Tag Archive | Bible

Being Vulnerable Isn’t The Answer.

While I understand the idea of being vulnerable, something about this way of living doesn’t seem right to me. I don’t want to be vulnerable. Let’s look at the definition of vulnerability:

adjective
1. capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt, as by a weapon:

a vulnerable part of the body.
2. open to moral attack, criticism, temptation, etc.:

an argument vulnerable to refutation; He is vulnerable to bribery.
3. (of a place) open to assault; difficult to defend:

a vulnerable bridge.
It basically means being open to attack, criticism and emotional wounds. Now excuse me for a moment but what is so noble about that? I had to take a step back and assess a really well meaning statement from someone but it didn’t sit right with me. I do not follow the crowd or go with what everyone wants to preach nowadays. I conducted a google search, to see if I find any sermons on vulnerability. I did, but I also found psychology articles as well.
The heart is a tender organ. It is also a place where we store our feelings. I keep going back to what Proverbs 4:23 (KJV) : Above all else, guard your heart for out of it flow the issues of life. What are we guarding our hearts from?

Let’s go back to the definition :

  • Moral Attack
  • Criticism
  • Temptation to sin
  • Emotional wounds

When we have a wounded heart, we start living out our wounds. The wounds become sores of bitterness that clouds our judgement and makes it easier for us to sin.

This is why the company we keep is so important. This is why we must deal with the wounds of our hearts from early childhood and continuously in our daily lives.

How does one guard their heart? Great question! This is not something we do in our own power. Time does not heal wounds. Time and complete avoidance also doesn’t protect us. Yes, we must wisely shun temptation and bad influences in every form but for events and circumstances outside of our control, we must have a deep and active relationship with God. We must present our cares, concerns, feelings and wounds to Him. We must be open to Him alone! We must not put our trust in other human beings that have limited knowledge and resources but in the Almighty God who is sovereign: all powerful and all knowing. By the power of His Spirit will He enable us to truly forgive and live freely. In Christ, we have the ability to live godly lives with a PURE HEART. A pure heart is not a wounded one. A wounded heart will eventually seek revenge but a pure heart seeks God. A pure heart accepts God for who He is : A strong tower, a place of refuge and safety.

I learned that the best thing to do is to run to God first. In many cases, God was the only one I could run to. No one understood what I was going through, others didn’t care, and honestly, no one can fix me.

No one can fix us. No one can heal us. No one can deliver us. No one can protect us but God alone. Yes, God sends people into our lives to minister to us but we must always put people in their proper place, giving praise to God alone and allowing it to point back to Him. Anyone or anything that tries to override God’s place in your life is a false god.

Guard your heart, be wise and trust God.

Freedom In Christ

Freedom is a mentality not a condition. How do I know this? Well, the Bible touches on many points about faith and belief in God. We are not putting our mental focus on ourselves, capabilities, or circumstances but we put our faith, hope and trust in Christ who saves us from sin and the sting of death. This brings healing and freedom that self-effort cannot.

It took me two years to become who I am today. We all know that I have been alive for a couple years now (Laugh ) but what I mean is, the transformed person I am today took two years. It was a grueling process of God exposing things in my heart and then making a decision to seek God for help. At first it was hard and confusing. It was unbearable and I found myself running away from God or hiding from Him. Other times I’d get angry, throw a tantrum and say I’m doing my own thing. Lately, I have seen a big change in my response to God. I don’t hide, I don’t run and I don’t throw tantrums. I have learned the seriousness of falling on my face and seeking the Lord for guidance and healing. My mind has changed. No longer do I see things how I use to. In the past, I would be anxious and flighty. Wanting everything to be perfect and instant. But today, I understand the importance of waiting on God and perseverance. Paul says we must run the good race and fight the good fight. David encourages the saints to wait PATIENTLY on God. I have learned that blessings aren’t necessarily material like people want to force feed us today. Blessings are wrapped up in the gift of a relationship with God through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. Blessings are the fruit we produce as we stay connected to the vine (Christ). Blessings can be found in the little daily provisions and the little hands and feet God sends to minister to us. It’s not always about wealth, power and success. It is not about being the best or a know-it-all. It is about receiving God, walking with God and being transformed by God.

Freedom is not a condition. I’m quite sure the same people that made me feel bad for not attaining a certain status or place in life, would have the same thing to say now. Back then, I was very distraught over these things. I would try to work harder and better only to fall right back on my face. But the me now doesn’t care. Say what you want but I am where I need to be. I may not be rich, I may not have flashy things and I may not have much BUT I AM NOT THE SAME! I have changed! The Lord brought me out of my mental Egypt, took the shackles off my mind and melted the cold ice from around my heart. He dried up tears and touched my aching body. So it would be offensive and disrespectful to throw it all in God’s face because of things people say to me. It would be so offensive to throw it all in God’s face when in my mind and spirit I am at peace. I would not trade this for any amount of riches in this world. I have something…a treasure…that no one can take away! I am an asset not a liability.

I hope this encourages you, reader, to accept and have hope. If you are poor and struggling, sick and discouraged; if you feel hurt and betrayed etc. turn your focus on God. Tell Him all that bothers you. Throw your tantrums, cry, scream and yell but whatever you do, don’t turn away. God will meet you where you are and He will help you. That is a promise. Jesus said He is the bread of life and the living waters. He will quench and satisfy the longings of our soul. He will build you up and make you like a strong tree.

One day you will wake up and be at total peace. Nothing on the outside might have changed but YOU CHANGED. Don’t cling to God for material blessings. Christ is more than enough. You must be so in love with Christ that even the threat of death will not turn you away. You must be able to walk away from anything that will come between you and God. That is true freedom!

Who Shall You Serve? I Will Serve El Elyon- The Most High God- Sovereign Lord.

For the last couple of weeks, I have been contemplating on the sovereignty of God. A lot has happened to me within those couple of weeks that for some people would make them turn away from God and harbor bitterness in their hearts. But for me, that is not the case at all.

I was reading Daniel chapter 3 in my private bible study. It has always been one of my favorite bible stories, but this time, the story came to life in a new and refreshing way. Daniel’s friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were faced with dilemma: worship a false idol or be put to death. What amazed me was their response to the King when he inquired of them why they did not obey his decree. They said :

“King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3: 16-18)

*SQUEALS* I’m sorry but every time I read this I get excited! Insert Laugh here.

But seriously, look at what they said! These three young men, in the face of death (in this day and age, we would say they were rebellious and defied authority) told the King that they made a choice. Their choice was to never bow down. First, they believed that God was more powerful than the King and could rescue them. But check this out. They knew God was not a genie to grant them their wishes. They truly believed He is a good God and could save them but they left their fate in the hands of God.

Ask yourself this question : What idols do I have in my life? Idols can come in the form of people, objects, goals/aspirations, our career and ideologies. As I was taking a good look at my environment, I realized that there were many people that were trying to take God’s place in my life. I also recognized that I was allowing it in some cases. Nothing can become an idol without our permission.

Like these men, I had to say from my heart that I will serve the Lord even if He never rescues me. I first had to believe He had the power to rescue me but even if he doesn’t, He is still my God and I will bow to no other. I made up my mind to work, live and serve as a child of God. When situations arise in my life, I had to always declare that I will serve no other gods. Persecution, lack of all kinds, hurt and pain, sickness and diseases will not turn me away from God.

In my recent pain, I had to “set my face like flint” and confess that I will never ever turn away from God. It doesn’t matter what happens, God must come first in my life.

It’s more than going to church on Sunday, looking modest in apparel. It’s even more than exchanging sweet words of encouragement to our brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s about looking at God as a loving and sovereign king. Who is bigger and badder than all. No demon, no human, and no angel can mess with my bad God. He is God all by himself and He chose to rescue me from myself. All the other things I mentioned are important but they flow from an intimate relationship with God. A relationship that transcends anything else.

When we believe that our good deeds, our church attendance, our modest apparel, and how often we read the bible determines our relationship with God, we run the risk of allowing these very things to become idols. These behaviors must flow out of our love for God and not be the means to reach a goal.

True love is not sentimental gush. It is not mushy romance or an idealistic view but the truth of the Word of God made manifest through Christ and through true intimacy with Him. It is not a merit badge, a flag to wave. It is not a fake handshake and a smile to keep up appearances in Church. It is not click groups, it is not title or position. It is not tallying up how many good deeds you did in a year. It is not how many tithes and offerings you give. It is not measured by who loves you or don’t. It is not measured by how beautiful or intelligent you are.

It is truly about intimacy: an openness to God. Being honest with Him. Going to Him first with everything. Being open to what He wants for you. It might look different from everyone else. Apostle Paul’s ministry was so different : He was a Jew preaching to the gentiles. No one might understand what God is doing in your life, but will you bow down to their idea of how your life should be or who God called you to be? When you read the Bible, do you read it to learn more about God and to draw closer to him, or use it as a self help-manual, treat it as a bullet on your to-do list or as a rod to whip people with?

Daniel’s friends were finally tossed into a very very hot furnace. It was so hot that it killed the King’s obedient guards. What happened next shook that King to the core! He looked down and saw that these three men were not only untied but unharmed and what looked like to be the “son of gods” was walking around with them!

Let me break this down for y’all! I’m weeping while writing this.

When you decide to obey God and not bow down to idols, this is what God does….whether or not you die in the furnace YOU WIN! When you face persecution from both the saved and the unsaved, the pharisees and the roman guards, God has a way of coming down….making himself available to you in the fire. He doesn’t just rescue you by removing you from the heat. He will untie the things that use to keep you bound. Untie the burdens that keeps you from walking around. Not only does He untie you but He dwells among you.  He places Himself in your situation. When people watch you walk around in the flames, they see you untouched and unharmed. And when you walk out, you will not smell like smoke. Nothing will harm you! While this is a physical representation, I see this as spiritual! You come out with your faith in God intact! They may even try to kill you and even if they succeed, they cannot take God away from you! God will give you strength and peace to go through it all. It isn’t about having a happy smiling face, it isn’t about never crying and pretending to be so brave and strong. It is whatever you choose to do: smile or cry, you say in your heart : I will not Bow!

The King, shocked and in awe declared this :

“Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”

“Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.” (Daniel 3: 26; 28:29)

When God steps in because of your unwavering faith in Him, people will see and declare that God is the most high! They won’t be able to deny that God is the true and living God and all power belongs to Him.

El Elyon the most high God. What does this mean? It stood out to me.

“The name or title “Elyon” emphasizes God’s uniqueness and his supremacy above all others. It reminds us he is the Creator of heaven and earth and the Owner of all. He is not merely mighty, but Almighty. He is the Sovereign Possessor and Controller of all things. Elyon sovereignly delivers his children and sovereignly accomplishes his purpose even in their suffering, which itself is temporary and will be followed by the eternal refreshment he promises to bestow on them.” (Source)

  • I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me (Psalm 57:2).
  • If you make the Most High your dwelling, even the LORD, who is my refuge, then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone (Psalm 91:9-12).
  • “But the saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever; yes, for ever and ever” (Daniel 7:18).

 

 

Don’t Give Up!

Last week, God sent his little hands and feet into my life to receive love. He opened my eyes to receive love without being needy for it and to appreciate without expectation.

These little hands and feet were sent by God at a specific and appointed time. I was so down in my spirit. It wasn’t depression but anger and frustration. I cried out to God, scanned His word but at the time, nothing was able to soothe my heart. God gave me instructions but at the time it made no sense. So, being the loving papa He is, He sent his little ministers to pour into my soul.

One was a smile that expressed genuine love! It touched my heart so deeply. Another was a kind word, the Lord using her as a mouth piece from heaven to encourage me to keep on going and to know that He sees me and hasn’t forgotten about me. Two times was I taken out for lunch, and spent time with people and shared laughs. It was medicine for my soul.

I thank God for each person He used. Most of all I thank Him because He is always speaking to me,  always comforting me and always guiding me. I must believe that I hear from Him, that He is a sovereign God ( A post about God’s sovereignty coming soon.) and that He truly loves me.

“Don’t give up” is what I’m hearing today. Don’t give up! Let everything go and let God establish me.

Don’t give up! Continue to seek Him, obey Him and Love Him.

The highlight of my week was when I curled up into a ball and just laid there and talked to God about everything! I got up close to my heavenly father and shared what was on my heart. I became an honest person. God sees everything so why hide it? So I told Him and He was faithful to comfort me and give me answers. His Word ( the Bible) is LIFE! He lead me to scriptures…even specific books and chapters ( I did not memorize them). So I know that He gives knowledge to those that seek Him.

Let me tell you. My journey with the Lord never leaves me bored. Tired, yes, but never bored. Laughs hysterically.

Smile.

Stand Still And Know That He Is God

I woke up this morning and looked up the word apathy. Apathy and depression get used interchangeably but they are not the same. You can feel apathetic and not be depressed. Disappointments and struggles in life can leave you feeling numb.

I have come to say that it is alright to have these feelings. I’ve come to tell you that it’s okay not to know what to do anymore or how to save yourself. As a human, we don’t know everything. We cannot do everything. When we push and push and press and press and try to do everything simply to keep up appearances, we are 1. being fake and simply trying to impress people around us, and 2. we are taking over God’s job.

I remember this song I use to sing when I was on my high school choir: ” Stand still and know that He is God.” Breaking it down it goes:

Stand still and know that he is God. /Know that He will never leave your side. /He’ll fight your battles IF YOU LET HIM, He’ll be your REFUGE, He’ll be your COMFORT./ So You should Let go, Let God Have His way.

I thought about Job, who fell on hard times, losing everything including his health and his children. Instead of him trying to figure things out and PUSH and impress his friends, he went to God. He went to God with his raw and honest feelings. He knew God was sovereign……this sovereignty of God that ….God is truly Mighty, a King, the creator and in control over everything.  He didn’t try to cure himself, find a new job, adopt more children, He simply went to the one who created everything.  He ran to God for an explanation, He didn’t try to coerce God with His prayers. He didn’t try to bribe God with his worship. He simply sought God with the very issue on his heart. He was real, He was open and He was humble.

It’s not your burden to carry! It’s not your battle to fight! Bad things happen in life, it’s not your fault! Let it go and let it be! Cry out to God and let Him hear the pain and concerns in your heart. Your friends and family may not understand what you’re going through and they might not even love you in the way that you need, but this is the defining moment. The time where you learn to go to God only. He might send His hands and feet along the way, but keep them in their rightful place: as His hands and feet.

God will never dismiss your feelings. God will never make it seem as if you have to work harder, push harder and bust your brains over an issue. He will never ask you to do more than you can handle. If He calls you to it, He will strengthen you.

In the end, Job was restored and it was better than how he started. But no where did it say that Job had to manufacture his blessings. God simply gave them to him in due season.

 

I am Happy!

I woke up happy today.

Last night, I went to sleep while praying. It was comforting, ending the day in God’s presence. It was nothing fancy, just directing all my thoughts and emotions to Him, expressing everything I felt.

When I woke up, I felt a sense of joy and peace. The beauty of it all was that I allowed myself to be free. I will be honest, I had people telling me to keep quiet and not to feel a certain way, but I allowed myself to feel the worst of my feelings. I never expressed them but I felt them. I was also feeling really sick in my body and allowed myself to get full rest. I slept and ate whenever I wanted. This happened for a week. There were times I tried to talk myself out of it. There were times fear of not being strong enough or not getting things done crept into my mind. However, I silenced them really quickly and went back to resting my mind and body.

There is something so powerful about complete rest. When I felt the need to worry or be anxious about anything, I heard the loving voice of God saying that He is taking care of me. Someway and somehow, God will provide all that I need.

I keep thinking about God’s sovereignty. I had almost forgotten about it, being so focused on His loving friendship and parent-like care. But we must not forget that God is King and in complete control! He has an amazing way of putting the puzzle pieces of life together. He has a way of fixing our mess and creating a happy ending. He has a way of changing hearts. I needed to believe that my prayers were heard by a powerful and mighty God. I needed to believe that He is the one that changes hearts. Sometimes we believe that our will is higher than God’s, but if we read the Bible close enough, we see many times how His will and purpose prevails. He gives us chances to repent and turn back to Him, but none can contend with God. None can say they are their own god with their own power. When we believe that God is powerful and completely in charge, combined with love and care for us all, it allows us to completely trust in Him.

I woke up knowing that I am where I needed to be. I woke up knowing that if I wasn’t, He is faithful to correct me and set me on the right path. I woke up knowing that I am fine just the way I am. We get so caught up in being so strong that we forget that we don’t need to be. My strength comes from who God is! I can cry, scream, ask questions and share what is in my heart with a God that hears! I can fall apart and trust that He will mend me back together, as if I never was broken in the first place. He places a force field around my heart every time I give Him my pain!

When I am mistreated, I learned how to pray. Not just for my enemies but for myself. I learned that I have a God that will defend me. I use to cry that no one cared enough to ever stand up for me. I was the girl that stood up for everyone else, but was deserted when my time came. I find peace knowing that my God is fighting for me and I don’t have to anymore.

I find security knowing that I don’t really need anyone. Everything I need is in God. People are simply His hands and feet. We live in a needy world where people feel that they NEED people to survive. We must do whatever we can possible to keep all kinds of people around us to feel validated and secure. I know now that in my youth, that there was a wisdom in knowing that I did not need anyone. God has, in his wisdom, led people to me that have been a blessing to me. I cherish all those that obeyed God. This also released a burden from my heart. I don’t need to figure things out. I don’t need to have all the answers. PRAY! Point everyone to Jesus. If Jesus is the savior of our souls and the solution to all our troubles, then He is the one I should point to.

Jesus has fully consumed my life. Of course, there is so much to learn, but I am certain that He will never abandon me. I can finally rest and be free! No more chasing the wind…I find fulfillment in simply being God’s child and wherever He leads me, I will go.