The Exchange

To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion–to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit–that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. Isaiah 61:3, AMP

In Isaiah 61:3 a great exchange occurs. God gives us His beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of morning, the garment of praise instead of a heavy, burdened and failing spirit. Friend, I don’t know what you have been through in your life, but I do know that Jesus gave His life for you on the Cross. He exchanged your sin, sickness, and every curse and nailed it to the Cross in exchange for His mercy, healing, grace and salvation. One day while reading Isaiah 61, I was led to write down all that God had exchanged in my life and I pray that it will bring encouragement to you today.

I know what it’s like:

To be abused, but I also know what it’s like to forgive my abuser and to be set free

To have thoughts of killing myself, but I also know what it’s like to carry the life of my daughter inside my womb.

To be full of fear to the point of rocking back and forth with my Bible in hand just to make it through the night, but I also know what its like to see God’s angels moving on my behalf.

To feel alone in this world, but I also know what it’s like to have the honor of Jesus being my EVERYTHING

To live in depression and despair, but I also know what it’s like to be pulled out of the pit for God’s glory.

To worry to the point of almost losing my mind, but I also know what it’s like to be renewed in my mind through God’s Word.

To barely get out of bed, but I also know what it’s like to experience God’s joy that comes in the morning.

To wonder if my dreams will ever come to pass, but I also know what it’s like to have faith that God never withholds anything good for me but He only sets me up to be blessed.

To be diagnosed with liver-failure and need a liver transplant, but I also know what its like to have Jesus miraculously heal me.

To only have oatmeal in my pantry to eat for dinner, but I also know what it’s like to see God provide all of my needs through the body of Christ.

To run for my life to an abuse shelter, but I also know what it’s like to have God make purpose out of my pain and know that my best days are ahead of me.

To be told that I am stupid and invaluable, but I also know what to read in the Bible that Jesus died on the Cross-for me and that I am the apple of His eye.

My question for you today is: What do you need to exchange?

It is my prayer that we will embrace the Great Exchange this Easter Season.

Easter Blessings,


Letting God’s Spirit Reign

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Matthew 22:37, KJV

We are triune beings – spirit, body and soul. From the moment you were conceived, you were a spirit. Your body was uniquely formed in the womb of your mother with the purpose to house your spirit and soul. Your soul is made up of your will, emotions, intellect and imagination. As believers, God’s Spirit within us is to reign over the soul and body, however this will not happen without the help of the Holy Spirit because the soul wants to dominate. Our soul is moved by what it sees, feels, hears and touches. It longs to be entertained and if we are not careful – our feelings, intellect, and personality can rule our lives rather than God’s Spirit.

Roberts Liardion states in his book, Sharpen Your Discernment, “An unharnessed soul wants to be the center of attention of everything. If the atmosphere is not exactly what the soul wants, it becomes depressed. If the soul doesn’t get what it wants, it becomes unhappy. If someone wrongs the soul, it becomes bitter. If someone hurts the soul, it becomes engulfed in self-pity. If the soul is in a hurry, it pressures everyone. If the soul does not like someone, it becomes rude. If the soul is rejected, it becomes obsessive or withdrawn. If something scares the soul, the soul worries. If someone has what it wants, the soul becomes jealous. If the soul thinks it has to please everyone, it becomes phony and deceitful.”

Our mind, will and emotions are gifts from God, but these gifts are never to dominate over God’s spirit within us. When trials come our way, it is vital that only God’s Spirit direct our plans. This is why we need to make sure that our body and soul are submitted under the Word of God and not vice-versa. It is extremely important that we hear directly from God concerning every area of our lives for such a time as this.

There are places God longs to take us. People God desires to touch through us. And God is currently repositioning His people for Kingdom purposes. So, let me ask you: Who is ruling your life? Is God’s Spirit reigning or are you allowing your thoughts and emotions to run your life? I can tell you from personal experience that when my thoughts and emotions rule my life, I live in a state of constant anxiety, confusion, fear and depression. But when I let God direct me and rule my soul, then I can remain in perfect peace no matter what is going on around me.


“Lord I ask that Your Spirit within me arise once again. I declare that my thoughts and emotions must submit to the Word of God. No matter what is going on around me, I declare that if God is for me, who can be against me.I give you permission to correct me and re-align my life for Your purposes for such a time as this. Amen.”

The Praise of Man

“Many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not con-fess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.” John 12:42-43

“The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.”  Proverbs 29:25, The Message

There was a time in my life when I longed for the approval of man. I wanted to be a person of great importance. I drank in the praise of man and became intoxicated with what people thought and said of me. Yet my approval addiction was never satisfied and thankfully so because it brought me to the place of brokenness and total surrender to God. I have come to the place where I no longer desire the praise of man, but only to hear my Father say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

In our society we are encouraged to glorify the accomplishments of man. Many strive to achieve titles, positions of power, wealth and to be deemed by the world as a noteworthy person. And although we are promised much favor and success as children of God, a lot of individuals believe that the praise of man alone will bring them a sense of worth. They crave to hear man say of them, “Wow, look at her and what she has accomplished.” This is true even in the Christian culture. There is often a mixture of longing to glorify God while also enjoying the seduction of the praise of man.

Let us be reminded today that the praise of man is temporal and it will never bring true satisfaction, hence why you continually see Hollywood and sports stars turning to drugs, alcohol, affairs and such. The only true satisfaction in this life is to have a relationship with God. And friend, God has already deemed you worthy! Through the Cross of Jesus, you are the righteousness of God and He loves you – the real you!

Friend, you can rest your head tonight knowing that no matter what man may think or say about you, God loves you! It is my prayer that each night you will fall asleep pondering God’s amazing love for you. Oh how He loves you! Jesus gave His life for you, what more could He give? Oh how He loves you and me!


“Lord, thank you for loving me. I acknowledge that there is nothing this world can offer me that will bring me true peace or satisfaction but You! I will choose this day forward to meditate on what You say about me. No matter what man may say, I am the righteousness of God, I am the head and not the tail and the blessings of the Lord will chase me and overtake me (Deuteronomy 28). Amen.”