Have you ever been hard on yourself? Have you been guilty of beating yourself up because you didn’t get it right the first time? Have a habit that’s hard to break?
It didn’t take overnight to create it, so it probably won’t take overnight to break it. Give yourself grace. Give yourself time. Exercise the fruit of patience on yourself.
Often, we feel like if we’re not hard on ourselves we give ourselves permission to fall short, but perfection is not the aim. Consistency is the goal. We don’t leap to the finish line. We get there one step at a time.
Trauma has a way of seeping into every aspect of our lives if we allow it to. It’s an intruder. It’s rude, violating, and invasive. It doesn’t care what new relationships or new opportunities we’re engaged in currently. It doesn’t care what God says about us. Trauma’s responsibility is to give us another identity as well as a mentality that is not led by Holy Spirit.
A sobering thought I’ve been pondering and meditating on here lately is that I choose to receive the grace given to me through Christ to isolate the trauma to the incident and the person(s) it involved. I choose not to drag my past into my present. I choose to see people in my life for who they really are and not view them through the lenses of pain. It’s not fair to the beautiful people who are in my life right now; nor is it fair to myself. How would you feel if you were mistreated for a wound you never caused? This is how we can do others if we allow the pain of the past to show up in our present and lead our decisions.
This, by no means, is easy, but it’s doable because of Holy Spirit. We have been given the power to overcome and conquer all thoughts that are contrary to the knowledge of God. We don’t conquer bad thoughts with good ones; we conquer them with the Word of God. The more we do this, it sounds the alarm on the intruder called Trauma and serves it notice that it can no longer live comfortable in our space, our present moment, our relationships, or our decisions. It will not rule us nor steal our joy. Let’s take authority over the mentality of trauma today.
Here’s a serious question to ask yourself. Not physical weight but emotional and mental weight. Being heavy is when there’s usually a drabby, negative, dark, overly critical nature. It’s when so much focus and emphasis are placed on what’s happening wrong rather than what’s right. This nature can bring about toxicity in relationships and can actually be a reason why we may walk alone without the companionship we desire.
Of course life throws curve balls. We face challenges, tests, trials, and tribulations. But to be heavy is to only discuss the bad, to only point out the flaws of others, to not take responsibility for our own actions, to play the victim, to think of God as a conspirator, and to constantly complain.
The Word tells us in Hebrews 12:1-2, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
To lay aside weight is to put away or cast off. What weight are you carrying that God never called you to carry? What opinions are you giving about others concerning business that has nothing to do with you? Lay it all aside. It’s not worth being heavy. It’s not worth having baggage and trying to drag it into the lives of other people and get mad at them because they don’t want to deal with our heaviness. It’s not fair to them, nor is it their responsibility. Selah.
Take a quick look at a calendar, any calendar, and you will see that the week starts on Sunday. Many times we tend to look at Sundays as an end to a week instead of a beginning of another week. It does matter how we start our week.
Here lately, I have been seeing a trend in getting comfortable with giving God leftovers. We go to a job for eight to twelve hours a day. We travel for our family and their extra-curricular activities. We give everything else time and attention. But when it comes to God, we have a hard time focusing our hearts and attention on Him. Although online church has become a way of protection as well as a convenient way to spread the Gospel, many will not even make time to see it at home when it is scheduled. They will get the Word “when they can,” and many times, that will not happen.
Just something to think about…It does matter how you start your week.
I just want to share a thought with you about how important and powerful your decisions are. The thing about a decision is that emotions and signs don’t often follow but that doesn’t make that decision any less powerful. For instance, if you decide to start working out three to four times a week, you probably won’t feel wind outside or see a rainbow as a sign that you should go forward with this decision. As a matter of fact, most of us, when we received Christ as Savior and Lord of our lives, didn’t see any sign. We just followed through with our decision. But just because we didn’t see any sign following our decision doesn’t mean our decision was any less powerful.
God gave us the gift of choice. Because He is love (1 John 4:8) He gives us the opportunity to choose. And even more, He wants us to not only choose but to confident in the decision we are making even without a sign. Deciding to walk in deliverance and healing daily is not an easy feat. We must know it by faith. We walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Another word for “herd” is “crowd.” Society has a way of trying to influence us to be like itself, to sound and dress like it, and to even think that success is defined by it. Honestly, success for the Christ follower, is seeing Jesus. It’s hearing Him say, “well done, good and faithful servant.”
The natural part of us likes to follow crowds because it feels better to us. We don’t like sticking out and causing a riff, so we go with the flow. But sometimes the flow leads to destruction. “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14 KJV).
This is a very sobering and strong Scripture. Let’s not live anesthetized and sedated by the culture of this world that we become loose in morals, values and beliefs that glorify Jesus Christ. Just because many are doing things that are against God’s Word doesn’t give us permission to do so. We are to be salt and light in the world.
And no, this doesn’t give us permission to bash, belittle, or scare people into doing God’s will. Our life must be a witness. Let us live lives that are led by the Holy Spirit.
The healthier we are, the healthier our ministry will be. People get a better us when we are whole. Our relationships thrive when we understand and walk in who we are called to be.
I just wanted to encourage you today to let you know that you are enough. If you removed your gifts and everything you believe makes you special, God already saw you as priceless. He deemed you worthy of His Son, Jesus Christ.
The challenge comes when we don’t feel like we measure up, when we don’t feel like we’re good enough. Many times we feel like we have to prove to people because we don’t think they take us seriously. But God will not supply us with what will not be needed by someone else. We have been given something that someone else needs. Let’s receive that by faith.
We don’t have to prove; just be. Remember, we’re not human doings; we’re human beings.
“For in him we live, and move, and have our being.” Acts 17:28a
You know, when some of you see the title, you may be tempted to click off of it because God loving you may seem either too elementary or just simply unbelievable. But I want to share Truth with you today in hopes that you will not only hear it but believe and digest it. Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” This is such great news! God loved us when sin made us unlovable!
After some time in prayer, God revealed to me that sin is not just a behavior, it’s a location and an identity. We trespass when we sin against God. So when we take that thought into this verse, it reads, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were trespassing and not in our God-given identity yet, Christ died for us.”
Just as sin is being who we’re not supposed to be (which causes us to do what we’re not supposed to do), righteousness is choosing to step into being sons and daughters of Him which ultimately changes our behavior as well. Oftentimes, we focus so much on doing right things that we forget to “be” righteous. This is the difference between religion and relationship. Religion looks at righteousness as a “what” when relationship looks at it as a “who.”
Don’t do righteousness; be righteous. Receive His love and be filled with His Spirit to be who He says you are. He loves you with an unfailing love.
The Lord designed our bodies in a powerful way! He is a purposeful God, and He didn’t make any mistakes when He created us. Every cell, organ, bone, muscle, and nerve are all working together to give us the energy and vitality we need to function in this life.
The Scripture says in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” In our body’s control center, the brain, there is a process called Neuroplasticity. In a nutshell, pathways are created in the brain based on our habits. When new habits are formed, new pathways are created in the brain.
When we meditate on our issues and worry about them, pathways are formed that can create anxiety, a negative outlook and perspective about life, and so on. But when we meditate and operate in the Word of God, our brains create paths that emulate His ways, His habits, His nature, and His thoughts. We have access to the mind of Christ! Let’s allow the Word of God to create new paths in our minds!
I was having a great conversation with someone earlier this week, and the Lord dropped a thought in my heart. He said, “there’s a difference between an opportunity and a distraction.” That difference is based on knowing who you are.
Distractions look alike like opportunities. They can even keep us occupied tending to them which can give off the appearance that we are busy, and our calendar is booked, but we are distracted. Distractions throw us off course from our original purpose and assignment from God. They feel and sound good but don’t agree with God’s identity for our lives.
The first place to identify whether it’s an opportunity or a distraction is to be solid in our God-given identity. We must know our lane. From there, we can allow Holy Spirit to navigate us. This is not to say that every invitation we don’t agree with is evil. It just simply means that it’s not always our grace to operate in. We must be humble enough to admit when someone else is a better fit for the invitation instead of operating in pride, making something be what it is not.