Neisha-Ann Thompson, Ph.D

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

Tag: trust

It’s Been Reserved For You

There are times in your walk with God that the ordinary just won’t suffice and in order to experience His “more”, you have to go deeper in Him. For this purpose, I’ve been in a season of consecration and it never ceases to amaze me how God will speak to our spirits when we’ve starved our flesh of its desires. Perhaps you’re like me today – you’re desperate for God to do what He promised He’d do…. whatever it takes.

We’re in the last 29 days of 2015 and many people have lost hope and have succumbed to despair because they feel it’s too late for God to perform that miracle they’ve been trusting Him for all year. In our humanity we tend to focus on the calendar because we somehow believe the God of the universe is restricted to something as fleeting as “time.” If you’re to be honest, many of you have given up on that dream, that vision, that prophetic Word that God gave you for this year; and have forwarded your hopes and dreams to 2016, as 365 days seemingly hold more promise than 29.

Can I encourage you today?

The story is told in 1 Samuel 9 of how Saul went looking for his father’s lost donkeys. He searched four different towns (verse 4), until his search led him to Samuel – a seer (prophet) in the land of Zuph. The Bible describes Saul as hailing from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest of the 12 tribes of Israel; and being from a family considered the least of the families in that tribe (verse 21). Despite how long his search lasted and the sad reality of his family status, God had long before arranged a divine appointment for Saul. And though it may have appeared that he was the least and was “behind the pack” in status and accomplishment – God had a special portion RESERVED for Saul.

And Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion which I gave you, of which I said to you, ‘Set it apart.’” So the cook took up the thigh with its upper part and set it before Saul. And Samuel said, “Here it is, what was kept back. It was set apart for you. Eat;for until this time it has been kept for you, since I said I invited the people.” So Saul ate with Samuel that day. – 1 Samuel 9:23-24

People of God, don’t be discouraged by how things appear right now. There’s a special portion that God has set apart for you; it has your name on it. And at the appointed time, He will bring you to the place of your destiny and give you everything He has reserved for you. It may seem like the year is too far gone…. It may seem like everyone else is ahead of you and have been reveling in their blessings all year long… But God wants you to know today that in your search for what you feel you’ve lost, He’s arranged a divine meeting that will bring about a divine appointment. You willreceive EVERYTHING God has for you!

The Word of the Lord in this season is ACCELERATION. You are being launched to the place of your appointment; and what it took others the whole year to accomplish, you will accomplish in a much shorter time, because you are on God’s timetable. Saul went from being a member of the least important family, from the smallest tribe of Israel, to king…. in a couple of days!

Don’t limit God. These last 29 days of 2015 are more than enough time for Him to make good on His promises. Trust Him!

Prayer: Lord, thank You for the reminder that You are not a God who is restricted to time or man-made calendars. You are the same God who created this world in 6 days and who died and rose again in 3. Lord, A LOT can happen in 29 days and we’ve resolved to trust You to make good on Your promises as we maintain a posture of expectancy. We may have been consumed with searching for or trying to regain lost things all year, but our search is about to end in a divine encounter with destiny. We’re about to receive what’s been on reserve and we’re going to receive it “suddenly”. We trust You God and we thank You in advance. Amen.

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

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

There Is Only One God…. And You’re Not Him

In reflecting on Genesis 3:1-7, I felt led to talk about the very first sin ever recorded – the sin of pride. Since pride loves to show up (announce) itself, but doesn’t like to be exposed (called out), expect to feel a level of discomfort as you read today’s blog. Ready? Here we go….

It seems like every time we discuss The Garden of Eden our anger towards Adam and Eve is rekindled. We self-righteously conclude that we would not have committed the same act had we been in their positions. Our misdirected anger is exactly that – misdirected – because if we’d take time for self-examination we’d realize just how much we too have eaten from “trees” God prohibited, regardless of our motives for doing so. You see, on the surface, Adam and Eve thought they were simply advancing their knowledge by partaking of the forbidden fruit… but the latent reason behind the act was not to increase in knowledge, but rather to satisfy their lustful desire to “become like God” (vs5). This continues to be our biggest struggle yet.

Isn’t it interesting how all sin points back to our fleshly desire to not just be like God, but to actually “be God” of our own lives? Think about it. We try to take our lives into our own hands in an attempt to feel like we are in control. The very thing satan presented to Eve in the Garden of Eden is what he continues to present to us today – a desire to BE Lord over our own lives. And he’s doing this to bring us to the place where we no longer acknowledge God. This was the reason satan was kicked out of Heaven – he wanted to be God (Ref. Isaiah 14:12-15). He wanted all glory, acknowledgement, power, and praise. Isn’t that what our sinful nature has us craving as well? The devil’s weapon is the prideful desire to be equal to God. He tricks us into thinking we are wiser than God and that we can be God over our own lives (in our decisions, actions, choices, etc). His ultimate goal is to get us to the place where we feel we no longer need God, thus causing us to renounce/replace Him. But the devil IS a LIAR!!!

The story in Genesis goes on to state that after they ate the fruit, Adam and Eve’s eyes were “opened” (vs7). The opening of their natural (flesh/self) eyes caused the blinding of their spiritual eyes. As humans, we want to know all and be in control of all, but in so doing we become blinded to the actual price we pay – separation from God. Sin separates us from God, and pride is sin. We can bulldoze our way through life, choosing things that God has explicitly forbidden, going in the direction that we feel is best for our lives; and we can feel a sense of fulfillment because of what we seemingly discover and are able to do. The reality is however that with each natural revelation, we’re becoming more spiritually blinded to the things of God.

What are your eyes now “blindly opened” to as a result of your engagement in the forbidden? What was it that you consumed (got caught up in)? What “tree” have you eaten from?

Jesus Christ is the ONLY true and living God….and none of us is Him. He knows more than you ever will and He can work everything out in your life better than you thinkyou can. The throne of your heart was built for single occupancy. Let Him be the God that only He alone can be and watch how that works out best for you!

YIC,
Neisha

Don’t Extend What Has Expired

God is such a God of timing that it’s impossible to operate in His will… outside of His time. The two are inseparable.

Reflecting on Exodus 16:19-21 and how God’s blessing/provision turned into something harmful when it was extended past its expiration date/season. It has me pondering the many situations I’ve dealt with that I single-handedly dragged way beyond their end-point. Like, what if God has to cause things to literally disintegrate in order to prevent us from “consuming” (continuing to engage in) them?

The Israelites could have died from the overnight (expired) manna. And the funny thing is, just like us today, they KNEW God had more (other) provisions for them, but they doubted that and tried to hold on to past/outdated “stuff” for fear of not having anything (i.e. losing all). What will it take to really bring us to that place of complete obedience and trust in God’s promises and directives? What does He have to allow worms and stench (Exodus 16:20) to consume in order for us to let it go?

Prayer: Lord, please don’t let me die from outdated “manna”. Do whatever it takes to prevent me from “consuming” it.

YIC,
Neisha

© 2020 Neisha-Ann Thompson, Ph.D

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