Category Archives: Real Talk

Emotional Engine Failure

Screen-Shot-2012-01-08-at-1.45.22-AMTo say that I’m an emotional person might be the understatement of the year. I love emotions and I understand my emotions and my potential behaviour when I’m at any given point on the rollercoaster on which emotions lie. Some years ago I heard the term emotional intelligence for the first time and once I understood what it was I spent some time analysing and understanding my own emotions and the emotions of others around me. In my observations I’ve noticed how easy it is for us to make decisions made solely on how we feel in the moment and then regret those decisions once our emotions tide over. I’ve found that the most irrational decisions made are those that are strongly influenced by how we feel while on an emotional high.

Emotions can often times stand in the way of us accomplishing what God has planned for us. Think about Jonah. God gave Jonah an assignment to warn the people of Nineveh. His task should have been a simple one to complete – go to Nineveh and warn the people – but his emotions caused his journey to be much more tedious than it should have been. Even after he spent three days in the stomach of a whale and finally decided to do as God instructed Jonah was so caught up in his emotions that rather than celebrate the change in people who heeded God’s warning he instead became angry that they were no longer going to be destroyed.

Jonah 4 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he became angrySo he prayed to the Lord, and said, “Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live!”

jonah logoIn his anger, Jonah wished for death rather than life because he felt God should not have shown mercy to the people of Nineveh. In his anger he told God that his journey to the city was senseless because he knew from the beginning that God would spare the people. Jonah could not appreciate God’s graciousness and mercy because HE FELT the people of Nineveh didn’t deserve a second chance and should have been destroyed.

There was a time I had some information about a Christian leader that made me very upset with them. I was so angry that I distanced myself from that person because I couldn’t understand how they could live a double life and profess that they loved God. While in my angry state the Holy Spirit kept impressing on my heart the need to call that leader and encourage them. Of course in my “dignified anger” I never bothered to call but instead prayed for them and tried to move on with my life. In my mind whatever they were going through they deserved it and God was simply letting them reap the fruit of the seeds they were sewing. God never let up though, he never allowed me to feel comfortable until I picked up the phone and spoke to my leader. Imagine my surprise when the person on the other end of the phone confessed to being under spiritual attack and told me how they wished I had called sooner. I felt so foolish that day. I allowed my emotions to hinder what God was trying to do through me and rather than being a vessel yielding to God I tried to be a master handing down judgement.

How many times have we failed to celebrate the goodness of God towards those deemed lost or doomed because we felt they deserved destruction rather than mercy? How many of us allow our emotions to control our reaction to people and prevent us from living the life of unconditional love God expects us to live? How many of us wish death on people who do not live by the same choices we do and are yet to accept the Jesus we have come to know and love? How many times have we failed to show compassion to persons who aren’t Christians or persons who struggle openly with different areas in their lives although they’re Christians?

As humans we are not immune to emotions and becoming a Christian doesn’t mean we’ve automatically perfected the way our emotions affect us. As Christians we can however make a greater effort to avoid making irrational decisions when our emotions are in overdrive. Jonah is just one example of how someone’s emotions affected the work they were assigned by God in the bible. I’m sure if you did some honest introspection you’ll find ways that you would have dropped the ball on your assignments in the past because of how you felt. The thing is, as God pointed out to Jonah, we serve a God of grace and mercy. Our job is to simply be obedient to his instructions and commands regardless of how we feel. Moving beyond our emotions might be the difference between someone knowing and accepting Jesus as their saviour and that person’s soul being lost to the devil. It might be the difference between a person giving up on God and Christianity and someone continuing the race and sorting out their salvation. The thing is, we do serve a merciful and gracious God who uses us to accomplish his will, but to see his perfect will fulfilled we need to be humble and obedient and not let our own desires and emotions override what He wants from us.

I’m not saying becoming an emotionally intelligent Christian is going to be easy but I am saying it will be worth it!

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Faith: Believing God Despite The Odds

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If God says something will happen, our faith is not in waiting to see if that thing happens, but in believing it will happen despite our circumstances.

I’ve been musing over Romans 4 and it’s account of how Abraham’s belief in what God told him was accounted to him for righteousness. I know, that’s a lot of Biblical Jargon there but what it simply means is that Abraham wasn’t considered a righteous man because he did what God instructed him to do, neither was it because of the end result of his interactions with God. He was considered a righteous man because he believed God.

Romans 4:3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

When God told Abraham that he and his wife would have a son and from that son Abraham would become the father of many nations he didn’t question the logistics behind that promise. Let’s be real, here’s God telling a 75 year old man that he and his 90 year-old wife would have a child. And if that wasn’t enough the child didn’t come immediately but instead he waited a further 25 years before he saw the fulfilment of that promise.

There are a lot of lessons which can be learned when you study the book of Genesis and Abraham’s interaction with God while he waited for God’s word to be fulfilled. However, I’d like to focus on the fact that God is true to His word. When he makes a promise to us he is faithful to keep it. What I find interesting though is how easy it is to disregard or question God’s promises when they don’t happen in the way or the time frame within which we desire.

As I evaluate my own life I see areas where I would have doubted God and the promises He’s made to me. So many times – especially when I felt down – I questioned whether the things God has spoken to me and has prophesied over my life were ever going to happen. I thought about the many promises in the bible that I once held dear to my heart but chose to stop hoping in because I didn’t see the evidence of them in my life presently.

Today, as I mediated on Romans 4 I felt a renewal of hope in the reminder that our faith is simply believing that God will do what he said he would do. Faith is believing that Christ will finish the work He’s started in me despite my current situation. Faith is believing the I am more than a conquerer in Christ on even on my worst days. Faith is believing that God will provide my every need once I seek Him first even when the bills are piling up and my bank account is running low.

The reality is that faith and righteousness go hand-in-hand. Whatever God has said He will do in your life believe that He will do it. Don’t let your circumstances influence your faith. If God can fulfil his promise of a child to a 100 year-old man and his 115 year-old wife, he is more than capable of doing what he said he would in your life.

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Warning Signs of Developing Hardness of Heart

Hardening is like a callus or like the tough bone fibers that bridge a fracture. Spiritual hardening begins with self-sufficiency, security in one’s self and self satisfaction. The real danger is that at some point, repeated resistance to God will yield an actual inability to respond, which the Bible describes as a hardened heart. Insensitivity indicates advanced hardening. Here are some of the warning signs:

1. Disobeying – Pharaoh’s willful disobedience led to his hardened heart.

Exodus 4:21  And the Lord told Moses, “When you arrive back in Egypt, go to Pharaoh and perform all the miracles I have empowered you to do. But I will harden his heart so he will refuse to let the people go.

2. Having wealth and prosperity- Taking God’s blessings for granted can cause us to feel as though they were owed to us.

Deuteronomy 8:6-14“So obey the commands of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and fearing him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land of flowing streams and pools of water, with fountains and springs that gush out in the valleys and hills. It is a land of wheat and barley; of grapevines, fig trees, and pomegranates; of olive oil and honey. It is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking. It is a land where iron is as common as stone, and copper is abundant in the hills. 10 When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.11 “But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today. 12 For when you have become full and prosperous and have built fine homes to live in, 13 and when your flocks and herds have become very large and your silver and gold have multiplied along with everything else, be careful! 14 Do not become proud at that time and forget the Lord your God, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt.

3. Rebelling and being discontented – Suffering or discomfort can create an attitude that blames God.

Psalm 95:8The Lord says, “Don’t harden your hearts as Israel did at Meribah, as they did at Massah in the wilderness.

4. Rejecting a deserved rebuke – Rejecting God’s gift makes our neck stiff and our heart hard.

Proverbs 29:1Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery.

5. Refusing to Listen – Refusing to listen leads to a loss of spiritual hearing.

Zechariah 7:11-13 11 “Your ancestors refused to listen to this message. They stubbornly turned away and put their fingers in their ears to keep from hearing. 12 They made their hearts as hard as stone, so they could not hear the instructions or the messages that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies had sent them by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. That is why the Lord of Heaven’s Armies was so angry with them.13 “Since they refused to listen when I called to them, I would not listen when they called to me, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

6. Failing to respond – Listening to God with no intention of obeying produces an inability to obey.

Matthew 13:11-15 11 He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets[a] of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. 12 To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. 13 That is why I use these parables, For they look, but they don’t really see.They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.14 This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says,

‘When you hear what I say,
    you will not understand.
When you see what I do,
    you will not comprehend.
15 For the hearts of these people are hardened,
    and their ears cannot hear,
and they have closed their eyes—
    so their eyes cannot see,
and their ears cannot hear,
    and their hearts cannot understand,
and they cannot turn to me
    and let me heal them.’

Reference: Romans 9, Page 1911. (n.d.). In Life Application Study Bible. Tyndale House.

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Disobedience: Is it worth the price?

I went to bed and woke up with the same subject on my mind: Choices. In a recent post I wrote about deliberately making bad choices without considering the true consequences of them. Today I’m wondering how many bad, deliberate choices are we allowed to make before God leaves us to do our own devices.

In 1 Samuel chapter 15 Saul went into Amalek to kill the Amalakites. Before his journey God gave him specific instructions to kill all that was in the city; both men and women, infants and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. Saul and his army destroyed everything with the exception of the King; Agag and the best of the sheep and oxen, which they intended to sacrifice unto God.

On the surface it seems that this was a well intended decision which would please God because in the midst of their battle the Israelite people considered the God who was with them and took the animals to offer before Him in celebration of their victory. How thoughtful and loving of them right?

Wrong. When God saw what they did he became angry with Saul and said

 “I greatly regret that I have set up Saul as king, for he has turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.”

God was not interested in the sacrifice of these animals unto Him as much as He was concerned about Saul’s ability to be obedient to His voice. He was upset because Saul chose to do what he felt was pleasing unto God and not what God said he would be pleased with.

I think this is the problem we face sometimes. Like Saul we have the knowledge of what pleases God and sometimes when given a task to perform we ignore the specific instructions he’s given to us and subscribe to what we know usually pleases Him. You see, because it was the custom of the Israelite people to offer the best sheep and cattle to God as a sacrifice they prescribed to that even when God said He didn’t want it.  So to, we have our customs and practices but I think we need to be sensitive to what is acceptable to God right now.

Saul’s disobedience made God reject him as king. In verse 22 and 23 of the same chapter the prophet Samuel says to Saul

“Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,
As in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
And to heed than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft,
And stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
He also has rejected you from being king.”

In our own lives how many times have we rebelled against God and disobeyed His commandments? How many times have we been stubborn towards the instructions for life as prescribed in the bible? How many times have we chosen to offer a sacrifice; through prayer and fasting, excessive giving, acts of worship, in lieu of being obedient to what God is asking of us right now, without realizing that our sacrifices are meaningless if they are not in alignment with God’s request?

God compares our actions to witchcraft, iniquity and idolatry.

For me, this is a sobering revelation. One which I’m certain I’ll think about for many days with the hopes of it being embedded in my heart so I may never sin against God this way again. I’ve got a lot to think about and I’m sorry that I’m writing this prematurely, but for right now I feel like I have to let some of my thoughts out.

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The Harsh Reality of an Angry Me

I’m angry

At least on the surface of me that’s all I can see

An anger with the potential to do as much damage as a raging sea

I’ve been silently observing me for a while

Making sure never to lose my smile

For without it I fear the world would see

The anger that’s been plaguing me

I’ve been contemplating when this anger started and how long it’s been building

Maybe it’s from as far back as my father’s beatings

Or as recent as my friends’ chastising of who I am

I could never be one hundred percent me

Because the me that they see and the reality of who everyone wants me to be is a fallacy

Everyone and their expectations

Placing me in difficult situations where my mind and my heart condition is always questioned

Maybe in the future I’ll see transformation

A heart transplant and blood transfusion

Call it righteous indignation

But I can’t help but feel like I’m bigger than my situations

And while they’re building blocks on my foundation

I can only look forward to completion

Because the me that I see is so bitter and angry

It leaves me desperate for a new reality

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Heart Matters: Facing Filth

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Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

My fascination with the human heart and the way it works is peaked more and more each time I see the potential for both good and evil in it. With each day that passes I am faced with the reality that purification of the heart and by extension, the mind is a daily endeavor that one must approach with humility and vigor.

Like David I continuously pray the prayer:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
 And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)

God in His faithfulness continues to answer me and I am always surprised by what I see. As I grow and learn I’m realizing that my response to my heart condition is maturing. In times past, any revelation of the ills of my heart would have sprouted a fountain of tears and I would have been launched into a week of depressed prayers and brokenness, however this has not been the case recently.

With the passing of time and what I assume is increased wisdom, my approach to facing the filth of my heart has evolved.  Instead of bringing on the waterworks and curling into a ball of despair I am now able to acknowledge God in the process and open myself to change. Recently I’ve been reflecting on a number of things God has been showing me and I feel an explainable peace from the words in Hebrews 12:6

For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives. 

I can’t help but feel honored that God loves me enough to discipline me. To take the time to show me my wrongs so that he can make them right. For some reason beyond me I mean enough to this great being that he won’t allow me to continue living with a filthy heart. I fall more and more in love with Jesus as I embrace the depth of this love.

Proverbs 3:11-12 is somehow illuminated in my mind’s eye

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,as a father the son in whom he delights.

As with everything surrounding God there’s a choice to be made when facing discipline from our Father. We can choose to be weary of it and despise God because of it or we can embrace discipline and witness the transformation of our lives because of it.

I know that for each of us our journey would be different and we would experience God in different ways however, I wish to encourage you. It doesn’t matter where you are on your journey with Christ the key is to be open to Him and embrace His ways; chastisement and all. It’s not always easy to accept what God reveals about our hearts but it will be worth it to open those things to Him and have Him remove them and continue the purification process.

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Dissecting Worship: The Series

music

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Recently I’ve found myself paying greater attention to what I sing when I worship God; both in my personal time and during corporate worship. What I’ve found is when I move past the melody and harmony of a song and I begin to process what I’m saying the songs ministers to me on a new level. No longer am I enjoying a song because it’s catchy or has a nice sing-along chorus, instead my favorite songs are those that have meaning to me and my relationship with God. It is because of this new encounter I’ve decided to do a series on Worship (musical aspect).

This series will do two things; it will challenge us to listen to a wider range of gospel music across different genres and it will allow us a space to share our thoughts on what we’re examining and what we’d like to examine.

I think here’s the perfect place to make a disclaimer:

I AM IN NO WAY EXAMINING THE AUTHORS, VOCALISTS OR MUSICIANS. I AM IN NO POSITION TO JUDGE ANYONE’S HEART CONDITION AS IT RELATES TO GOD AND I DON’T INTEND TO TRY. I CAN’T SAY A SONG WON’T MINISTER TO SOMEONE BECAUSE THE AUTHOR IS BACK SLID-DEN OR BATTLING WITH SOME ASPECT OF LIFE AND I AM OF THE FIRM BELIEF THAT GOD CAN USE ANYTHING TO TOUCH SOMEONE’S HEART (REMEMBER BALAAM AND THE DONKEY?).

I’m really excited to begin this series and I look forward to the wealth of insight we’ll unveil as we embark on this series. The first song I’m going to evaluate is I Give Myself Away – William McDowell. Have a listen and do some evaluating of your own before I share my thoughts.

Also feel free to share a song you’d like to have dissected and your thoughts on any song in the series as we go forward. I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Send your requests via Facebook, Twitter or email me at testifywithme@gmail.com.

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Lessons On Love: Patient Love Takes Practice

Love is Patient

1 Corinthians 13:4 Love is Patient…………….

Remember the last blog I posted where I decided to take up the challenge of choosing to love people in spite of? Nearing the end of that post I wrote “This is going to be one of those challenges where I’m only going to understand it entails after I’ve begun but I’m not going to let that deter me” Talk about hitting the nail on the head! I’ve learned so many lessons in love these past weeks it’s a bit mind blowing.

Reflecting on my experiences, I realize that the messages in the lessons I’ve learned aren’t entirely new to me, the actuality of living through them has given me a greater appreciation for their meanings. Having to put action to advice I’ve given to many people has proved to be a painful task but one which I embraced and appreciated.

I recently got into a relationship ~ yay me 🙂 ~and as expected I was completely lost in the feeling of loving and falling in love. You know what I’m talking about right? That feeling you feel at the beginning of a new relationship, where everything (even the mini fights) make you smile and everything is somehow cute, gorgeous or awesome? Well that’s where I was; I was enjoying the start of my new relationship (enjoying it even now) and not taking note of any tell tale signs along the way which should have indicated that I was getting into some trouble.

Let me add a bit of background here so I don’t confuse you later down in this post.

When I gave my life to Christ one of first and hardest decisions I had to make was to leave a relationship I was in for three years. I was madly in love with my boyfriend at the time and we had plans to get married, have kids and do all the wonderful things married couples do. The problem I faced at that time was being in a relationship which was extremely intimate was getting in the way of my life of worship unto God. My boyfriend and I tried to continue our relationship without having sex but that was impossible, especially because I was a Christian and he was an Atheist (yes I fell in love with an atheist). He couldn’t comprehend my love for God and desire to please Him and I couldn’t come to terms with his inability to believe in God. Our breakup was such that we both agreed to go our separate ways, remain friends while understanding the love we had for each other but respecting the boundaries set. When I left that relationship I left all things sexual behind me. I took a radical stance to keep my temple holy and acceptable before God and I never looked back.

Now that we have the history of my celibacy down I can continue with the point I was making.

Before I got into the relationship I’m currently in it was very easy for me to honor the decision I made to keep my temple pure, holy and acceptable before God. I had my blinders on for about a year or so and I wasn’t allowing anyone into my space. I’ll admit, I did entertain some random conversations during that time but there wasn’t any serious interactions or commitment to be had. During that period I managed to convince myself that I had overcome having sexual desires outside of marriage and I would never struggle in that area ever again. Boy was I wrong! The wave of emotions I felt once I started spending more time with my boyfriend was enough to cause a catastrophic turn of events in my life if not for God’s grace.

Imagine me; a woman who turned her back on all things sexual for the love of her God having to face the reality that her body knew what sex was and having to make a conscious decision on a regular basis not to give in to temptation; mental or otherwise. When the realization hit me I immediately went into panic mode. I bought a promise ring, I gave him “the speech”, I started researching ways to maintain my purity while in a relationship as well as other crazy things. I did everything possible except talk to God. For some reason I didn’t take the emotions that were overwhelming me at the time to the God that I love and trust. Isn’t it amazing how the first step we should take in any situation is somehow the last one taken after we’ve tried everything else that fails? For some reason that escapes me I thought I needed to deal with this on my own. I thought I had to figure out a way to fight my emotions and somehow get rid of them, when all the while what I really needed to do was lay my cares upon God and let Him be my guide. Thankfully in my foolishness God still kept me and I didn’t succumb to temptation ( and I really do me THANK GOD, because he knows it was a hard fight).

Reflecting on my experiences I know that I would not have had to battle so terribly from the beginning if I had asked God to take control. You see, when I realized I was sinking and it was becoming harder to overcome the tide of emotions within me, it was only then that I went to my Father and asked Him for His wisdom to continue pleasing Him especially in my relationship. Only then was I able to listen to his voice as he reminded me of the patience of love.

Patient love; as it relates to intimacy in relationships, isn’t about waiting on the other person to be ready for the next move, it’s about loving each other enough to wait until marriage to enjoy each other intimately. Being in a Christian relationship isn’t supposed to void you of being sexually attracted to your partner, it’s supposed to strengthen your relationship with God and teach you self control, self respect and the meaning of true love. Loving someone enough to wait until marriage, especially when you already know what sex feels like, is a true test of patience. Wanting to share passionate kisses and tight hugs with your intended husband or wife but choosing not to, because of the relationship you have with God is a choice you have to make. Making that choice isn’t always going to be easy but at the end of it all you have to decide if one moment of lustful pleasure is worth disappointing your heavenly Father and forsaking the blessings he has in store for you.For every time I’ve had to deny flesh and not give in to sensual feelings I felt a slight pain but I rejoice a little more with each right decision made because continual denial gets me closer to God and a blessing is added to my relationship.

I can’t say that it’s always going to be smooth sailing, but I can declare that I will not give in! If I truly love this man as much as I think and if he truly loves me as much as he says, we won’t lead each other to sin. Along with our desire to kill flesh and the various decisions we’ve made such as “not liming in the car alone, not hanging out in lonely areas, choosing to socialize in places where there are lots of people and as much as possible go out in groups” we have decided to put the patience of love into practice.

People always say that True Love Waits. I’m testing that theory and I look forward to writing a blog the night before my wedding testifying of the truth of that statement in my life. Keep me in your prayers and where ever possible remember to put into practice the principles of love as outlined in 1 Corinthians 13:4

 

 

 

 

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Shifting Positions: Trading Anxiety for Peace in Overwhelming Conditions

Overwhelmed

Talk about a stressful week! Have you ever had one of those weeks where you had the world of things to complete; all very important, and you felt like you were getting no where with any of them? That was what I experienced last week. There were so many things taking place and so many things I needed to do and everyday I woke up I felt more drained than the day before with a lot less zeal to complete my tasks.

throw in the towelSoon enough frustration and stress were my pesty companions that I couldn’t get rid of. Those two buddied up to me like white on rice and I felt like there was no way to get away from them. Things were so bad that I went to church, assisted in worship, heard an uplifting message on knowing the enemy and the moment I got into my car I felt like throwing in the towel and calling it quits. I was simply exhausted!

I like to think of times like this as “show time” for God. Somehow in those times when I feel my worst He has a way of showing up and sorting things out without me orchestrating a thing. Of course I know that He’ll show up in times like this because He promised it in 2 Corinthians 12:9

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

But somehow when things come crashing down I forget that verse and always reflect on it in hindsight.

So, imagine me sitting on the floor in my room, literally crying. I felt so lost and hopeless. I started wishing I could give everything back and retreat to a cave and hibernate for a while. In the midst of my depression I got a text from a friend asking if I was okay. Usually when people ask if I’m okay, whether I’m okay or not I simply answer yes, ( I know, that’s a bad habit I need to break), but yesterday I just couldn’t say yes. So I took a deep breath and admitted to someone other than God that I wasn’t fine.

Almost automatically my day took a turn for the better.  My friend met me and we went out and had the most relaxing evening I’ve had in a long time. By the end of the night I was completely relaxed and I was able to talk to God without crying uncontrollably in His presence without words. I was able to tell Him exactly what was on my heart (not that he didn’t already know) and ask for His guidance.

God being the awesome God that He is and not being able to lie, held his end of the promise in Philippians 4:6 -7

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

By the time I woke up this morning God spoke to me and told me exactly what I need to do in order to continue this part of the journey. I woke up with a peace and a new found zeal and vision to do what I have to. Stress and Frustration has moved out (Thank God!) and peace has now taken up residence in my heart.

I wish I could find the right words to adequately explain the joy I’m feeling now. I feel peace and freedom, I’m looking back at all the times God has seen me through and I’m assured that he will see me through this period in my life as well.

Maybe like me you’re overwhelmed with the cares of this world and you’re feeling a bit down and out. I want you to know that the same Jesus that came through for me and picked me up out of the dumps, can come through for you too. Present your cares to him through prayer and thanksgiving and He WILL give you the peace to continue your journey.

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The Mind of Christ – Christine Caine

Mind Renewal

Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

We must never underestimate the importance of the mind, as it is vital in making our internal transformation an external reality. Strong heart and soul muscles reveal our potential, but it is the mind muscle that unleashes it.

The Bible teaches us that as we think in our hearts, so we are (see Prov. 23:7). In other words, who we are today is a result of the thoughts that we have been thinking. Similarly, who we will be tomorrow will be the result of the thoughts we think today. And I’m not talking about the thoughts that we think we’re thinking about ourselves; I’m talking about what we truly think about ourselves deep down.

So many of us believe that who we are today is the result of our upbringing, socioeconomic background, education, gender, or ethnicity. Of course, all of those factors have played a role in forming who we are, but ultimately our true identities are a result of the patterns of thinking we have developed as a response to our background and circumstances. In short, if we want to change our lives, we must change the way we think.

The strength of our mind muscle is not determined by our IQ level, how well we did on our college entrance exams, or how many academic degrees we have obtained. Nor does it depend on how much biblical or theological knowledge we have. The quality of our mind muscles depends on how much of God’s truth (as found in his Word) we believe and apply to our everyday lives. Our thoughts—which for many of us have been shaped by the forces of culture, tradition, our religious experience, the media, and our family and friends—have to be supplanted by the truth of the Word of God.

There is only one sure-fire way for us to strengthen our mind muscles, and that is by committing ourselves to the process of renewing our minds. It helped me move from the prison of my past into the future God had for me. Even though I was on the road to discovering the importance of strengthening my heart and soul muscles, I knew that embracing my new life in Christ actually hinged on the state of my thought life.

Point to Ponder

Has you weak mind muscle been holding you back from the purposes of God? As you immerse yourself in the Scriptures, you will recognize that nothing in your life will change until you change how you think about everything.

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