I don’t know about you but recently I have been encountering more spiritual warfare than usual, which means I am doing something that makes the enemy worried. I am moving forward, despite all outward appearances and the warfare I am encountering. It can be hard to keep focused in the midst of all the interference. The best thing we can do is remember who we are in God and hold on to the promises He has made to us. Contrary to what the enemy wants you to think and feel, you are his biggest threat.
The kingdom has been on my heart and mind lately, especially “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” from Matthew 6:10.
In his book Think Differently Lead Differently, Bob Hamp has a section that touches on what is key to understanding the kingdom, where it resides, and how it works, especially on earth. What he said is,
“…we are designed to live ‘from God’ not ‘for God,’ and if this is the case, God must both reside in and be moved from this place. If we are designed to be moved from this place, imagine the power when we learn to communicate from and to this place called ‘spirit.'”
So, in terms of the kingdom and God’s will being done on earth…
–God and His kingdom aren’t external.
–They are inside us.
–We are God’s ambassadors for the kingdom here on earth.
–When we tap into operating from God inside us, we exercise our kingdom authority and His will is done on earth.
All it takes is a shift in mindset to realize that with God inside us, when we communicate from that stance, we are speaking His kingdom into being on earth.
Yesterday, I was driving around town running errands and the song “Man in the Mirror” came on the radio. The song is a ballad that touches on a man being honest for the first time about his tendency of pretending not to see people in need in order to avoid helping. It was that moment of honesty that made him want to become a better person because he realized that in order to make the world a better place he had to change first. As I listened to the song, it reminded me of an experience I had just the day before.
My family was driving home from a trip to visit friends and family in another city. We stopped for lunch at a fast food restaurant at the halfway point of our drive. As we were pulling into the parking lot, I noticed a young homeless woman make her way from under the freeway overpass and walk towards the restaurant.
My daughter and I had a brief encounter with her in the bathroom and it was clear that she was in pain and not well. When she emerged from the restroom, she asked if she could sit in a corner booth. She sat there quietly by herself and left the rest of the patrons alone.
But her quiet and unwanted presence there had clearly caused a change in the equilibrium and former peace of the dining area. You could feel the shift in the air from upbeat to an unspoken tension. Everyone’s demeanor in her general area stiffened up as they tried to pretend she wasn’t there, which only drew more attention to her. Ironically, several people in the restaurant were wearing shirts containing the name of their church or bible verses. The saddest display was a woman wearing a John 20:20 tshirt, who stood up and turned her back to the homeless woman and ate the rest of her lunch in that posture before quickly shuffling her family out.
As I was watching what was going on in the restaurant, the Lord put it on my heart to buy that young woman some food. So, I walked over to her and quietly asked her if I could buy her a meal. Her eyes brightened and she smiled. I asked her what she wanted and then purchased a meal for her. As discreetly as possible, I delivered the food to her as our family was making our way to the front door to leave.
What I experienced in that restaurant reminded me of a conversation I’d had with my friend just a couple of days earlier. I shared with my friend what the Lord had been putting on my heart about the power in just one person doing whatever He asks. It didn’t matter how small or seemingly insignificant that act may be. We have no idea how much a single, small act of kindness can impact a person’s life for the better. And, if that person in turn goes out and helps another person, you have no idea how much farther it can go. If everyone just helped that one person in front of them, powerful change could quickly and easily be created on a larger, even global scale.
At this point, my friend spoke up and said, it’s like that quote from Mother Theresa, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.” It’s the same message I heard in the song a few days later. Siedah Garrett, the Co-writer of “Man in the Mirror” was interviewed in 2017 and shared these insights into the themes she incorporated in the lyrics, “the song was deeper than just the visual of a man looking at himself in the mirror. It was that, juxtaposed with the idea of a man going deeper inside himself to change from within. To make a difference on the outside, you have to first start from within.”
Isn’t it a common human reaction to look outside yourself at all that needs to be done that you cannot possibly do on your own and become so discouraged that you do nothing. But that’s not what God is asking us to do. He is just asking us to help the one in front of us. And, if everyone helped the one, we could change the world.
I fed one hungry person. Did I end hunger? No. But there was one less hungry person in the world. Who knows how helping that one person can cause a ripple affect that helps others.
True and lasting change comes from within and starts with you. Never underestimate the power of one person.
After experiencing first-hand the winter storms that came through last week, it put a lot of things in perspective for me. I am thankful for so many things. We can choose to focus on the good or the bad. I’ve decided to focus on what’s good. So, on this Monday, I’ve decided to start the week off right. It’s a good day to have a good day.
The Lord has really been speaking to me about this recently. Manifesting what we want starts with being thankful for what we have and then holding on fearlessly to the promises God has made to you until it becomes a reality.
Through a series of seemingly unrelated—but clearly God-ordained events—I have been reminded this week that it really is the small things that matter in life.
The first few days of this week didn’t quite go as planned and I had to change things up, which turned out to be a very good thing. It forced me out of my usual humdrum routine, causing me to pay more attention to things around me.
I have a couple of friends who are going through some health challenges. Because I wasn’t on autopilot, I clearly felt it when God put them on my heart. More than that, He had specific messages for each person. I was able to reach out to encourage them, and not only were they blessed but so was I.
And then there was the unexpected trip I needed to make to a part of town I don’t usually go to. A part of town that has been hit hard and has homeless camps under the freeway overpass. I carry what I call “homeless bags” in my car that are filled with essentials such as food, water, and clean socks.
In the median—at the light where I was going to turn—there was an older man with a small dog. I wanted to give him a bag but my light was green. I felt led to make a u-turn at the next light, in hopes of him still being there. Luckily, he was still there and had crossed the street to an area where I could park and walk to him. I was able to give him a bag and as I turned to leave, there was a young man walking toward the bridge, who asked me if I had another bag. That unexpected detour made it possible for me to help two people in real need.
It turns out that the disruption of my week was an unexpected blessing that reminded me of what is truly important. When we are able to take our eyes off ourselves and our circumstances, we are able to see things more clearly.
It’s hard to believe that “Lessons From God” is 3 years old today! Since I was a little girl, I always dreamed about writing a book. And my dream has become real.
When I started writing the book, our family had gone through several years experiencing what so many are facing today—job loss, financial struggle, and uncertainty. God taught me lessons that kept my hope and faith alive through everything. And that’s what He put on my heart to share with others in Lessons From God.
I want to thank all my followers and everyone who has been on this journey with me. Your encouragement and support has been so incredible!
In celebration of my book’s birthday, the ebook is available for $2.99 until Wednesday the 28th. You can purchase it online at Amazon or www.tanyavezza.com.
To continue the celebration, I will be doing a book giveaway very soon. Please keep in touch with me on Instagram or Facebook for the opportunity to receive one of the 5 paperback books I will be giving away.
Lao Tzu coined a common yet inspiring quote: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Any journey in life begins with the simple action of deciding to take the very first step necessary to embark upon a new venture, and this first step requires faith. A journey might relate to a physical journey or an emotional or spiritual journey, such as taking control of your health, overcoming a bad habit, working on that difficult relationship, or moving across the country. No two journeys are alike; however, all journeys start with the action of daring to venture into the unknown. Paradoxically, the first step is usually relatively easy in nature yet, at the same time, dauntingly difficult to actually take. Envisioning a new venture is challenging enough let alone acting upon those thoughts or promptings from the Lord.
When we risk moving forward from the safety and comfort of the known, we face our fears. We are willing to be stretched and challenged in order to grow and evolve into that which we long to experience or become. We make a conscious choice to risk failure in the pursuit of what others consider merely a dream. By taking that first step, we ultimately refuse to continue settling for less than God’s best for our lives.
Is there something God keeps putting on your heart to do? Maybe it’s time to just take the first step.