Back To Life

Back To Life is the 7th & final Devotional from the Mandisa devotional series.

Scripture.

“The tongue can speak words that bring life or death. Those who love to talk must be ready to accept what it brings.” Proverbs 18:21 ERV

 

“The Lord ’S power came on me. The Spirit of the Lord carried me out of the city and put me down in the middle of the valley. The valley was full of dead men’s bones. There were many bones lying on the ground in the valley. The Lord made me walk all around among the bones. I saw the bones were very dry. Then the Lord said to me, “Son of man, can these bones come to life?” I answered, “Lord GOD, only you know the answer to that question.” Then he said to me, “Speak to these bones for me. Tell them, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord! This is what the Lord GOD says to you: I will cause breath to come into you, and you will come to life! I will put sinew and muscles on you, and I will cover you with skin. Then I will put breath in you, and you will come back to life! Then you will know that I am the Lord.’” So I spoke to the bones for the Lord, as he said. I was still speaking, when I heard the loud noise. The bones began to rattle, and bone joined together with bone! There before my eyes, I saw sinew and muscles begin to cover the bones. Skin began to cover them, but there was no breath in them. Then the Lord said to me, “Speak to the wind for me. Son of man, speak to the wind for me. Tell the wind that this is what the Lord GOD says: ‘Wind, come from every direction and breathe air into these dead bodies! Breathe into them and they will come to life again!’” So I spoke to the wind for the Lord, as he said, and the breath came into the dead bodies. They came to life and stood up. There were many men—a very large army!” Ezekiel 37:1-10 ERV

 

Back To Life

Devotional by Mandisa

I have read, meditated on, and heard messages on Ezekiel 37, the valley of dry bones, for as long as I can remember. It’s one of those passages that I’ve heard so many times, I wasn’t sure what else I could possibly get out of it! But after experiencing my own valley of dry bones, and inhabiting a pit of despair for several years, God has illuminated this familiar passage for me.

God very easily could have spoken to the dry bones Himself and seen them come to life. Instead, He commanded Ezekiel to listen to His words, then repeat them to the bones. It was only when Ezekiel obeyed and spoke life that the bones responded.

Similarly, I find that this is how God lifted me out of the dark. Rather than experiencing immediate deliverance, God lifted me out bit by bit, allowing me to learn valuable lessons in the process. He taught me how to prophesy His words over myself:

• I breathed out shame, and breathed in grace

• I breathed out fear, and breathed in peace

• I breathed out weakness, and breathed in strength

This is not to say that I felt these things immediately. But in the beginning of this process, I knew I needed to do what Ezekiel did—prophesy God’s truth over what felt dead. As my friend TobyMac says, I needed to speak life!

I ended the deluxe edition of my ‘Out of the Dark’ album with a worship song that illustrates this process perfectly.

“Shame and depression And all anxieties They have no power over me Addiction and strongholds And every disease They have no power over me”

Even as I recorded those words, I felt shame. But as I repeated those words over and over, the shame lifted. Sometimes our behavior follows our acts of faith. For reasons we may not fully understand, there is great power in God’s Word, and in worship. When I least feel like opening my mouth to praise or proclaim Truth is when it is most important for me to do so. By magnifying Jesus, our circumstances grow smaller in comparison. In those moments when we feel like all signs of life are gone, proclaim the breath of heaven into that situation, and watch God bring those dry bones back to life.

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This series touched my life to the core. I know it can and will touch you reading this. We all go through different experiences in our lives, these experiences and how we handle them tells us alot about our faith, where we are and how much we have grown with each encounter.

Father God today I ask you to help us speak things into life.  Teach us to rebuke negative energy and in the midst of our storms to always count on you.  Amen.

 

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By My Spirit

“…Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord Almighty.”
(Zechariah 4:6, NIV)
I grew up watching wrestling.
Die Hard WWE (formally WWF) fan.
I always liked the strong powerful, tactful wrestlers.
Those whom were proficient and strong submission skills.
Those whom were bigger, stronger, muscular since all this in the wrestling world embodies not might, but power.
In baseball, fans follow the power hitters of the teams.
They give their all, their might and their strength in the game.
In basketball, we love the player who can shoot long range 3 point jump-shots and who’s offense skills are amazing on the court.
In football we rely on the speed, strength, endurance and power of the quarterback to lead our teams to the Superbowl.
In each of these instances what we fail to realize is that its not our might, our talent, our build, our strength nor our power for us to get things done.
It is by the Spirit of the Lord.
We need to put our trust in His spirit.
He can provide us with guidance in any thing we think of.
We need to realize that his spirit also resides in us.
It gave us our first breath when he breathed life in to Adam.
In Hebrew “ruach” means spirit.
I recently posted this from the Hebrew words series from one of the devotionals I was reading at the time.
In today’s verse it means breath.
When God breathes in our direction we can have amazing things unfold in our lives. Things won’t happen because of how talented we are, how are build is, how pretty we are or the people we are affiliated, it happens because God took a breath in your direction. God shifted things in to place.
With his every breath, promises are fulfilled, Healing comes, promotions, restoration they all come our way with his grace and love and just one deep breath.
We should stop depending on our might, our prowess, our physical abilities and carnal talents. What we should remember is by the Holy spirit, by the breath of God, by his will, is how things well get done. When we put all our trust and faith in God, the impossible suddenly becomes possible. When you remain faithful and trust in him, things will suddenly begin falling in to place. Your lives will begin to transform, healing will begin to take place, things that were broken, unfix able will suddenly become fixed.
The breath of God can fix and change things.
Father God thank you for breathing in my direction. Thank you for the restoration of my life. Thank you for peace. Thank you for healing. Thank you for the wholeness i feel within my body and mind. Today I receive you and your gifts. Today I will not rely on my own strength but in your breath, in your power in your might. Amen.

Faith In the Power of God

“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of man, but in the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:5)
Our salvation is based on our own individualized actions. Our salvation is based on our own individual faith. We cannot have our faith be based on just one man, whether spouse, significant other or even our leaders in the church.
Our faith should be based on our relationship with God. Our faith should be based on studying the word of God. Yes seek those with wisdom in the faith for guidance, knowledge and references.
Do not supplement their faith with one owns. Their faith will lead to their own salvation, your salvation is not intertwined with anyone but God the father, The son and the Holy Spirit.
It is easy especially for those new in their spiritual walk to get tied to someone else beliefs and assume that because of my relationship with so and so in my walk I have already achieved salvation. It’s not that simple. We are all tested individually and henceforth our walks in Christ will have different trials and different tribulations. Our faith should not be based off of anyone within the flesh. Our sins can only be dealt with God. Knowing and understanding what God wants can only come from studying the Bible, following his way and truly searching with ones whole heart.
Father God I thank you for this devotion and this lesson. I thank you for reminding me that as a woman I am not bound or tied to the faith of others. I am bound and tied to my faith and relationship in you. It is easy to let others make decisions for you. It is easy for us to get distracted in this society. Lord I want to focus more on you. I want my faith in you to be because of our individual relationship. I want to continue to seek guidance here, knowing that their wisdom and guidance is nothing if my relationship with you is not where is should be. I love and thank you father. Amen.

Arise

"Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you."

(Isaiah 60:1, NKJV)

The Glory of the Lord has risen within you. The glory of the lord gives us the strength to rise and shine the light the lords has given us.

We all have gifts/ talents that were given to us by his good grace. These gifts and talents were given to us for us to grow and use in his glory. They are provided to us so that we can rise up from our circumstance in the flesh. They were given to us so that we can shine in his holy light. It is when we put god first in all of our endeavors, it is when we properly glorify his name, it is when we give him due praise for our success and talents that we can shine like beacons of light in his name.

We shall and can rise up. We shall and can shine bright and let his glory manifest among us. His glory is already with us. All we have to do is wake up, look for it, rise up and we shall shine and be of blessings. We don't have to look far. We don't have to travel the world to find ourselves, we have to search within. We need to look in the depths of our soul, the depths of our hearts. We need to see from within to see what God wants from all of us.

Did you know that the word “glory” in the original language indicates that God’s favor, blessing and splendor is on you in a heavy way.

He has filled us with so much of his glory that it weighs us, its there, in searching for it you shouldn't have to search far, it's there.

Please know that your time is now. It is time to shine bright. It's time to rise. Let that sink in. Let this marinate in your spirit. His glory is with you. It's time to ride and shine because of his glory.

Thank you father for your glory. Thank you for letting your glorify marinate and manifest within me. Thank you for allowing me to rise, so that I may shine. Lord I know I shine because your glory is within me, you placed it there. Many may not realize this my lord. Many may not realize that your glory is with them. I pray for them dear lord, I pray for them dear lord that they may see your glory within them so they too can rise and shine. Amen.

Marital advice … an open letter to my cousin

This is an open letter to my cousin whom is having a destination wedding.
I was unable to go due to timing. My sister just had a baby, as mentioned in prior posts she's a special needs. She is doing well, but I would've felt better being able to be there for her, with her during this new transition in her life.

Juny I don't say it often but I love you…. my first brother, my twin. For many years my other half. I want to congratulate you on your upcoming nuptials. May this day go smooth, may you and your bride be blessed beyond belief, may God our father anoint this union while you say your vows. I pray for your health, years of happiness, longevity, wisdom, strength, endurance, may your love and passion for one another always remain.

Mark 10:9: “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."
I pray that you both weather the storm, for there will be good days and there will be bad days, but trust in God, keep faith in God, keep hope in God to ride out the storms to come. Both of you Remember always marriage isn't a one way street, two people, joined together to become one, it's a 50/50. There may be times one or the other have to meet at the half way point. Always stay united.

Ephesians 4:2-3: “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Love one another with all your night, remind each other often day it, display it, always keep an open Chanel of communication.
Ephesians 5:25: “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her."
But tell your bride that I said to love you just the same, love your husband the way Christ loves his church.

Remember to always be supportive of one another. Be each other's rocks. Be each other's support system.
Ecclesiastes 4:12: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."

As I mentioned before you will have storms (later vs sooner). Always love each other even in the storm. Always talk it out, never go to bed angry at one another, as I said earlier always communicate.
1 Corinthians 13:4-5: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."

1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."

Nothing breaks my heart more than not being able to go to witness this big day for you. Nothing breaks my heart more than not being with my family during this time. I will be there in spirit covering you with blessings. I will be fasting and praying for you and your wife. May god bless you always.
I love you June.

Father God I ask that you cover this union in prayers. May they heed the advices of marriages others provide. May they always put you first my lord, may they always love and honor one another. Lord I ask you to bless them, protect them, let the Holy Spirit manifest in them so that he can guide their every step. I rebuke negativity and Harm in the name of Jesus. May their union be of a blessing, of love and success in their celebrations. In the name of the father, the son and the Holy Spirit Amen.

By my Spirit

By my Spirit
“…’Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.”
(Zechariah 4:6, NASB)
We all have places we want to go.
Places we want to see.
Problems we want to clear.
Debt we want to eliminate.
Goals we wish to achieve and aspire to fulfill.
How will you go to the places?
How will you see the sights?
How will you clear your problems?
How will you eliminate debt?
How will you achieve the goals you are aspiring, whether long term or short term?
Sometimes we are in a hole or a problem due to self infliction?
What? You ask? Me? Hurt myself? I would never?
Yeah… you would.
We all do someway some how whether we like to admit it or not.
The other day I #Yolo in my post. Not in referencing in we only live once so live it up, I did so reminding you that You Only Live Once, meaning what we do here affects us in our after life. The decisions we make affects our outcomes here and there.
So yes YOLO References will be made again in this post, why? Well it’s our Yolo attitude that leads us in to our problems. (Self inflicted, societal derivatives ).
That YOLO attitude may get you to places you want to get, places you want to see, even achieve some of your short term goals. The down side is, how’d you get there? You need funding? How much debt are you in living the YOLO life? Are you happy or are you trying to find things to fill that void?
A few days ago I posted about using vices and other means to fill the voids where I did not need anything to fill. What I wanted, what I needed was in front of me, beside me, around me and in me this whole time. Living the YOLO life can temporarily fill that void, but what about long term?
What about your future?
Your salvation?
Your after life?
Your retirement?
In our bible studies we ended our discussion about using our professional backgrounds and talents to be used in churches.
When we are guided by the Holy Spirit we can accomplish great things. He will let our talents grow and mature, he will provide, he will take us to places we never even dreamed of adding to our bucket list. It’s not by our strength, nor our power or our might. When guided by the Holy Spirit, Yolo will take a whole other meaning. You only live once, for Salvation…… Key word… Salvation.
Yes I only Live Once.
I want to make the best of it so I can reach the pearly gates and find my name in that book.
So my point here: The solution to all our problems rest in God.
How will you go to the places? – Declare it in the name of the Holy Spirit. If you are meant to go there, not only will he take you, he will show you how you will get there, Oh the so many places you shall go, is not just my favorite Dr. Seuss quote for life, but for my spiritual Life. Guided by the Holy spirit, oh the many places you shall go…both spiritual and in the flesh.
How will you see the sights? – Declare it in the name of God, the Holy Spirit will show you some great marvels of the world, as well as in the spirits.
How will you clear your problems? – Declare yourself problem free in his name. The Holy spirit will provide you the rubric to solving that problem.
How will you eliminate debt? Declare yourself debt free in his name. The Holy spirit will guide your spending, guide your thoughts, guide your actions, guide your game-plan to eliminate your debt.
How will you achieve the goals you are aspiring, whether long term or short term?
simple “…’Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.”
Thank you father for my dreams, aspirations, desires and goals you have placed in me. Thank you for creating the rubric, the building blocks and the steps necessary to make these dreams, aspirations, desires and goals come to pass. I know that you will guide me, to not only to see, not only to go, not only to save, not only to solve my problems, here in the flesh, but to allow me to see, to go places I never even dreamed of and be problem free spiritually. When I am weak, you make me strong father, when I am blind, you let me see, when I can’t hear, you open my ears to listen. Today I declare that in your name our goals will be achieved, in your name I bring forth healing. In your name, I eliminate debt, In your name I will travel and see. In your name I will be guided by your spirit, not by might, not by power but your spirit. I love you. Amen.

Receive Power of the Holy Spirit. 

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me…”
(Acts 1:8, NKJV) 

Receive Power of the Holy Spirit. 

The Holy Spirit is essential in our Christian walk. Once we have received the Holy Spirit we shall be empowered by God. Now I’m not talking about the pinky and the brain I am going to take over the world empowerment. Being empowered by god is being provided wisdom when you lacked wisdom on a given subject. Being empowered means having courage when you fear. Being empowered by god means coming out of your comfort zone and take on a new role for his glory. 
God strengthens us, he equips us with everything we need to move on to the next task he has for us.

Remember your victory is his victory. The scripture tells us that when Jesus ascended to heaven he told his disciples that he was sending his comforter. Who was that? The Holy Spirit of course .

The Holy Spirit doesn’t just comfort us, the bills Spirit I s our counselor, teacher 

And our strength. The Holy Spirit provided for us. In order to receive the power and greatness god had in store for you, one needs to open your heart, open your mind, open your eyes, open your would and be ready to receive.
I challenge you today. 

Receive gods power. 

I challenge you.

Open your heart.

Open your eyes.

Open your mind.

Be ready to receive.

Invite the Holy Spirit and be willing and ready to be filled with gods power and glory.
Let the Holy Spirit do his works in you.

Read the Bible, as you read, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you.

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal gods plan.

Invite him in.

Open the door.

Be ready to be equipped by the Holy Spirit.
I challenge you today.
Do you accept?
Pray with me.

Father God I want to be empowered by you. I want to feel the warmth of your spirit. I want to be equipes by you. I want to be used in your glory. God help me open my eyes to be able to see your wonder. God help me open my ears to be able to hear the call of the Holy Spirit. God help me open my mind so that doubt doesn’t pass my mind and I can accept your power. God open my heart for I want to be filled with your glory. Lord use me any way you seem fit using the Holy Spirit. I am willing, able and ready to receive your Holy Spirit who will equip me in this walk with you. Amen

A Prayer for Today 

“Father, thank You for the Holy Spirit who is my helper in this life. I choose to open my heart to Your Word to receive power so that I can walk and live in the victory You have prepared for me in Jesus’ name. Amen.”