Where Does Your Help Come From?

Where Does Your Help Come From?
Written by Felicia McKnight

Psalm 121:1-2
I lift my eyes toward the mountains.
Where will my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

About a month ago I was out and about. That particular day I decided to wear my glasses instead of my contact lens. While I was out I took my glasses off and accidentally dropped them. I picked them up not thinking anything of it and proceeded on to my next venture. While I was driving all of a sudden my vision became blurry. I hadn’t eaten all day so I actually thought I was getting light headed due to hunger and prayed I made it to my job without passing out behind the wheel. Shortly after I had that thought my phone rung and the lady that I had just left called to tell me that she believed she found my lens. I remember thinking that was strange because I had my glasses on. As I removed my glasses from my face I realized the lens was in fact missing and I thought to myself “Yep, that’s my lens.” No wonder my vision had suddenly become blurry! It’s OK if you’re laughing at me, because I had to laugh at myself. Losing the lens in my glasses was a problem because I could not see very well for the rest of the day. I was down to my last pair of contact lenses, so I had to wear those and pray they didn’t tear or dry out before I was able to get a new prescription.

I made my annual eye appointment and typically the optometrist likes for you to bring your glasses during the exam. I also wanted to have them so that I could see about getting the lens placed back in. My glasses have a special place in my nightstand when I am not wearing them. For some reason the day of my eye exam I could not find them. I knew exactly where to look, but they were nowhere to be found. I searched several places and nothing. I felt as though I needed those glasses to help me through my exam, but they somehow had been misplaced.

As with many of our possessions we set them in a special place so that we will always know where to find it when we need them. In the psalm for today the psalmist was in need of help from the Lord and he knew where to look. He gazed his eyes in the right direction which was up.

Many times when we are going through life we look for help too. We need help in challenging situations, answers, directions, consoling and much more. When you stand in need of help where do you look? Do you look for help in the crown bottle? Do you look for help in cigarettes? Do you look for help through promiscuity? Do you look for help in drugs? Do you look for help in your horoscope? Do you look for help in shopping? Or like the psalmist do you know to look up for your help?

I named all those things because they are common places many people like to go for help. For example, when life gets too overwhelming some people like to have a special drink to take the edge off. Sometimes that drink may turn into one too many and now you are intoxicated instead of getting the true help you need. The examples I named are all temporary fixes, but the ultimate and permanent fix comes from looking up.

Why do you have to look up? You look up because that is where your Heavenly Father resides. “Who is like the LORD our God, the One who sits enthroned on high.” (Psalm 113:5) He is El Elyon the Most High God. The psalmist knows God as Elohim, the maker of heaven and earth. Genesis 1:1-2 says “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” God carefully crafted earth with systems in place. It goes from light to dark on it’s own, because God set up a time system for earth. Earth has water, vegetation, and life all feeding off of one another to survive and multiply. God did all of his creative work in six days, so that He wouldn’t have to recreate again. Since Genesis 1 God has not had to create another sky or water or light or day. They are all there until He gets ready to shut it all down.

If God could take a dark and empty earth and give it light and creation in six days and never need to create it again, then what more can He do for you? Do you know where your help comes from? Do you know how to focus your eyes up on a God that has all things under control? Whatever it is you need answers to today….whatever void you need filled…whatever consoling you need….whatever you need is….you can get it by looking up. Be blessed and encouraged!

Prayer
Heavenly Father, we thank you for being El Elyon the most high God. Thank you that when we have a need we have a safe place to gaze our eyes on and that is by looking up. Thank you that as we place our focus on you we can trust that you have everything we need. We give you all glory, honor, and praise. Amen

Testimony of Abiding

1-year-anniversary

Testimony of Abiding
Written by Felicia McKnight

John 15:5 NIV
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

I was recently having my devotional time and I got stuck on this particular scripture passage as I started reflecting on the vine and bearing fruit. John 15 is a parable Jesus told to explain the relationship of the vine (Jesus) and the branches (You and Me). To have a healthy relationship with Jesus, who is an extension of God himself, means to abide in Him. To abide means to remain, continue, stay. (dictionary.com)

How do we abide, remain, continue, and stay in Christ? As with any relationship you desire to maintain and nature it requires time and effort. You have to spend time getting to know someone and communicate with them before considering a person a friend. We can abide in Christ through several ways.

First, spend time reading your Bible and studying the Word of God. As you study the word of God you learn more about His character and His ways. You learn His promises and His intentions for us. As we study God’s word the Holy Spirit will speak to you and reveal the passages to you in ways that applies to your life.

Spend time in prayer speaking to God. Prayer can change situations in your life. It can get you answers to what you stand in need of. When we study God’s word and communicate with Him we have to also learn to worship and praise Him for who He is and for the mighty things He has done in our lives.

When you master studying God’s word, praying, and worshiping Him, Jesus informs us that you will bear much fruit. Fruit is evidence of a plant that it has been nurtured and producing what is intended for it to produce. I think of a fig tree that was in my grandmother’s yard. Some seasons it produced a lot of figs and there were other seasons it was just a tree that didn’t bear any fruit. One of the factors of the fig tree producing fruit was its environment and climate. Was there enough rain to water the tree or was the tree thirsty leaving it not as healthy and unable to produce a lot of fruit. Likewise with us, are we receiving all that we need from God by abiding in Him to produce fruit?

I think about my own life. As I have studied the word of God over the past year alone I think of the transformation it has brought about in my personal life. I think of my deeper relationship with my Heavenly Father as I have learned more about Him and His ways. I think of the endless hours I have spent in prayer as I have watched prayer transform my life and the lives of others. I’ve witnessed through prayer and knowing God’s word how God can move in miraculous ways in our lives and bring forth breakthrough when we rely on His strength and his power. I think about how abiding in God’s word has allowed me to produce fruit by giving back to others through my weekly Feevotionals!

Today, July 10th is a special day for me. It marks the one year anniversary that I launched Feevotionals and this particular post is my 50th post! It is a joy to bear fruit by sharing God’s word and edifying others to experience all that God has to offer us.

I want to take time out to thank those of you who have been praying for me and your words of encouragement. Thank you for those who stop me when they see me to say how blessed they are by a message. Thank you for those who call me, text, me or send me an e-mail to let me know how a Feevotional has encouraged you and others that you share them with.

“Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.” (Galatians 6:6)

I love hearing from you so please continue the feedback. I appreciate all of your words of encouragement as they remind me that these devotionals are not in vain, my prayers are being answered, I am operating in my purpose by baring fruit for the kingdom, and God’s glory is being revealed. Abiding in the vine has given me the wisdom, knowledge, and strength to write each week. All glory, honor, and praise belongs to God!

Prayer
Lord, thank you for this special day. Thank you for this one year anniversary of Feevotionals. Thank you for using me as your vessel to bless others through your word. I thank you for every person who is subscribed and reads them. I lift up every reader of Feevotionals to you praying and believing by faith that as we abide in you we will all bear fruit by becoming the men and women of God you purposed us to be. Amen

Let’s Not Get Tired

Let’s Not Get Tired
Written by Felicia McKnight

Galatians 6:9 NLT
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

So let’s not get tired….
Earlier this year I decided to run in my first 5K race with a group of friends. When we decided on forming a team I was so excited. I had never run in a 5K before so it required preparation. Since it was the Christmas Holidays and the race was in January I did not prepare like I should have. I decided to download the Couch to 5K app and let my phone become my personal trainer. I didn’t do a good job keeping up with the app. Matter of fact it’s nearly 6 months later and I am still on week one, day three. I had been working out at the gym but just not running which is what I needed to prepare. I was all excited and my friends and I set out on our journey. Since a majority of us were not conditioned we decided we would walk and then run in intervals. That worked out just fine for me in the beginning, but then for me something happened. Half way through I began to get tired. My legs were aching. I begin to slow down and I couldn’t keep up with the others. It got to the point where one of my legs went completely numb while the other leg kept cramping up. Since I could not feel my leg it made it even more challenging to finish the race. I had a choice to make. I could have sat on the curb for a while and took a break. I could have told one of the race volunteers I couldn’t do it and send a cart for me. I could have given up. I decided me, my cramped leg and my other numb leg were going to finish the race. I told the ladies to go ahead and I’d meet them at the finish line.

Our life journey can be a lot like my 5K experience. We can start off having a good day. We may breeze through a week, or a month, but then all of a sudden things happen. We go through a season of trials and each circumstance can eat away at your spirit causing you to grow tired and wanting to give up. It can leave you questioning God and wondering what is going on. It can drain you and leave you at a place where you feel like you don’t have much prayer or faith left. Even when you get to that point the word of God reminds all of us today not to get tired of doing what is good.

Of doing what is good….
What is doing good? I believe doing good is to keep pressing with the little you have left. There may be some days you feel like you have nothing left, but our gracious Father will give you exactly what you need to keep pressing one day at a time. Remember in my 5K I mentioned I had slowed down. There were times the ladies would go ahead of me and one would stay behind with me at my pace. There were times they all sped up, but they would pause and wait until I got to them and then we’d proceed on together during our walking interval. Just like the one that stayed with me God will place people in your life to give you strength through encouragement and prayer. There will be times where you may feel you are alone, but God will place someone along your path with a word of encouragement, a prayer, and a devotional you need to read. A song may come on the radio that ministers to your situation. The preacher may deliver a tailor made sermon to you on Sunday. God knows what you need along your journey and he knows how to meet you where you are so that you do not get tired and give up.

To do good means to hold on to your faith and to not lose sight of God. Don’t focus on the circumstances but focus on the God that is greater than the circumstance. God will never leave you alone. (Psalm 37:25) “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” (Psalm 34:18 NLT)

At just the right time….
We all will have to go through seasons and trials. Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us that there is a season and a time for everything. There is a season where we will have our good times and there is a season we will have our not so good times. The good news about seasons is they are only temporary. Just like seasons on the calendar there is a date assigned to it. If you pull out your calendar there is a date assigned to when summer began and there is a date assigned to when it will end and fall begins. If you are going through an unpleasant season I am here to remind you it is only temporary. God has an appointed time as to when it will end. “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” (2 Corinthians 4:17 NLT)

We will reap….
2 Corinthians 4:17 not only reminds us that our troubles are temporary, but it says “they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them.” Your season of trial is not in vain. You will get something out of it. Galatians 6:9 says you will reap. To reap means “to get as a return, recompense, or result.” To reap means there is a harvest. (dictionary.com) In order to get a harvest you first have to plant something. “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” (Psalm 56:8 NLT)

A harvest of blessing…
“Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.” (126:5NLT) To harvest means your season has changed. It means crops are no longer just seeds, but they are now something tangible you can see with your natural eye. When we enter a season of harvest we not only will begin to receive tangible things you may have been praying and believing in God for, but there are intangible blessings that come with the harvest that money cannot by. The heaviness is gone. The tears are dried up. You begin to harvest joy and peace that only our heavenly Father can give when we keep our eyes on Him. “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (Isaiah 26:3)

If we don’t give up…
The key to the harvest is to not give up! Back to my race experience. I finally and painfully made it to the finish line. When I crossed the line, when I broke through there were several things waiting on me. I got a beautiful medal that symbolized I “completed” the race. There were people cheering me on. There were photos taken to capture the moment. There was free food and beverages at the finish line and there was a party. I was able to enjoy all of this because I did not give up. I didn’t get tired. I chose not to focus on my pain but I focused and was determined I would FINISH!

There is a blessing at the end of every storm. You have a choice as to whether you will receive it or not. You can give up and say “Lord, I can’t and I won’t do this anymore” or you can put your focus on God and His promises and keep on pressing until the appointed time. I know it sounds easier said than done. I can testify today that the fact you are even reading this devotional is because I pressed through the hurt, the pain, the season of darkness and confusion. I kept my eyes on my Heavenly Father. I drew from the strength of those who could pray for me and give me an encouraging word. I pressed through and I finished. It was rough, but if I can do it you can too. Be blessed and encouraged on today.

Prayer
Heavenly Father, we thank you that we are able to keep our eyes gazed on you the sovereign God. We thank you for being El Elyon the Most High God. Your name reminds us today that You are higher and greater than any challenge we will ever face. I pray that as we go through the rough seasons that we can continue to keep our eyes focused on You, the God who has all things under control. You are sovereign and you know the beginning from the end. Our job is not to try to fix everything and figure it out. Give us strength not to lean on our own understanding but in all our ways to trust in you. On those days we feel tired and weary give us the measure of grace we need for that day to press through until our season of harvest arrives. We give You all glory, honor, and praise. In Jesus Name. Amen

Song of Encouragement (click on title): You’re Tears Have Paid Off by Vashawn Mitchell (feat. Monique Walker)