Being Saved, Uncategorized

After my divorce in 2009, I was demonically driven to engage in sexual activity. I thank God for being merciful to me during that time. Even though I was acting out of my brokenness, my disobedience was a stench in God’s nostrils. During that season I really began to cry out to the Lord for purity because my sin created such a rift. I literally could not close my eyes without the wrong things coming to mind.

Some of us simply struggle with the flesh. This is a natural, normal, and common battle. For others, we have become demonically inspired and even pushed into sinful acts. The devil literally made us do some things because we yielded to his power one too many times. For the latter, deliverance is needed.

Now while I believe in deliverance, I do find that believers use it as a cop out. We think we have permission to act up until God waves His proverbial magic wand, runs the demons away, and only then, are we able to live holy.

But the Scripture says in 2 Corinthians 10:6…

…and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

WHAT IS THIS?!

God will punish all disobedience, that is He will deliver you from the evil powers enforcing their will upon yours, but ONLY AFTER YOUR OBEDIENCE IS FULFILLED. You have a responsibility to obey the Lord despite the push to do otherwise.

God will not judge the devil working in your life as long as you continue to partner with it.

Have I ever told you about the time I farted out a few demons? Don’t laugh! I’m serious!

I was in a prayer circle before a service where my spiritual father was ministering. I felt the power of God hit me in the stomach and something leave my body. They went out a few different ways. By the time I was able to stand again, I felt lighter and freer. When I left that meeting, the force that was driving me to live unholy was completely gone. Every struggle I had after that was simply flesh-driven… a much lighter battle!

Before attending that meeting, I had been seeking the Lord about my deliverance. He lead me to have some things removed from my body (might share on that another time) and taught me how to pray myself out of temptation. When I enacted those things, I was able to bring every evil thought and every rationalization of wrong into captivity. That’s when deliverance found me.

Prayer lines are wonderful. We need men and women of God to lay hands on us to drive demons out, but those types of deliverances are not lasting without our obedience to God’s word. All the oil in the world can’t change an unwilling soul. Having said that, if the individuals laying hands on us are not clean, our problems are compounded. Been there too…

You can’t buy your deliverance. You don’t have to wait until some magical moment. Your deliverance is in your obedience. Set yourself free!

Read 2 Corinthians 10.

Pray: 

  1. Keep me from every evil temptation and give me the power to yield to only You.
  2. As I read your Word, may it fill me with the desire to do Your will and cleanse me from all unrighteousness.
Being Saved, Being Single, Uncategorized

Day 2: (Un)clean Worship

God wants one thing from you. Just ooone thing. It’s not your money. It’s not your sacrifice. It’s not even your sentiment, talents, or ability to exegete (*rolls eyes*) Scripture.

He wants your obedience.

I would go to church, because I sentimentally loved God, but my mind would play back images of things I’d done that were unclean. I would raise my hands during praise and worship and ask for forgiveness over and over. I would cry and enjoy the feeling of His presence. “Oh God, you’re so good. No one can compare! I love you more than anybody or anything!” Boo hoo hoo! Sob sob sob!

But God told me my worship was foul, displeasing, and unacceptable. How could He say such a thing after I told Him I was sorry? After I washed myself in the blood? Doesn’t the blood make me clean?

Sidebar here… I’ve met Christians who say God is never harsh or direct with them. They’ve never felt the chastising of the Lord, and if this is you, I have to ask… ARE YOU TRULY A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST? Because He chastens those He loves, and chastening does not feel good. Babes in Christ may get a little softer rebuke, but eventually the Lord requires obedience.

In the Old Testament, God required a blood sacrifice to cover sin. Abel obeyed and gave the Lord what He required. Cain offered what he wanted and expected God to accept it. This sounds an awful lot like the “God knows my heart” deception that’s running through the body of Christ. If you believe that you can continually live in sin, and that God will accept your [redacted] unrepentant self as His own because you SENTIMENTALLY love Him  or because you’re always at church working/tithing/giving, then you are deceived.

To God, love IS obedience. (John 14:15)

Offering unclean worship to the Lord is like leaving meat out to spoil then throwing it on the grill thinking it won’t stink. Not only does it stink, but it attracts flies and other unwanted guests. In fact, the Bible clearly says that offering our bodies as a living sacrifice (holy and pleasing to God) is our reasonable service, or in modern day lingo, the least we can do. Paul even goes as far to say that THIS is the act of true worship.

What sort of sacrifice are you offering the Lord? Is it pleasing to Him? Are you expecting Him to accept what He does not want? What does TRUE repentance look like, and how do you get there when you may truly enjoy the compromise?

Selah.

Read Romans 12 and 1 Samuel 15

Pray and declare:

  1. I will love God more than I love sin.
  2. I will be free from uncleanness and offer God a pure and holy sacrifice.

 

Photo credit: LicenseAttributionNoncommercialNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by Will Foster

Being Saved, Being Single, Dating & Relationships, Uncategorized

Day 1: Why Celibacy ISN’T Purity

Somewhere the message of purity has been diluted to one simple point… DON’T HAVE SEX UNTIL YOU’RE MARRIED.

Right?

And as true as that one statement may be, it’s pointed at one particular act and devoid of several truths. We love to ignore what’s not said because we can justify doing everything BUT that one thing. We shame those trapped in sexual sin or caught in its snares, but we secretly hold on to our private indulgences thinking they’ll never land us in the same (or worse) situations.

What about the M-word?

What about toys?

What about those sites those late night incognito web searches?

What about conversations that are impure?

Our thoughts and fantasies?

What about the things we agree to do in private that take us riiiiight up to that line?

What about the married man or woman that is being entertained in flirtatious conversations?

What about our rushing to the altar praying for a spouse so we can LEGALLY, but selfishly have sex?

What about the things we say, wear, do, and the pictures we take that entice others to view us sexually?  

What about the shows we watch and songs we listen to that ignite those passions in us?

What about ANY of these things are pleasing to the Lord?

It’s not about how close you can get to the act without sinning, but how far you can stay away. 

Read Psalm 24.

Prayer points:

  1. Father, give me a pure heart that I may enjoy true intimacy with You.
  2. Help me to take on YOUR righteousness and keep me from falling.
  3. Show me who I can trust as an accountability partner, and give me the boldness to reach out to them.

Photo Credit: N Medd via Compfight cc

Being Saved, Family, Uncategorized

“You had to go through what you went through.”

That’s the last part of the story from my previous post. I chose to withhold that part because while The Vinedresser and His Shears dealt with the big picture, this post deals with a much smaller, more specific, more microcosm-y view…

Me.

This post deals with MY pruning process. And why it’s been so long since you heard from me last.

Sooo I had a baby. And she’s wonderful and chubby and drooly and happy. Her big brother and sister adore her. She’s brought a bit of Heaven to our lives in the most unexpected way. While I know you must be happy for my new addition, part of your brain probably short-circuited and recalled all that good Bible stuff I wrote in years past about living holy. Right?

Well I’m nothing if I’m not real, so I unashamedly confess that I messed up. I disobeyed and fell into THAT sin again. I sowed according to the flesh and reaped a harvest of disappointment, shame, and emotional pain. I went through the ringer on this one guys, but this post isn’t about my sorrow nearly as much as it’s about God’s redemptive plan and how He uses the shears to secure our destiny. I just chalked my situation up to my own stupidity and disobedience not really understanding that through all this God would mature me and set things right in my heart.

The truth is this. Had the Lord not pruned me, I would have continued to struggle with lust… and lust has incredible power to destroy one’s destiny. If you don’t believe me, look at Samson. My vine would have continued to produce bad fruit or no fruit at all which would have had me cut OFF instead of cut ON. I would never have the pure hope of enjoying a Godly marriage which I still have an incredibly confident expectation for. (Haha, devil! You don’t win!) What Satan meant for evil, God turned for my good. I am testifying to you today that I am COMPLETELY free from the bondage of lust, I bear no bitterness, and I’m enjoying my wonderful babies.

Here’s what I want and need YOU to understand. Pruning is painful and often humiliating. We often confuse pruning with persecution and spiritual warfare– these are tools for pruning by the way. But if you remain in position long enough God will show you what He’s doing in your heart. You will have to bear some shame. You might even have to hide yourself for a season, and that’s alright. But what you absolutely CANNOT do is remove yourself from the pruning process. It’s better to endure the shame for a short time than to continually live with an area of your life closed off from the Father.

Not to belabor the point, but I hear someone asking “How do I know if I’m being pruned?”

  • Has something bad happened in your life that you feel you didn’t deserve?
  • Did God tell you to do something that made NO sense and when you did, the situation ended up being uncomfortable for you?
  • Do you feel like you’ve been made a spectacle of?

Mmhmm. Stay. In. Position. Don’t make any sudden movements. Endure juuust a little longer. Two scriptures that helped me endure a full pregnancy and childbirth and taking said child to church with all the whisperers, etc., etc…

In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the LORD. (Isaiah 66:9)

And thou shalt know that I am the Lord, for they shall not be ashamed that wait for Me. (Isaiah 49:23b)

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

Alana

Being Saved

The Vinedresser and His Shears

The Southern girl in me enjoys few things more than sitting on the porch and drinking in the evening breeze. I have a new little person that shares that joy. She and I sit on the patio and sing just as I did with the first two. After a few rounds of Jesus Loves Me and an anointed rendition of the ABC song, the Holy Ghost pointed me to John 15.

I picked up my phone, swiped to the Bible app, and began reading one of my favorite chapters.

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;  and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.  Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. (John 15:1-4)

Did the Holy Ghost speak to you as you read that?  He shouted at me and told me to read it again.

As I read those verses for the second time my mind raced back to an old white house where I lived during my early teen years. In the backyard  grew a Dogwood tree, a huge magnolia, a small peach tree, and a grapevine. My mother would give me a pair of  shears, and I’d hack the grapevine to pieces until I could find a vine that was green and pliable. Eventually we were able to get a few grapes off of it, but they were small and sharp-tasting– hardly good enough to eat. 

“Read it again!

I read the first two verses again, and Holy Ghost shouts inside of me in His old, Black uncle voice “EVERYBODY GETTING CUT!”

I gasped “Lord, what do you mean?!” Talk about a pearl-clutching moment…

Those who bear no fruit are chopped off, and those who do bear fruit are pruned so they can bear more fruit. But the point remains, everyone has to endure the Vinedresser and His shears.

The grapevine I pruned as a child had been neglected for so long, the vine became dry and wiry.  My siblings and I would pull the vine in a tug-of-war match to get it free from the trellis. The pieces that were still alive had dry ends and needed pruning, so we clipped little ends here and there and any place that we clipped, two branches would grow in place of that one. By clipping those ends, we made more room for the vine to produce fruit.

By clipping our dead, little nasty bits, the Vinedresser makes more room for us to produce the fruit we need for a Godly, fulfilling life. We don’t like to be snipped and pruned. We don’t like to be doing reasonably well, then suffer what feels like loss. Pruning even leaves a wound in a place where we felt progress had been made.  But if we hold fast, in a set amount of time, a new area of growth and promises extends from that formerly dead place.

Here’s the catch.

If you don’t allow the Vinedresser to prune you…

If you don’t yield to His correction…

If you only focus on shining up the little bit of fruit you do have, you will stop growing. Anything that isn’t growing IS dying. The short dry ends will become longer dead wires, and the Vinedresser will remove you so that others may produce fruit in the space you left behind.

Selah.

You’re going to get cut one way or the other. Will it be to separate from the true vine, Christ Jesus, or to His glory and the yielding of fruit?

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

Alana

Image courtesy of satit_srihin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Pursuit of Purity, Uncategorized

Did you know that the most basic requirement of the Christian walk is to present our bodies as a living sacrifice? We often define the sacrificial lifestyle for singles as celibacy, but God keeps poking my heart and teaching me that celibacy is far cry from purity. You can be physically a virgin, but in your soul have all the turmoil and residue from dabbling in sexual sin.

I’m challenging you, my sister in Christ, to deal with the pieces of your life that may be hidden from plain sight, but in your heart, you KNOW God is not pleased. If you are bold and ready to experience liberty, then join me for 30 Days in Pursuit of Purity.

Partner with me and a group of my closest lady friends as we explore topics like phone accountability, generational curses, and dating strategies (because sometimes it feels more like war) through the lens of God’s Word. If you’ve read any of my posts, you know I like to dig deep, and I don’t mind getting dirty as long as it brings glory to God.

Think you might want to join? Here’s what you can do to prepare:

  • Ask a girlfriend to partner with you.
  • Follow @PursuitOfPurity on Twitter or like my Facebook page for general information.
  • Buy yourself a nice journal, pen, and  a big, pretty water bottle.
  • Subscribe to my blog to keep up with daily posts and prayer points.
  • If you’re interested, check out my book Late Nights on the Straight and Narrow. You can purchase it on Tate Publishing’s website.

The challenge will start July 1! I’m in the process of blog-writing, gift-buying, and sanctifying, and I pray the Lord will impress upon your heart to join me.

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

Alana

 

Being Saved, Being Single, Dating & Relationships

Shall I Have Pleasure…?

Sometimes God waits entirely too long to fulfill His promises.

Sometimes it seems He just forgets and sits our prayer requests on the back burner with the heat off while other people’s requests are bubbling over with answers and blessings.

And sometimes you are 99 with crusty, dusty eggs and only memories of how your husband used to fondle you. Then here comes this BIG God with His BIG promises declaring, once again, that you’re going to have a baby. Sarah laughed in her heart and said “Shall I have pleasure seeing as I’m old, and my dear husband over there is older than me?” Yes, Mama Sarah. I understand why you laughed.

Sarah used her physical limitations to indict God. She was basically saying “Look, God. You waited too long. I stopped believing when my girly parts stopped working. I still love you, and I’ll still serve you, but there’s no point in believing Your promise any more.” Does your faith and willingness to believe have an expiration date or contingency clause like Sarah’s?

I’ve been praying that God would send one of my co-workers her mate. I won’t hash out any details about her, but I will say this. It’s clear that long ago she stopped believing for an answer to that prayer. If the greatest prophet walking on earth today told her that God was going to send her mate, she’d scoff and say “Shall I have the pleasure?” She has decided to no longer believe the promise for whatever reason, and her lack of faith hinders her expectation of something good.

I didn’t think I’d have pleasure because of my former nature. You may think you’re too old, too big, too skinny, too– whatever crazy things us women come up with to judge ourselves. God is moved by faith, not emotion or rational arguments. When God makes a promise, He’s able and willing to perform it. Don’t disqualify yourself with unbelief! Don’t frustrate your own destiny with doubtfulness and negativity! God’s Word is true!

Should you have the pleasure of a Godly mate?

Should you have the pleasure of bearing healthy, beautiful children?

Should you have the pleasure of divine health and fulfillment?

Should you have the pleasure of a bottomless bank account?

Should you have the pleasure of eating as much chocolate as you want never gaining a pound?

Yes, and amen.

May we submit our shortcomings and limitations to the Lordship of Christ and allow His grace to superabound in our lives. May we hold dear to the promises He’s made always trusting in His timing. I pray this post stirred up your faith to believe that you shall have pleasure.

Read and meditate on the following Scriptures to remind yourself of God’s goodness. You WILL have pleasure!

Isaiah 34: 16
Numbers 23: 19
Psalm 16:11
Psalm 84:11
Hebrews 12:2

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

 

Alana

 

Image courtesy of bee.creativesolutions at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Being Saved, Uncategorized

A few months have passed since I wrote the post about the incubus and succubus spirits, and folks from all over the world (crazy, right?) have emailed me confessing that they’ve felt suffered from these attacks. Over the past few weeks, I’ve encountered some other sorts of spiritual attacks that are worth discussing.

It all started on a Tuesday afternoon. I was in the middle of a fast, and especially tired. I napped, dreamed about a friend, and woke up with crazy stomach pain. I couldn’t make it to service at church that night, so I watched it online and prayed along with the guest minister. I dozed and woke up around midnight from a vision…

I saw myself standing outside my apartment. There was no light anywhere except for at the door. I felt unsafe and heard people running and shouting up and down the street. I opened my apartment door and shouted “I can see you!” into the black night thinking it would ward off the strangers. Soon as the door opened I felt someone push past me into my apartment. When I looked inside, I saw a short figure with muscles running recklessly through my apartment. At that point I jumped out of my bed and began to pray. I warred in the spirit by praying in tongues for twenty minutes or so. After playing some worship music I dozed back to sleep confident that the evil spirit had been evicted. (Unlike dreams, visions are interactive. You experience them rather than just visualizing them. All of my physical senses were fully activated during this experience.)

Around 2:30 am I felt my body get incredibly hot. I tried to walk up the hallway to turn adjust the thermostat only to discover that I could not walk and could not see. I bounced from wall to wall until I hit my head forcefully on one wall and fell to the floor. I felt my mind beginning to slip, so I cried out to the Lord to help me. I knew that if I didn’t get off the floor I’d either end up in the hospital or worse. Thoughts of B&B being cared for by another sobered my thoughts and gave me the ability to cope with the pain. I crawled off the floor, turned down the heat, drank a glass of water, and passed out on the sofa.  I could literally feel the intense heat lift out of my body.

The next day I stayed home to recover. The stomach pain lasted longer than expected, and I could hardly eat the rest of the week. That afternoon, one of my girlfriends called to tell me she woke up around 2:30am and felt the urgency to pray for me until 4 that morning. What if she had not obeyed? My God!

Three other spiritual dreams followed over the next month, but thankfully, they were less intense. In the second encounter I saw a beautiful, but evil young woman mocking me. I asked the Lord who this woman was, and He said “She’s the one taking your blessings.” I had seen her many times before in my dreams, but only this time was it brought to my conscious mind.

The third dream revealed a large woman who monitored everything I was doing to the point that created a hole between my home and hers so that she could hear and watch what I was doing. I’ve had dreams of this spirit since  I was a very young child, but again, only now was it brought to my conscious mind.

This is a deep topic, but there are five points I want you get out of this post as it pertains to spiritual warfare.

  • God wants the absolute best for your life, and the devil only wants to steal, kill, and destroy. He HATES you and is working overtime to scatter the good things in your life. Don’t get it twisted… Any good thing the devil brings will end in heartache and shame, or worse.
  • When you receive Christ in  your heart you are saved immediately in your spirit, but salvation of the soul is progressive. Demons dwell in the soul of believers until we become free from them. Those who never receive deliverance find themselves frustrated in trying to live a holy life before the Lord. Many more, just don’t want to be free so they will not see the fullness of the promises of God in their lives on this earth.
  • Evil spirits come through a few avenues, particularly through family lines (generational curses, sins of the forefathers, promises and vows made by our parents, etc.), sins we commit, and sins committed against us. Repentance and prayer will keep these forces.
  • Spiritual attacks can be frightening particularly when we are spiritually strong enough to deal with them, BUT these attacks do not mean that God does not love us or that He has abandoned us. He is simply exposing the enemy and calling our attention to a serious matter that must be addressed through reading the Word, prayer and fasting.
  • Only the name of Jesus Christ spoken by those who have an intimate relationship with the Him can defeat powers of darkness. If you find yourself unable to move or speak when under attack and the spirit won’t leave, that is an indication that you must draw closer to the Master. The enemy knows who bears light and who is claiming they bear light but have no power. Don’t be like the seven sons of Sceva, try to fake the funk, and get that tail whipped.

There is more to come on this topic, but I’m curious to hear what’s going on in your spiritual life? Who are you seeing in your dreams and visions? What happens in your life before a breakthrough? I’m listening! Email me through the Contact page or at consideringthelily@gmail.com.

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

 

Alana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being Single, Dating & Relationships

Chipped Polish & Panty Lines

Sometimes I sit and think of creative titles for posts when I really have nothing to write at the time. THIS is one of those posts. In the back of my mind I felt like I needed to address why my nails are seldom polished and why thongs ain’t really the move at this point in my life. Some ladies are top notch all the time. I might be top notch a good two to three days out of the week. Because life.

So today, the substance of the post came to me at church.. At the risk of ticking people off… a risk I’m willing to take… I’m going to deconstruct (read: rant about) one of THE most annoying things that a man can do to a woman.

Criticize her.

I went to church this morning for a prayer service. I woke up with intercession on my mind, but the kids delayed me so I arrived 30 minutes after I had planned. Happens.

My hair was in a ponytail, and I was wearing light make-up. I was wide awake, but hardly feeling social enough to grin the way people are expected when they enter the house of the Lord. I don’t know if it was my serious demeanor (felt more “focused” to me), or the mannish nature of the speaker of the hour… but dear God… he rubbed me the wrooooooooong way.

His rebuke for the attendees’ untimeliness lingered into a story about a woman who often came to church unkempt. He felt it was a disservice to allow her to continue looking slovenly, so he told boldly told her “Men don’t like that. You need to do your hair. Paint your nails. Put on some make-up.  ”

Now had any other person in the church told this story, I might have shouted in agreement. A woman should always look clean and well put together. But in this case, at this time, from this person, my only thought was “Sir, you are no prize yourself.”

To be perfectly clear, I have little issue with what the man said. The problem for me is how he said it, and the fact that he felt it was ok to retell it. Whatever happened to speaking the truth in love? Why does everything have to be a rebuke? Why the heck do you think I’m going to say “amen” to this foolishness? You don’t understand what that woman has going on in her life, and chances are, you don’t want to because making rash statements as the ones you made validates your masculinity. *coughs “lame”*

Every woman wants to look and feel beautiful. I’m no different.

There’s a woman deep inside of me that longs to have every hair in place from sun up to sun down. She wants to apply her mascara confidently, knowing that it won’t spread under her eyes and leave her looking like a sleepy raccoon by noon. She longs to smell like her $90 bottle of perfume until the time she takes her evening bath with oils of frankincense and myrrh. There’s a woman in me that wants to have her nails perpetually sparkling with OPI’s Hawaiian Orchid. She even hopes to wear light silky panties that are invisible beneath her slacks and curvy mom jeans.

That woman can dream.

But this woman– she’s cooking and cleaning, wiping boogers, scrubbing tubs, baking cookies, and fighting battles. If a chip in my nail polish indicates a lack of womanliness, I’m certain you haven’t looked deep enough. Take your shallow, non-discerning behind elsewhere. (Having said that, chipped polish is worse than no polish at all, so I seldom wear any at all.)

And if my panty lines (believe me, they drive me nuts too) aren’t as enticing as the jiggle that only reveals itself with meager undergarments, I have one thing to say to you. “EYES UP, MISTER!” These hindparts need medium to full coverage because I’m more than blessed– if you catch my drift.

Bottom line, ladies and gents… A woman or man should look good, but don’t let the superficial block you from seeing the true nature of that person. Before you know it, some fella is going to scoop that lady up, pay for my hair appointments and mani-pedis, and hire a maid to do all her cleaning just so she doesn’t chip my polish while a superficial suitor will end up with an attractive mate who is less than interested in meeting his or her needs.

I don’t need to preach any further, do I? Good, because I’m out of breath. *wipes sweat from brow & drops white hanky*

 

With love, sincerity, and hope for your future,

Alana

Image source:  towardsthesunset via Compfight

Being Smart, Uncategorized

I was looking for a piece of paper with some illegible scribble. That was the only sign in my mind that my dishwasher was fixed. Everyday that I came home and found no paper I became more and more despondent about having to wash dishes by hand.

I had become fond of the paper. The one time I could decipher the scribble, it read “I fisc the hole.”

Fisc? Ok, sir. Thank you ever so much. Now can you fisc my dishwasher? I know you said the part had to be shipped, but it’s been over a week now. And I NEED that paper? I will have conquered another item on my list once I get that paper.

So for seven days I trudged into the house, glanced at the mess on the dining room table… no paper… no fisc-ing. By day eight, I had resolved to call the rental office to remind them of my suffering. How dare they leave me without my modern day convenience? Yep. I came in the house, saw no paper, and planned to make the call. I glanced in the kitchen and thought “Boy, it looks different in there” then headed to my room to get a power nap before homework and dinner.

At 5:30 someone banged on the door and the kids shouted that the maintenance man needed to speak with me.

“Do it work alriiight, ma’am?”

“Work? Does what work?”

“The dishwasher, ma’am. I fisc it today. You no knooow?”

I felt like a fool. How could I not notice the paper I had been looking for for days? I ran into the kitchen, again admiring its cleanliness. To my surprise, my dishwasher was running perfectly with all the kids’ dishes from breakfast, my KitchenAid mixing bowls, silverware, and God knows whatever else was floating around the sink.

He followed me into the kitchen and watched as I discovered his gift of kindness. I hugged him and thanked him profusely for his kindness. And then I asked…

“But where’s the paper?”

“No paper dis time. I just come and do it for you.”

I gushed… half from embarrassment and half from… well, no. All embarrassment. All those dishes. All that mess. And I didn’t even notice the mighty gift that was offered to me because I was looking for a sign.

A foolish and perverse generation seeks after a sign… (Matthew 16:4)

That’s what the Holy Spirit spoke to me. That’s the same thing Jesus said to the Pharisees and Sadducees when they asked him to do a magic trick to make them believe.

Let us not be so wicked in our hearts that we look for the sign rather than trusting in the goodness and faithfulness of the Father. 

Selah.