Tag Archive | Holy Spirit

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.

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.

 

The Lady of Noble Character

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31: 30

Throughout history, since the beginning of time…women…women have always been on the quest for beauty.

This post will not be about beauty! We have tons of articles, personal accounts from women from various cultures and nations and just a plethora of stories about the standard of beauty. I am, however, talking about self-worth and the standard of character. It is not enough to be intelligent. No, it’s not. The modern woman wants to be successful in her career and her education. However, I am here to tell you that it’s meaningless (in King Solomon’s voice)! You see, that charm…that thing that makes us stand out…whether it be the way we carry ourselves, or the way we speak. Another word for charisma…well…that’s meaningless too. You might say, “has she gone mad?” Well here’s the thing. It’s God. Everything must point back to Jesus.

I realized that my beauty is fading. I’m simply getting older. I will wrinkle, I will sag and I will eventually have white hair. It’s a part of life none of us can escape. My charm, the IT factor. That thing that makes me stand out from the crowd, that too is deceptive. Why? Because it’s dependent on what others deem as charming. It’s dependent on other people! My relationship with God, however, will never fade way, nor is it dependent on external circumstances or people. Good character is hard to find. It is not just simply external morality, but an internal heart condition. It is a heart that is yielded to God and then in turn produces the FRUIT of THE SPIRIT. Without the evident Fruit….our lives are meaningless. Without fruit we are empty vessels that look pretty and sound pretty.

My worth, Your worth….our sense of well-being…everything, must come from God. We cannot blame society, men or the media for who we choose to be. We cannot blame our parents, our circumstances…we cannot blame Satan for anything we decide to do.

Everyday, I have to make a conscious decision that I will follow Jesus. Everyday I must lay down my life for His Will. Being a christian comes with a daily cost. People believe it’s about blessings…but truly, it is about struggle. It is about being emptied out so that God can pour into…it is becoming a new person…literally. It’s not just bad habits that are being changed but also your very personality!!!!!

SHOCKER! I know. I know. And, while it’s happening, it HURTS. You kick and scream and cry. You fight…you throw tantrums. You ask God “WHY ME”! But then, you think back on all that God has done for you…from the initial dying on the cross, paying the price for our sins and then the intimate dealings in our everyday lives. You realize you owe God everything. And then, you also understand that you are being reborn. It’s for your own good….it truly is for your own good. You are not just going to be beautiful on the outside but a beauty that shines in the likeness of your heavenly father.

You know how people set up trophies on their walls….well….I don’t have a trophy wall. But I have a mental wall of progress. You see, the me in the past would not be saying these things. I’d probably go off, doing my own thing, being mad at God and ignoring His voice. I would be living it up, saying “forget it”! But this new me that is emerging is saying….YOU KNOW WHAT LORD! I AM NOT HAPPY AND I AM UNCOMFORTABLE BUT HAVE YOUR WAY! But whatever you do, do not remove your Spirit from me.…(in King David’s voice).

Nothing is worth losing God for. NOTHING! Not a man, not a career or your education, not family, not your body , NOTHING! Everything you need is in Jesus Christ. If you need anything…”Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God. Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel.” Philippians 4:6-7

The humble prayer of my heart is simply…LORD, help us to give our thoughts, concerns and our feelings to you. Help us to pray about everything and to keep on praying until we are met with the blessing of incomprehensible peace. Let us be Proverbs 31 Ladies that find our worth in YOU…and not in deceptive and fleeting things.

In Jesus Name, Amen.

The Journey to Love

These last few months, God has been taking me through a journey through love. He began to open my eyes to the people around me. He exposed things within myself and others. The information given was given with the purpose of healing.

I say this for a reason. Sometimes we think all information we receive is from God. The way I can tell if it is or isn’t, is how my heart responds to it. If the information was meant for me to hate someone or myself or is that information given for me to seek forgiveness or give it.

With all the information I’ve received, it felt like system overload. The journey is hard. It is emotional. It leaves you naked and exposed. It leaves you vulnerable, but in a good way. You see, I could be hiding in the shadows. However, true love doesn’t allow someone to hide away in shame. It allows the person to fall on their face and know for a fact that there is a loving God that will embrace them.

I say this all the time and mean it :true and pure love comes from God. I had gotten tired of hearing how loveless I was from the very people I had looked to for love. The very people who told me I wasn’t loving, failed to love me. So, how convincing are you if you do not even embody what you expect from me? Unlike some people that go searching for love, I accepted a life without it. I wasn’t looking for love nor did I care for it. I was content living my life and being successful. I worked hard at everything. I had dreams and goals and I was very happy with them. However, I had reached the end of myself and my goals and dreams could only get me so far. I do not say this with any anger or shame. I say this with joy. The very people that failed to love me, I now see them as incomplete. I cannot hate them. Why should I? They need to experience that same love of God like I did.

I am free. This word came with a price. I had to lose everything to gain my life! But I thank God for the process because I can truly say I know who God is. God is love. This is truth. This cannot be argued or changed. God is love. Pure and true love. No ones love can come close. We must always love people with the hope of pointing them to the ultimate love of God. Our love is never complete. It cannot compare. Our love cannot save. Our love cannot heal. Our love cannot change if it is not rooted in who Christ is. Everything must point back to him.

Thank you Lord for your love personified through Jesus Christ. Thank you for his life, his ministry and his example. May we always strive to be like Jesus in all we do by the power of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

 

You Are Not Condemned

Anyone that speaks condemnation over your life is not of God. The bible tells us in John 3:16 that God so loved the world that he gave us Jesus Christ and that whoever believes in him has eternal life.

It is one thing to determine and judge the nature of a person, but it is another thing to condemn someone and speak on God’s behalf when you don’t even know what is going on in someone’s heart. Usually, we judge a person to determine the company we keep and the influences around us, but we are not God.

If you believe in Jesus Christ and follow him, you are saved. It doesn’t matter what you did or are struggling with. Notice I say struggle. We do not become perfect overnight but it is a process that the Holy Spirit takes us through.

If God based our future on who we were in the past, do you think we would even have the bible we have today? David was not only a womanizer, he was a murder: killed a man for his wife. Yet, he was still considered a man after God’s own heart. Moses also killed a man. Apostle Paul persecuted the early Christians but later became the main apostle to the gentiles.

What amazes me about some of us , is that, we can be so happy for another person’s testimony. A man or woman that was caught up in drugs. Lived a horrible lifestyle, treated people horribly, but they share their wonderful testimony and everyone is so happy and applauding. But make someone in your own personal life go through these things. Make this person do something bad to you and it doesn’t matter if this person has changed and is sharing their testimony, no ounce of mercy or forgiveness is shown. It amazes me, we love success stories but we do not like the process.

We say we love people but we smile in their faces, pretend we want to pray for them but in our hearts we are just sizing them up. To see if they are worthy of what God is blessing them with. We don’t bat an eye when people that blatantly disregard God is financially prospering but let someone in the faith prosper, we turn a side eye or question why them.

Instead of looking in our own hearts, we are trying to appease our flaws by putting someone else down.

No one is perfect and no one can save themselves. We all fall short. Some of us fall miserably. There are consequences in life, yes. But wow I truly understand the significance of what Jesus did for that woman that was going to be stoned. Jesus said ” he who is without sin throw the first stone.”

We are all guilty, at some point, of believing that we are better than others. That our own mess don’t stink. We are guilty of believing that God plays favorites. God has no favorites, he loves us all. From the righteous to the unrighteous, his love and mercy pours down on us all. And remember, we were all unrighteous at some point. We weren’t born saved.

We have a false sense of love and mercy in this world. We believe that actions is all that love is. But, I pray for you and I feed you. I give you everything and yet my heart towards you is like poison. We must be full of love, even within our hearts. Our prayers and actions must come from a sincere place. And if this is not possible, remove yourself from that person’s presence and seek the Lord. Don’t hang around and try to push people down. Don’t hang around and continue the cycle of hate. If you KNOW BETTER, DO BETTER. With much knowledge comes responsibility.

As Jesus always say ” He who has an ear, let him hear.” Not every message is timely but if you have the right heart condition to heed this message, LISTEN.

The way you treat someone can greatly affect their walk with God. You can greatly discourage a person who is trying to live right. This is a message for all of us. We are constantly called to forgive and to allow God to wash our hearts daily.

Will we always get it right? NO! But at the same time, we must be mindful and always strive to do better.

 

Trust God Even When It Hurts!

I realized in my anger towards God and the confusion around what He is asking me to do, that it all boils down to a lack of trust. Half submission. I want to know everything, why I’m doing it and if it will benefit me in the end. I become discouraged and frustrated when things do not go my way. I over-calculate and want everything to happen and flow exactly how I planned. Life is not that way. People cannot be controlled. Situations change. Trust requires us to be flexible with the outcome. It requires us to bend. It requires us to be obedient even if we don’t see the fruit of our labor today. We might never see it. Maybe the next generations will. Maybe my prayers for this specific person isn’t for me but for someone else. But I would be doing someone such a lovely thing , praying for someone is the best gift you can give them because God is everything we need and He knows how to meet every need.

When I am so caught up in my own world, how things will benefit me in the end, I allow fear to keep me from expressing true love. Do good, pray for others , even if you get NOTHING out of it! There will always be people that don’t mean us well, dangerous and risky situations…and yes…even people that do love us. We do need to know and recognize who is who, but at the end of the day, if we spend so much time protecting ourselves, we will never have time to love others! To experience true joy! The Bible tells us over and over that God is our strong tower and that He is fighting for us.

I wont willingly run into danger but if danger meets me on my road to Christ, I will stand on His word that He will see me through.

Don’t feel guilty for having doubt, fears or worries, but one thing I you must always do is bring every care to Christ. Tell him what is going on. He is faithful to open your eyes to the truth and that truth will faithfully set you free!

So, I will be obedient to what tells me even if it hurts. God knows why He asks me to do certain things and I can only trust that it will help someone in the end. Not my will but yours be done.

 

It’s Time To Go Higher!

I woke up recently, feeling a bit disturbed by my own thoughts and what I have allowed in my own life for the last couple of years. I was displeased in myself for seeking and taking advice from people who knew nothing about my situation, who sometimes gave advice simply to make themselves feel better; and I reduced myself to a mere product of society.

I realized that in the quest for worldly success, all true sense is thrown out the window and we become mindless drones. The quest for superficial beauty, tons of money, and all the comforts in life, drowns out what truly matters most.

I’d sway back and forth between my love for God and my love for success and end up no where anyway.

However, the Lord has been gracious to me, and I see tremendous growth in myself. I thank the Lord for this. It was all because of His pursuit for me to return to Him, that I am where I am today.

The true desire of my heart is to worship the Lord with everything I am. To be who I am outside what other people expect of me, to find my own voice and to silence those that wish to dictate who I should me to sedate their own jealousy. Yes, jealousy. It’s an evil disease of the heart that can infect mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, neighbors and enemies. It can spring up in the depths of a person’s soul and takes a whole lot to remove.

It hurt me for a while to even think that I’d have to fight the jealous scorn of people but there is one thing I realized. I realized that reducing yourself to please people, to get them to love you, to make them leave you alone is not the answer. They will always find something to hate. Always find a reason to put you down. It is not your fault. Even if you have no human support, remember that the Lord loves you.

After reading Psalms 119, my heart was soothed by the words of desperation in the hearts of godly men, who found comfort in the Word of God despite persecution. They threw down the quest for money and pleasure and sought the salvation of the Lord : which is His unfailing love. God tells me all the time,  ” I love you with an unfailing love.” While people in life will let you down, and we will let ourselves down; we can find comfort and strength in the love of God.

It goes on to say that when your enemies rise up against you, focus on the Word of God or His commandments. Instead of trying to find a solution to everything, these men cried out to God for His help. They believed that God is the one that sorts out conflict and they just cling to him and tell everyone about his law.

The more I tried to defend myself, prove myself or succeed to make my enemies feel ashamed, the worse I felt. It can only get you so far. You become so focused on them that you forget about God and yourself. You forget what truly makes you happy. You forget how to live.

True freedom comes from pursuing God. It doesn’t even come from pursuing passions, relationships or success.

Many people will harshly judge a poor man with a great heart but love a rich man with a filthy heart simply because he is successful. God sees that poor, gentle heart and he will always be with him. That is what I want. The comfort and peace of the Lord. I had to suffer, go through pain and hardship to truly understand what matters most. I had to suffer so I could make a conscious decision to give up all the desires of my heart to be with God. And if he so chooses to bless me with all my desires, once more, I must surrender to the process. I must surrender to Him. I must not try to work it out on my own but to hand it all over to him.

This process of surrender is truly hard. It is hard and many days you feel crazy. People will look at you like you’re a lunatic, just as they did Noah who built an ark, Abraham and Sarah who were old and waiting for their promised child and even Jesus who was accused of many things simply because he defied all what people had expected him to be. People will judge you, call you a child of Satan ( even when you know for a fact you serve God), they will isolate you and speak ill of you to your face. Some will put you down any chance you get or even use you for their own selfish ambition.

I’m going to be real here and say, don’t be dainty in your prayers. God already knows your heart. How many times have I lied to myself, trying to work out the scriptures on my own. Do you really think you can love anyone on your own? No, you need God. The Bible encourages us to pray always. David was blunt about his feelings towards his enemies. When Jesus said pray for your enemies, I don’t think he just meant dainty little prayers. Sometimes we need to be honest and say “God, guess what! I do not like this!” Tell him! Ask him! Cry out to him. Don’t curse your enemies but ask God for strength. Ask God to help you sort out your feelings. You don’t need a therapist or a shrink but the ONE who created you and your enemies. And the greatest thing we are to do for our enemies is to tell them about God. Yes! Keep talking about God and who He is to you. Do not shut up your testimony and do not stop talking about the goodness of God. They will get mad, they might even get violent but never shut up about who God is. Don’t enable your enemies. We live in a world where people are afraid to speak the truth and correct. Did Jesus , when he addressed the jealous religious leaders, hold back the truth from them? Did he just keep silent? No! How can anyone know the truth if we hold it in? Is that what love is nowadays?

The church has watered down what love is suppose to look like. We have become a compromised and laid back sort of people. We are afraid to be like the early church and the prophets of old and proclaim the word of God without fear. I have been guilty of this time to time as well.

I have given up all selfish pursuits in this life. When I looked in the mirror of truth recently, I realized that I lost all sense of normalcy. I didn’t know how to eat like a normal person because I was afraid of gaining weight. I forgot how to have fun because I was determined to overcome every single set back in my life. Stress was an intimate friend of mine and I told God one day that He needed to help me or else I’d be dead in a few years. The answer to stress is easy. Submit to the Lord. Truly submit. The answer does not reside in us…it resides in His presence. It resides in knowing who He is as a real person. We call the Trinity the Persons. Well, God is a person  and since He made us in HIS image he has feelings, thoughts and a will like us. It is not natural for me to be dependent on someone, I had to learn dependency through trials, but the more I sought help, the easier life became. We were not created to be a one man or woman band!

My decision is to stop worrying, stop trying to fit everything together like a jig-saw puzzle. Stop over-thinking, stop trying to fix everything and everyone, stop trying to do it all. JUST STOP. Breathe, slow down and then pray. Jesus said do not worry about tomorrow…do not worry about the future because the future has it’s own problems. It’s a day by day process. Everyday! King Solomon was truly wise when He wrote all His words of wisdom down. We want to eat nasty flavorless food in the name of being healthy but the truth is we cannot add another day to our own lives. It is God that determines the course of our lives. But I’ll leave that for another post.

I am on the quest to find understanding! I am on the quest to find wisdom. I am on the quest to find discernment. I am on the quest to find Christ and through Him, see the Father. I know I am up for a challenge of the lifetime because I’ll be fighting Satan, his minions and most of all MYSELF!

No more stretching in areas of life that are wasteful and pointless but to stretch in the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. His word never lies. If I do those things, He will, in His own marvelous way, provide all my needs. It’s time to go higher!