Friday, June 27, 2008

2 Chronicles 7:14 Humble to Heal

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
(2 Chronicles 7:14)

For the past few days the Lord has consistently been speaking to me through this one scripture in particular. I began to ask the Lord, "Lord what is it that you are trying to tell me through this scripture?" I understood (or so I thought I did) what it meant in essence or theologically speaking but as we know, this Christian Walk is a personal walk so I began to ask God what it is that he wanted me to take away from this scripture. I wasn't seeking the Lord for a post or a sermon but for some words to impact my own life. He told me to slow down, relax, clear my mind and meditate on it for a while and in His time He would make it known unto me.

You see, when I ask God for clarity or direction I don't always get an instant answer. God wants us to meditate on His word. When we aren't meditating as much as He wants us to, He has a way of getting our attention and causing us to seek Him as we should. Sometimes God will answer me right then and there on the spot, other times I believe He is testing me to see how badly I really want to hear what the Spirit has to say and how humbly I will submit myself to His will once I am still and quiet long enough to hear it.

I realized that I had allowed the cares of the world and everyday life to cut into my private devotional time. I repented, pulled out my spiritual silverware and began to feast on this here Word of God. God began to speak and I began to listen. As I did I broke the scripture down line by line. This is what He is show ing me:

"If My people, which are called by my name"

Okay. The first thing I had to do was define His people that were called by His name. Who are His people? We all may say or think that we are "His people" but are we really?

2 Corinthians 2:16 reads
what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Here God was showing me that in order to be called His people we have to be in agreement with the ways and statues of the Lord. We must be filled with His Spirit, the The Holy Spirit. Once we believe, receive and accept the gift of the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost, then God will live in us as His people. If we do not have the Spirit of God we are none of his (Romans 8:9).

God promised to hear, heal and forgive HIS people. I don't want to get ahead of myself but in order for us to receive his healing, we must truly be His people. Not only must we be His people but we must be His humble people. Which brings me to the next part of the scripture.

strong>"..shall humble themselves.."

Why must we be humble? Well, for one. Jesus said that if we humble ourselves He will exalt us in due season. Also, we risk facing destruction by being proud or high minded.

This is what Proverbs 16:18-19 has to say about pride and humility:

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

As I meditate on God and all that He tells us that He is in Exodus 20:5, I would think that God as the creator of all things who has already told us that He is a jealous God, does not approve in us operating in our own power or our own strength. When we do such, we are in essence saying that we don't need Him. In Proverbs 3:5-6, we are instructed to lean not to our own understanding but to acknowledge Him in all of our ways. When we are proud, we tend acknowledge and accredit ourselves. We are not omniscient like God is. We can't see the unseen. Therefore, only being able to see what God allows us to see we don't have enough information to operate in our own strength like God does. Inevitably, we will interfere with God's plan and delay our own progress if we act on impulse and not the leading of the Holy Ghost.

How do we allow the Holy Ghost to lead us? We ask him. Which brings us to the next directive in the scripture:

"and pray," Why must we pray? Because we need to hear from God. Prayer is communication with God. It is not one sided. As you petition God, you must also allow Him the time and space to speak back to you. Jesus told us to pray. He said that men ought to always pray and not to faint. If we don't pray, we will faint or loose heart. We will not be able to stand if we do not pray. God doesn't just want us to pray but He also said

"and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways"

As you see, we can not continue in our wicked ways and seek the face of the Lord at the same time. Either we are for Him or against Him. There is no in between gray area. There is no purgatory. Heaven or Hell.

There has to be a change. Once we truly come to know the Lord and experience His power for ourselves. We can't continue to live in sin. He won't allow us to. We have free will but conviction will not allow us to knowing the sacrifice that Jesus made for us. (Romans 6:1-2)

Realize that God wants to heal us but before the healing begins, He wants us to do some things first. The latter part of the scripture is dependant upon the former.

"then will I hear from heaven,"
Until we humble ourselves, pray and seek His face, God will not even listen to what we have to say. In fact God can not even hear our prayer if we hide iniquity in our hearts. (Psalm 66:18)

and will forgive their sin,

Notice here that that God said He will forgive their (our) sins. He didn't say some sins or list any exceptions. But He said that then He will forgive "sin". There is no sin that we can commit that He can not forgive us for. Why? Because we are His people which are called by His name. He is just and able to forgive us of all of our sins. He sent His son here to die for us just so that we could be reconciled back to us. It is not the will of the Father that we perish but that we have life everlasting (John 3:16)

and will heal their land

"Heal the land". What does this mean? Is it a physical thing, an emotional thing, spiritual thing or perhaps a natural thing? What did God mean when He said that He would heal the land? We know that people of that time were dependant upon the natural land; their crops and their livestock. Therefore, if they did not take care of their land, they would risk starving or not having the means to survive comfortably.

I believe that the word "land" here represents our natural location, state of mind, spiritual state and even our physical state. God wants to heal the whole person. Man is made up of mind, body and spirit. If our minds and thinking are distorted so will our speech be. If we are suffering from emotional scars and wounds, it is very likely that we will in turn hurt others. If we are struggling to let go of the past and don't learn from it, we are doomed to repeat it. Therefore, we need God to heal "the land". We need Him to go to the root of the matter and heal from the inside out.

Once we humble ourselves, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways, God is then able to hear us, forgive us and heal us in every area of our life. Remember, healing is not just an emotional or physical thing. There is healing available to the whole man (or woman).

Shanita Waters
Author of By His Stripes We Are Healed

Saturday, June 21, 2008

What if we were flipped inside out?

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean. (Matthew 23:25-26)

We live in a culture today where image is everything. What if your image isn’t popular? What if your personality or practices are not in line with what you preach? Then what? Do you seek more of God’s anointing so that your behavior exemplifies what you teach or do you simply mask your faults and shortcomings? The Pharisees chose the latter. They thought it would be easier to clean the outside up and “talk the talk” and men wouldn’t realize that they were spiritually dead on the inside. Their followers didn’t realize but one day, Jesus himself approached them and called them on it. Just as they had to give account for their hypocritical double standards - WE too will one day have to give account for everything we do and say. Jesus is always watching even when no one else is looking.

What they failed to realize is that if you begin the purging and cleansing process on the inside - then it is bound to work its way through to the outside. I imagine that they never thought that everything that they did in the dark would come into the light. They wore their priestly garments, taught and prayed in the synagogue. But what kind of thoughts did they think? What did they hide in their hearts? They looked good on the outside. They talked the right talk but God judges the heart. Man judges the outer appearance. They couldn’t fool God.

We can quote all the scripture we like, memorize all the bible verses and give the biggest offerings in the congregation but if your heart isn’t right - you are only pleasing man and your ego. God is not impressed with your good works and holy talk if your heart isn’t right. It doesn’t matter if your skirt is dragging the ground and your bible is marked up the most if you aren’t “walking it out” and applying it in your daily life. Otherwise, you are merely tripping over your skirt with a well-colored book.

If we were to be flipped inside out, would God be pleased at what he saw? Would we still be so saved and sanctified?

So now we must all examine ourselves and pose this serious question: Am I being cleansed from the inside out or am I merely scratching and polishing the surface so that it looks good?

I have to give it how I get it. Stay encouraged.

Shanita Waters
Author of By His Stripes We Are Healed

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life. (John 9:1-3 NIV)

Do you have setbacks and inadequacies? Are you a little different than the rest? Do you often wonder why must you go through so many trials and tribulations? Do you feel like you are the only one going through? Do you ever find yourself wondering what you did wrong or find yourself simply crying out “why me"?

Well, I am here to tell you that you are going through so that you can get through and your Father in heaven can be glorified. The word tells us that we are overcomers, more than conquerors and great because He that it in us is great. But if you had no obstacle and no battles what would you overcome? What would you conqueror?

The blind man in the text was born without sight. The people reasoned that it was a curse of the Lord that deemed him as such. However, we know that he was made blind so that Jesus could restore his sight. You are poor so that he can make you rich, alone so that He can comfort you, sick so that he can heal you and suffering so that He can allow you to reign with him. This is only a test that you are going through so that you can come out with the TESTtimony and God can be glorified.

Jesus said if He be lifted up, He will draw all men unto Him. So as you go through know that all things work together for the good of those that love God. This is all for your good and more importantly for His glory.

Shanita Waters
Author of By His Stripes We Are Healed

Monday, June 16, 2008


Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land (Psalms 37:7-9 NIV)

Is it just me or does it seem like cheaters are always winning? Does it appear to you that when there is much work to be done that you are often left alone holding the bag? Does it seem that you are always facing opposition from those that should be working together with you? Continue to do good as God promised that you will inherit the Earth and everything in it. All that the wicked is storing up for themselves will ultimately be yours anyway. That means regardless of who is for you or against you – God is on your side and you are therefore never alone. Wait patiently for God. Do not be afraid because the day of the wicked is coming. They may succeed in their way but as long as you are walking after the ways of the Lord – you will be victorious and prosperous because we serve a victorious, glorious and rich God.

There is no need to be angry or to retaliate because vengeance belongs to the Lord. You can’t handle the situation like God can. We don’t have the wisdom that He has so we have to let go and let God work it out for our good but to His glory. When you begin to feel that the wicked are doing better than you are in the natural – think about the spiritual and the long term. They may be flourishing in the here and now. However this is just temporal and we must always be conscious of and pressing toward the eternal hope that we have in Jesus. Don’t be weary in well doing for you will reap in due season just as long as you do not faint. Don’t be like them wait – don’t hate.

Shanita Waters
Author of By His Stripes We Are Healed Peek Inside

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Depise Not Small Beginnings

Don't worry. I won't make this post nearly as long as some of the others. It actually too me two days to write one of them. Of course, I didn't sit there for two days straight typing but with all the hustle and bustle and book promotion, I kept getting interrupted. Thank God this program auto saves your work for you. I can't imagine having to start all over again every time I was pulled away from my computer. If any new bloggers out there in "Blogger World" are reading this, here's a useful tip for you: If you know you are too busy to sit and jot down all of your thoughts in one sitting but you still want to blog, you can always begin and come back as often as you need to until you are able to finish.

In my time of being disrupted, I was able to meditate on the Word God had given me just a little bit longer. So I thank Him for the distractions, after all - "all things work together to the good to them that love God" (Romans 8:28) .

Anyway, I want to talk a little bit about "small beginnings" today. As people - more specifically American people, we like numbers. Whenever we want to evaluate our progress or our regressions, we often like to find a numeral value to rate our achievements. I too, found myself trying to find a numerical value on the success on how well I was walking in the direction that the Lord has been pulling me in. As most of you know, I recently published my debut novel, By His Stripes We Are Healed and sales haven't been going as well as I had planned. You see, I thought all there was to being an author was simply writing a good book and waiting for people to knock my door down to buy it. Well I have to tell you he truth, it doesn't work that way all the time.

Let me back up a minute and tell you that I didn't just up and write a book one day because I wanted to. I was commissioned to write this book. God would not let me have peace about it until I shared the message that He had given me. Anyway, I published the book and sales were really slow at first. I didn't even think I would recoup the money I spent on editing, marketing and publishing. Then all of a sudden, a few ladies that loved to read and loved to talk even more read my book and my phone was ringing off the hook. I wasn't complaining. I was packing up books, delivering books, dropping them off - whatever it took. But after a couple hundred copies, I felt everyone I knew and everyone they knew had already read my book. Then I began to persue book signings.

My first book signing was at a conference. there may have been 100 people at this particular conference. I only sold 3 books. I was devastated. I felt defeated and ultimately I felt like because I sold so few books that I was now stagnant and no longer making and progress. I thought of quiting and just writing blogs to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The next day as I was on my way home, I heared the Lord tell me "Despise not small beginnings". Hearing that quickened my spirit and gave me the determination to continue to do that which He called me to do. I am sharing this with you to tell you that no matter how bleak the situation may look or how much you may feel like you are not progressing as long as you are doing that which God has called you to do - you cannotfail.

Someone, somewhere is beginning to grow tired and feeling like it is all in vain but it isn't. The relatives that we have been praying for will be saved. Our finances are increasing and all that we prayed for and asked for (that's in the will of God) will come to pass. Are you feeling discouraged in some area of your life? Are you beginning to wonder if it is all worth it. If so, I encourage you to look to the hills from which your help comes. If not, I encourage you to stay encouraged.

Shanita Waters
By His Stripes We Are Healed, author

Friday, June 13, 2008

Am I Able to Give?

"Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you; leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
(Matthew 5:23-24)

You can’t give God anything if you harbor bitterness, envy, and ill-will in your heart. You cannot offer any service to the Lord, if you are holding onto a grudge. This does not mean that God cannot ever use you. He has given us the opportunity to go back and make amends with that person that wronged us or used us and then we are able to bless God. God doesn’t bless mess and he cannot be blessed by mess. As children of God, we naturally want to please our father. Although, it pleases the Lord for us to be of service to him and those that he has placed over us, he is more concerned with our inner-self. God is more concerned with our hearts than He is with how we may look to others or how happy our gifts make others feel. We must always give with a clear conscience.

What does this mean to us? That means that if we really want to bless God and be of service to the body of Christ, we need to make peace with our sisters and brothers. How can we love God whom we have never seen yet walk past our brother and sister everyday whom we do see and never speak to them? Does that make sense? No, it doesn’t. What does make sense is that the alter is a place of sacrifice. We are instructed to leave our gift in front of the alter because we need to sacrifice our will and our attitudes and forgive those who we have issues with so that we are able to go back and get our gift and give it to God. So before we offer up any gift to God, we must ask ourselves. Am I truly able to give?

Shanita Waters
Author of By His Stripes We Are Healed

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

See it to Believe it...

1 When the queen of Sheba heard about the fame of Solomon and his relation to the name of the LORD, she came to test him with hard questions.6 She said to the king, "The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true. 7 But I did not believe these things until I came and saw with my own eyes. Indeed, not even half was told me; in wisdom and wealth you have far exceeded the report I heard. (1 Kings 10:6-9 NIV)

When you live for God and are led by him people will know. You don't have to walk around with a sign to let people know you are saved, sanctified, and Holy Ghost filled because as believers we are the light in a world filled with darkness. So when they look at us they should see the light in us and more importantly - the Jesus on the inside working on the outside. We are the only Jesus that some people see. So as ambassadors for Christ, it is not only our privilege but our responsibility to represent Him well. In the text above, notice Solomon did not tell the queen that he was a man of God. Word traveled. The queen came to see him because she wanted to see if all that she heard was true. Because of your relationship with God, your integrity, character and faith will be tested.

Your testimony is simply not enough. Actions speak louder than words. People look to see if you are walking what you are talking. Some may try to trip you up with questions, some will wait to see what you are doing when you think that no one is watching. But we know that Someone is always watching. God is omniscient; He sees all and knows all. This is why it's important that we are always behaving as if God is sitting right there because He is. Because the queen went on a journey to see the God in Solomon, that leads us to believe that she did not know the Lord for herself. She did not belive that God could do all that she heard that He did. She had not yet experienced the Power of God moving in her own life but because of the wisdom and many blessings that God bestowed upon Solomon she belived what she saw. If we walk what we talk all the time like we are supposed to by doing so we are lifting Jesus up. He said that if we lift Him up, He would draw all men (and women) to Him. It drew the queen, didn't it?

So, my brothers and sisters the best advice I can leave you with is: if you want to win souls for the Lord and you want to declare His glory walk what you talk. Some people have not yet attained the measure of faith where they can walk by faith and not by sight. They need a sign. We are that sign; a chosen generation, a peculiar people, the salt of the earth - make them thirst for Jesus when they see you. Some need to see it to believe it.


Monday, June 9, 2008

How Bad you you want to see Him?

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears,[we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:1-2 NIV)

While talking with a friend of mine, she shared with me that her 5 year old daughter cried in the back seat of her car because she wanted to know why she couldn't’t see God. As she told the story, my heart was filled with joy. I was happy because this child earnestly, eagerly sought to see the face of God. She was sad at the thought of searching for him and not finding him. I thought of all the years I spent running from him knowing he was there all the time.

As adults, we too should desire to see the face the face of God just as my friend’s daughter sought him in the car that day. What is the difference between this 5 year old and most adults? She humbly, wholeheartedly sought God for who He is and not what He can do. She did not doubt His existence or power because she couldn't’t see Him – she simply wanted to see him as He is.

The bible tells us that we are all God’s children and we too shall one day see Him as He is. However, we cannot see Him if we do not look for Him and whoever looks for Him is sure to find him. Maybe today you need more faith, finances, or freedom. Maybe you simply want to see God as He is. God promised to reward us if we diligently seek after Him. Are you, like my friend’s daughter and want to see the face of God? Spend some time with him talking to Him and listening to Him. Look for Him to see Him as He is and not for what He can do because we know that he can do anything. Live for Him and you will see him as He is one day. How badly do you really want to see Him?

Shanita Waters
Author of By His Stripes We Are Healed

Thursday, June 5, 2008

His Thoughts are Not my Thoughts

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth,so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV)

Have you ever experienced an obstacle in your life that you just couldn't figure out for the life of you why God would place it in front of you? Have you ever had to deal with someone so unreasonable that you felt like you were at your wits end trying keep your composure whenever you were in their presence? Have you ever lost someone or something so precious to you that you found yourself angy at God for taking that person or possession away from you?

I'm sure you have. We all have at one point in time or another. It doesn't matter what your social class, financial class, race, or denomination is. There will be times when we become frustrated in trying to figure out why God places certain things, people and circumstances in our lives. But guess what, as long as you love the Lord it's working together for your good and mine (See Romans 8:28)

How can loosing my job, wrecking my car, finding out my mate has been cheating on me or that my best friend isn't my friend after all benefit me? Because it is then that we realize that when we are down to nothing we are able to see that God is up to something... One you've accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you became an official child of God. And God our Father wants us to cast all of our cares on Him and solely rely on Him. Sometimes God has to impose certain discomforts on us so that we can seek him wholly, and solely.

There are other times when He places us in impossible situations that would appear hopeless to a faithless person just because He knows that we will endure and fight the good fight of faith so that others can be encouraged by our testimonies. On occasion God wants to press things out of us that are displeasing to Him or in some way keeping us from going to the next level in Him.

Why are the things that are troubling you troubling you? Why do you feel like your constantly going through and can't get help from anywhere? I don't know. What I do know is that God has already predestined you for greatness. To everything there is a purpose. You are not going through alone and most of all, be encouraged knowing that you are not going through in vain. When you look things over and still don't see the point, remember that all things were made by God and without Him nothing was made and His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. If you think things are hard for you to cope with with God in control, just think about how bad they would be if you and I were in control. So instead of trying to figure it out, let's just thank and Praise God for working it out.

Shanita Waters
Author of By His Stripes We are Healed

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

HE Will Make You Great

The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.” I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. (Genesis 12:1-2)

If nothing changes, nothing changes. God wants to do a new thing in us. He wants to take us to another level; higher heights and deeper depths. He can not do this if we want to remain stuck in our old ways and our stubbornness. You are where your mind is. You are confined to the boundaries that you set within your mind. God told Abram not only to leave his country but his people in order for God to make him great and to make his name a blessing. There are some places and people that can not and will not co-exist with the position that God wants to place you in naturally, financially, spiritually, or mentally.

God had to remove him from all familiarity so that he would depend on God and not his instincts or what worked the last time. God wanted to be his “go to person”. Within our circles and social groups we have people that we go to for this situation or that situation but God wants us to solely rely and depend on Him. He is our comforter. He is our counselor. He wants us to separate ourselves from anything that contends with him for His position as #1 in our lives. Whether He needs you to change your location or your outlook, you can not stay where you are and go to the next level.

When we do as our Heavenly Father instructs us, then he is free to bless us because we are no longer trying to bless ourselves. We have surrendered our will to the Almighty and now he is free to bless us beyond our beliefs. Not only will he bless us but he will use us to bless others. Our name will be great because our God is great. We recognize the voice of the Lord when He speaks and then follow the instruction he gives us so that our name can be great.