But…He blocked my path.

Blocker

This year, one of my favourite verses is Psalms 23:3:

He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.

It gives me great comfort to know that My Father doesn’t guide me on any path that is not right. This assurance laid the trust foundation for me to jump without worrying as much as I used to, knowing Daddy will surely catch me.

The mention to “right paths” stuck with me. If there are “right paths”, there surely must be “wrong paths”!

I recently came across the story of Balaam who was called by King Barack to curse the Israelites. Check out Numbers 22:22-34 for the full story. This story showed how our desires can blind us to the blockers that God placed in our paths to stop us from progressing down the wrong path. The thing with these blockers is that they will cause something to happen to us. Like the angel in Balaam’s path:

  1. A blocker can force you to redirect your path. The donkey diverted from the road they were travelling on into a field. (verse 23)
  2. Trying to get around a blocker can result in you getting hurt. The donkey tried to squeeze by and in the process crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall. (verse 24-25)
  3. A blocker can cause you to come to a total stop/halt, unable to progress further. The donkey stopped and laid down in the street. (verse 27)

If you are anything like I used to be (and sometimes still am), you sure would have gone down a lot of wrong paths. Side note: I used to consider myself the poster child for getting into scrapes (paths) that were not God-ordained. I would often imagine how frustrated God got with me as He steered me away from one scrape after the other. I call them my “Come, booboo come!” moments! God knows I’ve had so many of them!

I hope, by now, I have you reminiscing, thankfully, about some of the times that God lovingly steered you away from the wrong paths. I am sure you are better for it!

I also hope you paused to consider your current situations. Are you currently on a path that is bringing honor to God’s name? What blockers have God placed in your path that, being blinded by your desires, you just cannot see? Are you like Balaam who was so blinded by his desires that he didn’t even realize that his donkey spoke? Will you continue to force your way down the wrong path, ignoring all of God’s blockers and their results?


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May the Peace of God go with you!

XOXO
Chañel

But…will You catch me?

Jump

I am a water lover with a shameful secret… I can’t swim! Horrible?! I know right?! 😅

I had the below experience a while back… Please turn on video captions, if you are not a patois speaker or can’t hear clearly.

I hope you laughed as much as I did when I came across this video. As I watched it, for the fifth time, God spoke to me: “Isn’t this your behaviour sometimes when I tell you to jump into the deep end?”

Guys, I kid you not! I stopped laughing immediately. My mouth locked shop! The bubbling laughter died a painful death in my throat! I got serious! Because, God was right! Don’t you just hate and love that about Him?

Too often than not, when He tells me to jump, I react just as I did in that video. I pause. I laugh nervously, wondering if He is joking. I ask Him if He is sure. Not once. Not twice. But multiple times. Then I ask the persons around me their thoughts before going back AGAIN to Him to check if I should do it (hoping He may have changed His mind). Even then when He says YES! I hestitate, wondering what would happen if I fell or things worked out badly. Still unsure, I once again ask Him: “Are you sure you will catch me?”

And even then, there are many times I stay on the ledge, refusing to jump, swamped by fears, doubts and my analysis paralysis. I am sure God looks on sadly as I let what He earmarked for me go, without even taking the leap of faith and trusting Him.

But on the flip side, there has been times, when despite the fears, the doubts and analysis paralysis, I say a little prayer, trust that My Father will catch me and JUMP! And guys, I kid you not… those jumps were some of the best experiences of my life! You can’t see the end result after the jump in the video but I tell you, I smiled from ear-to-ear and went willing for the next jump that was way deeper than this one.

Pause for a moment and reflect. Does this sound like you? Be confident of one thing, Your Father, who “keeps track of all your sorrows” (Psalms 56:8), has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

So…what are you waiting for?! JUMP!


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XOXO
Chañel

Who is in your bad?

This week has been an emotional rollercoaster for me. In one of the first rounds I experienced, I felt like I had totally lost my footing. My first reaction was to feel sad, overwhelmed and lost. My perspective focused on the black and white where either things worked out the way I wanted (meaning a win for me) or they didn’t (meaning a loss for me). In that moment, my energy was focused on reacting to all the black. This perspective made me miserable to the point where I found myself breaking down in tears and crying inconsolably to God before brushing myself off and with a heavy heart heading out to deal with the day-to-day craziness of my job.

As I left, I felt led to set my playlist on some praise and worship. I chose a playlist of songs sung by Anthony Brown and Group TheRAPY’s and Trust in You filled my ear. As I listened, though my heart was heavy and my mind chaotic, my spirit calmed. I wouldn’t have won any smiling contests in that moment and anyone who looked into my eyes would have seen that I was far from okay but I felt my spiritual perspective shifting. I began to rejoice and talk to God from a stance of rejoicing and gratefulness:

I will trust in You, Lord. Because when I trust in You, nothing that happens in my life is ever just purely black and white, as it seems to me in the moment. Though my heart is heavy and focus shot, I will trust that my dark moment was meant to serve a part in your bird’s eye view plan. Because all things work together for the good of them that trust in You.

As I listened and spoke to God, I felt the tightness in my heart and ache in my chest unfurling. God got down in the bad thing with me and I came out better for it because He gave me a perspective that changed my narrative. Everything was not okay but that was okay because I trusted that, like many times before, God has me covered with His feathers and under His wings I had a guaranteed shelter. From that perspective, like Habakkuk 3:17-18, I could declare:

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!

In that moment, God took the time to remind me that “My situation can’t all be bad or for naught when He, the Master of all storms, is in the midst of it.” I felt comforted. Tonight, from a place of gratefulness and rejoicing, I say the same to you.

Copy of Possible

I would love to hear about your experiences in which you invited God into the midst. Tell me more in the comments section below.


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May the Peace of God go with you!

XOXO
Chañel

Is there anything too hard for God?

Possible.png

In preparing for God’s visions for our lives for the year ahead, my church Transformation Church (TC), has undertaken a 21-Day of Fasting. In beginning my journey, I prayed and randomly selected a Bible App plan about vision to guide me on my journey.

Day 1 gave the story of the 12 Israelites who were sent to explore Canaan. Only 2 returned with a glowing report and a confidence of victory. Numbers 13:27-29 tells the perspective of the remaining 10 spies.

This was their report to Moses: “We entered the land you sent us to explore, and it is indeed a bountiful country—a land flowing with milk and honey. Here is the kind of fruit it produces. But the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak! The Amalekites live in the Negev, and the Hittites, Jebusites, and Amorites live in the hill country. The Canaanites live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and along the Jordan Valley.”

The spies shied away from the bountiful blessing that God intended for them because they perceived the inhabitants of the land to be stronger and more fortified than they were.

Does this sound familiar? “Lord, I am not ready. I am not strong enough! There are others who a better and more qualified than I am! If I go, they will surely see that I am a fraud!”

It should ring a bell! Day after day whenever God approaches us with his vision for us, our responses are centred around our feelings of our own inadequancy. We forget that there is nothing to hard for God.

 

A QUICK STORY

In 2005, I started high school. My mom struggled to find lunch money for me daily. But God was already working things out long before we even knew there would be a need. Before leaving primary school, I caught the attention of the vice principal. Through her, her sister took an interest in me. Unbeknownst to my mother, her sister lobbied on my behalf at her place of employment. One day, shortly after beginning school, I was called to the guidance counsellor’s office. Through the sister’s lobbying, two total strangers committed to giving me lunch money for the remainder of my high school tenure.

 

THE POINT OF THE QUICK STORY

As I sat in the stillness, awaiting God’s voice, He reminded me of this aspect of my story.

With God at the forefront, the “im” in “impossible” becomes “I’m Possible!”. Trust the visions God has for you and the journey they require. Even though to the natural eye, there may be many things to fear, trust Him because there is not too hard for Him. He places us where we should be and has long ago put measures into play to ensure we come out on top.

So, is there anything too hard for God? No, there is not!


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Chañel

 

Bible in 365 Days – Day 210

DAY 210.png

Focus Chapters:

  • 2 Kings 21:1-9
  • 2 Chronicles 33:1-9
  • 2 Kings 21:10-17
  • 2 Chronicles 33:10-19
  • 2 Kings 21:18
  • 2 Chronicles 33:20
  • 2 Kings 21:19-26
  • 2 Chronicles 33:21-25
  • 2 Kings 22:1-2
  • 2 Chronicles 34:1-7
  • Jeremiah 1
  • Jeremiah 2:1-22

 

Standout Verse(s):

Jeremiah 1:5‭-‬8 NLT

“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” “O Sovereign Lord ,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord , have spoken!”

 

Observation (s):

  1. God ordained and set Jeremiah apart for a specific purpose before he was even born.

    “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”

  2. God guarantees that He will guide you, when He appoints us to fulfil our purpose. We have no need to fear.

    “O Sovereign Lord ,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord , have spoken!”

     

Application:

God knew and ordained Jeremiah as His prophet before he was even born.

Life can get so confusing and hard at times. Despite this confusion, I can’t help but feel comforted when I hear that I was created for a specific purpose. It takes some of the fear and anxiety of the process, knowing that God is beside me every step of the way. Imagine, if you are ordained and following the plan, God laid out for you, you have no reason to fear or doubt. Your age doesn’t matter. Look how God guided young Samuel and Josiah. Your personal ineptitudes doesn’t matter either. Moses had a stutter but with God by his side, he became a great leader.

Don’t be afraid. You are ordained and God is with you and will guide you through anything He has ordained you to do.


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Chañel

Bible in 365 Days – Day 207

DAY 207.png

Focus Chapters:

  • Isaiah 52:13-15
  • Isaiah 53-57

 

Standout Verse(s):

Isaiah 52:13‭-‬15 NLT

See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted. But many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man. And he will startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence. For they will see what they had not been told; they will understand what they had not heard about.

 

Observation (s):

  1. God’s servant did not have the appearance that was appealing by the world’s standards.

    But many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man.

  2. Despite his unappealing appearance, he lived his purpose and was highly exalted to the point where he was brought before kings.

    And he will startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence. For they will see what they had not been told; they will understand what they had not heard about.

     

Application:

We place a lot of emphasis on appearances. When I first got baptized, I felt a lot of pressure to fit into the appearances of my church. When I attended school, there was a lot of pressure to look a certain way, even though we all wore the same uniform. When we enter the work world, there are a whole set of rules and regulations about what is deemed appropriate professional wear. And at home, even there, we often find no peace. Despite the emphasis, our appearances does not often effectively declare the merits of our character.

The Lord reference to his servant pinpoints one integral thing: We are judged by our appearances yet our appearances have nothing to do with our purpose and how God chooses to use us. God’s servant’s appearance was not pleasing to the eyes. In fact, many would have probably overlooked him. Instead, this all changed when he begun to fulfil his purpose. He warranted a second and a third and a fourth look. Kings gave him audience and stood speechless before him. Many looked on in amazement. This man who was hard to look at became highly exalted!

Don’t worry too much about fitting in, appearance-wise. Focus your energies on being available to be used by God to fulfil your purpose. Good appearance or not, being used by God will make room for you.


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May the Peace of God go with you!

XOXO
Chañel

Bible in 365 Days – Day 206

DAY 206.png

Focus Chapters:

  • Isaiah 48:12-22
  • Isaiah 49-51
  • Isaiah 52:1-12

 

Standout Verse(s):

Isaiah 51:7 NLT

“Listen to me, you who know right from wrong, you who cherish my law in your hearts. Do not be afraid of people’s scorn, nor fear their insults.

 

Observation (s):

  1. Don’t allow your fear of being scorned or insulted to prevent you from doing what is right.

    “Listen to me, you who know right from wrong, you who cherish my law in your hearts. Do not be afraid of people’s scorn, nor fear their insults.

     

Application:

Our fear of isolation and being considered different can cause us to ignore what is right. I can think of a couple times over the years of my Christian life when I’ve let my fear of being “the only one” push me into rejecting all outside appearances of my relationship with God. I was a Christian at church and a Christian nowhere else.

As Christians, we are called to be different and avoid conforming to the world. Do not be afraid of being insulted or scorned because you choose to do what is right and follow God’s law. The man who avoids the risk will never taste the rewards of daring to be different and standing up for God. When you proudly associate yourself with God, He will proudly associate Himself with you. Do not allow the fear of isolation and scorn to be the reason you disassociate yourself from God.


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May the Peace of God go with you!

XOXO
Chañel