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Tag: faith (Page 1 of 2)

Be Set FREE!!!

(The Kimberly Joy Show: God Says, “You Are FREE!!!” Part 3)

HOW CAN YOU BE SET FREE?
God wants you to KNOW who you are in Him. He wants you to BE true to the person He has created you to be, and He wants you to LOVE yourself wholeheartedly. However, before any of that can happen, you have to be set free from your sins and made new. I John 1:9 (King James Version) says:

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Once you are cleansed, II Corinthians 5:17 says you become a new person. Inwardly you are not the same. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, whether you were a liar, a cheater, an adulterer, a fornicator, a thief, or even a murderer! Once you confess your sins and receive Jesus into your heart, He forgives you, and God now sees you as His child.

Although you may have to suffer some consequences for your past sins, while doing so, you can still develop a strong relationship with the Lord and allow Him to get the glory out of your life. For example, if you committed murder before you got saved, you will still have to pay for that crime. After all, someone lost his or her life at your hands. Nevertheless, while serving your sentence, you can be a beacon of light to others, especially other prisoners. Consider the apostle Paul in the Bible. Before he surrendered to Jesus, he was responsible for the deaths of some who had professed the name of Jesus Christ. Despite all that, God was still willing to forgive, save, and use him. And God did just that. Paul was set free and, as a result, many souls were saved!

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT HEALING?
If you have already accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you are free. You are now free from sin, and as I discussed in my previous article, “Child of God, You Are FREE!!!”, you are also free from sickness and disease. In fact, as a child of God, you don’t have to settle for being sick. You don’t have to view the doctor’s report or even how you feel in your body as the final outcome. Whose report will you believe? God’s report or man’s report? I hope your answer is God’s report!

Throughout the Bible, God lets us know that healing is ours.

Psalms 103:2-3 (KJV), “2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;”

Jeremiah 17:14 (KJV), “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for Thou art my praise.”

I Peter 2:24 (New Living Translation), “He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds you are healed.”

That’s the Word of God! We only need to believe what GOD says!

I’m reminded of my uncle and his wife. Several years ago, they each were dealing with life-threatening illnesses. First, my aunt flat-lined three times. In other words, her heart stopped beating. Then later my uncle wound up in a coma on life support. Nonetheless, despite their conditions and what the doctors were saying, their daughters never gave up! They prayed and prayed and prayed some more! They even had a conference call line so friends and family from all over could come together and pray for their healing. I was even blessed to be a part of that prayer line. As a result of their constant prayers and never-ending faith, their parents are both alive and well today!!!


(Uncle James and Aunt Polly enjoying life!)

WHAT DO MEDICAL EXPERTS SAY ABOUT HEALING?
Medical experts say there is a correlation between positive thinking (faith) and healing. According to author Donald Cole of the Institute for Work and Health in Toronto, Canada, “Across a wide range of clinical conditions, from lower back pain to heart surgery, patients who felt they would do well in recovery did. Patients who were scared or pessimistic (who lacked faith) about their recovery did not recover as quickly as the optimists or as well,” (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=117317&page=1). If people in the secular arena understand that a person must BELIEVE in order to be healed, then we as children of God should definitely have faith. We should serve as prime examples of what it means to have faith.

If we were to be honest, unfortunately, sometimes we as believers walk in fear, instead of in faith. Although we claim to believe God, we yet worry and stress. However, faith and fear can’t co-exist. I can’t say I have faith in God, but still live in terror. I can’t pray to God about a particular situation and then, after I say “AMEN!”, continue worrying about the very thing I had just prayed about. Prayer and worry can’t co-exist. I either believe God or I don’t! Personally speaking, I’ve discovered that the prayers which tend to get answered more quickly are the ones I don’t ponder over once I’ve prayed. I don’t think about those particular issues anymore. I give it to God and move on!

Did you know that fear, worry, and stress can make you ill? I wouldn’t be surprised if many of our illnesses are directly related to our thoughts, emotions and words. For instance, you may notice you have a sore throat. Instead of praying against that soreness and declaring your healing, you say, “Uh oh! I hear the flu is going around! I must have the flu!” Consequently, you wind up with the flu. Now, it could have gone the other way. However, you chose to believe the worst instead of the best.

As believers, God doesn’t want us entertaining such thoughts. He wants us to know we are saved, healed and delivered! So, I encourage you to change the way you think and speak, and move forward in God. Live your life knowing you are free in Christ Jesus!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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Child of God, You Are FREE!!!

(The Kimberly Joy Show: God Says, “You Are FREE!!!” Part 2)

CHILD OF GOD, YOU ARE FREE
Knowing who you and I are in God, being who we are with no apologies, and loving who we are wholeheartedly involves recognizing that we were set free the moment we accepted Jesus into our hearts! As I discussed in the previous article, “You Are FREE!!!”, God recently reminded me that every child of God is free!

When we lack knowledge and understanding of this truth, it makes it easier for Satan to fool us into thinking we are still under his control. He’s able to convince us that we are still messed up. Thus, we worry that we’ll never get beyond our past. We continue to believe the negative things people have said and may still say about us. Essentially, we still feel bound!

WHAT DOES GOD SAY?
When we believe such lies over God’s Truth, we are more inclined to surrender to the devil’s suggestions. Therefore, we need the Bible, which is the Word of God or God’s Voice. The scriptures tell us who we are in Him. What does GOD say?

Romans 8:37 (King James Version) says:

“…We are more than conquerors…”

Philippians 4:13 (New King James Version) says:

“[We] can do all things through Christ…”

Why?

“…[He] strengthens [us].”

John 8:36 (New International Version) assures us that:

“…If [Jesus] sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Indeed means “without any question, truly, undeniably”. So, once we surrender to Jesus, He sets us free from sin and everything attached to it. It’s settled…..a done deal! We can move forward in Him and not look back.

Consider ex-convicts. Although many are released from prison once they serve their time, some eventually return. Why? Mentally they are still in prison! In other words, they still view themselves as criminals and convicts. They have difficulty seeing themselves as people who are now free to live as productive citizens in society. So, does this mean they can’t learn? Absolutely not! They CAN learn! They can develop new mindsets with the right guidance, education, and tools. Basically, their minds have to be changed!

HOW ARE SOME BELIEVERS STILL HELD CAPTIVE?
As believers in Christ, I believe much of our “captivity” is mental! It’s only in the mind! We often give Satan more credit than he deserves. What do I mean? The devil plays mind games. When we’re not sure about who we really are in Christ, we fall for his lies. John 8:44 (New Living Translation) says:

“[Satan] has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Satan and his demons are liars. They’re incapable of telling the truth. For instance, in Genesis 3, the serpent, who was Satan in disguise, deceived Adam and Eve into disobeying God. In Genesis 3:1 (NLT), the serpent approached Eve and said:

“Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

The serpent asked Eve this particular question to plant a seed of doubt in her mind. Then he said in verses 4-5:

“4 You won’t die…..5 God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

Despite the fact that the serpent told a blatant lie, Eve was still convinced and ate the fruit, along with her husband Adam, who was also present. They may not have expired that day, but they did eventually lose their lives, although they were originally created to live forever. The only reason the serpent was able to deceive Adam and Eve is because they doubted God. They doubted what they had been told and what had already been placed inside of them.

As believers, we are deceived or Satan is able to play mind games with us when we doubt what God has told us OR when we don’t know what God has said—–when we don’t know His Word. Consider Jesus! After fasting in the wilderness for forty days and nights, Jesus was presented with temptations from Satan himself (Matthew 4:1-11). In other words, the devil was trying to play with His MIND. However, because Jesus knew who He was—–a man free from sin—–He didn’t yield to the devil’s suggestions. Nor did he run away and hide. Instead, He stood on God’s Word with undeniable confidence! Matthew 4:8-11 (NLT) say:

“8 Next the devil took [Jesus] to the peak of a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.

9 ‘I will give it all to you,’ the devil said, ‘if you will kneel down and worship me.’

10 Jesus then said, ‘Get out of here, Satan! For the Scriptures say, You must worship the Lord your God and serve only Him.’

11 Then the devil went away, and angels came and took care of Jesus.”

Satan left Jesus alone because he realized he couldn’t play with His MIND.

WHAT IS THE KEY TO A BELIEVER BEING HEALED?

It’s so important that we as believers know we are free! Not only has Jesus set us free from sin, but He has set us free from sickness and disease. There are stories in the Bible, particularly the ones involving Jesus and the apostles, about people who were healed. Those stories weren’t included to serve as fairy tales, but to let us know that we can and should experience the same. Truth be told, we should all be healed!

IMAGINE……….

What if we were never sick?

What if the illnesses and diseases, which tried to attack our bodies, left as quickly as they came by us just speaking a word of healing?

What if we saw healings and miracles in every church all around the globe?

What if the hospitals were virtually empty and the pharmaceutical companies went out of business all because of our faith?

I want to see that! How about you?

I believe there will be an increase in healings and miracles as we grow in our faith recognizing that we are free. Furthermore, Jesus said it’s going to happen. In John 14:12 (NLT), He said:

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in Me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works…”

The key word in the above verse is BELIEVE! You have to believe. I have to believe. We have to believe that Jesus has set us free and live like people who are free from sin, sickness, and disease. We are now free to be what God has called each of us to be as He orders our footsteps and gets the glory out of our lives.

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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Experience Rest in God

(The Kimberly Joy Show: God Says, “Rest in Me and Enjoy Your Life”)

HOW DO WE EXPERIENCE REST IN GOD?
In order to rest in God, we have to have total faith in Him. When we choose to believe God above everything and everyone else, we experience rest. Philippians 4:7 says we experience a peace that is beyond human comprehension. It’s something that can’t be explained. For example, you may be going through something really difficult, yet you appear to be very calm. As a result, those around you, who don’t know about resting in God, think something is seriously wrong with you! Due to your current situation, they expect you to be upset, angry or depressed. Because you’re not, they assume you’re in denial about your situation. But, you’re not in denial! You’ve just chosen to put all your faith in God!

Personally speaking, I know resting in God is not always easy. Just because I have been saved and filled with the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean I will automatically handle every situation, good or bad, as God would expect. I have to work at it every day! Why? I’m still in this flesh. I’m not perfect. However, I do serve a perfect God, and I have to make a decision to pursue the perfect God every day!

God has provided us with His Word to show us what to do, how to behave, how to think and what to avoid. God doesn’t just TELL us to rest in Him, but He shows us how. Throughout the Bible are examples we can emulate. In my article “Resting in God,” I shared the story of Paul and Silas when they were in jail (Acts 16). While they were in jail, they worshipped God! They could have gotten mad or been depressed. Perhaps they were experiencing some of those emotions. However, instead of yielding to those negative emotions, they pursued God’s peace. They chose to still believe God. Consequently, they were set free from jail because of their faith. James 2:26 (King James Version) says:

“…..faith without works is dead…..”

Paul and Silas didn’t just claim to have faith in God, but they proved it by praying instead of complaining and by singing praises to God instead of worrying or crying. They did this all while locked in chains behind a prison wall.

Another individual from the Bible, who demonstrated how to rest in God, was King David. Anyone who is familiar with David’s story knows he made some serious mistakes during his life. Nevertheless, even when he fell down, he found rest in God through his repentance. In Psalms 51:10-12 (KJV), David prayed to God:

“10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free Spirit.”

King David prayed this particular prayer after God sent the prophet Nathan to confront him about a sinful act he had tried to cover up
(II Samuel 12). Although God could have easily struck David down for his wickedness, He chose not to. Instead, He extended His love, mercy, and grace to David. Recognizing that God was giving him another chance, David repented—–he SINCERELY repented.

WHO IS CONDEMNING YOU?
Like David, you may have done something you’re not proud of or once lived a life you wish you could forget. Even though you have asked God to forgive you, you still feel guilty. Why do you feel guilty? Is God condemning you? NO!!! The eighth chapter of Romans lets us know that those of us who belong to Christ Jesus are no longer condemned. We have been set free!

So, if you still feel guilty, even after you have sincerely repented, perhaps it’s because those around you like to remind you of your past or because you haven’t forgiven yourself.

Either way, Satan is behind it! But, he’s a LIAR! God doesn’t want you holding onto that guilt. He wants you to let it go and rest in Him. Trust in His power of forgiveness and salvation.

While you may have to suffer some consequences for your past wrongdoing, it still doesn’t mean God hasn’t forgiven you and changed you on the inside. For instance, if you have sex with someone to whom you’re not married, you may wind up with an unwanted pregnancy or with an STD. If that’s the case, it’s not a sign that God hasn’t forgiven you. It’s a sign that you’re reaping what you sowed. However, as you move forward in God and strive to live holy, He can bless that baby in a special way or completely heal your body.

Recently, a young lady contacted me requesting prayer. She admitted to doing something she knew was wrong and was feeling bad about it. I assured her I would pray for her. I then encouraged her to not beat herself up and reminded her of God’s love and forgiveness. I also explained to her that her feeling of guilt was a good sign. Why? It proves she has a conscience and that she is still God’s daughter. Finally, I encouraged her to avoid going down that road again.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE CONTENT?
I’ve shared before that you can find rest in God through worship, prayer, and obedience. You can also find rest in God by simply enjoying your life. Bible teacher and author Joyce Meyer says, “Learn how to enjoy where you are on the way to where you’re going.” In other words, smile often and laugh as much as possible. Just enjoy the stage at which you are in your life. You may not be where you want to be or have certain things you would like right now. Nonetheless, that’s no reason to be down in the dumps. Trust me, someone somewhere wishes he or she had YOUR life. Paul says in Philippians 4:11:

“…I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.”

To be content with where you currently are in life doesn’t mean you shouldn’t desire more because God has more for you. It just means your desires shouldn’t cause you anxiety and stress. Your desires shouldn’t be more important than you being grateful and giving God the glory. God doesn’t want to hear our murmuring and complaining. Rather, He wants to hear our praise and see our smiling faces. He wants us to extend a helping hand to someone in need. When we focus on the Lord and do what pleases Him, Psalms 37:4 says He is guaranteed to give us what we desire.

Resting in God takes away the pressure Satan and the world try to place on us. When we give everything to God, He gives us His peace, and then things can be done His way….the RIGHT way. So, make it a point every day to rest in God and gratefully enjoy this life He has so graciously given you!

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What Is God Saying To Us?

(The Kimberly Joy Show: Rest in God…Obey)

WHAT IS GOD SAYING TO US?
God is saying to us His children, believers in Christ, to rest in Him. What does it mean to rest in God? To rest in God means to have total faith in Him no matter what! No matter what you hear, see, or feel, believe God!

When you sit in a chair, on a couch, or in the seat of a car, do you first check to make sure it will hold you? Perhaps you do if the chair looks weak. However, in most instances, do you check before taking a seat? Personally speaking, I don’t. I just sit down!

Why? I trust that particular seat is going to hold me. I have no worries it may possibly collapse. And guess what? When I sit down, it holds me up!

Although God is by no means a piece of furniture, we should regard Him in the same manner. If you or I have faith that a chair, couch, stool, or bed will hold us up when we rest on it, we have to have faith that God will hold us up when we choose to rest in Him.

Even if God doesn’t move right away, we have to remain steadfast in Him. God doesn’t always move the way we want, when we want, or how we want. Better yet, most times God doesn’t do things the way we expect. Nevertheless, when God does move, it’s always exactly what we need and when we need it. Therefore, it’s in our best interest to rest in Him.

ARE YOU CONTROLLING?
I know resting in God is not always easy because it means relinquishing control. We don’t want to give up control, do we? We want to always know what’s going on.

We want to know what’s going to happen before it happens. We want to know how God is going to move, how He’s going to bless us. But, it doesn’t work that way! Romans 1:17 (King James Version) says:

“…..The just (the righteous or those who are in right standing with God) shall live by faith.”

Living by faith in God is expected. It’s a must! And it can be done, even if you’re used to worrying and taking matters into your own hands. You can learn a new way of living!

As I shared in a recent article, you can find rest in God by worshipping Him. When you worship God you’re letting Him know that you love and trust Him. To worship God is to welcome His presence into your atmosphere. To worship God is to allow Him to have His way in your situation.

You can also find rest in God through prayer. To pray is to make your petitions (needs and desires) known to God. How often do you pray? Is God always the first one you consult with your concerns? I Thessalonians 5:17 says we are to pray without ceasing. In other words, we are to have prayerful attitudes and keep God number one!

HOW DO WE CAUSE OURSELVES GREATER HEARTACHE?
A third way to find rest in God is by simply obeying Him. To trust God is to obey God, and to obey God is to trust God. I find that we as human beings cause ourselves greater heartache when we choose our way over God’s way. Why do we sometimes choose our way? In that moment or situation, we think we know what’s best. We are fooled into believing we know better than God, the Creator, the one who is omnipresent and all-knowing. It sounds absurd when we think about it, doesn’t it? I’m not referring to the moments when we don’t know any better, but the moments when we do know better and still choose to do what we want.

The Bible or the Word of God is our instruction manual for living.

Unfortunately, many fail to follow it. II Timothy 3:16-17 (New Living Translation) say:

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.”

If we trust and obey God, we will have rest. For example, while attending grad school, I learned I had to have surgery. This was a serious dilemma because the spring quarter had just begun, and I was taking my final class: Statistics. As a matter of fact, it was my second time taking the class. I had dropped it the previous quarter because I had a difficult time following the professor. Since I still had time to withdraw from the class without being penalized, the logical choice was to withdraw and reschedule the next quarter.

Even though withdrawing from the class seemed like a good idea, it wasn’t an easy decision to make because it meant postponing graduation. So, the night before the withdrawal deadline I asked God to tell me what to do. I had made up my mind to withdraw, but just in case it wasn’t necessary to do so, I needed to hear from the One Who knows all. As I slept that night, God clearly spoke to me. He said, “Stay in the class. There will be people who will help you.” When I got up the next morning, I had an overwhelming peace about the situation. I did exactly what God said and stayed in the class.

Fortunately, my professor and several of my classmates (people who didn’t really know me) were more than willing to help me during my recovery. On top of that, the professor decided to make the midterm and final exams both take home, which would allow me to use my book, my notes and get help from my classmates. God came through for me! As I look back on that situation, I realize that if I had chosen to follow my own mind, instead of obeying the voice of God, it would have taken me even longer to receive my Masters degree. Hence, that would have made me sad and caused me unnecessary stress.

Whatever you may be going through right now, I encourage you to give it to God! Worrying and trying to do it your way will not do you or your family any good. Do you realize that worrying and being stressed can send you to an early grave? It may be a hard pill to swallow, but it’s the truth! Needless to say, that doesn’t have to be your story! Everything you need is in the One who created you. So, make the decision today to REST IN GOD!

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Rest in God

(The Kimberly Joy Show: Rest in God…Pray)

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DON’T REST IN GOD?
In the previous article, I discussed the importance of “Resting in God”. God expects us to rest in Him. He expects us to depend on Him, to trust in Him, and to give Him all our concerns. When we don’t rest in God, we open ourselves up to stress and anxiety, which can cause us to become ill. We may also find ourselves making choices that are outside His will.

I know firsthand that when I don’t rest in God, I only make the situation worse, and I wind up regretting it. Then I have to, in a sense, start all over and do it right the next time around. Like a child who is in school, I can’t move to the next grade or to the next level until I pass the test, until I learn everything I’m supposed to learn…..until I do it GOD’s way! Doing it God’s way is having faith in Him! That’s all resting in God is….having complete faith in God! Hebrews 11:6 (King James Version) says:

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him [God]: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is [God], and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”

Having faith in God is what pleases Him. If we have total faith in God, then we’re going to live our lives submitted to Him. If we lack faith in God in any areas of our lives, then we’re not going to submit to God in those areas. For example, perhaps you are a smoker, and God has instructed you to give up smoking. You KNOW God spoke to you. Even though you crave cigarettes, God is telling you to stop smoking.

However, you haven’t stopped smoking because you have more faith in how you FEEL, than you do in the POWER of God. God didn’t say it was going to be easy. He just said to have faith in Him and quit!

Now, by using smoking as an example, I am in no way saying that smoking cigarettes is going to send you to hell. Nevertheless, if we say we trust God with our lives, then we have to really trust Him and stop using unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with every day life circumstances. Smoking, alcohol, overeating, or sex outside of marriage are common examples of what people use to COPE with life. But, we’re not supposed to COPE. We’re supposed to REST or have FAITH in God!

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DO REST IN GOD?
When we rest or have faith in God, as Hebrews 11:6 says, God will reward us. In other words, God will bless us. He will give us what we need and desire, as long as it’s in His will. So, if you’re struggling in a particular area in your life, you have to have faith in God. Understand that faith is not about how you feel, but faith is about what you KNOW! You have to know that God is your deliverer, your healer, your provider, your protector, your keeper! You have to KNOW that God has your back and will always take care of you. When you truly KNOW, then you won’t be led astray by your emotions, by ungodly thoughts that try to enter your mind, or by the suggestions of others. You will rest in God and wait for Him to move on your behalf.

As I shared in the previous article, I am still learning how to CONSISTENTLY rest in God. It’s a decision I have to make on a daily basis. One way in which I find rest in God is by taking time to worship Him.

Did you realize that God loves it when we worship Him? Don’t you too appreciate receiving genuine love from others? When someone sincerely loves me, I’m motivated to return the love. Likewise, when we choose to love on God by worshiping Him, despite what may or may not be going on in our lives, He is motivated to shower us with more of His love and blessings! Yes, God loves us, but there’s more He has for us. He willingly gives us more when He sees our faith in Him.

BESIDES WORSHIP, IS THERE ANOTHER WAY TO FIND REST IN GOD?
Another way in which I find rest in God is through prayer. According to Philippians 4:6, God doesn’t want us to worry about anything, but to pray about everything. No problem is too big for God! Therefore, when we pray we must trust that God hears us and will answer our prayers. If we trust that God honors His children’s prayers, anxiety should not be present. Prayer and worry do NOT go hand in hand. James 1:6-7 (New International Version) say:

“But when you ask [God], you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”

Does God want us to enjoy our lives? Does He want us to relax, take vacations, and enjoy time with our families? I believe He does! In fact, a couple of years ago, our family had a reunion in Florida. Although I really wanted to go, I knew my money was tight at the time. I kept telling family members I was going, but in the back of my mind I knew I didn’t really have the money. However, instead of making the decision to not go, I prayed about it. Once I prayed about it, I didn’t stress and worry. I didn’t concern myself with HOW I was going to get to Florida. I just asked God to help me and then left it up to Him.

I’m happy to say that God answered my prayer, and in a way I would have never imagined! One night during a revival at our church, one of the local bishops came to the service. Although he didn’t preach that night, our pastor allowed him to minister to a few of us. This same bishop informed me that God had instructed him to sow money into me! As a matter of fact, he said the purpose of the money was for me to go on vacation!

GOD ANSWERED MY PRAYER! No one knew what I had asked God for, except God Himself! God used this man of God to bless me so I could travel to Florida!

And not only that, but my brother invited me to spend time with his family in Georgia following the Florida trip. I didn’t have to pay to get to Georgia or to get back home to Cincinnati. So, God gave me even more than what I originally asked for. Why did God do that for me? He did it because He loves me and because I chose to REST in Him.

In spite of any difficulties you’re facing at the present time, I encourage you to REST in God and give the situations to Him. How is worrying and stressing about it helping you? It’s not, is it? Like award-winning Gospel artists Anthony Brown and Group Therapy sing, God did not create you to worry. God did not create you to fear. But God created you to worship Him daily. So, give it all to God! The Creator always knows what’s best!

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A Tribute to Mom

A TRIBUTE TO MOM
Let me begin by wishing a Happy Mother’s Day to ALL mothers, including those who are like mothers to someone! I honor YOU today, as well! I believe it takes a heart of selflessness to take someone else’s child under your wing to encourage them, teach them, coach them, help them and, especially, love them. I want to also honor the women who have chosen to raise someone else’s child…..or children. Your act of love is so greatly appreciated!

I want to now pay tribute to my own mother Pastor Geraldine Banks, also known as “Gerri”.

Over the years, I’ve seen my mom endure some difficult situations. However, through it all and in spite of it all, she has maintained her integrity and relationship with the Lord.

THE YOUNG BELIEVER
The youngest of seven children, my mom was born to Jeremiah and Eunice Ealey in Collins, Georgia, where she was also raised. If you’ve never heard of Collins, it’s a small town located in Southern Georgia, not that far from the city of Savannah. My grandparents were prayer warriors and ministers, and they taught their children to live for God. Mom accepted Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior and was filled with the Holy Spirit at the tender age of 16.

Because of the teachings my mother received at a young age, she learned the importance and necessity of being devoted to God.

Do you realize that it’s NECESSARY to be devoted to God—-God, our Creator, the one who knows all and sees all? In the midst of a corrupt world, it is NECESSARY to know Him. It is NECESSARY to know Jesus because through Him our lives are made right! My mom and her siblings were taught those valuable, life-changing lessons, and I thank God every day that they instilled those lessons in us—-their children. I am who I am because of my mother’s teachings. I am who I am because of my mother’s prayers. I am who I am because of my mother’s LIFE!

THE SCHOLASTIC ACHIEVER
As a child, my mother excelled in school. She was even honored as the salutatorian of her senior class and graduated from high school at the age of 16. Soon after, she relocated with her mother and siblings to Cincinnati. Mom went on to receive her Business Management education from Southern Ohio College. She then received certified Accounting training from Cincinnati Technical College (now Cincinnati State). Moreover, she received computer training from Scarlet Oaks.

While a student at Southern Ohio, Mom was hired by General Electric Company, where she worked for 34 years before retiring. During her time at GE, she witnessed co-workers and close friends lose their jobs due to layoffs and cutbacks. However, instead of losing her job too, God always blessed her to get moved to a different position. In John 15:7 Jesus says:

“If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

Although Mom has been retired from GE for a number of years now, she still works seasonally as a Tax Professional for H&R Block. As one of her devoted clients, I can say that she is excellent at what she does!

THE PRAYER WARRIOR
As I stated before, my mother has endured some difficult situations. One incident was when my brother BJ almost died when he was just a baby. Although his health seemed to be failing, my mother didn’t give up! She called on my grandmother, aunts and people at the church to pray for his healing. Today, she even talks about the time she sat up with him all night rocking him and praying for him. James 5:16 assures us that:

“…the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (woman) availeth much.”

Because of the constant prayers of the believers, God healed my baby brother! Now at the age of 39, he is a successful husband, father, teacher and varsity basketball coach.


(Mom, BJ, Me)

THE OVERCOMER
Another difficult time in my mother’s life was when her marriage to our father ended in divorce. I love my dad very much, but as a woman myself, I can acknowledge that my mom was devastated by the break up. Her marriage was supposed to last forever! NEVERTHELESS, she never walked away from God or the church. Through the pain and, even the embarrassment, each day she continued to get up! She put on her good clothes, high heeled shoes, and make up, and she pressed forward!

Mom continued being a devoted mother, sister, cousin, niece, and friend. She continued shopping at the mall, getting her hair done at the beauty salon, going out to eat with family and friends, and taking trips to places, like Florida and the Bahamas. My mother continued living her life! Most importantly, she maintained her relationship with Jesus Christ. She continued lending her beautiful voice to the choir, ministering the Gospel at church and on the radio, and winning souls for the kingdom of God.

THE EVANGELIST
Mom has some awesome testimonies of how God has used her throughout the years. For example, during the late 1980’s while working at GE, she led one of the CEOs to the Lord while sitting in his office. This particular man was secretly dying from the AIDS virus, and through Mom, he came to know Jesus Christ. On another occasion while at work, she noticed her manager slipping away at his desk. In other words, he was dying right before her very eyes, and she called LIFE back into his body! Some years later, she also called LIFE back into the body of a complete stranger while we were at Kings Island Amusement Park. In John 11:25 Jesus says:

“…I am the RESURRECTION, and the LIFE: he that BELIEVETH in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he LIVE…”

Had life totally turned out the way my mother planned? No, not at all! Nevertheless, she was determined to persevere anyway! In fact, she looked past her disappointments and her pain and pursued God even more!

She completed a two-year course in Theology with a focus in Evangelism at Cincinnati Christian College and received certificates in Catechism and other Christian courses. Mom wasn’t going to allow anything or anyone to deter her from her God-given purpose!

THE FAITHFUL
In my previous blog post “Relax! God Is Doing It Now For You! Just Continue in His Work!”, I share the story of Ruth from the Bible. Ruth didn’t worry about what or whom she had lost. She didn’t concern herself with the family and country she had left behind. Instead, she focused on the mission God had assigned her—to take care of her mother-in-law Naomi. As a result of her obedience and faithfulness, God blessed her abundantly.

Just like Ruth, Mom stayed focused. While she was busy working, taking care of my brother and me, and ministering to others, God blessed her with another husband. My mother married Apostle Ron Banks on June 25, 1994. Three years later they founded Power and Faith Ministries.

Through Power and Faith Ministries, many souls have been saved, bodies have been healed from life-threatening diseases like cancer and AIDS, and people have been delivered from the bondage of satan. As they adhere to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, it is their mission to touch and change the world one family at a time.

Ladies…..my sisters…..women of God, I know that everything has not turned out the way you had hoped or planned. But, don’t give up on God and don’t give up on you! People, including your own relatives, will let you down. They’re not perfect. Only God is perfect, and He will NEVER let you down! So, just like my mother Pastor Geraldine Banks, stay FAITHFUL to God and TRUST that He has an even BETTER plan for your life.

(The Kimberly Joy Show: A Tribute to Mom)

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Who Is Jesus?

WHO IS JESUS?
There’s a song that says:
“Jesus Jesus Jesus, there’s just
something about that name.
Master, Saviour, Jesus, like the
fragrance after the rain.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, let all heaven and
earth proclaim.
Kings and kingdoms will pass away,
But there’s something about that Name!”

Another song says:
“‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word,
Just to rest upon His promise,
Just to know, ‘Thus saith the Lord!’
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er!
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!”

JESUS! There’s something about His Name…when I speak His Name…when I call His Name…when I pray in His Name……….

Why?

Who IS Jesus?

Isaiah 9:6 calls Him “Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”

John 11:25 says He is “the Resurrection and the Life”

John 14:6 refers to Jesus as “the Way, the Truth, and the Life”

I Timothy 6:15 says He is “the King of kings, and Lord of lords”

Titus 2:13 calls Him “Savior”

Hebrews 12:2 describes Jesus as “the Author and Finisher of our faith”

Revelation 22:13 says He is “Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last”


JESUS IS HEALER

Another word that describes Jesus is HEALER!

While Jesus lived as a man here on earth, many people, who came into His presence, were healed. According to Matthew 4:23 and Matthew 9:35, He healed every type of sickness and disease. It didn’t matter what it was! When Jesus laid hands on those individuals, they were healed and made whole! Even those, who weren’t in Jesus’ presence, were healed.

Let me tell you a story (Taken from John 4:46-54):

One day while Jesus was in Cana in Galilee, a government official from Capernaum asked Him to come to his home to heal his son. In fact, the man begged Jesus to come because his son was dying. However, Jesus wouldn’t go with the official. Instead, He healed the boy from a distance. Jesus said, “Go back home. Your son will live!” In that moment, Jesus spoke LIFE back into the boy’s body, and the man believed what Jesus spoke.

Before the official had a chance to return home, some of his servants met him along the way to inform him that his son was alive and well. He then learned that his son began getting better at the exact time when Jesus had declared he was healed. Due to that experience, the government official and his household believed in Jesus.

Let me tell you another story (Taken from Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10).

One day while Jesus was in Capernaum, a Roman officer came to Him with a request. He said, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”

Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”

But the Roman officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.”

Jesus was amazed at the officer’s faith. He even said that He had not seen faith like that in all Israel (amongst God’s chosen people)! Then Jesus said to the officer, “Go back home! Because you BELIEVED, it has happened!” The young servant was, therefore, healed that same hour.


FAITH IN JESUS

Of the two stories, what stands out the most about the government official and the Roman officer?

Their FAITH!!!

Although the official wanted Jesus to come to his home, he trusted Him when He just spoke healing for his son. The officer, on the other hand, demonstrated his faith in Jesus when he asked Him to only speak a word of healing for his servant. He didn’t feel worthy to have Jesus come into His home because he respected His holiness. Full of compassion, more than likely, Jesus wouldn’t have had a problem visiting the man’s home. Nevertheless, He appreciated the man’s faith and honored his request.

One of my favorite healing stories involves the woman with the issue of blood (Taken from Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:24-34 and Luke 8:43–48).

One day while Jesus was on His way to heal a little girl, a crowd of people, as usual, were following Him. In the crowd, there was a particular woman who had been hemorrhaging for twelve years. Although I can’t even imagine what she was going through, I’m sure she was weak from losing so much blood. She tried getting help from several doctors. Unfortunately, instead of being cured, she just became worse and wound up penniless. However, despite her weakness, she found her way to Jesus.

When she got to Jesus, she didn’t ask Him to heal her. Instead, she touched the hem of the garment He was wearing.

As soon as she touched the hem, the bleeding stopped and she knew then that her body was healed.

YOUR FAITH HAS MADE YOU WELL

Why didn’t the woman just ask Jesus to heal her like so many others had?

Maybe it was so crowded that she thought Jesus wouldn’t hear her?

Maybe she thought He would be too busy to notice her?

Maybe she was too ashamed?

Whatever the reason, she still had enough faith to believe that if she just touched the hem of His garment, she would be healed.

Jesus then noticed the woman, and she told Him what had just happened to her.

Jesus replied, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”

Jesus healed so many people, more than what’s even discussed in the Bible. He healed every kind of disease and illness, regardless of the severity.

He healed those who were blind, deaf, crippled, paralyzed and demon-possessed. He even raised the dead back to life.

HE IS STILL THE HEALER

Even though, Jesus’ assignment on earth ended long ago, He is still the HEALER! Isaiah 53:5 says:

“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.”

When Adam and Eve disobeyed God, sin entered the world. Along with sin came death. Romans 6:23 tells us that the result of sin is death. And what leads to death? Sickness and disease! Nevertheless, when Jesus was crucified on the cross, He took on the sins of all humanity and everything attached to sin, including sickness and disease. So, when we repent of our sins and believe and confess that Jesus is Lord, He then sets us free.

Therefore, as believers we have the privilege of experiencing healing and wholeness. We just have to believe!
As Romans 1:17 says:

“The just (righteous people) shall live by faith.

If you’re suffering today in your body, call on Jesus the Healer, with no doubt, and watch Him move greatly in your life!

(“The Kimberly Joy Show: Jesus Is Healer”)

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P.U.S.H. Chapter Five

P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens. As believers in Christ Jesus, we are to be prayerful, all day, every day. When we pray, it should always be in FAITH. To pray in faith means we know God is going to answer those prayers. We don’t concern ourselves with how He will answer, or even when; we just know He will!

Why is faith so important? Hebrews 11:6 assures us that having faith in God pleases Him and moves Him to action. We see it in the stories we read about Jesus. Jesus healed anyone and everyone because of their faith. Having complete faith in God motivates us to pray UNTIL something happens. That SOMETHING is WHATEVER we’re believing God for.

As we continue to pray and serve God, He will answer. Even if God’s answer is no, He will still answer. In some instances, God may choose to not give us what we’re asking for or at the time we want it. In those situations, we really have to trust that God knows what’s best for us. Isaiah 55:8-9 say:

“8 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

IS IT YOUR TIME?
I have prayed and asked God to bless me with some things I wanted right away. However, God said, “No…..Not now….. It’s not time…..You’re not quite ready.”

I’ll give you an example.

All my adult life, I have desired to be married. From the time I was very young, it was instilled in me that every little girl grows up to become a wife and mother. I saw the theme of love and marriage in almost every TV show and movie I watched. I even became a fan of romantic comedies or chick flicks. I assumed that once I graduated from college, I would have my own Cinderella experience: meet my Prince Charming, get married, move into a beautiful house with a white picket fence, have a couple of children and, live happily ever after!

Nonetheless, after living long enough, I now laugh at that idea! I don’t laugh because it’s impossible. I laugh because it wasn’t MY reality. Once upon a time, I thought that was every little girl’s dream and reality. However, I now know better. I now know that not every blessing comes how or when we expect. I also now know that everyone is not meant to take the same path in life. In fact, I’m still waiting to become a wife. It has taken a long time for me to accept the fact that I didn’t get married when I thought I would or when others expected me to. Honestly, there was a time when I questioned if God was even going to answer that particular prayer. I wondered if it was even meant for me to be a wife. I told God that if it wasn’t in the cards for me to be married, then I needed Him to take away the desire. Needless to say, God reassured me that it is still His will for me to be married.

FATHER GOD KNOWS BEST

Second guessing God is a mistake we sometimes make. If He doesn’t answer according to our timeline, then we want to, either give up on the promise, or go outside His will and take matters into our own hands. However, the last thing we need to do is go outside the will of God. He knows what’s best for us. He knows what we don’t know. He sees what we don’t see.

A well-known Gospel singer, whose name I won’t mention, has shared over the years how her first marriage almost resulted in her death. God had told her not to marry her fiance. Even the day of her wedding, God was warning her not to walk down the aisle. She told God, however, that she couldn’t cancel the wedding. “We spent all this money! All the guests are here! How would it look for me to walk away?!”

She, unfortunately, learned the hard way the importance of obeying the voice of God.

Her husband beat her during their marriage. The abuse got so bad that she eventually drove away in her car with only the clothes on her back. She was afraid he was going to kill her!

I am grateful that God didn’t allow me to get into a situation I would have regretted later. I’m also thankful He gave me time to learn and to grow. My time as a single woman has helped build my confidence. More importantly, I’ve learned how to love myself.

Once upon a time, I didn’t truly love me. I depended on relationships and friendships to validate me as a person. In response to my negative thinking, God said, “NO!!! You only need Me to validate you! If no one loves you, you love you!” So, ladies—and gentlemen—we have to love God and ourselves first before we can expect to love anyone else.

WHAT DOES GOD SAY?
Moreover, don’t believe the notion that you have to be married by a certain age. It’s not about what people think or say. It’s about what GOD knows and says. If you’re concerned about having children, remember that with God, nothing is impossible! If He could do it for people in the Bible like Abraham and Sarah and Zachariah and Elizabeth, He can do it for you, too! God can still enable you to have a healthy child.

Also, I want you to consider another possibility. You have a desire to be a parent, right? Have you ever considered that God may have called you to raise children you didn’t birth? Perhaps you’re to be someone’s mentor, godparent, foster parent, or adoptive parent. So many children are in need of love, support, and a home to call their own. You may just be the person to provide that.

I personally know single women of God who have chosen to raise children they didn’t birth. They didn’t give up on their desires to be mothers, but they opened their hearts and minds to the possibility that God had other plans. One of the mothers, whom I’ve known for years, has done an excellent job raising her daughter to be hard-working, kind and respectful. In fact, her daughter is a senior in high school and will be a college freshman in the fall. Although this young lady’s birth parents were unable to raise her, God had a ram in the bush. Perhaps YOU are someone’s ram in the bush.

Whether you’re believing God for marriage, children or something else of great significance, I urge you to not give up praying and believing. God hasn’t forgotten your prayers. You have to trust He knows what He’s doing. Fighting the process will only further delay the blessing. So, allow God to prepare you for the greater that is coming in your life and continue to P.U.S.H.!!!

(“The Kimberly Joy Show: P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens Part 5”)

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P.U.S.H. Chapter Four

P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens. As believers in Jesus Christ, we are to pray continually. To pray is to communicate with God, to make our petitions (needs and desires) known to Him. Although God knows everything about us, including what we need or want before we open our mouths to ask, He still requires that we come to Him in prayer.

To be able to pray to God—the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the Creator of all mankind, the Creator of every living being—and share what’s on my heart and mind, is a privilege! I’m honored to know that God wants to hear from me. I’m even more honored when I hear from Him.

Let me give you an example.

Early one morning back in January, I was driving to work, while having my regular praise and worship session in the car. During any typical morning session, I may pray, sing a worship song or listen to my Gospel music. On this particular morning while I was worshipping God, I heard Him say, “I love you!” I must say I was pleasantly surprised!

Now, don’t get me wrong! I don’t doubt God’s love for me! He shows me every day in so many ways that He loves me! It was just a special moment to have the Father—the Creator, the God of all—tell me He loves me!!! As a result, I immediately began crying tears of joy. Just hearing God say He loves me reminded me of how AMAZING He is! I could then feel His loving presence even more in the car.

Moments like that particular morning only make my faith in God even stronger. Moreover, I can now hear God’s voice more clearly because I’ve learned the importance of, not only talking to God in prayer, but LISTENING to God!

HOW LONG SHOULD WE PRAY?
As people of God, we understand that we must pray, that we need to pray, that God expects and desires to hear from us. However…..how LONG should we pray? How long should we pray about a particular situation or for a particular person?

UNTIL!!!!!

According to the dictionary, until is defined as “up to (a particular time); used as a function word to indicate continuance (as of an action or condition) to a specified time.” In other words, I Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV) says:

“Pray without ceasing.”

To pray without ceasing doesn’t mean we’re to pray continually for 24 hours. We still have to go to work and take care of our families. We still have to live our lives! Nevertheless, while we’re living, we should consistently keep God number one.

God should always be the first one we consult with any situations we face. In addition, when we go to God in prayer, we must do so in faith, trusting and knowing He’s going to work His PERFECT plan in our lives and in the lives of those around us. I describe God’s plans as PERFECT because GOD is perfect and makes no mistakes. Jeremiah 29:11(NLT) says:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

When God works His perfect plan in our lives, He does it in His own timing. He knows WHEN we’re ready to receive what we’re praying for. For example, consider the youth, particularly teenagers. Some teenagers want to be grown before their time. They want to hurry up and get out of high school. They want their own homes and vehicles. They want to be able to come and go as they please. They want to live like adults because they THINK they’re ready. Since they can now wear adult clothes, grow facial hair or even have a baby, they think they know everything.

However, the truth is they don’t know everything, and they’re not ready for adulthood. So, if they’re pushed out into the real world before they’re prepared, it may be detrimental, even costing them their very lives. Runaway teenagers, for instance, are easily targeted and persuaded into engaging in criminal activities, like drug dealing and prostitution, because they don’t have enough knowledge, understanding, training or strength to make rational, mature, adult decisions.

PREPARE YOURSELF
Therefore, just like a teenager is not ready to be an adult, there are some things you may not be ready to receive from God. Just because the desire is strong doesn’t mean you’re ready. God may show you in a vision what He’s going to do in your life or send one of His prophets to give you a word, but it still doesn’t mean you’re ready. God just wants you to be aware of what lies ahead and to prepare yourself. A huge part of preparing yourself is continuing to pray!

I know it seems like certain prayers aren’t being answered. However, truthfully, the prayers ARE being answered! They’re just being answered according to your readiness. God knows you better than you know yourself! Therefore, He knows if and when you’re ready for certain things to manifest in your life.

Just because some prayers aren’t answered as quickly as others doesn’t mean you and I should stop praying. God still expects us to pray because while we’re praying fervently and consistently, He is working His PERFECT plan. He’s taking us through a process to get us ready spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially to receive those blessings. The beauty of it all is God does that for us simply because He loves us!

Personally speaking, I appreciate God making me wait for some things. I never thought I would get to a point in my life where I would make such a bold statement. However, I now have a greater understanding. In my waiting, I mature and gain more knowledge. I become stronger, wiser, and better prepared for what I’m about to receive. Plus, I have a greater appreciation for what I receive! In fact, I find that we, as human beings, tend to appreciate some things more when we have to wait and work for those things. Whenever a person isn’t ready for a particular blessing, he or she may very well lose it as quickly as it was received.

So, I encourage you to keep praying, praising, worshipping, fasting, attending church, studying God’s Word and obeying God! Allow God to mold you, shape you and make you into the person He has created and called you to be. Don’t fight the process of prayer, but work through it and continue to P.U.S.H!

(“The Kimberly Joy Show: P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens Part 4”)

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P.U.S.H. Chapter Two

P.U.S.H.! Pray Until Something Happens! As believers in Christ Jesus, God expects us to always pray.
I Thessalonians 5:17 says:

“Pray without ceasing.”

Now, does that mean we are to pray nonstop for 24 hours?

No, of course not! Even Jesus, while He was here on earth, didn’t kneel with his head bowed praying for 24 hours. But, what it means is that we are to keep God at the forefront of our lives. Any situation we may face should always be presented to God. Yes, God knows all and sees all, but it is our choice to take all our issues to Him. God assures us in His Word that we don’t have to worry. Philippians 4:6 says:

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.”

God always wants to be the FIRST one we consult, not the last resort.

PRAY IN FAITH
According to Luke 18:1, we are to always pray and not faint. In other words, we must never give up on praying to God. When we choose to stop praying, then we are either telling God we don’t need Him or that we don’t believe Him. However, the last thing we want to do is imply that we have no faith in God. Therefore, when we pray we must pray in FAITH. James 5:13-16 say:

“13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

So, whether we’re going through bad times or good times, we are to present EVERYTHING to God. Not only are we to pray, but we are to praise God, as well.

In addition, if you’re sick, you don’t have to stay sick, but you can call for the elders or God’s leaders to pray for you to be healed. Because of the prayer of faith, you will indeed be healed. God will also forgive you of your sins when you ask Him in faith. Moreover, we are made righteous, or we are made right with God, when we confess our sins and ask for His forgiveness. Then when we pray earnestly, with no doubt, we see results.

HOW DO YOU APPROACH GOD?
In the past year or so, God has been dealing with me about how I pray. He has shown me that my prayers are more effective when I approach Him the right way. In fact, God would say, “Pray My way. Pray in Me.” At first, I didn’t quite understand what He meant. However, over time I got a clearer understanding.

Depending on the circumstance and my emotions, I didn’t always go to God with a prayer of faith. Instead, it might be a prayer of worry, a prayer of fear, a prayer of sadness, a prayer of frustration, or a prayer of anger. In fact, there were times when I would approach God with the attitude that He owed me something! Nevertheless, God doesn’t owe me anything! I owe Him everything—–my submission, my worship, my prayer, my faith, MY LIFE!

God had to reveal to me that, on occasion, my prayers were just emotional. In other words, I prayed according to how I felt, and not according to God’s Word. For instance, if Isaiah 53:5 says that with the stripes of Jesus I am healed, then I need to believe nothing less than that. Once I pray for God to heal me, then the only thing God needs to hear from me is my praise and declaration of who He is. God shouldn’t hear me say, “God, You haven’t healed me yet! I’m sooo tired God! When are you going to heal me?!!” That’s not a prayer of faith. Rather, it’s a prayer of frustration and worry.

Approaching God the wrong way doesn’t accomplish anything in the spiritual realm. When I choose to pray emotionally, I’m not demonstrating my faith in God. I’m just appeasing my flesh. However, it’s not about moving my flesh. It’s about moving God! When I offer up emotional prayers, I’m not honoring God or inviting Him into my situation. I’m exalting my emotions and thoughts, instead of exalting God and His Word.

Let me tell you a story (Luke 18:10-14):

One day, two men went into the Temple or church to pray. One man was a Pharisee. Pharisees were religious and political leaders who were highly respected by the Jewish community. The other man was a publican or tax collector. Unlike Pharisees, tax collectors were hated because they collected taxes for the Romans. To make matters worse, tax collectors were also known for charging extra money and keeping it for themselves.

The Pharisee stood by himself to pray. He said, “I thank You, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give You a tenth of my income.”

Now, the tax collector stood at a distance and wouldn’t even look up to heaven because he felt so ashamed. He said, “O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.”

Do you know what happened after the two men prayed? The tax collector’s prayer was accepted, and he was made right with God. On the other hand, God did not receive the Pharisee’s prayer.

Why?

Let’s consider how they each prayed. The Pharisee’s prayer was full of self-righteousness. It wasn’t about exalting God or praying sincerely for others. It was all about exalting himself.

The tax collector approached God in faith and humility. That, too, is important——HUMILITY——remembering that we are nothing without God. He recognized that he was a sinner in need of forgiveness and restoration. He wasn’t trying to impress anyone. He didn’t care who heard him. All he wanted was for God to hear him. And He did!

WHO IS GOD?
From this moment forward, as you go before God in prayer, I want to encourage you to always consider how you approach God. I understand that as humans we sometimes get discouraged and find ourselves becoming frustrated, but that doesn’t change who God is. And who is God?

God is our Deliverer, Healer, Restorer, Teacher, Protector, Provider! God is EVERYTHING we need!

So, no matter what the situation is, we should always have faith in God. Mark 11:24 says:

“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”

(“The Kimberly Joy Show: P.U.S.H. Pray Until Something Happens Part 2”)

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