Monday, February 24, 2014

Weekly Devotional: Trading YOUR Desires for GOD'S

From a young age, we are used to seeking our own desires and chasing after the things that we want. Some babies will cry all night long until you hold them because they desire affection and will go to any length, including screaming their brains out to get it!

I saw this just last week with my one-year-old god brother. I was making hot tea for myself, and he happens to love tea for some reason. He walked up to me and motioned for me to pick him up, so I did. Then he motioned for me to give him some tea. I told him that it was hot and he waited until I cooled it off a little and gave him a spoonful. Then all of a sudden, I seemed to be moving too slow for him, so he moved his hand towards the hot mug. I told him “No, it’s hot” and he moved his hand. Then he thought about it and tried again so I told him the same thing, but because he had already purposed in his mind that he was going to get some of that tea no matter what, he reached quickly towards the cup before I could pull him back, and he touched the outside of the mug. He wasn’t burned, but he realized that I was right, it was really hot, and he cried because of it. Needless to say, he walked away after that.

In many ways, our mentalities don’t change very much from the mentality of a child. We still have desires that we go for, no matter how detrimental they are or can be to our spiritual, mental, physical and emotional health. I mentioned before about how I kept drinking alcohol for a while even though I got sick every time I drank it. I had a desire that I was going to fulfill no matter how evidently it was impacting my health. My desire only changed when my mindset changed (thank God he changed me)!

This is a topic that God has really been dealing with me a lot on. I’ve learned that while it is good to have ambition and drive, it is also best to follow the way that God wants us to do things, not our own way. Romans 8:6 says, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” When we set our minds on the Spirit, we are automatic recipients of life and peace. We are liberated because the Spirit gives us power to walk away from the desires that we have been connected for so long. Galatians 5:24-26 says, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.  Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another.”

Honestly, trading in the fulfillment of your own desires for someone else’s is the ultimate sacrifice. After a long work day, I was driving home from work and was just pulling into my complex (literally a minute from my door) when my mom called me. She asked me where I was and what I was doing I knew she was out of the state so I was thinking oh this is nice of her to see how my day is going. And then BAM! She dropped a hammer on me. She asked me to drive all the way to her house (during rush hour!!!), to check if she left her keys at home because she couldn’t find them, and take the dog out since I would already be there. Immediately my mind was racing. I wanted to hang up on her and pretend we got disconnected. I wanted to flat out say UMMM NO. But then I thought back on all the sacrifices that my mom has made for me and the love she has for me and I came to the realization that I would have to trade in my own desire to lay on my couch and set aside some time to do her a favor.

That’s the thing about trading in your own desires. It is contingent upon your love and admiration of the person/thing that is asking something of you. Jesus said, ““If you love me, obey my commandments” (John 14:15). If you love someone you’ll do almost anything for them, most of all, you’ll give up what you really want to do what they want.

But the reality is that once you find a love for Jesus which cannot be separated, it still won’t be easy to stop chasing the desires of the flesh. We are humans after all! Lord knows I struggle with wanting to fulfill my own desires above all else on a daily basis! A lot of times I want to give in to my attitudes and moods. I want to be mean to people just because I feel like it and tell people off to release my pent up anger, but then I remind myself that I don’t want to be like that. I want to be like Jesus, trading in my own desires for what God wants.

Even Jesus struggled with this before going to the cross. As he prayed before he was confronted and taken to prison (and later crucified) the Bible says he said, "Abba Father," he cried out, "everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine." (Mark 14:36). As he was being taken away by the Roman soldiers, Peter cut off one of the soldiers’ ears. He was ready to fight to the death, yet still Jesus said “Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me?” (John 18:10).

I wrote the poem below. I hope it makes you think about what and who you’re giving your time to, and leads you to examine your desires and how they match up with God’s.

One of the most frequently used words in the Old Testament to indicate desire is “awa” and its derivatives, which can be found almost fifty times. Often the subject of this verb is “nephes” meaning self, soul, or appetite. The term is translated as "desire," "lust," "will," "pleasant," "greed," "dainty," and "desirable."- Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. 

Your human desires won’t lead you anywhere, but to destruction.
Your desire for sex, for money, for power, for status, it’s insatiable.
Through your penchant for competition
you breathe each breath with a purpose,
motivated by the assurance of self.

Because even when friends don’t,
God knows, God knows.
He knows your browser history, no matter how often you delete.
He sees you lurk Instagram,
coveting the goods of your “followers,” and celebrity.
He knows your Google searches,
X.X.X marks the spot.
He sees every online purchase.
He watches you spend all you’ve got.
That time, that money,
it doesn’t further his kingdom.
You misuse the little you have as if the ticking will never end;
trying to be “hot” or something you’re not,
like a broken old watch,
come already, stoppp.

Because even when family doesn’t,
God knows, God knows.
He sees you cry at night because you’re sleeping alone.
Only without HIM is a house not a home.
He sees you stare in the mirror and dismiss your reflection,
cursing what God has given you
as if life and breath within itself isn’t a blessing.
He sees you mourn the passing of your youth,
cloaked in the darkness of deceit,
accepting the words “you’re ugly”
uttered by your high school bully
as if they were full of meaning and truth.
But of the words of the father,
which should resonate in your spirit, you’ve become aloof.

Because even when they don’t,
God knows, God knows.
He knows that deep down ALL you desire is LOVE.

But he’s saying,
“Am I not he who supplies your needs?
Knowing me is knowing love,
and knowing my love is knowing that I am in thee.
Thee I have not forsaken.
For you I gave and continue to give my all,
but for me you give a whisper lacking in fervor,
not even a 5am prayer call.
I know, yes, I know the longing of your heart,
and if you would just give yourself wholly to me,
I will make thee who thou art.”

“But who am I?” you say. “This person I have yet to discover.
And why is it that when you speak to me, your words I cannot uncover?”

“You are mine.
You are holy, you are sanctified,
blessed by me, the Lord God, the Divine.
So to put it plainly would be a grave injustice
when as the lover of your soul,
I am He to whom your heart should be entrusted.
Yes I am all-seeing; yes I am all-knowing;
yes I have all power,
And if you seek me first,
My love I will shower.
Shower like spring rain upon your locks,
a sweet, sweet presence,
a peaceful cooling beverage
on a wistful summer night.

 I know, yes, I know
that once you enter my presence
and my Spirit corrupts your sin,
you will want for nothing.
And the desires of mine will also become yours.
This is true love, true purpose and true peace.
It is what the devil abhors.
He wants to see you walk in selfish fulfillment,
bound by the thoughts that pollute your mind.
But I assure you, It’s gonna be okay.
You have my son’s example to show you the way
because for you I have in mind a life free from this bondage,
what do you say?
Will you accept my invitation, wrapped with its little red bow?
I know it’s at odds with your carnality,
But still,
I offer you a life unfulfilled by human desires
and instead full of genuine, holy sanguinity.
See, because my word will always ring true, my offer will always stand.
Stand against the bonds of wickedness, deceit, and every evil work of this land.
Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, 
and I know, yes I know, that I will give you rest."

Sunday, February 23, 2014


Thank you for allowing me to be the one of the guest bloggers for the month of February. This opportunity could not have come at a better time, and I thank my friend Jamera for that.

When I received the e-mail I had decided to write about my journey with God and how I have allowed other things in my life, like law school, to get in His way and His time. Today I had a rude awakening and a confirmation of one of my fears. Early this morning, I received a call from my mother, telling me that my grandmother had a stroke. I immediately ran to her house and started making arrangements to have my mother travel to Colombia to be by my grandmother’s side. Although I thought I was “too busy” I also decided to go to church because I needed to hear His word. To my surprise, God had a direct message for me. The service was about God and His power during our moments of adversity. Yes, it is true that we forget about Him until we need him because we know he is always there, however yesterday was a brutal reminder of how much I needed Him. Moments like these (concerning the health of my grandmother), and other moments of adversity test our faith and remind us of our weaknesses. Only God knows how much we can handle and how much it would take for us to get on the right path again. We have to remember that, every good and bad situation has a purpose, and He knows what that purpose is.

1 Corinthians 10:13 states, "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." I believe God is reminding me of his love and also testing my faith. This test to my faith was necessary for me to look back and see how blessed I am and to let God do what he does best and bring me through it. Like my friend Jamera told me yesterday, I can’t worry and pray at the same time because it defeats the purpose of having faith. Instead of worrying, I need to look at each situation and see what God has in it for me or what he is trying to show me. I need to remember what James 1:2-3 states about trials and temptations. It states, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance."

I also have to keep in mind that I cannot be afraid and I have to let Him do his work in my heart and trust him with my grandmother’s life. That phone call has definitely tested my heart and my faith. I know that when this trial is over and God brings me through, "In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. (1 Peter 1:6-8).

I know that just as many of you know when we have trials and tests of our faith, that God is taking me from the bad to the good and from the good to the EXCELLENT! We have to claim these things and starting today I'm claiming the EXCELLENT! He has a purpose in my life (he has a purpose in yours),  but I think we all forget about this when we are so caught up in the good times. It is in these moments of adversity that we run to him because we are afraid. I am blessed to have God in my life and for the message I received at church. I was sad and worried but I understood that I have to rest in my faith and know that everything works together for the good of God to those who love him.

I hope that if you are going to rough times, you know that God is with you and he is the only one who will never let you down. Don’t be afraid, don’t hide… just look for him. He is there, he has never left, and he will never ever leave your side. Find strength and patience in Him. "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10) So as you pray to God to help you through your adversity, please pray for my family -- specifically my grandmother. The bible says that, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." (Matthew 18:20). Thank you and God Bless!


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Weekly Devotional: Exceeding and Abundant!!

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us," Ephesians 3:20 (KJV)

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33 (KJV)

" Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV) 

We have been in a series at church about the Circle Maker. What has been the most consistent message in each week has been that bold prayers honor God and that God honors bold prayers. God is an awesome and POWERFUL God. Just like Ephesians 3:20, God is able to do anything and He is just able to blow our minds with the results that He will give us. God will be able to give you favor and open up doors that you are not able to even imagine.

Recently, I just graduated Rider University in December. Because I did not officially graduate in May (when I was supposed to), my loans started calling for their payments in like November even though I was still acting as a full time student. I was student teaching and did not have a job and they were wanting to me make payments. Stress started to build and get crazy. December rolls around and I'm applying to different school districts. And as I was applying, thoughts like "Maybe I should not apply to school districts" or people would say "Maybe you should try to applying to different types of jobs to get you through until you can get a job". Honestly, I was thinking about listening to those voices. But, then I would get a word like "WAIT!!!" Proverbs 3:5-6 says to trust God with everything and DO NOT lean in your own understanding. it is also saying that God will direct my paths if I trust Him. Also, in Matthew 6:33, it says to seek the kingdom FIRST!!! 

Here are some scriptures about our future and what God has planned for us:

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jeremiah 29:11 (KJV)

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way." Psalms 37:23 (KJV)

So, from these........ God will order our steps. God will direct us if we TRUST and FOLLOW Him!!!! If we trust God and seek Him, He is able to do anything more than what we can even imagine. So, using these scriptures, I was still applying to different school districts. I put out like 11-12 applications and I only heard back from like 2 districts. One district that I applied called me in and then I did a demo lesson that day. They said "Oh, we'll call you on like Monday or Tuesday." Monday or Tuesday rolls around and I hear nothing. So, I get a call that following Tuesday from my director and she tells me about this opening in a different school district at a high school level, which was what I wanted. So, I call and they go well can you come in like tomorrow for an interview? As I am in the interview, the principal says you are the only applicant for this position. And I'm like go ahead God!! So, I actually started in the first week of February and it has been awesome!! 

This placement for me has been an extreme blessing. God literally opened up doors and blessed me more than I could imagine. The fact that I got a job like a month right after graduating college is a miracle for me. And most of my loans have gotten more time before I have to start making payments. 

I encourage you to speak life into your situations. SPEAK IT into EXISTENCE!!! Yes, it does not look like it is in your favor. But speak life so that it can be put into existence. God has given us the power and the authority to change our very situations. Therefore, speak it!!! Trust God and let Him direct your path. He is able to do it. He has come to give us life and for us to have it MORE ABUNDANTLY!!!

An awesome verse: "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” ~ 1 Timothy 4:12 (KJV) 

Let's be examples!!!

Have a blessed week!!!

Stay blessed y'all!!
Steven Gable

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Weekly Devotional: I AM A CIRCLE MAKER

Hey everyone!!!We're back and better than Ever!! : ) This is my first blog of the year and I'm hyped!! God is going to great things this year in your life and in mine.

How do I know?? : )

Because God says so!^_^

In that I command thee this day to love the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. (Deuteronomy 30:16 KJV).  

Recently my small home group(it's like a bible study group) has been focusing on the favor of God and the "rain" that he provides in our life.

The "rain" is the favor, blessings, and dreams that God brings to existence in our lives.

In my small home group we have been reading about the Hebrew legend of Honi. In the legend, this man Honi was known as a circle maker. They called him a circle maker because he believed that in the midst of the dry season Israel was in, if he just stayed in the literal circle that he drew on the ground and prayed everyday in faith believing that God will send rain then GOD WILL SEND THE RAIN.

Circle makers stay in the circle until God "rains" on them or until he blesses them. Honi believed that an impossible dream could be accomplished by a God who makes all things possible. He didn't give up on that dream, he never left that circle. He prayed continually and pressed until God sent the rain.

How many of us can say we are like Honi? Have you left your circle?

Are you still believing God to provide the "rain" in your life? Or have you given up on your dream and left the circle because you didn't see one drop fall yet.

I encourage you to get back in that circle and to continue to believe for God's "rain" in your life. You never know when it's going to happen but YOU KNOW IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN BECAUSE OF YOUR HOPE IN THE LORD.

Last year I stayed in the circle for the job that I have now.  I'm going to be real and say it was definitely not easy!!! So many times I wanted to leave that circle and say forget it God is not going to do this if he wanted to he would have provided me a new job a long time ago. But something in me told me to keep pressing to keep believing for my new career position. (It was HOPE AND FAITH)

Every time I think about this story it brings tears to my eyes because it just reminds me of how real God is and how he loves me and wants to bless his children so much if we just continue to believe.

So,  to keep a long story short God basically closed a potential position that to me looked great and gave me an even better position!!!: )

God reminded me of the dream position that I always wanted and talked about when I graduated college. He blessed me with this great position which is the exact position that I dreamed about so long ago!!!

What if I gave up on that dream and left the circle??

I would have missed out on my blessing.

I say all of this to tell you to never give up on your dreams. God wants to "rain" on your life; and in every aspect of your life. Continue to seek up, never give up, and stay in that circle until it rains. : )

Stay in God's Peace, not in pieces : )


Monday, February 3, 2014

Weekly Devotional: Miracles Happen

Miracles Happen

This miracle happened to a friend of mine name Dan Tirol. He is one of the friends in my life that has been a tremendous inspiration. I witnessed his courage and resiliency in graduating from West Point. I've known him to be a man that will not "Quit".

After, West Point, he sought to attend Ranger School. In preparation for this school he injured his knee. Dan had a partial ACL tear and bruising on his meniscus. Around the time of this unfortunate event I received a call from him. We usually talked sporadically throughout the year and I’d see him sporadically.

That night talking to him, I understood something had taken him out of character. I no longer recognized the voice of Dan, the man of purpose and strength. He revealed to me his situation as the pursuit of Ranger School was dependent upon the doctor’s approval. He said two doctors had already failed him and he had one last visit with a specialist. One suggested surgery and the other a use of a knee brace. Both solutions would disqualify him from attending Ranger School.  

        Hopelessness resounded in our conversation and settled in once he said, “My dream is over”. Disturbed by that statement, I suggested we turn to God. Then I also explained that weeks ago I had received instructions from God, whom said something GREAT would happen through obedience to them. Yes, I was fearful saying that, because I know how crazy it sounded. However, the need for a miracle was too great and I could not let fear stop me from withholding the potent words of God.
       Inexperienced praying with people and praying for the first time on the phone, my voice quivered. We prayed and I thought something noticeable would happen to indicate a miracle. We cried to God for life in a dream that died, but the prayers seemed just like normal prayers. As our prayer was subsiding, doubt began to rise in me. Can God heal Dan's knee?

Then defiantly against doubt I proclaimed Gods healing power, “We have obeyed your word and WE BELIEVE you will HEAL his knee by Monday”. This transpired as Dan was approved by the Head doctor! He said they ran tests on his knee testing the flexibility and mobility. Prior tests had caused pain in his knee, but this time the pain was gone. I still believe in miracles because I still believe God exist, hears and answers. God decided to show nothing was too hard. At the time of this call, Dan was in Oklahoma, while I was in New Jersey…. Does God’s power have any boundaries or limits??

Isaiah 59:1
Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: