Neisha-Ann Thompson, Ph.D

"Give me a Word to sustain the weary; awaken my ear to listen." - Isaiah 50:4

Tag: faith

I Said What I Said

Acts 27:25 NLT– So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as He said.

It’s easy to get discouraged and to lose heart with only 35 days left in the year. It’s easy to believe that you missed God, or that maybe He didn’t say what you thought you heard Him say. But, I hear Him reassuring us in this moment, saying: “I said what I said!” In other words: I’m well aware of the promises I’ve made to you. I haven’t forgotten. And to prove that I haven’t forgotten, I’M going to remind you of what I said!

I’m praying that a strong undercurrent of confidence in God will arrest your heart, to believe everything He has spoken over your life!

Listen to the replay of the #MidnightCry prayer call titled, I Said What I Said:

YIC,

Neisha

Go Look Again!

… At the top of the mountain, Elijah bent down. He put his head between his knees. Then Elijah said to his servant, “Go up higher and look toward the sea.” The servant went and looked. He came back and said, “I saw nothing.” Elijah told him to go look again. This happened seven times. The seventh time, the servant came back and said, “I saw a small cloud the size of a man’s fist…” – 1 Kings 18:42b-44.

Let me start this blog off by saying I completely understand how it is possible for us to focus more on the past and the present, than the future. Although this is not the healthiest way to live, many of us have lived, and are living, on the intersection of Back Then Street and What Now Avenue. The fact is, we sometimes spend more time mourning (or reminiscing) what COULD HAVE been and what WAS, mainly because we see no sign/evidence of what WILL BE. Some of us feel that our “best years” are behind us because our present looks dim and our future nonexistent. We are encouraged to “keep hope alive”, but it feels like hope has long been pronounced dead and is laying in a grave in some forgotten cemetery.

I can imagine that this may have been how Elijah’s servant was feeling. They were in the 3rd year of drought and famine (1 Kings 18:1-2), with no indication of when the situation would change. The fields were dry and bare, and the livestock malnourished and near dead, if not already dead. And it is in the midst of this DRY and DEAD situation that God sends Elijah to prophesy that the DROUGHT will end. There are some critical life lessons from this passage that I don’t want you to miss:

1. God’s declarations over your life will often contradict your present dilemma.

Elijah’s servant was being told that rain was coming, but all he saw around him was desolation and barrenness. This tells us that we can’t get too attached to what our natural eyes see, because God is able to speak the very opposite of our reality into existence. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, feels like, or how it has always been – when God says “I’m about to change something in your life”, start looking for the manifestation! We know we can trust His Word because it’s His “Let There Be” from Genesis 1 that continues to hold our universe in place today. His Word has sustaining and life-giving power!

2. Elijah didn’t have to go look himself.

When you are assured of the Word that God has given you, you’re not preoccupied with trails of evidence. Elijah sent his servant to look because the servant needed to see, in order to believe. Taking it a step further, I’d argue that Elijah’s very posture (bent down with head between his knees – vs 42) was indicative of his expectation of rain. Catch that!

3. Sometimes it may take up to seven times.

Elijah told his servant to go up and look for rain “seven more times” (vs 43) before he saw anything. Recognize that God sometimes causes us to repeat actions that seem purposeless, to literally put our faith in action. Each time that servant went to look, was an act of faith that was building and preparing him for what God was about to do. Don’t get discouraged or frustrated by the things you’ve had to repeat… they’re flexing your faith muscles and preparing you for a blessing that you will not have room to receive!

4. It may not look like what you’re expecting.

After praying like crazy for something to happen, we have an image in our minds of what it should look like when it comes to pass. This may cause us to miss what God is doing. The Bible says all the servant saw was a small cloud (the size of a man’s hand – vs 44); it never said he felt or even saw rain. But that small cloud was enough to confirm that God was about to do what He said He would (vs 45).

In this season, you’re just going to have to take God at His Word! It may not happen at the time you expect it to or in the way you expect it to, but if He promised you rain, then expect rain! At times we treat God like we know Him to be a liar or like He has never come through for us before. It’s time to truly trust what He’s spoken over your life; and His Word for you in this season is – “Go Look Again!

Prayer: Lord, we thank You in advance for the rain of Your presence and power! Back in Genesis 1, everything You spoke into existence was immediately formed. Help us to recognize that You are that SAME God; and that even though the manifestation may be delayed, You’ve already done what You said You would. Help us to trust You in this season, regardless of what our natural eyes see. We assume Elijah’s position in the Spirit today – head buried between our knees – anticipating a torrential downpour in our lives. Thank You for the formation of the clouds even now. Drench us we pray. Amen.

YIC,

Neisha

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=05CAhFpnrvc

Wives In Waiting – DC Sister Circle Launch

Wives in Waiting is a discipleship ministry for ALL women (married/unmarried, saved/unsaved, young/older) and is rooted in Isaiah 54:5 – “For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.

img_4513The WIW ministry has Sister Circles all across the United States, with international Sister Circles in Kenya and Nigeria. The vision and goal of Wives In Waiting is to help women in their Christian walk, to become disciples of Christ, and to make their relationship with their first Husband, Jesus Christ, top priority. It is only through true relationship with Christ that we can become the women, daughters, mothers, wives, aunts, grandmothers, sisters etc that GOD has created us to be.

Join me for the launch of the newest Wives In Waiting Sister Circle in Washington, DCthis Saturday, March 21 at 4:30pm. There’ll be prizes, giveaways, and much more!

Do you live in or around the DC Metropolitan Area? I look forward to seeing you there!! Invite all the ladies you know! See flyer for more details or visithttp://www.wivesinwaiting.com.

YIC,
Neisha

The Animals Are Coming

Genesis 7:8-9 (MSG) – “Clean and unclean animals, birds, and all the crawling creatures came in pairs to Noah and to the ship, male and female, just as God had commanded Noah.”

The scripture says the animals CAME IN PAIRS to Noah, did you catch that? I don’t know about you, but this translation has increased my faith in the God that I already believed could do the impossible!

So, we’ve read the story of how God gave this man (Noah) instructions to build an ark for protection from the heavy rains and floods that would follow. God not only gave Noah the instructions and provided the resources to build the ark, He also brought directly to Noah what he needed. The message today is simple – God will bring provisions and resources to you, as long as what you’re building is based on His blueprint. The reason we have half-completed, empty arks, and no sign of rain is perhaps because God was not the One who gave us the instruction to start building in the first place.

As I reflected on this thought, I was reminded of a story where plans were frustrated because people decided to build without God’s blueprint or permit. It’s the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1-9, where the people decided to build a tower up to the Heavens “to make a name for themselves.” At that time, the whole world spoke the same language so, in order to block their selfish ambition, God confused their language so they no longer understood their own instructions. Again, the message is clear – God will bless and see to completion whatever HE has instructed us to build.

Even though the rain and floodwaters were destroying the earth, this same storm symbolized to Noah and his family, God’s presence. There are things that you may go through this year that may overwhelm others, but will represent God’s presence in yourlife! Noah and his family were not saved because of what they were in, but because ofWho was with them. They were obedient to God’s command and He provided for and protected them through the storm.

How did the animals know to leave their packs and find Noah? How did they pair up? How did they vote among themselves on which pair of them would go? How were they able to find the ark on their own? The God we serve is specific and detailed. He will allow resources to come to you and will maintain them, even through threatening life storms. Perhaps you have received a directive from God concerning something He wants you to do, but you don’t have the resources and can’t fathom how you’ll get it accomplished. Stick to His blueprint and be obedient to the task He has assigned you….. the animals are coming!

Prayer: Lord, today I thank You for the blueprint of Your Word. I thank You for the resources that You will bring to me, and preserve, through the storms of life. When I am tempted to build according to my own plan, grace and empower me to reject the spirit of Babel. Instead redirect my attention to the “rustling of the bushes” and the “forming of the clouds” that both signify the resources that are on the way and Your presence that is about to overtake me like a flood. I acknowledge Your blueprint for my life and I thank You in advance for Your provisions. Amen.

YIC,
Neisha

Fear’s Navigation System

I watched a movie recently in which two employers conducted an experiment to see which was a greater motivator of performance: fear versus praise. One employer sought to motivate his staff by issuing strict deadlines and severe consequences for incomplete tasks, while the other used praise as a form of positive reinforcement. At the end of the day, the results showed that the employees who were “motivated” by fear produced much more work, though mistake-ridden. The group that was positively reinforced completed fewer tasks, but these were accurately done. I thought about this scenario as it relates to Fear and how many of us, like those employees, have been controlled and led by this spirit.

Here’s what the Bible says about Fear – “The Spirit God gave us does not make us afraid. His Spirit is a source of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7). What this means in simple terms is that Fear is not a part of our salvation package! So, if God did not give us this “spirit of Fear”, then it could only have come about from one other source – satan. And we know he opposes anything God represents. This got me thinking about the motive behind Fear or what the enemy hopes to accomplish by using this tool. Generally, when we experience Fear (not referring to actual phobias now) it leads to inaction or paralysis. Aside from the fight or flight response generated by our autonomic nervous system, our emotional response to Fear is often paralysis. It stops us in our tracks.

Now, since we know that Fear is from the devil and that its intent is to block, hinder, or prevent us from moving in a particular direction, we can safely argue that the direction we’re afraid of going in is in fact the direction that God is leading us. If satan opposes everything God represents, then it makes absolute sense that he would use Fear to prevent us from our God-ordained destinies. As I reflected on this in my quiet time, God gave me a new perspective on Fear and how to use it for good.

You see, when you understand the originator of Fear and its purpose, Fear becomes a great source of direction. Because we know that fear isn’t of God, we know that it’s not a tool God uses to direct our paths. Now, although we don’t take our directions from satan, we CAN use what he meant for evil, for good. Use Fear to guide you! Think about what is causing you the most fear (especially if you currently have a pending decision) and go in that direction! Fear paralyzes, but Faith propels! As much as Fear was the dominant motivating factor in the abovementioned story, nothing motivates us more than Faith in God. That trust, confidence, and reassurance that He has our best interests at heart and that ALL THINGS (negative and positive) are working together for our ultimate good (Romans 8:28). Because we know the consistency of God’s character, we can trust Him and move forward, even in times of Fear.

Faith is the stepping stone across Fear. When you step out in Faith and make the decision that causes you the most Fear, you will not lose! The man with one talent in the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) failed to invest his talent because of Fear, and God called his inaction “wicked and slothful”. When we fail to move forward in Faith and choose rather to be paralyzed by Fear, we are ultimately joining forces with the enemy in not being active towards producing a harvest or return for the Kingdom of God. It is my renewed perspective and belief that, as Disciples of Christ, we cannot fail whenever we push against our Fears. FAITH IN GOD CAN NEVER FAIL and that is what we choose to exercise every time we push beyond the limits and boundaries of our Fears.

Know today that Fear is designed to send you in the direction that’s opposite from God’s will for your life. Learn to use Fear as direction (a navigation system) and Faith in God as your propeller!

YIC,
Neisha

© 2020 Neisha-Ann Thompson, Ph.D

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