Word of encouragement
… and they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto death.Revelation 12:11
∞We are overcomers: The Lord Jesus placed us in the position of an overcomer because He overcame first. Our job is to believe and walk according to our beliefs.
∞By the word of our testimony: “Word” in this scripture means uttered by a living voice; what is declared, something said. We must speak our testimony, declaring the goodness of our God. The enemy would like nothing better than to shut us up.
Storytime: You know I wrote a book about my testimony, and I also spoke at various places before this Quarantine. The enemy tried to silence me when writing my testimony, and anytime prior to speaking, something happened to shake me. But what I keep in the front of my mind is that my voice, my story, my testimony matters. It has the power to destroy yokes. So does yours. Now, I am not saying to write a book and tell the world. (Unless those are your instructions) What I am saying is, be obedient to whatever the Lord directs you to do. Encourage whoever He leads you too. There is someone locked in bondage, and you have the key to their freedom. God has allowed you to go through it, made the way out, and now you have power in your testimony. Use it. We are gifts one to another. Be led by the Spirit. You’ll know when to share. Just don’t choke, when He says to speak.
Loving our lives unto death
∞Yes there is the literal death, but this is not what I’m speaking of. When the Holy Spirit put it on my heart, it was regarding our lives, ways, plans, etc.
We love our lives way too much. Your will, Your way, is the motto said in words but not actions. We say the right things, but when it comes down to it, many times our actions speak another story. The love we fail to show for others screams, making noise that breaks the facade. Giving up what we want for the things of God, sounds good, and in our hearts, we may genuinely want to. But do we? What about the traits that we have? Vices? Attitudes?
One of the characteristics I love about our Heavenly Father is His ability to show me, “me” in my raw and ugly stage. The one that makes me pause and say, “Dang, I still got a long way to go.” That mirror don’t lie. Now we may walk away from it, and forget what manner of person we are as it says in James. But the truth is the truth. Don’t love your ways so much that you can’t die to them and allow God to renew your mind daily. This is a great time to check yourself. Are you holding a grudge? Any unforgiveness in your heart? Die to the old and embrace the new in Jesus.
What is God trying to do for you in this season of shut down? This season has catapulted us into the new, and there is no “back to normal.” People are yelling they want to go back like the Israelites did when they were delivered from Egypt. There is no “back,” only forward. We must think ahead. Forward-thinking. Forward movement. There is only new. At the beginning of this year, the Lord spoke clearly to me, saying, “Tara, this is your new beginning.” This has been an interesting beginning to this year, to say the least, very unexpected with lots of heartache, sickness, and death. Through it all, God is faithful. We only see a speck of the full scene. He sees all. I’ve decided to rest in His knowing, instead of trying to figure it out. Yes, He does suddenlies at times, but the best part is He is consistent and can continually be trusted. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. His promises are yes and amen.
Don’t love your ways, your plans, your platforms, etc. in such a way that you won’t kill them for Jesus.
Storytime: Let me share something you may or may not know. I ate, breathed, and slept hair. Some stylists worked a second job because their salon job was slow, but not me. I focused on hair, whether I was busy or not. I didn’t believe in spreading myself thin, working hard for a job I wasn’t interested in. That same energy that I could put in a second job could be given to the first. My plans for my life were massive and had been set in motion. I would be a salon owner, instructor, and traveling platform artist. I would have products and the whole 9 yards. Never in my wildest dream did I think I would be in ministry, writing books, and all the other things going on in my life. How did this come about? It came about because I did not love my life unto death. I died to my plans. I died to what I wanted, and was obedient to what He asked me to do. This wasn’t easy to do emotionally, but it was necessary. He knew the plans He had for me.
I’m thankful for His saving grace. I’ve learned that even when we don’t understand, we must obey God.
Our faith is our currency. We can’t even please God without it. But be encouraged because He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. He gives us purpose and our identity. This is a time to self-reflect and draw closer to God. What do you want to do with your life? He is stirring up gifts and downloading instructions. Sit with Him to get yours. Remember that it may not look like you thought. Be obedient. Be open to the shifting even in relationships. New bonds, and divine connections, new partnerships, ministries and businesses.
Networking opportunities are coming for the body of Christ. Don’t be distracted by the shutdown. Life is not over, but it’s new. Be thankful for God’s protection and His provisions during this time. We are in the world but not of the world. Never forget that. He is yet moving on the Earth. He is saving souls even today. Whatever happens with you, be ok, making a decision to trust God knowing He is not surprised by any of it.