Category Archives: The presence of God

Using What You Have in Your Hand

In Exodus 4:2, God asked Moses a crucial question. This question came about during the time when God was calling Moses into his purpose of delivering the Children of Israel out of bondage. (See also Exodus chapter 3). Because Moses was afraid, he began to make excuses.

The question God asked Moses was “What is that you have in your hand?”  We know the story. Moses answered, “a rod.”  God went on to assure Moses that He would be with him and also prophetically revealed how the Egyptians would be spoiled or defeated by the Children of Israel. What God wanted me to realize was that sometimes we do not realize the gifts that we already possess.

Be encouraged, your gift will make room for you and bring you into greatness but first you’ve gotta celebrate what you already have.

Minister Denise Cook-Godfrey

 

What is the Plumb line in Your Hand?

Sometimes watching someone else’s successes causes us to grow weary when it appears that we are not growing or being elevated fast enough. We know we have a command from God to accomplish something greater but things seem to be moving so slowly or not even moving at all.

What is the plumb line in your hand today that appears so insignificant? Don’t despise it. God delights in it. Work it and watch it grow.

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.
Zechariah 4:10, NLT

So gird up the loins of your mind and be courageous! God is always on time. He is never too early nor is He ever too late, Be encouraged and keep working for the Lord. Your gifts will make room for you and bring you before great men!  (I Peter 1:13, Proverbs 18:16)

Love,

Minister D

Loosing Myself

The Spirit led life is not one that can be understood by the natural mind. For example, if you want to receive, you have to give something, if you want to grow and experience the glory of God, you have to suffer and so on. It seems there is always some kind of condition that has to be met if we are going to claim the promises of God.

Today as I sat in the doctor’s office I heard this phrase: “loosing myself”. As I began to contemplate why I was hearing this phrase, I realized that it had to do with freedom! Freedom from the traumas associated with my past. I needed to release! I realized that the Lord was using ministry assignments to allow me to be transparent in my teachings. He did this in order for the suppressed pain to be addressed, and at the same time, healing others from their past traumas! Admitting that the hurt exists and admitting our own faults relative to suppression is vital.

Ask yourself: “Am I avoiding confrontation?” Talk to God. Look up scripture references that speak to the past traumas. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you at least one prayer partner that will assist in praying you through.

How bad do you want your emotional healing? Are you willing to lose “you” in the process? I’m speaking of not being afraid to face issues of the heart. This can be frightening, but if we trust God with our hearts, He will guide us through the process. Don’t be afraid of discomfort or shame. Again, God will take care of you through it all. We are loosing ourselves to gain freedom!

The Big Escape!

Let’s face it…all of us have experienced those times when we felt overwhelmed with life’s stuff!  The cares of this life and the suffering that our Nation has undergone with the pandemic alone has been both shocking and draining. The death, the suffering, the fear, the panic, you name it. Even for those who are intimately acquainted with our Lord can testify that we are in times when we want to do as the Psalmist cried out to “take the wings of a dove, fly away, and be at rest.

You see, David who was an extravagant worshipper, was in distress many times in his life. Lets look at a few key verses in Psalm 55 and we will see that David wanted to escape the pain of life, but he overcame by remembering who God is and holding on to what he Knew about his Lord.

Listen to my prayer, O God, and hide not Yourself from my supplication!

Attend to me and answer me; I am restless and distraught in my complaint and must moan

[And I am distracted] at the noise of the enemy, because of the oppression and threats of the wicked; for they would cast trouble upon me, and in wrath they persecute me.

My heart is grievously pained within me, and the terrors of death have fallen upon me.

Fear and trembling have come upon me; horror and fright have overwhelmed me.

And I say, Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.

Yes, I would wander far away, I would lodge in the wilderness. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

I would hasten to escape and to find a shelter from the stormy wind and tempest.

I love the Amplified version of this chapter. In a nutshell, David was depressed, felt hopeless and distracted from everyday life. If you are feeling this way, take heart. Know that you are not alone. Others feel the same way. Even the man after God’s own heart felt like he was drifting away!  What can be done? I believe that verses 16-18 of this chapter 55 gives us an answer.

16 As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord will save me.

17 Evening and morning and at noon will I utter my complaint and moan and sigh, and He will hear my voice.

18 He has redeemed my life in peace from the battle that was against me [so that none came near me], for they were many who strove with me.

Find time in the morning, at noon, and in the evening to PRAY! It does not have to be long prayers. Complain, cry, and voice your heart to God. He will hear. He will answer. He will deliver your soul in peace so that you can face you today and your tomorrow.

This has been Denise Cook-Godfrey, and I am praying for  you…Stay established firmly in the Word of God and you will make it through whatever noisy wind storm that is blowing your way.

 

He is Willing as well as Able

Focus on the willingness of Christ…

In Matthew 8:1-3, we read about the account of a leper, who sought Jesus for the impossible. This poor leper did not the doubt the power of Christ, he only wondered if Jesus was willing to heal him by a miracle. You see, in the ancient world, the disease of leprosy was like being dead while still alive. it was a disease where the nerves disconnected from other parts of the body and the victim would lose fingers, toes, etc. and eventually the entire body part. It was progressive and highly contagious. Researchers indicate that people were required to stay at least six feet distance from a leper! (hummm, same as CDC guidelines). Most religious folks looked upon a leper as being under the divine judgment of God and the victim was rendered hopeless.

Let’s look at the passage: Matthew 8:1-3

1 When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. 2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

What situations are you in that appear to be hopeless? Will you take the same stand as the leper and worship Christ in the midst of it?  Looking at my own life, I see that the anxiety of sickness and family responsibilities has been crouching at my door for some time. The Lord even prompted a Woman of God whom I know walks in faith to send me a message the other day to NOT DOUBT.  I most definitely received the word as a loving reminder from my Father to keep my focus on what HE is willing to do for me in any kind of hopeless situation. See, here’s the thing…I never lost faith in my God but I sure had become weary and frustrated along the way. The spirit of doubt was reaching and grabbing at my soul because I’ve been in the storm too long, but God…I’m telling you…one day I will share my testimony of what my family and I have gone through and overcome over the past three months. I thank God for loving me enough to remind me in His word that not only does He have the power to supernaturally do the impossible, but He is also WILLING..

I challenge you to place special focus on God’s willingness to heal, deliver, set free, transform, and any other thing that you stand in need of. Most of all, don’t forget to get up and bathe in His love each day. He loves you with an everlasting love. Never forget it.

Enjoy this clip from a couple of  years back with my myself and youth dance ministry:

 

Minister Denise Cook-Godfrey

 

Quiet Down

God says in His Word for us to “be still and know that He is God” (Psalms 46:10). This is a favorite verse for so many, but do we really know how to do this?  The other morning as I led intercessory prayer I had a woman to ask for prayer for guidance…she cried out that she did not understand how she could pray so hard but with “closed ears”.  Wow! I lost it, This broke my heart. I could not contain myself and tears began to fall from my eyes right there! We prayed for her and gave some encouraging words but I could not help but feel that somewhere and somehow, this woman has been let down by those in ministry. We must mentor and train people how to hear the voice of God.

I have always been fascinated by the voice of God. Each and every time I hear from heaven I weep as if it is my first experience. One thing I want to encourage us with in this short article is that we’ve got to learn the art of stillness. Its not that God is NOT speaking. He speaks all the time in various ways. Sometimes the noise of life is just too loud. Life is literally drowning out the voice of God.  We are His sheep, we know Him, He knows us, and we are not supposed to be following after strange voices.

Here are just a few disciplines that I believe we need to be reminded of in order to progress in hearing from God. By no means am I saying these are the only disciplines, but these are the ones that come to mind and that is working in my life and others have also testified that these work in their lives as well.  (See Exodus 33:14, Psalms 16:11, Psalms 27:8 for starters…so many others)

  1. Be relationship conscience. Know that you must prioritize your life where you are spending quality quiet time in the presence of God. Practice the presence of God as A LIFESTYLE and not a tradition. Where there is no presence of the Lord…there will be no voice of God.
  2. Devour the Word of God…You absolutely have to be a student of the word. Study and meditate on the Word of God because your life depends on it. The word of God is not just ink on paper. The Word of God is Spirit and life. The Word is active, living, sharper than a two-edged sword. The Word will commune with you upon awakening, during the day, and in the night seasons.
  3. Be sure you are meditating on the word that seems to jump out at you during your times of study. Pray before, during, and after you read and study the Word of God. There are times when God will allow what is written (logos) to become rhema (alive) and when this happens, God is speaking something specific to you.
  4. Pay close attention to stray thoughts that appear to come out of nowhere. Pay close attention to circumstances, dreams, visions, prophetic words and teachings, etc. Familiarize with the ways that God speaks.
  5. Be sure that you have a spiritual covering…don’t walk around bald and naked. Don’t hold on to the lone ranger mentality. Remember, the one sheep that is out on its own is more susceptible to be devoured by the wolf. Your spiritual leaders should also be able to teach you disciplines concerning hearing the voice of God and at times, they will become the voice of God for you!  This is important and should not be taken lightly.
  6. Finally, take care of your mind…fill your mind with God’s Word on a daily basis by rejecting thoughts of fear, worry, anxiety, etc. Certain patterns of thinking will block the voice of God.

There is so much more to be said; however, I will stop here. Remember, I am praying for you. Please stay encouraged in the Lord. We are going to make it to our next dimension together!

By the way, I hope that you enjoy the ministry clip below. I plan to share more ministry clips in the future.

Love,

Denise

Change it Up!

A little change is good every now and then right? Whether we’re changing our wardrobe or hair styles to changing the appearance of a room in our homes, it’s natural to feel great about positive changes.

But what about spiritual changes? How do we handle drastic changes that occur without notice? I’m talking about COVID-19 positive results for yourself and several family members, lingering symptoms months after recovery from COVID including hair loss, bereavement due to not one family member but three in a three week timespan, and a health diagnosis regarding two major areas that will call forth challenging lifestyle changes! Life is what I like to refer to as “raw” and as Christians we must be able to adapt to the changing climates and seasons in our path. The list i explain above is not a complaint, but an observation. We all are going through tough times but I believe we must acknowledge our pain and embrace suffering for Christ’s sake as a part of the will of God.

So how do we handle change? There are, I’m sure, multiple answers to this question but what comes to mind for me is this: “and be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…”

Above is a snippet of verse two of Romans chapter twelve. I just want to encourage you from that portion. When sudden and overwhelming changes hit tour life, the result is sudden actions that you must take. So, why not follow after the snippet! We must be sure our minds are being renewed by God’s Word each day so that our pattern of thinking and mindsets are healthy enough to weather each storm in our path. This is not always easy but when we intentionally meditate on God and His Word, we can expect change to occur within all stormy and fierce changes are taking place around us. May I pause here to say that in the midst of all that we personally suffer from season to season, I testify that God has been and always is so recklessly good to me!

Blessings to you and enjoy your week!

Living from the Inside Out

Rumble…Rumble!!!  That is what was heard late this afternoon during a thunderstorm here in the city where I live. The thunder was so loud and powerful until it could be felt throughout the house. It was indeed a rough thunderstorm. Life is like that as well. I am reminded at how loud things are right now in our nation. Not only in the nation as a whole, but in my personal life there are some pretty loud voices resounding forth in my ears.

But just as the thunder and lightening finally calmed itself and faded away after a while, I am believing that the noise in my life will do the same. That is, until the next storm. In the meanwhile, God has designed for us to continue to exercise a supernatural quietness from within our souls when the noise of life seems to drown out the still small voice of the Lord. The word says that when we keep our minds stayed on Jehovah, that we would experience perfect peace. What does this really look like anyway? It looks like a baby bird tucked under the feathers of its mother, hiding under those wings until the calamity of what can be heard passes on. It looks like Jesus Christ, sleeping on a pillar at the bottom of a ship while the disciples were startled with so much fear during a dangerous storm. And lastly for me, it looks like me, choosing to sit under the shade tree of God’s sweet presence praying, singing, declaring His word over my circumstances until my peace returns and is dominating my every moment.

Lets remember that we can live from the inside out…no matter what is going on in our world…God has ordained peace for us. We can’t be taught how to live in this divine peace, but it’s something that we have to experience by faith.  Lets work this peace out in our walk each and everyday. After all, it is impossible to please our Lord without FAITH…

Enjoy an older clip of a dance that speaks to living in a divine place of peace..

Blessings,

Denise

 

Has God Cancelled on Me?

Have you ever been really excited about plans made with someone and out of nowhere those plans got cancelled? Something like this can be really disappointing. Well, there are some among us right now who are feeling disappointed because they feel as if their purpose, destiny, and promises from the Lord has been cancelled! I did a teaching on our local radio broadcast this past Sunday morning where I taught on the true context of Jeremiah 29:11. This scripture verse is popular and most do not ever take the time to receive the essence of the meaning of the verse because of the failure to dig deeper into the context of the scripture verse:

11 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.

First of all, this word was given to a people who were in captivity in the form of a letter from the prophet (29:1). What is captivity?  Captivity is confinement, imprisonment, enslavement, bondage, restraint, etc. God’s intentions was to encourage the people while in this condition. Even though the people disobeyed and rebelled against the Lord and He caused them to be carried away captive, He wanted them to know that His attitude about their future was still the same. He wanted them to know that He would visit them in the future and cause HIS promises to come to past for them.

10 For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.

Even though God, in His righteous judgment allowed the captivity, He assured His people that His thoughts toward them were only peaceful and beautiful and that they still had hope for the future. He instructed the people to “get comfortable” in that place so to speak because they would not be able to escape the situation until their season of judgment was over.

My encouragement to us today is that we must trust God in every season, even the reaping seasons where we are going through chaos and fire because of our own choices. Not all sufferings are the result of sin; however, some are. Nevertheless, God has not cancelled our destiny. We still have hope as long as there is breath in our lungs.

Blessings,

Minister Denise

Denise with Praying Hands-Backyard

Are You Ready for the Next Major Move of God?

Do you believe that God can move mightily and favorably during this pandemic that we are dealing with? I do. As a matter of fact, God has been moving in my life in awesome ways ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic I have met people, wrote and published a book, launched a virtual course, and have gotten tons of things done around the house in the midst of working a secular job each day.

All of the above sounds great but God also wants to move in the arena of our intimacy with Him. He wants us to see facets of His glory that we’ve never seen before. Will we be ready for a  move such as this? I’m talking about a move where the glory fills the place and miracles and manifestations are breaking forth. Times where revival and repentance is evident everywhere.  In Exodus 20:18-21, Israel experienced a time in their lives when they were learning to approach God. When God allowed them to see Him move, the people distanced themselves because they were afraid. They had already seen miracles when departing out of Egypt but now they stood far away in fear.

Exodus 20:18-21

18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.

19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.

20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.

21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.

When God begins to move, lets not expect Him to move according to our ways, but lets be ready to respond in faith. God wants to bring us into new levels during this new era of time. We are living in prophetic times and must understand  seasons and times. Ask the Holy Spirit to open the eyes of your understanding so that you will know how to respond to the next major move of God in your life as an individual and for all of us as a church body and as a nation.

As a liturgical dancer (Praise and Worship Dancer), I have been declaring through movement that God will rain on us as a nation and as the Body of Christ. I have also been crying out for the Light of His countenance to shine upon us like never before…enjoy a brief clip below of a portion of the movement declarations that I have consecrated to our God on behalf of our nation.

Blessings,

Denise