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encouragement

Never Alone

I’m not sure who needs to hear this right now, but you are NOT ALONE. There is nowhere you can go that God isn’t able to find you or meet you where you are. Today may be hard, this season may be hard, this year may have not gotten off to the start you were hoping for, but it’s not over. Get back up, and keep going. Wherever you are, if you just keep moving forward, the storm clouds will soon fade into the background and the beauty of God’s promises will begin to shine over head. The radiant beauty of God’s promises will peak through and bring light to what God is doing and will remind you of what God has said for you. His light will reveal how He is with you and who He is keeping you.

Jesus loves you and you matter to Him, even if you can’t always feel it. He has a purpose for your life and it is more beautiful than you could even ask for, think, or imagine. He has plans for you and they are incredible.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 NKJV

There is no place He cannot meet you in or pull you out of. His arms are not too short that He cannot save nor are His ears to bogged down with stuff that He cannot hear your request or cry. He is not over you or done with you, but He is actually desiring and willing to endure with you. There is nowhere you can go that He cannot find you, heal you, help you, and love you.

He loves us so much that He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, in the form of a baby who would live the perfect life, that we could never live. Then He died a death that we as people, could never die; a death that would heal the divide between God and man. It’s because of Jesus Christ and His love for all of mankind that brought Him down to earth…to be a gift for us and to one day become the ransom, the payment for yours and my own sin. Sin causes us to miss God’s standard for our lives, it causes us to live in ways that draw us away from Him and pulls away from our purpose. But because He loves us, He chose us and came to earth to let us in.

You matter to Him. Let Him in. Invite Him into your life. Ask Him to come live with you. If you already have, it doesn’t stop there, but invite Him into your daily living; into your good days and your bad days. Invite Him into the places no one has seen and even let Him be your Valentine this weekend. He loves you, and desires to walk with you each and every day. He wants to love you in all of the ways you need to be loved. He desires to show you all that He has places inside of you; all of the gifts and talents within you that will bless the world and move mountains. And just a little reminder: no matter how crazy things look now, He is working on your behalf; completing things in you and in your life that you know not of.

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” Philippians 1:6

He will NEVER EVER FAIL YOU and He WILL ALWAYS love you!! You mean everything to Him and He will always be there. He is just a call away.

I hope your day, your weekend, and your journey will be filled to overflowing with God’s love, kindness, mercy and joy. And when you feel alone, or you feel like things are all bad, look up; you’ll find your help there.

Psalm 121

“I look up to the mountains. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord. He is the Maker of heaven and earth. He won’t let your foot slip. He who watches over you won’t get tired. In fact, he who watches over Israel won’t get tired or go to sleep. The Lord watches over you. The Lord is like a shade tree at your right hand. The sun won’t harm you during the day. The moon won’t harm you during the night. The Lord will keep you from every kind of harm. He will watch over your life. The Lord will watch over your life no matter where you go, both now and forever.”

I am praying for you. I pray that your head be lifted high today as you finish reading this. I pray that your heart be filled with joy unspeakable. I pray that you experience God’s hope which is always full and never empty. And I pray that you experience His love which never fails, always continues with us and endures patiently with us. May you experience Christ’s love and His presence in your life in ways you never thought possible.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans‬ ‭8:38-39‬ ‭NIV‬‬

God Bless you,

Arnita Faith

encouragement

He Hears You When You Call

Did you know that when you call out to God, He hears you? But that He doesn’t just hear you and keeps silent, but that He hears you and will answer you to bring you peace, some joy, a renewed perspective, hope, strength and will remind you of who you are to Him? And this is just the tip of the ice burg.

A few months back, I was given the opportunity to teach a bible study on the benefits of God and I found myself in Psalm 3. This is by far one of my favorite psalms to read, but as I began studying it, the power of call on God was illuminated to me in a greater way.

The Backdrop of Psalm 3: King David is on the run from his son and is now hiding out in a cave. His son Absalom has caused a revolt against him and was in the process of turning the entire kingdom of Israel against him. Absalom turned the people against David and some of his most trusted advisors. When David found out, he took the few people who were still on his side and he fled. In the book of Second Samuel, we see David in great sorrow and agony. He has been betrayed by the people he loves and cares about, and to top it all off, it is all being spearheaded by his own son. He is in a place of mourning, confusion, and does not know what to do. People are telling him that this is all his fault and that God has forsaken him and he deserves all that is happening to him. Talk about kicking a person when they are down.

In Psalm 3, we meet David in the midst of this. But as we go from verse to verse we see David’s countenance shifting. He starts off in verses one and two telling us what people are saying about him. 

“Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me. Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.” Selah”

But then we see, in verse four, David respond to life’s circumstances by going away to talk with God in a one on one chat with the Lord God, his Father and Creator.

“I cried to the Lord with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill. Selah”

This verse!!! In this verse, David is teaching us of how we should respond when life is going haywire or when our lives seem to get flipped on their heads. He makes the point to say that he cried out, or called out to the Lord. He didn’t go to advisors for wisdom or army commanders for military strategies, but He went to the One who could see all angles and attend to what he was going through from every side. He went to the One who would make a real difference. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying we cannot go to people we trust when we are going through, but through them we should ALWAYS be pointed back to Christ in their counsel. Also, God desires to be our first run to; so when others don’t answer or when we don’t want to be bothered with things, God should be our go to because His insight and perspective is higher and beyond our own. He desires to be our first place of outpour and home of refuge.

I love that it says that David cried out to God. This word cried, in its original Hebrew language, means to call out loudly in order to get someone’s attention. It’s a word used with expectation. He wasn’t just crying, but he expected God to hear him and respond. 

When you cry out to Jesus, is it with such expectancy? Is it with the belief, the faith, that He WILL be attentive to your call? If not, I hope it becomes this for us all. This has challenged me to not just fuss, but to look to God with the expectation of His intervention. Babies cry out with purpose, knowing they are going to catch someone’s attention because they have a need met. Something that is causing a bother to them. The are seeking to to be held, fed, changed, picked up, and maybe even just to be noticed and get some attention. They do it with the expectation of getting their needs met and they do it until it’s met. Well, we are God’s babies, and our cries matter to Him and He desires to be attentive to then and sustain us.

“Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.” Psalm 55:22 New Living Translation Version

So when you call out to Him, do it KNOWING you’re going to get His attention because He cares for you beyond what you could ever think, hope for or even imagine. And the bible says, “[that] His ear is not too heavy that He cannot hear”. He is listening.

And David was rewarded for his cry; he was heard by God. But God didn’t just hear him, oh no, no, no; He answered him from His holy hill. Meaning, God answered David from a place of authority, a place of higher perspective and insight, from a place of wisdom and understanding of what was, is, and what was still to come. God’s response to David didn’t change the things that were happening around David, but He DID change David’s response to what was happening around him. When I was studying this text, I learned that verse three was the result of verse four. Because David cried out to God, he received a response from God and the answer from God shifted his entire perspective. So much so, David began to remember who God was to him and who he was to God (which was not dependent on the situation). David said, “But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.” Meaning:

“But You, O Lord, are a shield for me” = You Lord, are my protection and You will be my defense! It does not matter how many are against me because I know I have You to fight for me and that you are on my side. God, You cover me…You’ve got my back and You will be my guard!”

“But You, O Lord, are…MY glory” = You Lord, are the One who brings significance and worth to me. It’s not from the title You’ve given me or the position You’ve placed me in. But I am significant because I am connected to You. I matter and have meaning because I have You; not because of my kingship or because of what people think of me or what I have done. All that can fade away or be taken from me, but because I still have You, I have EVERYTHING. Because of You Lord, I have purpose, value and importance.”

“But You, O Lord, are…the One who lifts up my head.” = You Lord, are the One who shifts my perspective from a low, defeated, and distracted place to a high and victorious place; to a place of peace and clarity. You are my Encourager, the Restorer of my joy and the Resurrector of my vision. The One who sets my eyes, my thoughts, and my understanding in the place where You are. The One who helps me see a clear picture.

This is what calling on God does. It changes things. It gives you back your fight, it gives you back your vision and it gives you back your strength to continue forward. So many times we feel so weak and downcast and heavy burdened with life and we just walk around with it on our backs; carrying things God is telling us to “just come to Me and put it in My hands”. One of my pastors said, “We have to give Christ our burdens because He cannot fix what is in our hands”. So many times we want things to change or to be mended but more often than not, we are willing to call on Him and place it firmly in His hands.

“casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].” 1 Peter 5:7 Amplified Version

We have to learn how to willingly go to God, call on Him and tarry in His presence; we have to learn how to stay put in His presence until we receive the response we need. And we may be seeking for God to change outside situations when really God wants to shift things within us. Proverbs 16:1 says, “We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer.” We can try to do things our way, but it’s God alone that has the response we truly need. 

It’s in our time away with God, that as we call on Him, He will answer in the perfect way that is needed. It may not always come how we want it, but it will always be what we need. In Jude, it says that God is the only wise God, which means that He sees the perfect start of something and the perfect ending and all the perfect pieces, parts and steps in between. He never misses a step; not one beat. But we have to be willing to cry out to our Father. We have to be willing to run to Him as our refuge and call out to Him with expectation.

He loves you and has so much to share with you. It does not matter what you have done up to this point in time. It does not matter if the situation you are currently in is of your own doing. God still loves you and has a perfect plan for you. Jesus died on the cross for these very things; for our sins, our shortcomings before God. He knew we would never get it right on our own, so Jesus, who is the Only Begotten Son of God, came to earth to make a pathway back to the only One who could get it right for us, God Himself. We will forever fall short of God’s standard of living, but with Christ, we have received the lifeline of grace that pulls us from trenches of death and grants us eternal access to God, our Father and Creator, who has ALL that we need. With Christ, we CAN conquer and overcome, but alone, we NEVER will.

Run to Him! Call on Him. Give Him your burdens. Listen for is response to you. Live in it. Believe in Him. Believe that when you call out to Him, He hears you and will give you the answer you have need of. 

I am praying for each of you reading this. That there will be an unlocking in your heart, an unveiling of your eyes and understanding, a Godly shifting of your perspective and a reviving of your connection and relationship with Christ Jesus. I declare that this shall be so, in the mighty and matchless name of Christ Jesus, Amen!

Love you and God’s Blessings to you,

Arnita Faith

encouragement

Chosen

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them…” Luke 2:8-9a

It amazes me that the first people God chose to reveal the birth of His Son to were shepherds. Time after time, I have read Luke 2 verses eight and nine and have never thought much of it. It wasn’t until about a week or so ago that these verses became more beautiful to me than ever before.

In the last week or so I’ve learned some new things about shepherds. One of the things that fascinated me is that even though the shepherds provided the lambs for worship and sacrifice in the temple, they weren’t allowed inside of the temple. This was because they were seen as dirty and clean, the lowest of the low; they were societal outcasts due to how messy and dirty their job was. Yet, these were the people, the ones God chose to appear to first and even he chose them to spread the news of His Son’s birth. People were awaiting this moment for centuries; the Messiah (the Savior), the liberator of Israel. But when the time came for the Messiah to enter the earth, He didn’t choose the famous, the renowned, the rich, or even the religious elite, but instead He chose the rejected, the overlooked, the unknown, the outcast.

I heard a pastor say (paraphrased), “God chose to allow Jesus to be born in a stable because it had no doors. So those who wanted to come in to see Him would have nothing to stop them from encountering Him.” He continued to say, “and today it is the same way; for all who desire to come to Christ and encounter Him, have no doors or barriers that will keep them out. All anyone has to do is come in; He is open and everyone is welcome.”

Did you know that you are a part of that everyone? That you matter to Christ and He wants you to come in, get close and experience Him and get to know Him? That His door is open to you and anyone that desires to come inside? That there are no qualification list that gets you a ticket in to meet Him? It’s not about your job status, educational background, your reputation in the community, or what your past or current life looks like. It’s not about popularity fame or fortune. He just wants you and He wants you to believe in Him.

God sent His Son to be born into a people who are awaiting their liberation; they were awaiting freedom from the oppression and control of Roman Rulership in the natural world. But on this night, God chose to send the news of this very special birth to a group of people, shepherds. They were oppressed and ostracized because of their social status and occupation, yet He saw it fit to send this news to those who are deemed “unfit and unworthy” according to people’s standards and rules. He chose them to go and personally worship God in the flesh; He deemed them as fit and worthy to be in His presence, and to even go out and tell people about this incredible childbirth. He called them in when everyone else cast them out.

“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” Luke 2:15-18 NIV

Thank God that the way He sees us, loves us, relates to us, and deems us fit, is way different people’s standards and even our own. This is how God sees you no matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done or your past failures or even peoples opinions of you or your opinion of yourself. God still says, “I choose you!” All those who will believe in Christ Jesus for who He truly is, the risen Son of God and Savior of all mankind, are able to be a part of God’s chosen people. It’s not according to your bank account, vocabulary level, degrees, ministry titles, business affiliation, beauty, or understanding. It’s about your heart, your belief in Him, and your willingness to trust and follow after Him; it’s your faith in Him and who He is.

This part of the Christmas story, has become one of my favorite places to dwell. The beautiful thing about God, which I am so thankful for, is that He sees us right where we are and He qualifies us as fit or unfit, good or bad, worthy or unworthy, dirty or clean, according to His own scales and not peoples. This is good and perfect to me! He could have chosen anyone to come and witness the birth of Jesus, but He chose to welcome in the rejected and the cast out. He chose a lowly and off the radar entry into the world and chose a lowly and off the radar people to receive Him, know Him, worship Him, and to share Him.

You are chosen and seen and wanted by God! He knows you, loves you, He has a purpose for your life and He’s calling you near. You matter to Him when it seems like no one is there. He cares about you, He loves you and He has such a special plan for you. His heart is open to you, each and every day of the year. He is calling you on this very day to run into Him and partake of His love and light. Will you come into Him? Will you draw near as the shepherds did to get a close look; running in with no barriers to separate you? Draw near and he will draw near to you. He loves you and He desires a deep and meaningful relationship with you. He is incredible and has so much to share with you.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:10-12

“The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” Luke 2:20

Jesus came for you and me. He came for people who would one day believe and become a part of His shepherd fold; for people in need of direction, understanding and love. Will you rejoice as the shepherd’s did when they heard this good news? Will you come in and find rest for your soul? Will you believe?

God bless you and Merry Christmas!

Arnita Faith

encouragement

Change

“How can I not be changed, When Your Spirit’s in this place, How can I not be moved, When You’re all, when You’re all around me”  ‘Changing Me’ by Anna Golden

Are you looking for a change in your life? Like real change? Are you looking for a transformation in your character, in your mind, in your heart, in your life? Time and time again, I have gotten caught up in believing that I needed to change myself, and it is so easy to get caught up in that whirlwind. There are so many self-help books that will show us what to do and how to do it and how “you can be “fixed” in X amount of days”.  

But the issue with Self-Help is that SELF was never meant to help us and be our guiding force. As human beings, we are prone to error and without the guidance of God, the Holy Spirit, we are as lost as a ship without a sail in the middle of the ocean drifting farther and farther away from the shore. In the bible we are told to put no trust in man, in self and others, yet daily we lean more and more on our OWN strength and our OWN knowledge and the knowledge and ideas of OTHERS, rather than on the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of the God who created us.

“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.” Proverbs 3:5-6

We have to be so careful because we can fight to change something we think is wrong when in all actuality, it’s perfect for the purpose God has for us; it may just need some fine-tuning. But we want change, so we lean on the advice of self-help books, that have no inspiration from our Creator, or we rely on our ingenuity to get there. But God never intended for us to be left to our own devices to figure this life out, but instead that we would lean onto Him to for direction, support, guidance, leadership, and wisdom.

“For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding” Proverbs 2:6

“Teach me Your way, O LORD; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to fear Your name.” Psalm 86:11

It is ONLY by God that real change, transformation happens. We see this with Zacchaeus in Luke 19; he was an evil and deceitful man, but with one encounter with Jesus, just from being in His presence, his heart was shifted and transformed.

“When Jesus got to that place, he looked up into the tree and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry on down, for I am appointed to stay at your house today!” So he scurried down the tree and came face-to-face with Jesus. As Jesus left to go with Zacchaeus, many in the crowd complained, “Look at this! Of all the people to have dinner with, he’s going to eat in the house of a crook.” Zacchaeus joyously welcomed Jesus and was amazed over his gracious visit to his home. Zacchaeus stood in front of the Lord and said, “Half of all that I own I will give to the poor. And Lord, if I have cheated anyone, I promise to pay back four times as much as I stole.” Luke 19:5-8 TPT

It was being the presence of Jesus that caused a change within Zacchaeus, not him doing it on his own or at the advice of others. He was a tax collector, and at this time tax collectors were known as cheats and swindlers because they would over tax the people to get their own cut. They placed heavy burdens on the people and because of their tactics they were hated by many. Zacchaeus didn’t begin wanting to change or even felt that he needed to, but after spending time with Jesus, it made him want to change. It did something within him, and this is what happens with us too. It is Christ who causes the desire for change to well up within us and spill over into our lives. And it doesn’t mean that he was perfect in all he did going forward, but the presence of Jesus caused a change in him, a transformation to his heart that cause a complete change to his speech and behavior. And this is what happens to us; the more we spend time in the presence of God, transformation happens and we gain wisdom and guidance and understanding of how to live the transformed lives we are called to.

True change takes place gradually. Just like a child grows little by little each day before we take real notice, the same is how we change spiritually. With each time we spend time with God something happens, we grow in the unseen until one day it becomes noticeable.

 “Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27:14

And we have to learn to have patience with ourselves (can I get an AMEN!…I can be so bad at this too). because when we don’t see the change we desire after reading one bible verse or going to one church service, we give up. And we do it with other things too. Like working out. We do it one time and then look in the mirror expecting to see a a major difference and getting upset because there’s isn’t one. LoL…I am so guilty of this, one diet change and everything is suppose to change. This is so unrealistic, yet we all do it. When need patience, my dear. Our habits and lifestyles didn’t become what they are over night, so they won’t completely change over night either.

God continues to remind me that it is a step-by-step process, as we lose the old us and gain the new us.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come” 2 Corinthians 5:17

It’s a daily decision to spend less time entertaining the things of this world that satifies the outward us, and spend with the One who satisfies the soul. Because true change doesn’t come from without (outside of us) but from within (inside of us) and spending meaningful, consistent time with God, in His presence will do just that. Naturally, we become like who we are around, so surely it’s the same with God. The more we are around Him, spending time with Him, drawing close to Him, the more transformed into the new us God desires for us to be.

“Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete.” Romans 12:2 The Voice

But this only happens when we are willing to be still, pausing daily with the God who created heaven and earth; with the God that fashioned your days and spoke you into existence. Pausing with God places us INSIDE of His presence which creates changes within us day by day. Teaching us who we are and how to function and respond differently from what we have grown accustomed to. Learning new default responses to opposition, stress, and even triumphs in life instead of what we are used to. We learn how to draw near to Him with every need, concern, victory, &hope we have. And He desires this to be our permanent go-to.

 “Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day.” Psalm 25:4-5

If you want to see true transformation in your life, spend time with the only One that creates everlasting and permanent change. And it only takes for us to step forward and He will meet us there. Stepping forward looks like pausing to pray instead of texting or FaceTiming someone. Stepping forward looks like taking your attention from social media and turning your attention to reading the Bible. Stepping forwards looks like sitting in the car a few extra moments before going into work or going into the house and asking God what He wants you to do that day and ask for the strength and desire to do it. Stepping forward looks like intentionally marking out time on your calendar to spend with God and keeping to it like a work meeting on your calendar. Stepping forward looks like running to God with a problem, even when you feel like you can handle it yourself, to get His perspective instead of doing it on your own. Stepping forward simple looks like pausing and asking God, “what’s next?”.

I’m not going to pretend to be perfect at this, because I am not; but I am learning with each day what He does is better than anything I can do on my own. Or anything I try to do in my own strength. On our own, it’s a temporary change, but with God, it’s a permanence that cannot be removed or altered no matter how hard something or someone rubs. It becomes apart of us like it’s been there our entire lives with no clear distinction of how to separate it from who we are.

God wants this for all of us, but do you want it? Will you step forward and receive the change you’re really seeking? And remember, we cannot do this alone, but with the Holy Spirit of God. It is the Holy Spirit that is at work; daily perfecting us for the purposes of God.

“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” James 4:8a NIV

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 NIV

“Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ comes again. God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NLT

encouragement

The Invitation to Selah

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Selah. This is a word that is mentioned 74 times in the bible but can be found in only two books of the Bible: Psalms (71) and Habakkuk (3). It’s a word that holds some mystery within it because no one knows the exact meaning of the word. It makes me think of Ro1 Corinthians 13:12 when Paul said,

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”

Its hidden meaning makes it that much more beautiful to me; its mystery creating a deepening desire to come near. Though we do not yet understand its full meaning, God ordained it to be apart of His word, mystery meaning and all. No word in the Bible is there without importance. So it ought to be cherished and attempted to be understood.

According to gotquestions.org, Selah could possibly mean a few different things. One could be from the Hebrew word calah which means “to hang” or “to measure or weigh in the balances.” Another could possibly come from the combination of two Hebrew words, s_lah, which means to praise or s_lal, which means to lift up. Another could be that it simply means to pause or to take a breath that comes from the Hebrew word salah. But the beauty of this word intensifies when these definitions are all combined into one definition creating one incredible image of what it could mean. Placing them together causes it to mean, to pause, praise, and reflectively think about what has been said, done, and reflect on who God is. Finding this word in the Bible has become such a high point for me. It causes me to stop and reflect heavily on what I just read. It’s like the bible’s own pause and reflection section to make sure we really take in and understand what we are reading.

Selah is found in one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, Psalm 3. This chapter is only eight verses, but this word is present three times within it. Psalms 3 is power-packed with so much and when you know its history, the text becomes that much richer (the back story is found in 2 Samuel 15-18). David is on the run, in fear for his life because of his son Absalom. He is so grieved within. He could have responded to this situation in any kind of way, but instead of handling things his way, he cries out to God. With each selah we read, we see his strength and faith in God increasing rise. 

Psalm 3

1 O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me;

2 many are saying of my soul, “There is no salvation for him in God.” Selah

3 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.

4 I cried aloud to the Lord, and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah

5 I lay down and slept, I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.

6 I will not be afraid of many thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.

7 Arise, O Lord! Save me, O my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek; you break the teeth of the wicked.

8 Salvation belongs to the Lord; your blessing be on your people! Selah

Have you have reflected like this before? Have you ever, during a frustrating or painful experience, and just paused to call out to God? Have you ever just paused in the midst of a stressful moment or day and breathed and paused with the intentionality to invite Christ into the middle of it? Or have you ever just paused and breathed in the goodness of God all around you? Pausing to thank God for the ability to breathe, for the ability to speak, for the ability to be able to feel the breeze of the day on your skin; the ability to hear the birds chirp, or the ability to be able to feel the ground beneath your feet or to see the trees move, or the colors of the sky? Oh, how wonderful it is to pause and really let the goodness of God in. Pausing in the midst of busyness or sorrow or gladness gives us the opportunity to invite God’s presence into our day and His uncompromising perspective to permeate the depths of our hearts. 

There is something about pausing and just taking a deep breath and centering yourself. But there is something so much richer when you pause, breathe, and reflect on the goodness of God. To take a moment in time to pause and close the gap of distance that the day has set between us and Him. It sets the stage for a moment of intimate fellowship with our Creator, our Father, our Friend. Taking these moments throughout the day rejuvenates us, renews us, restores us, empowers us; it brings hope into our hearts and builds faith within us. It causes us to stop looking around at what we can see and sets our eyes back on the God we cannot see, the One who created heaven and earth. The One who is greater than all that we see and experience. The One who is fully in control. If you have never taken a Selah moment, take one today; take one now! Thank You, Lord, for the opportunity to pause and release; to be still and to receive!

Below is a video that I absolutely love; it leads us through a moment of selah in such a great way. I hope you enjoy this moment of worship and join in as we are taken on an adventure through the serene terrain of the pause of Selah. Enjoy. 

I am praying for you. Blessings.

Arnita Faith

Selah Moment with Alysia Harris (Just Worship 2020)

encouragement

Leaning In

May your day be filled with the joy of the Lord who can keep you, protect you, and strengthen you in every situation and circumstance that may meet you this week and in this life.

I want to encourage you to take some time today and lean into Christ and let His comforting love and wisdom embrace you. I may not know what you are facing today, but He does. Will you let Him in? Will you invite Him into your day by lifting up your voice to Him? No matter what you are facing, I want you to know that He is bigger than what you are up against. He is never too far nor will He ever be too busy to reach us. He has never failed and He won’t start now. We may not fully understand what is happening in our lives right now or even in our world, but no matter what befalls this earth, His goodness and compassion still remain.

Take some time today and lean into Him because when we lean, we glean; we gain more from Him than we could ever think, hope, or imagine! When we lean in, it shows our desire to know what the speaker is saying. It takes focus and intentionality. It takes desire and willingness to draw in a bit closer. Leaning in looks like turning off the television, so you can open up your bible and read. Leaning in looks like putting down the phone or other electronic devices, and spending some time in prayer. Leaning in looks listening to a sermon on something you are struggling with and want to overcome. Leaning in sounds like worshipping God through singing songs to Him and songs about Him and praising His wonderful and holy name. Leaning in looks like going to someone you trust and being transparent with the intention of receiving help, prayer, accountability, and direction.

So let’s take some time today, and lean in together. Let’s lean in and be reminded of who Christ truly is. He knows what we are all up against, and no matter what it looks like, He has not abandoned us. He is working things out with each of us in mind. He is unending and unfailing. He is rich in mercy and love. No matter what it looks like, He isn’t finished yet. Below are the lyrics and the YouTube video link to the song, “Do It Again” by Elevation Worship. A portion of the song says,

“I know the night won’t last, Your Word will come to pass, My heart will sing Your praise again, Jesus, You’re still enough, Keep me within Your love, My heart will sing Your praise again, Your promise still stands, Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness, I’m still in Your hands, This is my confidence, You never failed”

However you choose to lean into God today, I pray you are reminded of His faithfulness and that you are strengthened with His joy. We are still in the grasp of His control and He has no intention of letting us go. Even though things may look dark, His light will always able to cut through and find you because He loves you.

God Bless.

Arnita Faith

P.S.: Leaning in also looks like asking someone questions about who Jesus Christ is and asking why He matters! If you don’t know who Jesus is, now is the greatest time to find out. He loves you and wants you to know it! Getting to know Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the Savior of the world is the greatest thing you will ever do. He loves you and has a very special plan for your life.

Do It Again – LIVE – Elevation Worship

Walking around these walls
I thought by now they’d fall
But You have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come
Knowing the battle’s won
For You have never failed me yet
Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You’ve never failed me yet
I know the night won’t last
Your Word will come to pass
My heart will sing Your praise again
Jesus, You’re still enough
Keep me within Your love
My heart will sing Your praise again
Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed
Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed me yet
I’ve seen You move, come move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
I’ve seen You move, come move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
I’ve seen You move, come move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
I’ll see You do it again
Oh-oh
Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed
Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed me yet
And You never failed me yet
I never will forget
You never failed me yet
And I never will forget
The video in this post was retrieved from YouTube and the lyrics were retrieved from google.com. This pictures in this post were retrieved from google search.  
encouragement

He Knows

Sunflower blowing in the wind

I pray that whatever you are going through in this time, you would turn to Jesus who has a plan prepared just for you. He knows you. He knows the storm you are facing right now. He knows the valleys of sorrow and defeat that are trying to enclose you, but it’s ONLY HIM who can create the steps to bring you out safe. He has a plan for you, whether you realize it or not. He fashioned you in your mother’s womb. He mapped out your days before you came into existence, and He is willing to light the right path for you to travel on. 

Don’t allow everything that is happening in the world right now,  to rob you of reaching out to God. But instead, let it make you truly search for Him and get to know who He really is. He loves you; He really does. He has the answers you’re looking for. He is the answer you’re looking for. Stand still, take a deep breath, and lean into Him. Talk to Him and pour out your heart to Him; tell Him your fears and your doubts. Share with Him your longings and frustrations. Share with Him what keeps you distant and apprehensive of Him. He is not overwhelmed by anything we have to say, nor is He offended, BUT He is listening. His ears are not turned off from you and His arms are not too short that He cannot reach out to you.  

“Day 19” is the poem that is featured below by a young woman named Alexandra Hill. She wrote it during a stormy season in her life that only God was able to carry her through. She said, “I named it [Day 19] because, in that time of my life, I could only see one day at a time, so I [named it] according to the day that had passed”. 

Whatever the day is for you, let Jesus be apart of getting you through it. We cannot do this life alone, it would only destroy us. But with Jesus, we are strengthened, made whole, find meaning and are revitalized for the journey ahead of us.  Let Jesus grow you through this storm, and draw you in close to Him. He is speaking. Are you listening? 

I am praying for you and for the world as we are facing such an incredibly difficult time in history. May God keep you and your loved ones and draw you in close. God Bless. 

Day 19 by Alexandra Hill 

Standing in the garden

Searching

Waiting

Listening

For Your voice

Sitting in silence

There

Right there

You caught my ear:

“Don’t give up

Though you might lose focus

Though you can’t seem to find yourself

You’ve lost sight of who you are in the chaos

Trust ME

I know you

LISTEN to ME

I AM WITH YOU

I won’t let you fall

Lean on Me

Draw from Me

You are still standing

Don’t you know that I made you this resilient?

Storms have come and gone

But look at you

My love,

You have weathered them gracefully

The winds have threatened to knock you down

But darling,

I’ve held you up

You’ve felt weak, but I’ve been your strength

You feel defeated, but you’re still in the race

Don’t you know that I chose you?

Amongst all others,

I know you

I wanted you

I kept you

Everyday

I have watched you grow

When you had lost all hope

When you saw only faults and imperfections

Just when you had given up

I took you from a place of despair

And planted you firmly in a place that I knew you would thrive

It’s hard to look at how far you’ve come

It’s hard to see the scars and not feel the pain that came when they were still fresh wounds

But if you could see yourself the way I see you

Beyond the imperfections that I love anyways

You, My darling, would see growth

During the uncertainty of life, you came boldly before Me

Through fear of the unknown, your faith grew in Me

Calling on Me to be your strength when you felt weak

Still standing before me

You are My masterpiece.”

 

“Day 19” the poem was retrieved, with the permission of the author, from her personal Instagram page. The image above was retrieved from google images.
encouragement

Peace

Peace by Luis Massa Jr

In a time where panic and fear is being consumed by the gallons, and anxiety is stacked in hearts and homes higher than the Empire State building, I am reminded of something that seems to have been left on the shelves in abundant proportions: PEACE! 

As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other day and I landed on the picture above by an incredibly gifted, young artist named Luis Massa Jr. In his post, he spoke on how in the times we’re facing right now, we need the peace of Christ. When I saw this piece of art, I was immediately reminded of one of my favorite verses in the bible: John 14:27. In this verse, Jesus specifically tells us of the incredible gift that He is leaving for us: His peace.

“Peace I leave with you; My [perfect] peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid. [Let My perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge.]” John 14:27

He leaves with us, and it’s His perfect peace is what He gives to us. Reading this, it makes me think of how Jesus is the most perfect gift giver. He doesn’t just give us what we want, but He gives us what He knows we will need. He knew we would encounter peace snatchers and havoc shakers all throughout history, so He left us with a treasure that would be unending and able to stand the tests of time. 

The peace He has gifted to us literally means “to have a state of national tranquility that is exempt from rage and havoc of war; it means harmony, security, safety, and prosperity”.

My oh my…what a gift, what a gift. Then He specifically and intentionally continues by telling us that this is not a gift that the world is able to give us. That it is something that can ONLY be gotten from Him. Peace gotten from the world runs out, but the PEACE of God is one that is everlasting, and everflowing like a rapid, waterfall pouring out at the rate at which we need it. And His Peace is the only thing that is able to give us the ability to obey the command that proceeds the gift: “Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid.” 

God did not give us the spirit of fear, which creates bondage, selfishness, fearfulness, cowardness. But He gave us His Spirit that consists of power (miraculous power and strength), love that is charitable and affectionate and soundness of mind.

I was sitting in prayer the other day and Psalms 121 popped into my mind. It starts with I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” In an instant, God spoke to my heart and said: “you have to be willing to look up to Me in order to receive what you are in need of”. In these coming weeks, it will so easy for us to be consumed by looking all-around at the media and news feeds to get the insight and direction and maybe even peace and comfort of what to do. We have been so consumed with the spirit of fear from our horizontal looking at events unfolding in our world, that so many of us have fallen away from a vertical looking to where our True Help comes from.

“But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and He answers me from His holy mountain.” Psalm 3:3-4

Whether it’s doubt, fear, or the uncertainty of what is going to happen, God is willing and able to lift our head up to Him and be a surrounding shield of peace and protection. He desires to be at the center of all things in our lives. He is not surprised by what is happening; he has the remedy to this whole situation but it starts with us looking to him and grabbing a hold of all that He is. So as you go to Him and you allow Him to lift your head, be reminded that as His child when you call Him, He hears the ring in heaven, and picks it up to answer you!

Will you call on Him? I hope so. I pray we all will; with one sound and with one voice, calling out to the King and Creator of the galaxies to forgive our sins, and heal our land.

Blessings,

Arnita Faith

 

Uncategorized

He Is Mindful of You!

 

“There is none like You, No one else can touch my heart like You do, I can search for all eternity Lord And find, there is none like You.” ‘There is None Like You’ by Lenny LeBlanc

Have you ever looked at your life and thought about the ways God has shown His mindfulness of you? As I was at work on my break one day, He began to open my mind and heart to His mindfulness of me. From my current job to my relationships to my friendships to my family; to how He speaks to me; to the surprises that pop up in my day to how He places the right people in my path every day at the right time and how He places me in other peoples path every day at the right time.

Maybe for you, He shows His thoughtfulness of you by causing someone to think of you when you feel alone and forgotten. Maybe He shows it by using you to leave notes for others you see are having a bad day because He knows loving on people perks you up. Maybe it’s in someone surprising you with lunch on a day you forgot yours. Or maybe it’s in hearing a story that makes you laugh so hard it brings tears to your eyes, it makes your stomach hurt, and puts you on the floor (which of course this is the best kind of laugh there is!!). Maybe it’s how He has given you people you can really trust or people that love you unconditionally; who believe in you when you don’t believe in yourself. Or maybe it’s in hearing a song that encouraged you or discovering a bible verse that is EXACTLY what you needed in your life at that moment in time. 

Oh Lord, how wonderful are Your thoughtfulness towards us!

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,  what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” Psalm 8:3-4

These things are not just a coincidence that randomly happens, but they are ways God shows His mindfulness of us. He knit us together in our mother’s womb. He knows what we crave, what we need, and why we are the way we are. He understands why we need the affections we do and He REGULARLY attends to them whether we realize it or not. His love for humanity blows me away. His love for people goes far beyond our understanding.

Take some time to reflect for yourself of the ways Jesus is mindful of you. Life tries to magnify the bad in our lives and the hardships we face, all for the purpose of distracting us from God and His unfailing love. Because when we reflect on Him and His goodness, praise and thanksgiving begin to happen and shift our perspective! Let’s get this perspective shift together. Really take some time and allow Him to open you up to everything you can think of. He loves each of us in ways we will never fully understand; oh but how grateful I am that He continues with us in this life even when we don’t get it! He surprises us daily with things we tend to take for granted. He knows the ways we need to be loved more than we could ever imagine or think of. Know this: You are His favorite thought!

How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.” Psalm 139:17-18

Blessings, 

Arnita Faith 

Uncategorized

Love Is On Our Side

This is for anyone who just needs the reminder that God’s love is for you and is on your side! He hasn’t forgotten about you and He NEVER will! He is willing to continue with you every day of every year. Life has its ups and downs, but God’s love is unchanging, unending, constant and steady in the storm! He is faithful, enduring, and loves you unconditionally! The song below is called, “Love is On Our Side” by Capital Kings! I pray you are encouraged by the truth of the lyrics, filled with hope and joy like never before, and you give yourself the opportunity to sing and dance like no one is watching! God Bless!

Capital Kings – Love Is On Our Side (Official Audio)

Love Is Our Side

If there’s an open way, I’ll just run
When everything else fades, and turns to dust
We’re searching to find a way from here
We’ll follow our souls
Into the night, let’s disappear
‘Cause wherever we go
Love is on our side
Love is on our side
Your love is on our side
Your love is on our side
Your love is on our side
Feel the love right now
The love right now (Your love is on our side)
Feel the love right now
The love right now
Keep rolling like the waves and crash the sin
With every word You say, in faith we stand
Rising our planks to clouds of smoke, reaching new heights
We’re breathing the sun and feel the glow
Like we’re touching the sky
Love is on our side
Your love is on our side
Love is on our side
On our side, on our side
On our side, on our side (Your love is on our side)
On our side, on our side
Your love is on our side
Your love is on our side
Your love is on our side
Feel the love right now
The love right now
Come back to life again
Feel the love right now
The love right now
Come back to life again
Feel the love right now
The love right now
Come back to life again
Feel the love right now
The love right now
Come back to life again
Again
Your love is on our side
This video was retrieved from YouTube and the lyrics were retrieved from Google.