Leaders, Don’t drink the Popularity Kool-Aid!

Modern ministers and pastors have pressure to perform and pressure to be popular, but popularity is like an intoxicating drug that, once it wanes, can cause people to think wrong thoughts and do bad things to keep it or get it back. Saul was overcome by jealousy and distraught by the chants of the people “Saul has killed his thousands, and David his tens of thousands!” (1 Samuel 18:7) He failed to realize that David was the one sent by God to protect the people and that it was all part of God’s plan to raise up a great successor.

In contrast, when John the Baptist’s followers told him that people were starting to follow Jesus, John encouraged them to do so as well! King Saul was more concerned with popularity than with purpose. He took on a murderous spirit and planned to kill David, his loyal servant. Later, when Davd became king, his own popularity dwindled at times. At one point he and his family were fleeing the palace for their lives! Though he indeed struggled with that, he remained faithful to his call and to the One who called him.

Of course, we want to get the gospel message to as many people as possible. There’s nothing wrong with building a platform with followers or packing out a church or event, but we must be cautious here about our real motives. It’s also wise to remember that the same fickle crowd that praised you one week can be the same exact crowd that cries, “Crucufy him!” the next!

It is important to periodically ask yourself these questions: Are you high when numbers are high and depressed when they dip or are low or modest? Do you feel tempted to choose friends and acquaintances based on whether they’re in a popular crowd? Have you left a friend in the pursuit of popularity? If you’ve answered “Yes” to any of these questions. Don’t despair! It’s good to recognize it and ask God to help you adjust to focus on the right things in relationships and purpose

We’ve all been challenged and tempted in this area at one time or another, but we must resist this unique temptation. Let us avoid the temptation to seek to be popular. Solomon knew better than to pray for that. Good leadership may bring it on it’s own, but it’s not the end goal. Do we want to be like and minister like Jesus? Let’s remember that He left the 99 and went after the 1. In striving to be like our King, may we be careful not to leave the 1 to seek after the 99.

Enjoying the Zoe Life of God!

Our new DWD Ambassador Kristen Marie Ross shared some powerful keys with us in her last Bible study teaching about partaking of the Zoe life that Jesus said he came to give us in John 10:10. Jesus said, “The enemy only comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that you might have life and have it in abundance!” That word zoe is Greek meaning life, but it is so much more than just mere biological existence. It is full, happy, peaceful life…the life God always intended for you!

Sharing from her book entitled The Zoe Life, Kristen gave some surefire ways to stay connected in that anointed and abundant life as you go through your Christian journey! We wanted to share those points with you here:

Make a decision to receive and live in that abundant life of Christ.

  • Make God the center of your life.
  • Simply receive God’s love.
  • Take communion often to remind yourself of Jesus’s sacrifice for you.
  • Eat (read/study) the Word of God. It is food for your spirit and soul!
  • Practice seeing and hearing in the spirit realm. This will require being still and focusing.
  • Record your dreams that you get at night.
  • If you wake in he middle of the night, fellowship with the Lord.
  • Fast and pray.
  • Minister to the Lord by focusing on him and not on yourself! Tell him how much you love him and appreciate him. (Ask God to help you do this!)
  • Remember that you are one with Jesus. What a beautiful aspect of living the Zoe life!
Start living your best life today!  It’s God’s will for you!  
Cynthia Murray

Past Blogs

JANUARY 2019 | The New Year Begins

“Forget the former things;
Do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a  new thing!
Now it springs up!
Do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”
Isaiah 43:18-19

APRIL 2019 | Whatever He Tells You to Do, Do it!

Friends, PLEASE DO NOT do what I’m about to tell you I did yesterday without hearing clearly from Holy Spirit, but be sensitive to His voice and do whatever He tells you!

So, yesterday on my way to the post office I noticed a handicapped man walking on the sidewalk with a cane. I prayed for his healing as I sped hurriedly on my way. When I arrived at the post office and bought my stamps, this same man was coming in. He just mailed one letter and simply stood there in the lobby not wanting to start his journey outside again.

I could tell he was from the Middle East. I felt strangely drawn to him, but still I didn’t speak. I slowly exited, almost waiting for him to come out hoping that I could say something to him…yet not knowing what!

I got into my car to leave and out he came, limping and looking up at the hot sun. He was mumbling something to himself as I drove away. Well, I didn’t get far. I was compelled to back up and greet this man!

“Excuse me, sir.”, I said sheepishly. “I saw you walking to the post office and I couldn’t help but notice that you are in pain. It’s hot and you have no ride. If you’ll allow me, I’d like to take you to your home.”

He smiled up to heaven. “Yes, please! Thank you! He spoke in a heavy accent. ”I just live down the street near Whole Foods.”

I rushed to open the car door for him and he painstakingly lifted his leg into the car. “My name is Cynthia. What’s yours?”

He told me his name and when I asked where he was from we both said, “Syria” at the same time! I greeted him in Arabic and told him I’m a Christian and just love helping people for God, (as I could almost read his mind asking why this woman is doing this for a stranger). He put his hand over his grateful heart. And just like that, I’d made a new friend.

Upon dropping him off at his house he insisted that I come in to meet his sons and wife who was cooking something delicious (see photo) and they offered to give me a whole pan of it!! Of course I was fasting…why, Lord!?) But, I took one for tomorrow and not to offend.

The children then happily reminded their mom, “We know her!” The younger son said that we were the people who come out to the neighborhood at Christmas and bring toys, gifts and food and we’d given gifts to them before.

Suffice it to say, I will see my new Syrian friends again and I will tell them more about Jesus and pray, but until then, I’m happy to just be The Master’s hands and feet! I hope this story encourages you also to always listen to that still, small voice of God guiding you to share His love wherever you go from day to day.

Love you guys!

Cynthia Murray, Founder

MARCH 2020 | The Wave: Divine Protection in Psalm 91

Dear partners and friends,

Blessings to you all!  I wanted to write to you and share what the Lord had put on my heart to teach on the WAVE Bible Study during this challenging season in which we find ourselves globally.  The world is in a frenzy of fear because of all of the breaking and unexpected news that seems to come at us at the speed of light.  Military conflicts involving Iran, sudden death of young athletes such as Kobe Bryant, natural disasters, economic volatility and infirmities like the novel Coronavirus COVID-19.  Yes, these things are dark, but we are carriers of the light!  Jesus – He is the light of the world!

I want you to know and remember a few very important things today:

1. You are not alone!  Jesus has made a promise to you that he will never leave you nor forsake you and absolutely nothing can separate you from his love.  The word says, “Who shall separate us from the love of God?  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God.”  (Hebrews 13:5; Romans 8:38-39)  Hallelujah!  Not only is the God of the Universe with you, but we have an intercessory team that prays for our partners too!  We may not see each other in person often, but you are continually in our hearts and prayers…and we are some praying sisters!

2.  As born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ you enjoy the promises and protection found in Psalm 91.  Please take time to read and share the attached Bible Study notes from the lesson I recently taught on Psalm 91.  Just click on the link in this post.  We should become so familiar with this divine insurance plan that when danger or calamity comes to threaten us. we stand confident and assured that the Lord will keep His word concerning us and protect us from every kind of harm!  We must plead the blood of Jesus and put a demand on these verses because they are the law and we need to invoke them over ourselves, our families and our communities.

3.  God has the final say in every matter concerning you, not a virus the economy or anything else.  Let us continue to stay close to the Lord in prayer and in the Word so that our faith will not be shaken with every wind of bad news.  Do you know what’s odd?  The word “corona” in Spanish means “crown”.  The enemy is sorely mistaken if he thinks that this new virus will lord it over and control us!  No way!  There is only one crown and one King…he is the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings!  His name is Jesus!  Amen and amen!!

Stay strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!

Love in Christ,

Cynthia Murray

JULY 2020 | What to Do When You’re Discouraged

Discouragement.  It happens to the strongest of God’s children from time to time.  Think of any great Christian that you admire, has done great things for the Kingdom and has stayed true to the faith.  Surely someone is coming to your mind.  Now understand that they have faced discouragement just like you.  Thankfully, they learned how to confront the spirit of discouragement when it comes to torment and bring despair.  They discovered certain keys to overcome and I want to pass them to you today because in these trying times in which we are living we need them now more than ever.

We know that problems, challenges and disappointment come to everyone in a lifetime.  No one is exempt.  After all, we have an enemy that has a vested interest in causing us to despair and give up on life.  Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In this world, you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

So, let’s take a look at a few common things that cause discouragement and examine how to conquer those hopeless feelings.  Discouragement slips in when there is defeat and loss in an attempt at a particular goal in life.  We don’t always give up at the first failed attempt, but repeated failure and loss can be devastating to the soul.

Think about Sarah in Genesis or Hannah in I Samuel who, after so many years of hoping and trying, were still unable to have children.  This constant defeat must have not only been personally painful, but publicly humiliating! Nevertheless, God intervened on their behalf.  He had compassion on their constant longing and heard their persistent prayers. The Lord opened up their wombs to give birth to amazing men of God.  He gave Isaac to Sarah and Samuel to Hannah.

In times of disappointment we must continue to have faith in God and bring our petitions before Him in faith, refusing to give in!  The Word says in Galatians 6:9, “Don’t get weary in doing what is right, because you will surely reap in due season if you do not give up!”  You cannot give up on any promise from God!  He keeps his promises to a thousand generations and all of the promises of God are “yes” and Amen!”  Just continue to bring your petition before Him like the widow and the unjust judge in Luke 18.  If an unjust judge gave the persistent woman what she was asking for, then how much more will God answer your request as His child!

Things won’t always work out the way God has shown you or promised you right away.  Look at the life of Joseph in Genesis.  God gave him dreams of the position and authority he would have in the earth, but he spent years as a slave and in prison before that came to pass, but come to pass it did!  God did exactly what he said he would do in Joseph’s life and more.  We serve a God who is so faithful and does exceeding and abundantly above and beyond what we can even think or imagine!  (Ephesians 3:20)

As a practical matter, if you are confronted with discouragement, you can confide in a trusted friend and ask them for prayer support, a firm shoulder or a listening ear.  It’s hard to get through disappointment alone.  God will send people to you who love and care about you and who can often present you with a different perspective on the situation and give you new strategies for the next opportunity for you to overcome and win.

You won’t always have others around you though, and that is okay.  Sometimes you’ll need to encourage yourself like David did in I Samuel 30 when he came back from battle and found his village plundered by the enemy and all of his and his troops’ wives and children taken captive.  The men even talked of killing David because of their deep grief and despair.  Scripture says that David encouraged himself in the Lord.  Then he sought counsel from God and prayed for instructions on what to do.  This was his time alone with his God.  No one was there to support and encourage him, but the Lord was faithful to answer David and told him to pursue the enemy and he would surely recover all that was taken.  Hallelujah!

Do you find yourself discouraged?  Are you feeling hopeless about a situation?  Remember the scripture that says, “Why so downcast, o my soul?  Put your hope in God!”  (Psalm 42:11)   So, today I encourage you to pray.  Seek God and trust in his immense love and faithfulness toward you.  He sees you.  He loves you.  He wants you to win.  There are challenges and enemies that He knows you will face, but God also has the answers you need to pursue your dreams and recover all that the enemy has stolen, in Jesus’ name!

JANUARY 2021 | Walking Into 2021 with Grateful Hearts!

The year 2020 was historic and will be forever marked in history for the unprecedented events that happened during that twelve month period. There were many tough challenges, disappointment and even loss, but through it all…God remained faithful to His people. He is a faithful Father and He has made us a promise to never leave us nor forsake us! In fact, there is NOTHING that can separate you from His great love – no pandemic, no financial crisis, no eviction, no argument, no sickness or death – absolutely nothing!

The Word of God reassures us today, “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the scriptures say, ‘For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.’) No, despite all these tings, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the power of hell can separate us from God’s love.” (Romans 8:35- 38 New Living Translation)

So, looking back on all of the challenges we faced in 2020, let us be mindful that there is so much to be grateful for, not the least of which is God’s very presence with us from the first day to the last and from the first morning breath to the evening’s last…Yes, God has been good to us and granted heart’s desires for so many last year. You know what? He is disposed to keep on blessing us when we keep our hearts and eyes fastened on King Jesus! One of our precious international DWD ministry friends wrote a word of thanks just a few days ago. She writes,

Dear Cynthia Murray and the DWD Ministry,

As the 2020 literally comes to a close this year, I want to send my heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the seed that you sowed into my [international academic] studies. 

This year definitely had its challenges but as we reflect on the year, we see the faithfulness of the great God that we serve. 

Thank you for being the vessels He used to help me pay for my first Trimester. The enemy didn’t want to to even start the course but God made a way. Thank you for that. 

I pray that you will be blessed by the Spirit without measure and that 2021 will be a year of the greatest Kingdom advancement that the earth has yet to witness. 

We pray that God continue to use your ministry in unprecedented ways. “

Yours in Christ, A.M, South Africa

It is our prayer at Divine Women of Destiny Ministries that you are willing and able to look back at 2020, not with bitterness, sadness and discouragement, but with a grateful heart for the blessings that God gave to you, and then look forward with anticipation and faith that the Lord is not finished blessing you yet! God has greater for you, your family and your community! Friend, we believe with you that the best is still yet to come! Let us know your praise reports so that we may celebrate with you too! God bless you and Happy New Year!