heat, you will begin squirming, looking for a way out, to past sins, to past relationships, to past thought patterns, to past hobbies. You become very uncomfortable, seeking relief, something to satisfy your soul.

This is where giants are slayed. If you persevere and make a determined step towards your victory, you will be victorious. There is only success for the one who makes the right step. As all things in Christianity, they do not seem appetizing at first, but when you produce that fruit, all things have never been better. For instance, patience is a fruit of the spirit. For most of us, patience is a hard word, an unwelcoming aroma, and therefore very few attain that fruit, unwilling to produce it. Little do we realize, if we persevere towards it, patience is a luscious fruit, that produces a quality of life like no other. If nothing else convinces you to become a patient person, take this illustration home with you. Imagine that patience is an apple. You attitude towards patience determines the quality of the apple. To this point, some of you have been eating a rotten apple, while others have been eating a tasteless apple. But how many of you would like to eat the luscious tasty apple? Well then, I illustrate the quality of life to this apple. Our quality of life is determined by the fruits of our spirit, and whether they are produced within us or not. Remember, your spirit has got it (if born-again) but your soul has yet to attain it. What are you appetizing your soul with today? Learn to be patient, allow the Spirit to work it within you, so that your quality of life may change for the better.

Therefore, the same happens in the heat of the battle. We suppose that it is too hard and not worth fighting, but the matter of fact is that we just don’t realize how much greener the grass is on the other side. Accept the pressure you are facing today, determine your victory, and you shall come out as a dazzling diamond, pleasing to both God and men. 

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We reap what we sow

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            Recently, I have been discovering the reality of that verse, “you reap what you sow.” God pushes us to excel when we are excelling because there will be days we let our guard down, and at those moments (does not mean you are not a good Christian) what will sustain you is the trust you’ve been putting in God. God does say, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” but my friend, how many times did you press that snooze button in the morning? Your alarm will always be there, but it does nothing for you, when it is put to sleep.

A time is coming when the anointing you have or don’t have will be needed for your sustainability. 

At the Jesus Culture Conference New York, Kim Walker stated, “I had to fight for this fellowship. It wasn’t always easy for me to go in and out of worship freely. I had to seek after God. I had to spend time on my knees, when I didn’t sense Him but because of that, my awareness of His presence has increased and that enables me to have that communication with Him.”

God knows what’s real. He knows when you’re being honest and real with Him. If you are not, then you yourself are not taking yourself seriously or God. God has no response to such passiveness. Kent Mattox wrote in his book, “No High Like the Most High,” that it is in those moments when we are truly broken and genuine, that He answers us.

In “The Standard Christian Epidemic,”I write, “Seeking Him wholeheartedly is seeking him until you find Him.”

We will reap what we sow. If we spend our days meddling in our own affairs, that’s just what we’ll get. We are raised with this hope, that God is always there, so whenever you need Him, just go to Him, He will make you feel safe and at peace. My friends, how hypocritical that is, yet I know for a fact we all think like that, because first of all it’s the truth, but it does not mean that’s the lifestyle God called us to because it contradicts the life of an ever-increasing relationship with Him, which is His perfect will.

Here’s why this principle of sowing and reaping is so crucial: those days when you are down or at your lowest, FOR WHATEVER REASON, you will have no anointing to draw from. You will need to cry for help, because you have no sense of His presence. If you are truly broken and humble, have no doubt, God will come, because He honors real talk. But, that is no way to live, because even though God will come again and again for this present time, you will be miserable.

It’s the same as flunking the whole semester, and then when it comes to the midterm or final, you have to stay up for hours cramming the information and studying it. Yes, it works, and it worked for me in high school and college. But do you know how miserable I was when it came time for those exams. I was miserable all those hours before the exam and during the exam, filled with anxiety and stress beyond normal levels. Of course, once it was over, it was over, I went back to senioritis freshmen year in high school.

It is likewise with God. We will reap exactly what we sow. God will not be mocked. You cannot fool God. You cannot fool anyone when it comes to real talk. This is reality my friends. This is life.

I wonder if anyone in here had the same thought growing up as I did after I read the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. Every time my grandpa gave me watermelon seeds, the biggest hope in my heart was that I would come outside and somehow find something I didn’t expect and I would be a million dollars richer! This anticipation made me go out there the day after I had planted those watermelon seeds to see if anything had grown. We have this anticipation and desire for something great and that something wonderful will eventually come of our lives, but I have a very stern challenge for all of us, you will reap exactly what you sow!

A couple weeks after I planted those watermelon seeds, I found those little melons and I enjoyed seeing them, but I was not the least bit surprised, because in my heart, I knew those were just simple watermelon seeds.

   Our hearts know the condition they are in. Our hearts know the foolish imagination we put in front of ourselves, those foolish lies we think we want to believe. Our hearts know that Jesus Christ is the truth. Yet we choose to live without making any serious effort to make a decision that will bring separation from not only the world, but other Christians.

            We reap what we sow. You are building a legacy in your life. Every day is another brick to your legacy. We are building something, but what a huge difference the material makes!

Though God forgives our sin, when we do sin, and don’t turn away from it, by making that decision and trusting Him to walk us through it, we build a stronghold in our lives, giving that sin power over us. Believe me, anything you sow, will die, because the strong man always wins. If sin goes unaddressed in your life, it will be your strong man.

Now, when we do sin but address it, that sin leaves no residue to God, but it leaves a residue to your soul. Those days when you are empty, everything you sowed previously will begin to hover over you. Now, two things you must understand, our past does not rule us nor does it have power over us, but the second thing is, that thing even when conquered, will make an attempt at your life once again. Hell does not sleep. Hell does not care that you overcame by the blood of Jesus, it will still come after you. Though the gates of hell shall not prevail against you, they surely try!

That being said, we must understand what we sow into our lives, we give room and opportunity to. Therefore, my exhortation is this; renew each day with the Word and fellowship with the Father, making a decision to trust Him. As we do this, we will be victorious. But nevertheless, you will reap what you sow.

In my personal life, when I have days that I feel empty or void, honestly it’s only because we live in a fallen state, body and soul not fully redeemed yet, so don’t think we have to be this way, NO… but that’s why we need to sow the Word of God into our lives, so that we can realize our spiritual identity, and reap our spirit because it is our spirit that redeems our soul.

 

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Breaking the Threshold

Radical changes require radical voices. A church body that has been in a traditional routine, will not change on its own, nor will it change quickly.

#1 change requires change
#2 a collection of ‘voices’  brings radical change

 “Voices” refers to the individuals doing what God told them to do, in any part of society. Corporate change requires a collection of “voices.”

How does God fulfill His Purposes today? He does it through “voices.” He directs you to say a word. He directs you to sing. He directs you to do that which He told you to do. Every word from God is prophetic. It breaks the threshold of routine and tradition.

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
                                    –Isaiah 55:11

When you release what God has spoken to you, you will always have results. God knows the need and He sends a Word to satisfy that need. Was Jesus ever denied when He released God’s Word?

How does God fulfill His Purpose, if only one “voice” responds? One “voice” is greater than a hundred “mute” voices. You will break the threshold regardless.

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Matt. 5:14

A “voice” will be a light in the darkness. Even if you alone are doing God’s work, you will still have a great impact. When a lamp is lit in a dark room, it is seen by ALL! Complacent Christians and unbelievers, alike!

By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35

 Loving people is a command and principle of the kingdom. It is God’s work to love people. So when you do God’s work, people will know and see something is different.

 To further illustrate this point, look at Jesus. The one Man responsible for the redemption of the world.

One man.
2000 years later.
1/3 of the 7bil. Population acknowledge to be Christians

 He proved God’s work through His “voice.” Now, someone may completely overlook this and say Jesus was God and so on. However, that being true, Jesus makes a statement that challenges every Christian to this day.

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. John 14:12

If we make the argument that Jesus was also God and thus the reason His one “voice” was such an impact, then what Jesus stated above is irrelevant to us. Because Jesus is saying, what I did, YOU WILL DO AND EVEN GREATER! Jesus is challenging us and saying, “No more excuses! I’ve given you My Word, now go and do something with it! Because My Word shall not return to Me void.” You cannot look past the responsibility God has place upon your life, as if you cannot do it, because you’re a nobody. But Jesus was speaking to you, 2000 years ago, breaking through the time zones to this very day. Because His Word lives forever, eternal and true.

My point in saying all this is that you need to move forward in what God has spoken to you and you can no longer ignore it. You have no one to blame and no excuse to make. You will answer to Jesus and no one else. Jesus will point to His Word and say to you, “I told you, you shall do greater works than I did.”

Children of God, let’s begin to enter our glorious inheritance and be done with this world.

Another point to be made here is the following. When Jesus said you shall do greater works than Me, He was pointing to His body. Jesus, on earth, was one Man. We as the body of Christ, and local church, are a corporate level. We can do greater works, because we are many in Christ. Yes, Jesus was God, but He was also a Man. He was unable to do everything. He established His body for this purpose, to full His purposes. Why didn’t Jesus stay on earth? Because He was one Man. Why did He send the Holy Spirit? Because the Holy Spirit was Jesus present in all believers. Some may find this very challenging to accept but let’s look further in scripture.

Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if depart, I will send Him to you. John 16:7

Jesus was, in fact, saying, “I must go so that the church can do its work, united in Me, through the Holy Spirit.” Jesus was in fact saying, “I alone am not able to do this without My body.” The purpose of Jesus dying for us, was redemption, and for a purpose. He gave His church, a purpose, to carry His name to all nations. And He needed to go to the Father to send the Holy Spirit forward for this purpose to be fulfilled. So, in fact, we see that we as a church are meant for greater works than Jesus.

It begins at the individual level first. Your one “voice” will be appealing and contagious to the rest of the church. You will change your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. They, in turn, will unite with your one “voice,” becoming many “voices.” Now, radical change can come. (#2 a collection of ‘voices’ brings radical change).

 Now I am challenging you. In your local body, ask yourself, do you want change. Do you want the healing and manifest presence of God to come. This requires a corporate level change. “Voices” are much louder than the whole body of “mute” voices.

In a corporation, the CEO and board of directors direct the whole company in a strategic vision. #1 change only happens when they make that decision.

For a church to begin moving in a new direction, “voices” need to rise up. People of God doing His Will. People wait for revivals, but revival is simply God having His place in our local bodies. And this isn’t up to God, but up to us, as individual Christians and then as local bodies to respond to God.

Eternity is right around the corner. There is no more time to delay what God has spoken to you. Begin to move in what He speaks to you. I feared this change in my life as well. In my relationship with Jesus, I climbed heights I always feared, but as I climbed them, I became more comfortable with the One I was with. I still fear the heights, but I don’t fear the One I am with. His Name is love. He is the most wonderful person “in the world.” In my short journey with Jesus, I have learned to just do what He says to do and rest in His presence. The Spirit will bring you to a place of comfort and rest in Him, where the world does not phase you. God can and will place eternity in your heart, as you continue to get to know Him. Your perspective changes and you begin to move forward with great passion and zeal for the house of God. Don’t worry, this will not be your work, but the work of your Father, who is in heaven.

The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works (John 14:10).

As I journeyed with God, I began to realize that fearing risk and fearing change, wasn’t even worth it. It is an illusion, a lie of the devil. Fear is a lie. You have nothing to fear. You will realize this. Continue in your walk with Jesus, obey and love Him. He will prioritize your value on people and Him. He will give you awareness of the truth. And the truth shall set you free (John 8:32).  You will overcome.

 

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If it is of Faith, it will Succeed. If it is of Man, it will Fail.

Many things we attempt in life are not in the Will of God and that is why very often we find ourselves discouraged in the failures we encounter. The first thing you must understand is that, God is not a failure. When God does something, He is ALWAYS successful. And He desires your life to prosper even as your soul prospers (3 John 1:2).

I am not preaching “success” here. I am preaching the success of God in your life. God never fails, but you do. You fail when you don’t walk in faith. You fail when you chose your own way over God’s.

There are factors and exceptions, for every situation, but the Word of God is the final Word of God. And here’s where the Holy Spirit revealed this truth to me. In this passage, a pharisee stood up against the council, who were trying to kill the apostles.

Acts 5: 38 And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; 39 but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.”

Without going into too much detail, I want every Christian to understand this basic truth. If it is of faith, it will prosper. If it is of your own self, it will run dry. This should give you not only hope but encouragement in your walk with God. If what you plan to do, is not of God, it will run its course into the ground. It will fail. This is in regards to Christians who, “live according to the Will of God,” and so having been saved by grace through faith, they are now in the plan of God. However, what tends to happen is they continue to live their own lives as if they were never saved. Yes, they may not sin and live in a sinful lifestyle, because they are now of “born-again” spirit, but they don’t renew their minds with the Word of God and experience God’s presence through prayer and worship. What happens to a person like this? Think about it, they chose the Will of God, through salvation, but they continue to live by their own will. It’s a very contradictory lifestyle. One cannot tear down physical walls, unless he puts up spiritual walls. My point in saying all that is a Christian’s actions and words are now contingent upon their faith. It is completely opposite with unbelievers. They are not in the Will of God, therefore the things they do, doesn’t necessarily coincide with faith. Though something may work for them, it is irrelevant to their faith, because they are not on God’s course. A Christian is on God’s course, and what they do with their lives matters a lot more now, because they are bestowed with an inheritance, co-heirs with Christ, seated in heavenly places. They cannot do the will of satan and God. (Matthew 6:24). What does light and darkness have in common. (2 corinthians 6:14). Very few Christians realize the significance and importance of their “born-again” lives.

Now in this context, when I say, “faith succeeds”, I am talking about “truth”. If you operate in faith, you operate in truth. This is not merely, “I believe, I believe, so let it be.” No, I am talking about your faith being a word from God from within your spirit. Faith is not faith, unless it has substance behind it. You cannot have faith, unless the Lord reveals a thing to you. Therefore, understand what I mean by, “If you operate in faith, it will succeed.” If you operate in His Word and His Voice in your spirit, you will succeed. Having that substance, you can have faith.

Having said all that, the point I’m coming to is this truth. If you operate in faith, you will see God’s hand provide for you, because you are doing the Will of God. However, when you “are enticed of your own lust” to do something, it will rarely give you any joy or success, because it is not of God. Now, I don’t want this to seem like I am over-spiritualizing mundane things of life, however, every physical thing has a spiritual foundation. (“Spirit controls physical” post, coming soon).=

One of my closest friends desired to move out-of-state to Florida. I would dearly miss him if he had chosen to move away, but I desire the Will of God for every man and woman. I blessed him in my heart for this decision. I blessed him for any decision he would make in his life. But what I want to make clear to the reader is what God showed me through his situation. When I heard him talk about Florida and moving out-of-state, immediately the Holy Spirit said to me, “If it is of man, it will fail. If it is of faith, it will succeed.” I want to make a few things clear. What I mean by failure here is this: it is not in God’s Will. However, to better illustrate my point, understand this. (God works all things together for good to those who love Him). We may have missteps and make wrong decisions, but God will direct us from there or re-direct us, doesn’t make a difference. However, it is much better to walk in faith so that we can see more of God in our lives.

I am not preaching “success” here, I am preaching the perfect Will of God. I am preaching the success of God in your life. God never fails, but you do. You fail when you don’t walk in faith. You fail when you chose your own way over God’s. Remember, God has the best pathway for your life. Don’t idolize that statement either. Christianity is not an easy path in life. We will face trials and tribulations. But it is the best pathway for your life and this does also mean a good life. For some reason, Christians think bad is good. Truly, only those who love Him, see how good He is and who He really is. Do you really know God? Can you honestly say you know God? Do you know him as your Father? Many do not, but they love to make arguments against fellow Christians, who believe God does bless His children. It is only because they are proud and selfish. They attribute success to self-gain, but to a genuine Christian, personal success means Kingdom success. To pinpoint one area of life where many stumble is money. Many don’t believe God wants you to be rich, for one very ignorant reason, because they think it is selfish. Now wait a minute, what if you’re not selfish? Is money still a blessing or curse. Many would continue to say, money is a root of evil. I have one question for them, are you rooted in Christ or this world? If you are rooted in Christ, money is no evil for you. If you are rooted in this world, money is the least of your problems. Everything will be a curse to you. For without God, you have no life. Therefore, the fundamental truth here is where is your heart. More money in my life simply means more money for the Kingdom. To a regular carnal person, more money means more luxuries. God does not mind if you have luxuries, but He minds where your heart lies. If He has your heart, He has everything.

Back to my point, if you operate in faith for something, you will experience joy and peace in it. It will benefit you, because it is from God. When you chase after your own lust, it will just run to the ground. Sin brings death. Chasing your own pleasures or your own ideas (not always bad) brings little to you and or nothing at all. This goes to all decisions life. Never make a decision without basing it on your faith. If you are in faith, God will lead you to move out of state. Why pursue the carnal will of your “self.” (Don’t you realize, you have died to yourself and been made alive in Christ). Many of us have experienced and re-experienced failures of all sorts. Go back and re-examine your life, how many of those things did you sincerely do because you were led by God. Through my own experience and many others, I can answer that for you. I believe practically, zero, were led by God. My friends, whatever your experience or philosophy is, you must remember God never fails. If God told you to do something, whether it worked out or not, God did not fail. If anything, you failed. You failed at completely trusting Him in it. You failed at continuing to walk and adhere to His voice and hand. That is simply to encourage you that “out of faith, no one can fight against it.” Because God will not fail. The question is your own discernment of whether you were and or are walking in faith. It is also a continual process of refinement. Your faith needs nourishment through a personal relationship with God.

The Spirit would continually repeat this notion to me as I heard the plans my friends had or people around me. He would continually open this up to me so that I would understand why men’s plans fail them. To go back, I am not sure what God’s desire was for my friend, whether to move out or not, but the Spirit was simply shedding light for my own understand and to share with him as well, to seek out God’s Will for his life. I believe there is a very important truth here in listening and obeying God. IF you truly love God, you will obey Him. (scripture). You will desire His Will and not simply your own. A mature Christian, however, can say that his desire to move somewhere, is already God’s desire, because God changes our desires to His, as we fellowship with Him. That’s a statement that I almost go without saying, because a mature Christian will already understand that. But I appeal more so to Standard Christians, who don’t seek the Will of God, but their own ways. You may experience success, you may not. But what I see in all this, is the peace and confidence we can live in if we live according to God’s Will. If you follow God, you will be content and at peace with yourself. So it is not merely about having success, but it is about having peace and joy and confidence in your walk of life. As one Carroll Sanders prophesied to me, “Through simple obedience, He delivers us from anxiety.” And you can be rest assured, you will experience success when you walk in faith. After all, He is God.

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The Will of God is Your Greatest Happiness

There is no greater joy than knowing you are in the Will of God and doing the Will of God. When you recognize what you are doing is in God’s Perfect Will, you will be completely content with life. You will know this is where He wants you. You will bask in the blessings of joy and peace. You will experience an ultimate joy and peace, as never before. Many fear the Will of God, thinking it will make them do things they don’t want to. They are gravely mistaken. That “mentality” says everything about your understanding of God’s nature. But if you realized that God is good and His desire is for you to prosper, His desire is for you to have a good future and an expected end; that His Will is the best pathway for your life, you would not hesitate a moment to seek His Will for your life. The problem with many of us, “believers,” is that we have not taken the Word of God at its word. Rather, we continue to see God through our own philosophies.

My personal experience with the Will of God is rather very small, but it has changed my life completely. My philosophy on God’s Will was rocked upside down. For a good while, I sought God’s Will, but not wholeheartily. (You will only find so much of God with that heart attitude). I would tell God, “Give me this desire and I will do anything for you.” I thought I sounded pretty convincing to God, “God, you know that if I get this desire, I will completely serve you, with nothing holding me back.” In my mind, I was convinced that I was right. But God was working on the inside of me when one night in prayer, the Spirit convincingly stirred my being regarding this philosophy. He broke through my foolishness and shed light upon my mind. It didn’t take long for me to realize how wrong I was.

It never takes long for us to realize something, that is, when God appears. (This truth will be discussed later in my blog). Within a moment of His Spirit touching me, I knew how wrong I was in the way I positioned my heart against God. I had not realized how ignorant and naive I had been. I was, in essence, telling God that I would serve Him only if He gave me this desire, otherwise I would not serve Him completely. But God does not take half-hearted people alongside Him. This truth also revealed my philosophy on God’s nature. By needing something or thinking I needed something to actually serve Him completely, I was, again, in essence, saying that God’s Will is not perfect. I was saying that God’s Will doesn’t suffice for all my needs and desires. How wrong I was! The Holy Spirit quickly, in a moment, showed me that the Will of God for my life is beyond perfection, it is beyond good, and it will only bless me all the more. When I grasped this truth, I let go, almost too quickly, of this “desire,” and I traded it for God’s Will, whatever it may be. It was definitely hard coming to this decision, but I believe through the power of the Holy Spirit, it was completely possible. However, the difficulty laid in this: the fact that I did not trust God. I did not trust God to have a great life for me, one that I would completely desire once I knew what it was, as He revealed it. I did not trust God to provide me with everything I needed, but when I decided to truly trust Him, I would not hold on to anything. Rather, I would embrace His Will head-on, and by faith live my life.

That is the secret my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, of why it is so difficult to change. It is impossible for a rich man to enter heaven. Because the rich man does not trust God, but he trusts his money. Therefore, he does not do the Will of God. Foremost, the WIll of God, is to be a living sacrifice, which means surrendering all to Him. And Jesus said, “Only those who do the Will of my Father will inherit the Kingdom.” You must surrender your life into His care.

And as Jesus said to the rich young man, “With God all things are possible,” I thought it was impossible to let go of this desire I was holding on to. But the Holy Spirit clearly brought me to this decision point of realization, which allowed me to let go of it, which so held me back. There is nothing too hard for God. When you align your mind with God, there will be nothing hard for you as well.

You must come to the point where you say, “It doesn’t matter what my life will look like, but I do know it will look good.” We only hold on to certain things, because we don’t actually believe God has it all stored up and ready for us, in due time. Each season has its blessings. Each day has its blessings. Psalm 68:19 Each and every day, He loads us with benefits. When we worry about our future or current situations, we are not trusting God. Come to the point where you just give up and accept His Will. Then you shall prove the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 

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