The hardest part of the wellness journey can be resting. So often, this world tells us to grind hard every day. The world looks down upon rest. However, it is nearly impossible to get well without resting.
This rest is not the one you are thinking of-this version of rest requires focus, concentration, and commitment. This version of rest can only be achieved at the feet of the Father. Your bed won’t cut it, that massage won’t do it, nor will a midday nap achieve the goal of resting.
Season 2 of “From Worn to Well: Becoming Whole for the Kingdom” breaks down this version of REST-Restoration, Expectation, Saturation, and Timelessness.
Immanuel. Jehovah. Yahweh. Lord. God. Jesus. Jehovah Shalom. Jehovah Nissi. Abba. Father. Holy Spirit. Something powerful happens in worship when we call out these names for the Lord. Your heart flutters. You get goosebumps. Tears may fall. There’s a level of intimacy that just cannot be explained.
Why? One may ask. Why do we melt when we call Him Yahweh? Why does Immanuel make us warm inside? Perhaps here’s why:
Our heart flutters when we call Him “Healer” because we have been sick. We cry at calling Him “Abba” because we have been fatherless. We shout “Protector” because we have felt unsafe. We are exclaim “Immanuel” because we have felt His presence to know that He is indeed with us
Our trials and obstacles have reveal just who the Lord, our God, truly is! Our pain and afflictions manifested His power for us. Our failures help us to see just how magnificent He truly is. The Name of the Lord is a strong tower because it has withstood all of our storms.
Sisters, let us not curse our struggles and tough seasons-those painful moments is where the intimacy of the Lord develops. Those moments are the unveiling of His name! Our trials stand as altars of what the Lord has done and out of that altars-we learn about the Lord in new and powerful ways. His name stands above every name because we have a personal testimony about that name.
Praise your Abba Father! Bow at the name of your Jehovah Shalom (Peace). Worship the Lord. Shout Hallelujah to the Miracle Worker.
He is the name above all names and He is worthy of our praise…
It’s incredibly challenging to give thanks in hard seasons. Becoming well means that at one point-we were not. Therefore, the road to well isn’t always a pleasing season. However, we must adhere to the command of the Lord:
With tear-filled eyes-we must give thanks. In difficult circumstances, we must give thanks. In painful moments, we must give thanks. In seasons of plenty, we must give thanks. When the doors open-we must give thanks. When the doors close-we must give thanks. When we hear the Lord say yes-we must give thanks. When we hear the Lord say no-we must give thanks. And the list goes on…
Whatever happens-we must give thanks. Thankfulness is progression. It’s the indication that we are walking by faith and not by sight. It’s the expression of giving glory to God for it all. It’s the power to take each step forward. Thankfulness is how we become well and whole.
The opposite of being thankful is being ungrateful. If we decide not to thank the Lord, we are giving space and place to the root of bitterness and resentment. These roots will have us tripping and falling as we tread the road to well. The walk will become long and even more challenging and we may be tempted to go back to where we came from.
Choose thankfulness and see how swiftly we are able to move. A thankful heart delights in the healing that the Lord provides. Thankfulness births joy in trying seasons.
Thanksgiving may have been a couple of weeks ago but giving thanks never ends.
With the Lord, however, we know that He is intentional about disrupting the natural for the supernatural. So yes-on the road to well-there must be death.
Death to sin. Death to strife. Death to stinky thinking. Death to toxic relationships. Death to the flesh. Death to the old way: this is how we reach that beautiful destination of wellness.
Autumn is a beautiful indication of the beauty of death. Those beautiful fall colors only appear because the leaves are dying. They have to die so that the beautiful spring flowers can appear. The death of the leaves is gain. We gain flowers so that the bees can pollinate and produce honey to feed us. Death = life.
As we become well, we must put to death the things that are making us ill. We must surrender. We must be delivered. We must be set free. We must let go. We must kill old habits and old traditions. As we walk down the road to well, we are leaving behind those things that hindered our walk and our health.
So let it go, sister! Be free from those snares and obstacles. Be committed to becoming fully whole and well. Kill those things that are not of God. Put to death those relationships that lead us away from the Father. Encounter the death of your old man to fully live in the new that the Lord has for you.
The death of Jesus produced eternal life for us. We must die to gain life.
“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” John 1:46
People have written you off because of your last name, your first name, or your skin color. People have questioned what good can come from your mother, your father, or your hometown. People have wondered what good can come from a single parent household or a child who struggles in school. Just maybe people are thinking what good can come from someone who have physical limitations or mental health challenges.
No matter the “Nazareth”, the answer is a resounding YES! There is good that comes out of Nazareth!
Sister, no matter your lineage or what city you come from-the answer to their question is yes! Your past doesn’t define you. Your academics, your career, or your choices don’t stamp who you are. You are who the Lord says you are: Overcomer, More Than A Conqueror, and Wonderfully Made.
Let’s see at Jesus. Nazareth was not an astute place. Mary and Joseph were not royalty. And Jesus did not come from riches. And yet, He is the BEST thing that has came out of Nazareth!
So boast about where you came from because Jesus thought enough of you to see you through. Tell the story about your heritage Nazarene, you are living proof of the good that comes out of your Nazareth. Tell them about the One who is the Victor of your birthplace. Do not be ashamed of your story, your history, or your ancestry-there is good that has come from who you are and where you have been.
Jesus is the stamp of your journey. He is the beginning and the end. He is the author and finisher of your story.
So the next time someone asks-can anything good come from where you are, from where you have been-give them this response Nazarene:
When we aren’t feeling well, we are trying to find the answer to this question: How do I get better? What’s the way? Think about it-when we are dealing with the common cold-we wonder which brand of medicine will work. We wonder which remedy will get us better. This is also true for those aches and pains that aren’t so visible.
What’s the way? It’s the million dollar question. And we have the answer!
The Way is Jesus Christ. He is the road to well. Last time we discussed how exhausted is a stop on the road to well. Now, we are discussing how Jesus is the way to well! We don’t have to wonder if we go to the left or the right, we simply follow Him and He will make us better, He will make us well, and He will make us whole.
So dear sisters, we no longer have to feel lost or direction-less, there is a Savior for that and it is Jesus Christ! We seek Him out in prayer, we connect with like-minded believers, we fast, we praise His Holy name-these are the things that set us in the right direction. Rejoicing and worshiping the One and True Living God is how we transition from feeling bad to getting better to being well.
There is no way to wellness without Jesus! So follow Him, His hand is extended to us-we just have to grab it. His shoulders are prepared for our loads. He is the Living Water for the journey. His voice is the only map we need. And the hem of His garment shall make us whole.
If you are hurting, in pain, or heartbroken-He is the Only One that knows the way because He is the Way.
Wellness and Exhaustion are two very different things. But the two are very connected. Wellness is always the goal, but exhaustion is often times the first stop on the road.
Think about having a cold-the sneezing, the coughing, you can’t sleep, you can’t breathe-you are downright tired. Wellness is breathing again and sleeping peacefully. Exhaustion is on the journey to well. Think about giving birth-the contractions and the pushing are exhausting! But seeing the beautiful face of your child means all is well!
We don’t have to live being tired, however. We can be determined to regain our strength and our power. We first must tell the truth: Are you tired of being hurt? Aren’t you tired of being bitter? Aren’t you tired of living in a depressed state? We must surrender these exhausted feelings and emotions so that we can move forward to well.
The Father invites us to exchange these feelings of tiredness and exhaustion for something so much greater:
Rest is the beautiful exchange! To become well, we must transition from exhaustion to rest. Sisters, it’s time to give the burden away! It’s time to conclude that we are on a different path-we must proclaim that we are on the road to well.
It’s time to admit we are tired so that we can move forward towards wellness. It’s time to acknowledge that wellness is our portion and our promise. We don’t have to live tired. We don’t have to live worn out or defeated. We don’t have to live with the burdens on our backs. It’s time to be set free, it’s time to be delivered from tired and worn out.
Positions are a key strategy when engaging in spiritual warfare. We must evaluate our stance. Are we hiding in a cave, hoping not to be seen? Are we hiding behind someone else when we should be the ones standing in the front? Or are we in standing strong in the front, ready to handle what comes our way?
Here’s the thing: the position we take will determine our victory. For the ones hiding in the cave-we will miss the goodness of the Lord because we have chosen to hide. For the one hiding behind someone-another human cannot save you. For the ones in the front-their confidence is not in their ability but in His ability.
We must stand on the position of victory, because we are already victorious:
Position yourself on victory! We don’t have to hope that we win the battle, we have to know we’ve already won because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross! We don’t have to fight for victory, we fight from victory!
We stand on the promises of the Lord, knowing that they will all come to pass. We stand on our faith because we believe in the One we do not see. We stand on the Word of God, knowing that it is the only truth that matters. We position ourselves to be victorious, because we are victorious!
The goodness of the Lord will only be seen from the place of victory. It’s time for us to come out of the cave and from behind people, it’s time for us to stand-knowing that God is able to win every single battle that we will face. He’s already defeated death, there is nothing to hard for Him to handle.
Listen closely: The Devil wants you to believe that you will always be bound by that diagnosis, that past mistake, the choices of your family, that perceived failure. He wants you to believe that God cannot restore, that He cannot revive, and that He cannot redeem. Satan wants you to believe that you will always be afflicted. We are here to tell you: He is a LIAR and incapable of telling the truth.
You, my beautiful sister, are an Overcomer! If you belong to the One who defeated death, Hell, and the grace-you have already won! By the power and authority of God through Jesus Christ, we declare and decree that your testimony is one of victory and not defeated. We declare that the promises of God are your portion, and we know that you are healed and set free in Christ.
The latest episode of our podcast, From Worn to Well, is dedicated to the Overcomer. Check out a snippet here:
Today is July 4th. For many Americans, this is their Independence Day. This day marks the point in history where the United States became free from British rule. For many, today represents freedom.
Today, many celebrations are marked with fireworks. Matter of fact, as I pen this devotional, I am surrounded by fireworks. Growing up and for many years after, I was afraid of fireworks. While they are beautiful visually, the pop sounds much like gunfire. As a child I grew up in a community filled with violence and because of that, many nights were marked by gunfire. I feared the sound and anything that sounded like it.
As a child, I remember going to see fireworks and crying in the car because of the sound. My mother gave me a blanket to hide under as the sound filled the air. I couldn’t appreciate their beauty because of the sound. This fear continued well into adulthood. But that’s not where the story ends!
As I came to Christ and developed a relationship with Him, the Lord set me free from the irrational fear of the sound of fireworks. He assured me that I was protected and safe in His arms. He promised to never leave nor forsake me. He set me free. And because of that freedom, I enjoy the beauty of fireworks.
Today, a nation may be celebrating its freedom from oppression and rule but we can also celebrate the freedom that we have in Christ! Freedom is our portion and promise. We no longer have to live in fear and bound by the enemy’s stronghold. In Christ, you can be free!
Maybe you are seeking freedom from addictive habits. Maybe you are bound by loneliness. Maybe you fear the sound of fireworks because of a childhood filled with gunfire. Maybe you fear relationships because of your past. Whatever the issue may be, know that freedom is your portion! In Christ, you can be free!
Woman of God, the Son of God sacrificed Himself so that we can be free and appreciate the beauty of God. We have not been given the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. Be free! Freedom is YOUR portion and promise! Oppression from the snares and schemes of the enemy ends TODAY! Take your freedom back! Throw away those shackles. We are free!