You're not store bought, so there's no label to come with you, but if they must, tell them your Maker has all the ingredients He used to make you. They will have to ask Him, and He will tell them more about you, but they first have to start with asking Him about themselves.
The enemy's strategy is to reduce a human to a mere label that has one meaning, with no diversity, no sophistication, no depth, no multi-dimensionality.
I perceive he is projecting.
Even in that "title" or label, you will not always be treated to what you 'deserve', because that label means something different to each person, and some may not even know it or call you by it.
In this case, turn to Your Maker to determine what He says.
Measure your worth based on Christ as the Mirror; no longer by worldly standards.
If you know who you are and whose you are, and yet you are still rejected or if you are looked down upon, it is no longer majority of your "fault", but rather a chance to remember who are and whose you are.
In that realm of identity, also remember that He who promised you the things He told you about is sure to deliver. So, even if you are wanting a "label" or "title", you're sure to get something because your Redeemer promises to give you something worth while any way. And these would be from the One with the best of intentions.
Rest in this response to your season of waiting, that "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" Phil 1:6
And that "...Your Father in heaven gives good things [gifts] to those who ask Him" Matt 7:11
So we wait because we trust, and as He leads, we act on faith because we trust. We're led, and we trust. It continues, and the moments when we 'fail' to trust, we are still comforted, and once again, we are up again and still in the race. It just has to start with who He is, then who you are. As for the variety of accolades & recognitions, they can wait their turn, as we don't live to fit their box, but more so living so we and they know the God who truly runs the show <3
Dear Daughter of the Most High.
You probably cringed at the title. If you did, know that you deserve more.
You were identifying as the girl who was picking up the pieces. God breathed life into you and speaks life into you. I see you walking away from those left overs, dead ends, dead dreams dead souls.
I see dry bones coming to life.
To the girl who is no longer picking up the pieces, I see you receiving the Crown of Glory not made by human hands.
Your identity changed when you were born again. Don't cringe at that.
I see you dusted off, ready to go... new you, new yes, new life. You will walk in the unknown, because by now you know who is closer than the very air they tried to take away.
"Words without Power just evaporate. words only hurt when you let them matter. Don't let them matter, it's only chatter"-Katherine Mcnamara
PLEASE NOTE: When I talk about bullying, I'm not talking about teasing, or the 'casual' every day bickering between friends. There are debates of what bullying consists of, however, I do believe that one knows what it is, when it happens.
I recently watched the move 'Contest', and after watching it I was inspired to write this blog post. I really encourage you to watch it, and if you're a parent, I encourage you to watch it and pass this forward to your son/daughter as it will help both of you to engage in some type of conversation about bullying. :)
Here are 10 ways To Beat Bullying's FACELESS Chatter!
1. Those Who Are Brought Down Have The Incredible Potential To Being Something Greater.
You are who you are for a reason. There would not be adversity if you did not stand out or stand up for something. Behind the scenes, the 'enemy' wants you, but you are not destroyed. In Christ, you are a victor.
2. Bullies Have Problems As Well, Otherwise They Would Not Do What They Are Doing. At some point in the movie, a kid thinks his "new friend" is really his authentic friend, when really he isn't. The kid believes it and even ends up standing up for his "new friend" even though his girl friend tried warning him that she sensed something was off about the guy's loyalty. I remember when I had the dilemma of the girl who used her words to bring me down. I knew about her story, so it made it easier for me to excuse her behavior, knowing that she was hurting. We tend to do that as a human race, but at some point: LET GO. It's not YOUR story, it's THEIRS, you don't have to be a part of it if it's toxic to your life. Let Go and Let God.
3. Go To People Who CARE About You. I do understand that sometimes lines can be blurred as in recent days we use 'frenemy' as a casual term (*shaking my head*). Yes, it takes discernment, because you deserve better. Remember that some people just don't care, or pretend to, so go to those who do, even if it's ONE person. Accept your minor differences.
4. Be Who You Were Meant And Created To Be: you're so special that not everyone SHOULD have your attention or qualities (yes it's true! In Christ you are so valuable and wonderful, and you have to guard your heart from influences that destroy your worth and potential. If this has happened, it's time to restore your self worth! Remember that loving others can also be done from a distance.
5. Words That Build Up Should Speak Loudest In Your Life. Again, coming from an authentic source, those who matter.
6. Know Your Worth And Who You Are In Christ. If you start seeing yourself as valuable and worth something, rather than someone who is there to entertain someone, you will see things begin to change from the inside out…
Get with a group of friends, whether it's a Bible study or at school. Starting to have hope is what matters first. What helped me in the past was having a friend at church who I could talk to. Having her not at my school was really helpful because I knew I could always call her without influences around her perspective and getting advice about the bigger options. God also brought a girl who I thought was an 'angel' at just the right time. She turned out to be a Christian, and I ended up hanging out with her, to eventually doing Bible studies with her. This took my time and made a positive influence in my life at that time when I needed it most.
7. God Is By Your Side. You Don't Have To Suffer In Silence. Even When you think God's Not Listening, He Really Is. Talk To Him About ANYTHING, No matter What You're Going Through. When I was 15, I remember reflecting on the nasty things in my life and I finally said in my head: "there is no God". That night, I had a dream where Jesus appeared to me in the dream. I could only see His robe, and it was HUGE, and I heard the voice say, "don't worry". I knew it was the Son of God! I couldn't stop smiling the whole entire day, and from that day, I knew that God wanted me to know that He was real. There were other instances before I even became filled with the Spirit where He showed me who He was. I just wanted to share that to say: The Father hears you. For the younger people, you are not too young to talk to the Father. He CARES. He Heard my tiny tiny thought and comment that night, and I went to bed not knowing that my voice made a difference, my Father had heard my voice.
8. Remember This: "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in Spirit" -Psalm 34:18
9. Listen To Encouraging Messages! Among other ways of staying encouraged, I used to listen to Adventure in Odyssey tapes A LOT at that time before I went to bed. I was absolutely in LOVE with it! It REALLY encouraged me a lot to pray or face my fears (if you're younger, I encourage you to listen to them, they can also be streamed online as well!). Now-a-days, we have iTunes, Youtube, Podcasts etc. Stay encouraged.
10. Look Around And See Who You Trust, And Confide In Them. If it gets out of hand, go to a teacher/someone you trust. You could also go to someone who knows about bullying. If you don't know anyone who does, do some research and see who has spoken about something similar in the past. Some adults don't react for many reasons, but some of the reasons is that they don't want to believe that this happens in their school/child, or they don't know what to do when they are given that information, or they are scared of what the action consequences are for their school/person. Go to some one you trust, as they may potentially have the power to do something about it, even if it's telling some one else.
I truly believe that the teacher I went to was God-orchestrated. This teacher had openly spoken about his past in one art class years before. This was an art class I had thought: "umm…RANDOM Moment!!!" LOL! But in fact, years later, he was someone God used to remind me that that "random" story he had mentioned in that class was for this particular moment. By God's grace, the teacher helped me A LOT, truly inspired me, and fought for me. I am forever grateful.
Although not every story ends like this, I do know that God is active, alive and NEVER CHANGES. He is the One person you can go to without fear of His character changing.
You were made to be different, to be spectacular. Be That. Stand Strong. In spite of all the turmoil, you are Greater.
"But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world" -1 John 4:4
"love is not a fight but it's something worth fighting for"
So, in Part I of 'Saying I'm Sorry', we spoke about marriage and we also spoke about saying 'I'm sorry,' in that particular context. It was seen that we first say 'sorry' to Our Father, who knows us. I'd like to say, Thank the LORD that He STILL LOVES US even though He knows the very depths and darkness of our hearts. Isn't that reason ALONE to apologize to HIM FIRST? If anything, He should be the only One,
….but we still have reality to deal with. =) =)
We also spoke about how your wife or husband may be upset with you for something you did, and so the next step is apologizing to them. With that said, it will take courage, but saying 'I'm sorry' in that aspect, is the first step to reconciling with them.
Other Steps Include:
1. As you are now clean before God, go BACK to God, to ask for the next steps. HE will tell you what your next steps are. Sit before Him and wait for His answer as you are restoring your position or your marriage.
2. I would encourage you to watch the movie 'Fireproof' (2008), directed by Alex Kendrick. I highly recommend it as its worth your time. I believe that this is an investment that can truly impact your life. You can also buy 'The Love Dare Book', which you'll also see is in association with the movie. Go through the book and be intentional about it. This situation is of course between you and God, so see as fit, and according to the Holy Spirit's guidance.
3. Go out and love your wife, your children, whom ever has been hurt from this.
Also see what the needed steps are. What practical steps do you ensure that it doesn't happen again? Will you be chatting with so-and-so online? Ask yourself these questions, journal these out maybe. It's good to be prepared and ready to give an answer to not only yourself, but your significant other to show that you have thought about how to improve. As said before, overall, it will be more of a concerted effort for the resolution, but doing your part is also a start, and a very big start.
4. As you do this, you may think that nothing is happening or they don't believe you've 'changed that fast', well, that's where God plays HIS part. TRUST Him to change their hearts and to bless you both as you continue this process of moving on. God has so much in store for you guys.
Don't give up. You'll get there, just don't give up.
6. It's worth fighting for. Remember your ministry. Remember your start. Remember the good times. Remember why you fell in love in the first place. God's got it. Just trust in Him.
I once heard someone say, "the end of me is the beginning of God". I know that you may be sick of this, you're tied down and don't have the time…but it's in these moments when we throw our hands up in the air that God takes us up into His arms, and gives us wings to fly instead. So stand strong and never give up, it's worth fighting for. Marriage is a gift from God. <3
Remember, if it were the other way round in your situation, you'd be worth fighting for.
Never give up.
I woke up the other day, feeling led to write down the next topic for the the blog. I felt that there was a stronghold on marriages in a particular city. I pray that strongholds may be broken in that city, in Jesus' Name (I also encourage you to pray for marriages all around the world in Jesus Name). The other point was the general sense of those who were failing to say, 'I'm Sorry'.
I pondered these things, and asked the Lord what He wanted me to write, but at first only got the notion that He wanted to say that people need to start saying 'sorry' (as we know, it's often more of a pride element when we don't acknowledge what we've done and then apologize).
Later on in the day, I thought of the song, 'Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word' by Blue & Elton John.
The lyrics say:
"What do I do to make you want me?
What have I got to do to be heard?
What do I say when it's all over?
And sorry seems to be the hardest word"
Sometimes we don't need to do a whole lot of STUFF to impress someone (Emphasis on sometimes. Let's apply things to our own situations instead! Lol!). Or sometimes we can try to "figure it out" or fix it on our own. Instead, sorry, would be what is needed in that circumstance, at least as a genuine start. The actions and "figuring it out" can follow after. Let me tell you a little secret: collaborative effort is always best. Never try to do it on your own as if the person doesn't exist and will exist when you figure it all out. Just say sorry and then with God's help, move on to the next step. =)
Now, you might be saying, "Grr! So what if that person doesn't want to hear what I have to say!?"
The song identifies with that aspect, noting:
"It's sad, so sad
Why can't we talk it over?"
As said above, sometimes when we've hurt someone and want to say 'sorry', or have said 'sorry', they might not want to hear it or want to talk about it any more because of the hurt. Instead they may need time, and want to see actions.
"So what do I do in the mean time? Sing this sad song?" :) No. But thank God for Redemption. Thank God it starts with Him. =) Like David, who humbled himself and went to God: "Against you, you only, have I sinned…"-Psalm 51:4 …we go to that place, and talk with God.
Side Note: Once we are forgiven, it is FINISHED. In other words, God remembers it no more. That means, any time after that, if you're still reminded of that sin, then its either our flesh, or the devil. Solutions? Well, there are many, but we take steps to make sure it doesn't come to our mind over and over by using Scripture, and also taking practical steps (more on this in Part II, coming soon!).
Remember that we are promised once and for all that: "there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" -Romans 8:1
Thus, just like David did in his redemption process, GET UP AND WALK.
Continue and sin no more by the Power of the Holy Spirit.
God's with you all the way. Don't give up.
What powerful words!!! :)
I randomly went on Meagan Good's instagram today and saw this quote and I thought, 'This is powerful truth!!" Amen! :)
Maybe you've been feeling like you need to be like somebody else in order to be liked, or that you need to be something else to be liked, but you feel like it's not really you, it's somebody else. You may feel like people like somebody else more but don't like you.
Don't compare yourself. People are not meant to be liked based on who they want to be like, but based on who they already are.
1 Corinthians 12:12-30 touches on this perfectly. It talks about how we are one body, but many parts. I encourage you to do a Bible Study on it! :)
To some extent, comparisons stem from wanting to be like somebody else, but not ourselves, and comparing ourselves with others.
This text talks about how the body is actually a unit (verse 12).
A unit is defined as: "as individual thing or person regarded as single and complete but which can also form an individual component of a larger or more complex whole" (Oxford American Dictionary).
We were meant to be whole as an individual in Christ, and in that, to be a part of a joint and vital component of a more complex whole :)
We all have one and the same Spirit (verse 13). Praise God He doesn't give 100% of the Spirit to some and 20% to others when He "doesn't feel like it" haha! We're all whole and one in Christ.
Now, what does that look like in the physical world? Well, we are human, so comparing ourselves will occur, but it's making sure we don't make this our focus and pursuit (i.e. our worldly pursuit).
Verse 15 says, what if the foot said, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body", and verse 17 asks us what if the whole body became an eye where the sense of hearing be.
Friend, where would the sense of smell be if the body were a big 'ol ear?
Getting the picture now? :) :) ;-) Ok. So...
Know that we are made with significance, carefully crafted to be who we are, along with the role that we play. We are not insignificant.
Verses 22-26 may answers that notion:
"On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it."
Amen. Did you read that? If ONE PART. ONE. ONE. ONE. ONEEEE part SUFFERS, EVERY PART SUFFERS WITH IT.
You are significant and you may not know it yet if you're still comparing yourself with others :) ;-)
You are important.
I'll leave you with my favorite part of the passage:
"But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be." (verse 18).
I find this beautiful and inspiring because it says, "as HE wanted them to be." not as XYZ wanted them to be, but HE. He arranged them all perfectly. You are created perfectly to be who you are, and God created you to be that part, not man, but God (and we know that God is sovereign, so He is in control so it wasn't just random). He loves you very much and has not 'forgotten' about you. You are a vital component to the community of God, and you are wanted, just as you are.
So what does the quote at the beginning have to do with this?
Well, if we start liking who we are, and know what our purpose is, we're less likely to compare ourselves to others because we know who we are and whose we are. We will start realizing how wonderfully different yet similar we really are, and with that aspect, will start to wish well on others and not just ourselves :) It's a road and journey we all take together, so let's celebrate each other! Amen! :) Jesus loves you <3
P.S. Next time you are questioning who you are, remember to go back to the original "Manual", the Maker knows who you are, He created you. Reinforce His truths about you over and over so you won't forget who you are in Christ! Or even better, have a heart-to-heart with Him, and ask Him who you are. ;-)
Any questions? Let me know by writing to me here!
Joshua 8: 1-2 "Then the Lord said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land. You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city." (Emphasis mine).
Have you ever wanted to do something and the Lord says to you, 'wait'. Or, 'not yet'?
A while ago, I wrote about how during the wait, God's doing something significant that we may not be seeing with our natural eye.
Sometimes we may think that because it's taking so long or because we don't see what we are thinking it should be like, that its reason to settle for something less, but we all know that that's not what God wants for our lives, He wants to give us His best. We know that there are many reasons He asks us to wait, but because we are His child, waiting is for our benefit, and it creates opportunity for a new thing in our lives, and all to the glory of God. Amen.
I had the opportunity to read this verse in the Book of Joshua.
This verse became important after reading Chapters 6 and 7, which I recommend you read as well to get the full context.
Briefly, in Chapters 6 and 7, the Lord had told Joshua that he had delivered Jericho into his hands (i.e. given him the city). He was then commanded to march around the city once with all the armed men, for 6 days. On the 7th day, they were to march around the city 7 times. In Joshua 6:18 the Lord says to Joshua to keep away from the devoted things as it would bring trouble. Later in Chapter 7 we see that a guy named Achan had hopped on along and taken that which was devoted, when it wasn't the time to.
We know it wasn't the time to take these ''good things'' from the land yet, as in Chapter 8, from what the Lord says to Joshua after He tells him to go into another city: "Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged.... You shall do to Ai and its kind as you did to Jericho (the place of the previous battle), except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves..." (Joshua 8:1-2).
The New Living Translation says, "But this time you may keep the plunder and livestock for yourselves...."
But this time...
This time. The event of going into another city had occurred before, but it was this time, it was thee time. This particular time. Outside of that time was the wrong time.
Waiting. It can be a tough one eh?
We all make mistakes and may do something we're not supposed to at the appointed time. Even if you're a leader, you're going to make mistakes. It's just about being real with yourself and not allowing yourself or others put you on an untouchable pedestal. It's about how we handle it after the mistake that counts, i.e. did we learn something, did we grow from it? Are we getting closer to God now because of it? Are we now ready to do what God's asking us to do? etc.
I've already told you about how I started this whole website and went ahead of God, put all these sections to the website and I was all super jolly about it, only to have Him ask me to only start with one blog post. *Ouch* :) I smile about it now, but yes it was majorly humbling at the time. I can only boast in the Lord: but since then, I've never had to sit down and think: "what is the next blog post going to be?" but more of waiting on God until He told me what to say next; He's had the lead. It's a waiting process as well because I would sometimes see other sites doing 'more' stuff or had more sections, but had to wait on God's voice, and then proceed. Not only that, but we don't know other people's story or journey as they did their work, so it's unfair to judge by what the human eye can see. Amen. :)
God's timing is so perfect, when you see it happening, you'll be so content that you'll forget about past experiences or wonder why you went ahead before! He has it all under control.
Waiting on God teaches us to submit to Him, and to let Him take the lead.
This time, the Israelites had the joy (hallelujah!) of carrying the plunder and livestock, as the Lord said they could do. You too, will be able to enjoy what He's asking you to do. He had opened the door to enjoy this wonderful gift.
Let's remember that when God says 'not yet', it's 'not yet'. When He says 'go', 'go'. There's a time for everything :)
So here are the questions: Is the Lord telling you to go? Is He telling you that NOW is the right time? Enter the doors to which He is telling you to go. Why don't you have a nice heart to heart with the Lord tonight? He's with you all the way, as He's leading you to go where you wants you to go. Amen!
"...How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing" (NIV) - Matthew 23:37
“..How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!" (ESV) Matthew 23:37
Prayer: Lord, you are a marvelous! Show me what you are saying to me in this verse. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen!
What a verse! It's amazing how God continually shows us through Scripture how loving and kind hearted He is.
The thing is, fam, if we wanted to paint a picture of God as this big-mean guy waiting to say something or be mean to us, we'll definitely find it when we read Scripture because we'll be picking out what we want to see.
There are two things I'd love to share with you before we start:
1. Please read my last article about Scripture being God-breathed. There, I encouraged you to start reading the Word like a love letter. God is for you and not against you!
2. Also, when you read, pray first and ask God and the Holy Spirit to come lead you, help you, and to speak to you (i.e. give you revelation). We do have a flesh so sometimes we can go to Scripture and interpret it in our own way, when really all God is showing us is that He loves us. I guess my point here is this: be faith-based, not fear-based when you read the Bible. Each time I head to Scripture and it's something that brings fear, I'm like..hmmm okay God, this feeling is not from you, i.e. I'm not interpreting this right, you are not here to condemn me / put me down / this isn't your nature so I'll ask You about it instead. Like I said last time, if there is any discipline from our Abba, He does so in a loving and kind way. He is a God of grace, doing so to help you, and to build you up.
K! Now onto the message!
I have to confess, I felt like this really needed to be said. I felt a heavy burden to tell people that God loves them very much and wanted them to know that He is a gentle God. God hears you when you cry out to Him.
This verse is one out of a ton that demonstrates God's nature.
The Savior is always showing His tender love to us.
Tender means showing gentleness and concern or sympathy.
He is gentle, tender and sympathetic with us. He empathizes with us when we hurt. He is not here to hurt us or condemn us.
Looking at the definition of tender, the dictionary also defined it as 'not rough'.
Jesus is not rough.
If anything, He is the most gentle person you will ever know.
Think of Someone who was pushed in a crowd, touched, used, abused, and still in the end lay there saying no harsh words or continued with what He promised to do.
That's the awesome God we serve. :)
Also, remember when Paul continued walking and got back up in Acts 14:19-20? Paul was telling the people in Lystra that God never left Himself without testimony. Some Jews came and stoned Paul. They even dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead - it was brutal. But what did Paul do? He got back up and went back into the city, and the next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe (another city).
Those were qualities of Jesus. That was Jesus in Paul!
We know it's Jesus because no one in their carnal mind would ever get stoned and STILL get back up and continue the work of spreading the message of Jesus Christ! It's a miracle! We praise the Lord!
It's stuff like this that's all around us.
There are qualities of Jesus all around you. He manifests Himself to you in every way possible to show you kindness, and love. He manifests Himself to show you that He is capable, He is able, He is yours and His promises are so true and will never stop demonstrating them to you. And that includes comfort - comforting you.
Allow God's tender Hands to let the eyes of your heart be opened.
Dear child, stop hurting.
Jesus wants to show you that He loves you and He cares for you and that He wants to protect you through it all. He wants to protect you through it all.
Like a hen protects her chicks, the Father protects His, under His glorious wings.
Do you know who your Father is?
He is a gentle God, a gentle God waiting to show you that He loves you.
"Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10). Amen
Challenge: For the next 30 days, could you read a verse a day about God's love for you and meditate on it? See what it says and ask God to speak to you through it. :)
Life's circumstances will come and go, but God's love will remain the same. :)
Jesus loves you no matter what.
Song: Listen to: "You Are For Me" - by Kari Jobe
You might be wondering what Scripture is for? (I.e. what is the text in the Bible actually for?) Well, hopefully this verse can help us learn some more!
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work" -2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV)
It is breathed out by God. How amazing is that! It can be used for a number of things: to teach, to reproof, to correct, and train in righteousness.
It does this for a number of things:
1. For Profit :)
It is to profit you. It's not here to condemn you or 'catch' you at every mistake. If anything, any type of 'catching' is for good discipline, as the Lord says, He disciplines those He loves (Proverbs 3:12). We may not like it at the time, but in the end we'll rejoice and know why! (Remember how God is sovereign?)
We also remember that God only knows how to give good gifts to His children, so He won't let anything fall by you or come to you that's not going to profit you or the situation (and even if the enemy tries anything, God will still use it for good: "all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them"-Romans 8:28).
2. So we may be complete, equipped for every good work.
This reminds me of David, who, before he was to go face Goliath the giant, acknowledged that the armor Saul gave him (although seemingly strong from the outside) was not what he was used to (1 Samuel: 17:39). In that moment, and instead, David used what was in front of him, and what he knew best).
Connecting this in the context of The Bible, the Word is what is in front of us, and from it we have our own armor that has been proved to work best (Ephesians 6:10-18).
Fam, along the way, it will help us make good choices, especially for that good work ;-)
"Oh breath of God come breathe within."
Maybe this song from Hillsong will guide you as well :)
Prayer: Thank you God that Your Word is this powerful! I know that you will guide me throughout the way, but help me to soak up in Scripture so I may be diligent, equipped, complete for every good work. Thank you Father, thank you. In Jesus' Name I pray, Amen.
P.S. Will you read your Bible like a love letter to you? Try it this week! I encourage you! :) Tell me how it goes! God bless you!
At my church we are studying the Book of Nehemiah, which is quite interesting to say the least!
Something struck out to me as I re-read Chapter 5.
Chapter 5 is about Nehemiah trying to help the poor. Long story short, Nehemiah calls a meeting to accuse the nobles and officials because they were exacting usury from their own countrymen. Fortunately the meeting is successful and an agreement to stop the usury is reached. Nehemiah later says that he was appointed to be governor in the Land of Judah but neither he nor his brothers ate the food allotted to the governor. He says, however, the earlier governors who preceded him had placed a heavy burden on the people and took pieces of silver from them as well as their daily food and wine. The former governors' assistants had also taken advantage of the people, but out of reverence of God, Nehemiah did not act like that.
What stood out to me were verses 15-16, which said, "But the earlier governors – those proceeding me – placed a heavy burden on the people and took forty shekels of silver from [the Jews ]and in addition to food and wine. Their assignments also lorded it over the people. But out of reverence of God I did not act like that. Instead, I devoted myself to the work of this wall. All my men were assembled there for the work; we did not acquire any land" (Emphasis mine).
Nehemiah chose not to do the things that were around him.
Fam, at times we will be faced with challenges were it seems like EVERYONE is doing "it" ("it" meaning, anything like usury, debauchery, malice, drinking, clubbing, etc.)
But we won't have to do it because we are different.
We're Christ's :)
It reminded me of Daniel 3, where King Nebuchadnezzar made a ninety-feet-tall image of gold, and summoned all the people to bow down to it when they heard a sound (Daniel 3:5). The people bowed, but Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah chose not to bow down with the others because they feared God.
At times, we will be faced with an opportunity were EVERYONE (or it seems like everyone, or it just might be everyone in your group or city) is going clubbing or doing whatever, but you won't be going clubbing, because you'll be choosing to be faithful to God.
Of course it's hard to see "a lot people doing these things", and as cliché as it may sound, it's not easy, but it will be worth it.
I remember when I first got Saved (when I first became a Christian), I was still clubbing until God asked me to surrender that part of my life to Him. I had made so many friends from all this going out, but my Abba said to me one night, "Tawana, you have one foot and hand in the world, and the other hand and foot on Me."
I was stuck and didn't know what to say. I even spoke to someone about this, asked them for prayer about what God was asking me to do (I'll explain later why it really wasn't about clubbing, and why I took it to wise counsel for prayer ;-)
God was faithful and reminded me a few times before I surrendered and wanted Him instead of this "stuff!"
You see, what was underneath was more of a fear of "is He going to catch me when I let go of these things?" I didn't know what to expect and that's where the fear came from.
God wanted me to know that I could FULLY trust Him, and that I had to unfold my tightly gripped fingers, and hold onto Him instead. And surely He was faithful, and most of all, He caught me.
As I surrendered to Him, the journey of going deeper in the Bible began.
As I started spending time with God, I'd go back to my room after class and read and study the Bible. The Lord was faithful to me through it all because He would speak to me as I read His Word. I started off using a Bible plan on YouVersion, which was great because it had a nice commentary to accompany the study, and as a new Christian I really really needed that! :)
Even though it seemed like "everyone" else was out "having a good time" with these things, He wanted to tell me that He loved me and that I didn't need all these types of things. With His faithfulness, spending time with Him was priceless compared to the things I had oh so "missed out on." Did temptations come? Of course! But we keep going regardless of every fiery dart that comes our way.
Even though people around me were still clubbing, I didn't do that because I wanted to honor God.
He wanted me to honor Him with my life so that He could honor me. He wanted me to be His.
Now, I won't sit here and say it was so easy and perfect and la la la...it wasn't, but it was worth it.
I did lose "friends", but really, as the quotation marks express, were they really friends if they weren't excited to see me read the Bible or stop the things that drew me away from God? True friends stayed as I grew deeper in the Lord, and new ones came along as well.
Whatever we give up on for the sake of Christ, Our Greatest Friend replaces with even greater.
"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." -Matthew 19:26
My point is this: Serving God is going to come with costs.
Losing others will come as well, but that's because God created us to be holy and consecrated for His use, not Holy and "available for all extra things around us". For His use, because we are His.
It may sound like: "wow, I will be restricted from xyz" etc, but I pray for grace and revelation for us to always look at it this way:
1. We're human, so we will have random moments of "oh...If only I were doing xyz or going to xyz", or moments of "this is hard work!" So I pray for grace to take us by storm when these moments come.
2. To always remember that we are not doing this alone. Jesus promised that
He would ask the Father, and He would give us another Advocate, who will never leave us - John 14:16.
And that when the Father sends the Advocate as Jesus' representative--that is, the Holy Spirit--We will be taught everything, and will be reminded of everything Jesus has told us. - John 14:26.
So we're not alone in this.
3. Remember whose you are and who your Daddy is.
He is the King of Kings, Lord of Lord, the Great Redeemer, Provider, El-Shaddai....and if He is all these things, as a daughter or son, we become heirs, princesses, princes, a royal priesthood and so forth!
Side Note: This just reminds me of Proverbs 31 where King Lamuel's mother tells him that it is not for kings to drink wine and rulers to crave beer because they might drink and forget what the law says. She wanted to say that because he was of king value, and didn't need to be involved in things that could potentially bring his value down! When one is a king (small k), they don't have to do these things, because they are precious and would now have a different focus in life. That's why King Lemuel's mother is saying: "give beer to those who are perishing, wine to those who are in anguish; let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more" (Proverbs 31:6). Her advice to her son was, "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy" (verse 8-9): Now this was King Lamuel's royal duty, not the former.
We, as royal priesthoods, should also seek the best, and to "do the best" in terms of being empowered by Our Abba, Your Daddy, who is in Heaven, who Has said that "everything is yours."
Fam, remember this: It may not be easy for us in our own strength, but it's easy for God. He wants to see us holy, consecrated, and set aside, all for His glory! RememberHe loves you very much <3
Always In Jesus Name,
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Is a girl who fell deeply in love with Jesus,