Daily Devotional – 12/20/11 “You have work to do!”

As a gardener, do you ever throw seeds into the ground and then do nothing and expect them to grow?  I would assume no because without making sure the hole is deep enough, moist enough and has the right amount of light, etc., the seed probably wouldn’t grow, right?  Well, it’s the same way with prayer.  Haven’t you heard the scripture “Faith without works is dead?”  James 2:14 says “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?”  I am here to tell you that faith WITHOUT works is surely dead.  If you don’t believe me, then go to your daily instruction book, that’s the bible, and read.  When God healed the blind man, he told him in John 9:7 “and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam”. So he went away and washed, and came back seeing.”  See, the man had faith that God could heal him but if he never went to wash his own eyes, with his own hands (work) he wouldn’t have his sight.  What about the man that was laying on his bed of affliction, for 38 years, outside of the pool of Bethesda?  Jesus asked him if he wanted to get well and then told him in John 5:8 “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”  If the man didn’t pick up his own mat with his own hands (work), then he would have still been afflicted but because he did work, his body was healed.  Just like this man, God is speaking to somebody right now about something that is afflicting them and he is saying pick up your mat and walk, but you’re still laying there.  You know that you should have been gone from whatever it is that is causing you pain but you’re still laying on your mat.  You know that you should have left that cheating/abusive spouse years ago but you’re still laying on your mat.  If you’re still putting up the deed to your house for a child that keeps going back to jail and never learns his/her lesson, you’re still laying on your mat.  If you’re still gossiping with that same friend who always tells your business and leaves you crying and hurt, you’re still laying on your mat.  Baby, God is telling you to pick up your mat and walk, so what are you waiting on?  If it’s fear, then that means your communication to God is broken because he says in Matthew 8:26 “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Is it because you’re scared of falling? God says in Proverbs 24:16, “for though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again.”  Is it because you’re afraid that you’ll be alone?  Well God promised in Hebrews 13:5 “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

So many times we pray, whether in our car, at home kneeled beside the bed, in our prayer closet, lying in bed or on the couch, because it doesn’t matter where you pray just as long as you do; but once we pray we think that our work is done and God is to do the rest.  But that’s not the case.  Praying to God is asking him for something that you may need or confirmation for a change that you want to make, but it’s not the work.  Faith is the belief that it is already done but working for it is completing the job.  See, praying is like asking your parent for permission to go out with friends. Faith is asking like she has already said yes because you’ve already told your friends you can go but following the rules and coming home on time is completing the job.  You have to put something in if you expect to get something out.  There isn’t much sense in going to the ATM to withdraw money if you know you haven’t put anything in the account.  Well, it doesn’t make much sense to keep expecting a withdrawal from God’s bank account when you never deposit anything.  If you have an illness in your body, how can you expect a healing if you haven’t asked for one?  If you’re tired and need rest, how can you expect God to send it if you never ask?  If you are wondering if the guy or girl you’re dating is the one, how can you expect God to send you confirmation if you never ask?  Matthew 7:7 says “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”  The bible doesn’t say wait.  So why are you waiting?

There is a song by Leandria Johnson called I shall leap into my destiny (http://youtu.be/9w3rNPWi7DE). The lyrics say “Taste and see that the Lord is good and his mercy endureth forever. Don’t give up; your blessing is around the corner. Just remember, he wants you to have everlasting life.  I shall leap, leap into my destiny.”  The song goes on to say, “I will get everything God has for me.  Lord, no matter what I’ve been through, I shall leap into my destiny.”   Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  If this is what God has declared, then why are you wobbling at the first sign of defeat?  Sometimes it’s not the devil that is blocking our blessings but it is us by speaking death over them before they even happen.  If you don’t have the confidence in yourself, then why would somebody else.  It’s like me sitting in your chair to get my hair cut, but you say I don’t know if I can but if you want me too I will.  Chile, no!  If you don’t have faith in yourself, then how can I?  You have to stop being afraid to work for the things that you’ve prayed to God for.  If you asked God for a new car and he got you approved even after most of the banks said no, then you have to work to pay for it.  You can’t tell the finance company that God got it covered because it’ll be repossessed just as quickly as you signed for it.  If you asked God for a spouse, then you have to work at the marriage in order for it to grow.  You can’t just sign a marriage license and then you live your life and your spouse lives theirs because you both have to be on one accord, if you want it to last.  That’s called work. 

See, when God anoints you, even the devil in hell can’t take it away.  When folks talk about you, God will handle them.  When he says in 1 Chronicles 16:22 “Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm,” he wasn’t just talking about Pastors, Ministers, Bishops, Evangelists and etc., but he was talking about you too, if you’ve been anointed.  Anoint means to choose by or as if by divine election.  So, if God has chosen you, then that makes you anointed and the scripture is talking about you.  So let folks talk about you because the more they talk, the higher God raises you for them to see.  The more they hate, the more you pray.  If God uses your enemies as your footstool and if a footstool is used to elevate you to be able to reach things that are not within arm’s length, then you should welcome your enemies.  The more enemies you have, the higher your footstool.  Now, this doesn’t mean when you step on this footstool, you become so Heavenly bound that you’re no Earthly good because you can still fall, it just means you have a longer way down.  You have to accept what God has given you and with acceptance come appointment and with God’s appointing he sends anointing and with God’s anointing you’re available for the destiny that he has for you.

Published by Pastor LaKisha

LaKisha Johnson is an author of thirty Christian Fiction novels, devotionals and journals. She writes from her heart, as she hopes the messages, on the pages, will relate to every reader.  Ask her and she’ll tell you, ”It’s not just writing, its ministry.” Over the course of her career, she’s won the 2018 Drunken Druid Book of the Year Award for her book, The Forgotten Wife, 2019 Top Shelf Christian Fiction Book of the Year for Dear God: Hear my Prayer, 2020 Distinguished Authors Guild Award for her book, I’m Not Crazy and was a 2020 TopShelf Women’s Fiction Finalist for her book, When the Vows Break. In addition to being a self-published author, she’s also a wife of 22 years, mother of 2, Asst. Pastor of Macedonia MB Church in Hollywood, MS; Sr. Business Analyst with FedEx, Devotional Blogger and more. She’s a college graduate with 2 Associate Degrees in IT and a Bachelor of Science in Bible.   LaKisha writes from the heart, and this is why she doesn’t take the credit for what God does. If you were to strip away everything, you’d see that Lakisha is simply a woman who boldly, unapologetically and gladly loves and works for God.

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