31. July 2017 · Comments Off on COUNTING YOUR BLESSINGS · Categories: Blessing, Jesus Christ, Praise, Thanks giving

Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name! Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits (Psalm 103:1-2 AMPC).

Beloved, I’m reminded of a time during one of our Bible studies when all I did was ask everyone in turns how their week had been so far and that kicked off an awesome time of thanksgiving that saw some rolling on the floor worshipping the Lord. It was a real time of reflecting on how faithful the Lord has been and it wasn’t about the obvious things that we usually thank God for. I even had to repent and ask for forgiveness.

A song writer once wrote: ‘Count your blessings and name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done’.

Beloved, there are times you think the Lord has bypassed you. At those times, there is indeed a tendency to say… “Lord, You haven’t come through for me!” However, it isn’t until you actually stop and start to count one by one all that He has been doing, then like the song writer said, it surprises you what the Lord has done. The reason for this is because most times, we do not recognise God’s blessings. We tend to want it one way but God gives it to us in another way and then we become like the Israelites in the wilderness when they cried out for food. The Lord rained down bread from heaven but… When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, “WHAT IS IT?” FOR THEY DID NOT KNOW WHAT IT WAS. Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat (Exodus 16:15 NIV).

Really? But this looks nothing like what I was expecting? Like the Israelites, are you in a position where you are saying “WHAT IS IT?” How has the Lord blessed me? Do you need to be told how?

Beloved, realise what He saved you from and wipe your tears. King David said… O my soul, bless God. From head to toe, I’ll bless His holy name! O my soul, bless God, don’t forget a single blessing! (MSG)

The fact that you are still around today is a reason to bless the Lord. And here are some more reasons:

He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you’re always young in His presence (Psalm 103:3-5 MSG).

Beloved, in order to position yourself to praise hard, you need to count your blessings and name them one by one and… BLESS THE LORD…DO NOT FORGET HIS BENEFITS…

Why not enter this new week with this kind of attitude and keep it up for the rest of the week?

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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30. July 2017 · Comments Off on POSITION YOURSELF TO PRAISE HARD · Categories: God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Praise

… After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising Him for His holy splendor. This is what they sang: “Give thanks to the Lord; His faithful love endures forever!” At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves (2 Chronicles 20:21-22 NLT).

Beloved, over the past few days I’ve been led to share about positioning ourselves to praise hard‏ in this season and I believe it’s because there are times when we find that all of a sudden, we lose the zeal to praise God. We tend to say “I’m down. I don’t feel like praising” but it’s not you. It’s the devil who knows it’s your season to break forth, so he launches an attack on your mind. ‎ What he is trying to do is bind your praise so he sends forces to intentionally stop your praise because there are some battles that invites the presence of God through your praise.

Beloved, there are certain crossovers that need the presence of God to go before us and since… He inhabits the praise of His people (Psalm 22:3), we can’t afford to be down. When the time came for the Israelites to cross the Jordan… Joshua and all the Israelites… arrived at the banks of the Jordan River, where they camped before crossing. Three days later the Israelite officers went through the camp, giving these instructions to the people: “When you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, move out from your positions and follow them (Joshua 3:1-3 NLT). The Ark of the Covenant‎ represented the presence of God and He had to go ahead of the Israelites.

Beloved, when you are coming to a cross over, there are 3 things you must do; firstly, ask the Lord for the desire to praise Him. Secondly, ask for the discipline to sustain yourself and then thirdly, though there are times when our praise is a sacrifice (Hebrews 13:15), however, we must ask for help to turn it into a delight.

The song, ‘In Jesus name’ by Darlene Zschech has lyrics that says… God is fighting for us… God is on our side… He has overcome… Yes, He has overcome… We will not be shaken… We will not be moved… God is fighting for us… Pushing back the darkness… Lighting up the Kingdom… That cannot be shaken… In the Name of Jesus… Enemy’s defeated… And we will shout it out… Shout it out.

Beloved, SHOUT IT OUT… You can’t cross over with a dodgy mind-set else the devil will get you. He will try to tell you that despite everything you had to go through, it’s not happening but don’t listen to him. Put praises ahead of you. ‎Position yourself to praise hard. Ask the Lord to give you an undivided heart to praise Him. Dig into it. Make your praise uncommon.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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29. July 2017 · Comments Off on PRAISE YOUR WAY OUT · Categories: Jesus Christ, Praise, Trusting God, Victory

A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks. AROUND MIDNIGHT PAUL AND SILAS WERE PRAYING AND SINGING HYMNS TO GOD, and the other prisoners were listening. Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!‎ (Acts 16:22- 26 NLT)

Beloved, our feature text is a popular text that shows us the power of praise that shook the very foundation of the prison. The Bible says God inhabits the praise of His people… But You are holy, O You Who dwell in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered] (Psalm 22:3 AMPC). I love how the Message translation says it… leaning back on the cushions of Israel’s praise…

Praise invites the Lord into your room to come and chill with you. So, can you imagine the Lord entering that prison cell and leaning back on the cushions of Paul and Silas praise? The cell cannot contain Him. His presence in the room would shake and break everything apart including all the so-called chains‎.

Beloved, praise is a powerful tool‎ that confuses the enemy and no matter what is tied down in chains around you, you can still praise your way through as far as your lips remain unchained.

‎The famous gospel artist, Marvin Sapp released a song titled “Praise Him In Advance” with lyrics that says… I’ve had my share of ups and downs, times when there was no one around, God came and spoke these words to me, PRAISE WILL CONFUSE THE ENEMY… I started singing, I started clapping, I started dancing, people were laughing, they knew my problems, they knew my pain, but I knew God would take them away. That’s why I praise Him with my hands, that’s why I praise Him with a dance, He’s given me a second chance, come on lets praise Him in advance”.

Beloved, are you praising Him in advance or has the enemy succeeded ‎in muting your voice? We are to… offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to His name (Hebrews 13:15 NLT). Your praise may be a sacrifice right now in the sense that you may be giving it from a place of great pain, but keep at it and before you know it, you would be singing a praise of thanksgiving‎.

Remember, when praises go up, blessings come down. It’s time to praise your way through and praise your way out of the remaining days of July.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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28. July 2017 · Comments Off on PRAISE YOUR WAY THROUGH · Categories: Action, Deliverance, Jesus Christ, Praise, Victory

After consulting the people, the king appointed singers to walk ahead of the army, singing to the Lord and praising Him for His holy splendor. This is what they sang: “Give thanks to the Lord; His faithful love endures forever!” At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir to start fighting among themselves. The armies of Moab and Ammon turned against their allies from Mount Seir and killed every one of them. After they had destroyed the army of Seir, they began attacking each other. So when the army of Judah arrived at the lookout point in the wilderness, all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped (2 chronicles 20:21-24 NLT)

Beloved, I remember a few years ago when I was a real cry baby, a prophet walked up to me and said; “Do you know what the Lord has equipped you with?” He went on to say that “the Lord has equipped you so that your greatest tool against the enemy is your praise and as you keep praising God, you would see Him fighting your enemies for you”.

Wow, no wonder the enemy would try to do everything to silence your praise but we ought to let Him know He won’t succeed.

Yesterday morning, as I was reading our feature text, I felt the Holy Spirit impress in me the need to spend the next few days just praising the Lord and as I was praying with my prayer partner later on, I told her to open her Bible to 2 chronicles 20. However, before I could say another word, she shouted and said she was reading that same chapter yesterday morning and she also felt the Holy Spirit saying the same thing to her.

Beloved, the Bible says… “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.” (2 Corinthians 13:1 NKJV). This is the season to praise hard because you are embarking on serious warfare. It doesn’t matter what situation you find yourself, you must activate your praise. Off course, there are times when the devil would try fighting you so you can’t even open your mouth but the prophet went on to say that “even in the middle of the night, when you find yourself crying and can’t find the words to pray, just worship God as you cry‎ and watch what He does”.

What was the result of the people’s praise? Not a single one of their enemy escaped and then… King Jehoshaphat and his men went out to gather the plunder. They found vast amounts of equipment, clothing, and other valuables—more than they could carry. There was so much plunder that it took them three days just to collect it all! ON THE FOURTH DAY they gathered in the Valley of Blessing, which got its name that day because the people praised and thanked the Lord there. It is still called the Valley of Blessing today (2 Chronicles 20:25-26 NLT).

Beloved, when praises go up, blessings come down. It’s time to Praise your way through the remaining days of July.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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27. July 2017 · Comments Off on HOW TO HANDLE YOUR TRANSITION · Categories: Change, Courage, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Peace, Prayer, Trusting God

And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”‎ ‎And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Mathew 14:28-31 NKJV)

Beloved, according to the Oxford Dictionary,” transition is the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another”. This was the position Peter found himself when He obeyed Jesus’ command to step out of the boat and walk on water. He had already stepped out and there was no way He could go back. He had taken the initial step to come out from where he was. He had resigned from his job and couldn’t go back. He had invested all his money in this project because He took a step of faith. However, uncertainty about the future started to torment him. What have I done? What if things don’t work out as expected?

Beloved, this is like when you thrust yourself into something but then, reality starts to set in and you start to think “what am I doing?” And then, the first sign of any kind of opposition causes you to seriously panic. However, if you don’t face opposition, then it’s probably not the Lord that called or sent you.

The key is that you must retain the same courage that kicked in at the beginning… You must retain the same boldness that kicked in at the beginning… You must retain the same faith that kicked in at the beginning. The key is stability. You should not be… blown about and tossed by the wind. For such a person ought not to think or expect that he will receive anything [at all] from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable and restless in all his ways [in everything he thinks, feels, or decides] (James 1:6-8 AMP).

Beloved, get rid of the doubt. That’s what caused Peter to start to drown. Get rid of the fear. The Bible says… For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of A SOUND MIND (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV).

A SOUND MIND… That’s what you need. The Amplified Bible Translation says… sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind…]

Beloved, you are to always remain calm… Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which REASSURES the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours] (Philippians 4:6-7 AMP).

Fix your eyes on Jesus who called you out of the boat. He is the author and finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2)

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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26. July 2017 · Comments Off on WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK? · Categories: Decision making, Discipline, Hardwork and Laziness, Jesus Christ, Repentance

“Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I WAS AFRAID, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and LAZY SERVANT… (Matthew 25:24-26 NKJV).

Beloved, isn’t it interesting how regardless of the number of excuses we give, the Lord always knows the root cause of the problem. In this parable in our feature text, the servant seems to give ‘FEAR’ as the reason why he was unproductive and I have written several times about his fear and how it gets in the way of us making a move but this master goes straight to the point and the word that caught my attention here is… LAZY SERVANT…

The Amplified Bible says… You wicked and LAZY AND IDLE SERVANT!

Here’s a situation where the master distributed talents to three of his servants… each according to his ability (Matthew 25:15), meaning he knew what they were capable of. Through the years, he must have been observing them and knew that this one is just LAZY. Let me give him only one talent and see what he does with it. But it’s a shame that the opportunity was wasted. That one opportunity would have changed his situation because the one that was given 2 talents got exactly what the one that was given 5 talents got. The master told both of them… You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) WHICH YOUR MASTER ENJOYS (Matthew 25:21, 23 AMPC).

LAZY AND IDLE SERVANT!…

Beloved, here’s a Lesson the Bible (and not me) says we should learn from the Ants…

YOU LAZY FOOL, LOOK AT AN ANT. Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two. Nobody has to tell it what to do. All summer it stores up food; at harvest it stockpiles provisions. SO HOW LONG ARE YOU GOING TO LAZE AROUND DOING NOTHING? HOW LONG BEFORE YOU GET OUT OF BED? A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next? Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life, poverty your permanent houseguest! (Proverbs 6:9-11 MSG)

Beloved… HOW LONG BEFORE YOU GET OUT OF BED?… could the Lord be speaking to you right now? Remember, Jesus told the man lingering by the pool for thirty-eight years with his one million excuses… Get up! Pick up your bed (sleeping pad) and walk! (John 5:8 AMPC).

It’s time to stop making excuses.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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25. July 2017 · Comments Off on DON’T SETTLE FOR LESS THAN WHAT THE LORD HAS FOR YOU · Categories: Choices, Decision making, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Spiritual Growth, Thoughts, Trusting God

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9 AMP).

Beloved, have you ever been presented with something you’ve been desiring that you thought was really good only for the Lord to turn around and say ‘NO’, that’s not it?

Well, it takes a spiritually mature mind to know and accept that when God says ‘NO’ to something that you felt was that good and have rated to be about an 80 percent, rather than be disappointed, you ought to rejoice because when God says ‘NO’ to something, it simply means ‎He has something better in stock for you.

Our feature text says His ways are higher than your ways and His thoughts than your thoughts. So, this means that if indeed you’ve rated that thing you desire to be 80 percent, then you ought to consider what ‘better than 80 percent’ ‎would be. You ought to be saying… “Lord, so You mean You have something better than this in mind for me? Wow!!!”

Beloved, isn’t that a reason to start rejoicing? However, because we like to hold on to the ‘known’ rather than trust God, we see it as the end of the world and thereby struggle to let go but just like someone said;‎ “‘Do not downgrade’… What satan tempts you with is always less than what the Lord has already prepared for you in the spirit… What satan tempts you with should always be a confirmation that something better is on its way‎”.

Beloved, ‎please don’t make the mistake of settling for less than what the Lord has for you… Do not downgrade. Wait for the Lord’s choice for You. It is bound to exceed your expectations and blow your mind away for…‎ as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NKJV)

Most times we haven’t got a clue what the Lord has in stock for us but you must trust that He is up to something that exceeds your imagination. Why don’t you just trust the Lord on this one?

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT).

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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24. July 2017 · Comments Off on YOUR SHORTCOMINGS SHOULDN’T STOP YOU FROM SEEKING JESUS · Categories: Action, Change, Choices, God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Relationship, Spiritual Growth

For God shows no partiality [undue favor or unfairness; with Him one man is not different from another] (Romans 2:11 AMPC).

Beloved, I like that the Lord is no respecter of persons. Everyone, regardless of your background, education, race, past, whatever can approach Him. Our feature text says He doesn’t discriminate. He sees everything that goes on in the earth. He sees everyone and knows us personally by name.

I’m thinking of a man called Zacchaeus, a very rich tax collector, but there comes a time when everything you’ve got no longer has the ability to satisfy you; a typical case of been there… done it… but I’m now at the point where I believe there’s more to life.

I also like that the Lord somehow makes it impossible for us to reach perfection without him so I believe your shortcomings are there for a purpose. No matter how much money Zacchaeus had, it could not buy him height. The Bible says he was a short man and maybe he had been searching for things to fill that gap. I’m sure people made fun of him and he may have thought perhaps if he had all the money, he would fit in but it didn’t work. He was still short so at some point he decided that the height he couldn’t achieve physically, he had to achieve spiritually. He decided to seek God and we know that God… IS A REWARDER OF THOSE WHO DILIGENTLY SEEK HIM (Hebrews 11:6 NLT).

The Message translation says… He cares enough to respond to those who seek Him. Zacchaeus was desperate; he didn’t care what others thought. He sought after Jesus. He made up his mind that Jesus was not going to pass by without noticing him… So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way. When Jesus came by, HE LOOKED UP AT ZACCHAEUS AND CALLED HIM BY NAME. “Zacchaeus!” He said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” (Luke 19:4-5 NLT)

Beloved, Jesus always knows where to look. He can always tell from amongst the crowd that one person that is sincerely looking for Him and I like that He would stop everything else to attend to you. He was passing by but He decided to drop by in Zacchaeus house. Why? Only because Zacchaeus decided to climb higher.

You may think you have shortcomings but regardless of what they are, Jesus can fill the gap and as far as you decide that enough is enough; I want to let go of everything that I’ve been using to disguise my shortcomings and just seek after Him… I want to position myself where He can find me… He would reward your sincere effort. Be encouraged to go higher in your walk with the Lord regardless of how low you think you are right now.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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23. July 2017 · Comments Off on EXPECT A MIRACLE THAT LEAVES YOU IN AWE · Categories: Agreement, God's Plan, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Praise, Promise, Testimony, Thanks giving, Trusting God

Now after this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant, AND FOR FIVE MONTHS SHE SECLUDED HERSELF COMPLETELY, SAYING, “This is how the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor on me, to take away my disgrace among men.” (Luke 1:24-25 AMP)

AND FOR FIVE MONTHS SHE SECLUDED HERSELF COMPLETELY, SAYING…

Beloved, did you read that clearly? Elizabeth received a miracle from the Lord that she never thought was possible and it left her in awe for five good months. This is the kind of miracle that you can’t tell anybody for fear that they would wake you up from a dream. The Message translation says… It wasn’t long before his wife, Elizabeth, conceived. She went off by herself for five months, relishing her pregnancy. “So, this is how God acts to remedy my unfortunate condition!” she said.

This encouraged me so good because as I read further, I saw that it was the same miracle the angel of the Lord used to encourage Mary when it was her own turn to expect a miracle that would also leave her in awe.

After telling Mary the ridiculous word that she would be impregnated by the Holy Spirit and would have a child, he said… listen, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. FOR WITH GOD NOTHING [IS OR EVER] SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE.” Then Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel left her (Luke 1:36-37 AMP).

FOR WITH GOD NOTHING [IS OR EVER] SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE…

Beloved, old Elizabeth became pregnant, AND FOR FIVE MONTHS SHE SECLUDED HERSELF COMPLETELY, SAYING, “This is how the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favor on me, to take away my disgrace among men. I read this and started counting at the tip of my fingers; we are five months away from the end of this year… August, September, October, November, and December. So, I started to pray that the Lord should give us a miracle in this month that would cause us to ponder for the rest of the year.

Beloved, do you believe this? Mary said… May it be done to me according to your word… It doesn’t matter what has happened in the past. The word of God says… “Do not remember the former things, or ponder the things of the past. “Listen carefully, I am about to do a new thing, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even put a road in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert (Isaiah 43:18-19 AMP).

It didn’t matter that Elizabeth and her husband had served faithfully in the past without anything to show for it. In one moment, the Lord did it. He looked with favor on them and took away their disgrace. You are next in line. May it be done to you according to His word.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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22. July 2017 · Comments Off on DEFEND WHAT THE LORD HAS GIVEN YOU · Categories: God's Plan, Jesus Christ, Promise, Relationship, Revelation, Vision

When the baby was eight days old, they all came for the circumcision ceremony. They wanted to name him Zechariah, after his father. But Elizabeth said, “No! His name is John!” “What?” they exclaimed. “There is no one in all your family by that name.” So they used gestures to ask the baby’s father what he wanted to name him. He motioned for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s surprise he wrote, “His name is John.” (Luke 1:59-63 NLT)

Beloved, in preparation for a women’s conference coming up later on today, we have been meditating on the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth who were promised in their old age that they would have a child. Each day, we were given specific verses from this story to focus on and it’s really been a blessing. However, there was something that was sent out about our feature text that really caught my attention which was; “DO NOT ALLOW PEOPLE TO DICTATE YOUR GOD-GIVEN VISION”.

Beloved, we all know this story very well. Zechariah and Elizabeth who were childless all their lives until one day they had a special visitation from the Lord. We are told that… While Zechariah was in the sanctuary, an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the incense altar. Zechariah was shaken and overwhelmed with fear when he saw him. But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and YOU ARE TO NAME HIM JOHN (Luke 1:11-13 NLT).

The angel of the Lord gave them specific instructions to name the child John but the people around them thought they knew better. Call him Zechariah, after his father, they said, but Elizabeth was bold and courageous enough to say “NO! HIS NAME IS JOHN!” That’s the name the Lord gave us. She had to stand her grounds and protect what the Lord had given her regardless of the people’s reasonable arguments and thank God, her husband was able to speak up for her.

Beloved, this is why we have been advised to make sure we know God for ourselves and stick to what He tells and shows us. We are never to allow people to contaminate our promise by calling it what it’s not. Don’t allow people to call it what they called your father because there is no one in all your family by the name you want to call it. In other words, don’t allow people to push you down the path of what your father did because that’s what’s familiar to them. Rather, you are to hold on to the specific vision the Lord gave you. Don’t modify it to fit people’s idea of what it should be like, and like we were told as we meditated on this Scripture; “make sure that it’s your voice that prophesies over it. Don’t wait for another person to speak over it because they may not have the same vision as you. Call it by its divine name, for Elizabeth, his name was ‘John’”.

God bless you in Jesus Christ name
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