Where The Rubber Meets The Road

This week has been interesting, to say the least. It started off with comparison gripping my heart. I was just scrolling on Instagram and all of a sudden I see a sister in Christ, celebrating something I had prayed for and had not yet received. Instagram has been a blessing in my life but also a stumbling block. I love to encourage women, men, anyone who follows me with God’s truth. I feel really useful in God’s kingdom because of the content I create and share on Instagram.

I think social media and blogging as a whole gives me the ability to use the gifts that God has given me for the body of Christ.

Comparison for me is like when someone hits the lights in a bug-infested home, they all come out and scatter. I get thundered with comparisons, questions, and accusations toward God. I loathe the fact that rejoicing with others isn’t something that I do well. I consider my lot and I am intensely infuriated by the fact that I even dare to compare myself to anyone else. It is the absolute worst. I know these comparisons, questions, and accusations are all lies but I can’t stop myself from believing them. I get so angry that I want to delete the app or take a break from it altogether. I become convinced that if I didn’t have an Instagram account I wouldn’t be dealing with comparisons. My frustrations with dealing with comparison reminded me of the depression I had dealt with before Christ. I was so depressed and there wasn’t a “reason” for it in the world. Back then I didn’t know that you could be depressed and have no reason for those feelings. I didn’t know about chemical imbalances in the brain that cause depression. But that’s how it feels to compare my life to others. There is nothing wrong with what God has given me, but I couldn’t find it in myself to be thankful for any of it.

Then I started to slowly but surely drift away from God. I wasn’t peeling open my Bible nor was I praying at all. And if I did it was quick and my requests were for others and not myself. At a certain point, I started to believe that God was angry with me for not reading my Bible and for not praying. It’s moments like this where my performance streak sneaks up on me. If I thought that God was angry with me because I stopped doing spiritual disciplines, then I must really believe that those things are what makes me acceptable to Him; and not the sacrifice of His Son. I fell in this slump of self-pity and overindulging in things to pacify or reward myself.

What I did was lie down in the biggest battle that I continue to have, for my mind. It felt like I had left the house in the biggest rainstorm. The lies thundered in my head, and I had drifted away from the only anecdote, God’s truth. I cannot ignore the spiritual realities of what I was dealing with. The accuser’s lies were so swift and so fast that they pushed me off a ledge. I felt I couldn’t win the battle. I felt I couldn’t hold every thought captive. It felt overwhelming and I did all I knew how to do, which is cower and raise my white flag.

I titled this entry, “Where the rubber meets the road” because we all will go through these storms and we need to hide the word of God in our hearts before the surging waters. By God’s grace, I’ve always been pretty consistent spending time in His Word. But in that storm (due to me drifting away from time in the Word) I was bone dry. I had some remnants of scriptures in my heart, but not enough to survive that level of a storm. While you are in a storm or a trial, is not the time to slacken on spending time in God’s Word. You will feel so weary but you still need to hide the Word in your heart.

We read God’s word so we can know Him, and worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). We are also commanded to love Him with our mind (Luke 10:27). But also when we have to walk out in the worst rainstorms. These storms or trials are different from person to person. But God permits these for a very grand purpose, so that we may know Him better. Think about what Job said in response to his own sufferings:

“I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and I repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6

Job says he had some amount of knowledge of God but through his sufferings, he came to know God more deeply.

Friends, when you go through storms don’t assume that God is unable to snatch you out of them. But lest we forget that suffering, storms, and trials produce a needful fruit within us that sunny days cannot.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5

The next time we face a storm we will endure longer and we won’t give up so soon. We have been given the privilege to not just believe in Christ but also to suffer with Him (Phil 1:29). So, our quiet time isn’t just to stir our hearts or more importantly to renew our minds. But also help us to face the storm, hand in hand with other believers and following behind our great Shepherd.

Please, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter. And, stop by my shop and pick up some cute tees. Thank you for checking my little square of the Internet, be sure to follow and like. Thanks for reading and supporting my blog. I pray that it edifies you and glorifies God.

Advertisements

How to Keep Your Torch Burning Bright for Christ.


After indulging in food in a manner that crossed the clearly marked line between pleasure and gluttony, again. I was a little dumbfounded and overwhelmed with this habitual, willful sin in my life. I was dumbfounded because I’ve had moments when I was able to walk away from abusing food. I also was overwhelmed because here it was again, and I was tired of repenting for this same sin. Afterward, my behavior mirrored those of my ancestors in the garden of Eden. I hid and then I tried to fix my nakedness. I dug around some of my favorite Christian resources, seeking to find something on this topic. I found this blog post on Desiring God. The author wanted to encourage young Christians in their walk with the Lord. I’m not exactly a young Christian, but I am a wobbly infant in Christ (less than a year and a half). The author points at something I never considered in overcoming temptation and fighting sins. He says, “sin is conquered by bigger loves, not by bigger muscles.” All this time I’ve been praying for self-control when according to the author I need to love God more than I love sin”.

That one thought started the ball to rolling in my mind.Had my love for the Lord gone cold? Was this gluttony or idolatry? Was I trying to serve two masters at once; my appetite and God? In my defiance to honor God with food, had I made the choice which of the two I would serve?

I can still remember those first few months after Christ, the eagerness, and excitement. I remember those hours I spent reading the Bible. How every verse evoked sheer unbelief. I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with all the new discoveries. I discovered that I was deeply loved. I discovered I was chosen and appointed. I discover that my life had real meaning and purpose. And that somehow I was really precious to God. It was a time marked by many changes in my life, from depression to joy. A life of futility to a life upheld by God’s eternal purposes.

Somehow I’ve lost my way along the way. Which led to me placing my affections on food, and inwardly feeling like God had arrested my life instead of redeeming it.

My weak flame for Christ had made a domino effect in my life. From my church attendance to personal worship, even down to my time in the Word. I’m sure that it even affected my personal relationships. Seeing the dangers hidden in possessing a low burning fire for God, I felt compelled to make a list.

How to Keep Your Torch Burning Bright for Christ

1.Prayer

We can do nothing apart from God. We need to confess our lack of devotion so He can heal us. We need God to remind us what stirs up our love for Him. And also what has the ability to diminish our love for Him. What extinguishes our desire for Him may be improperly positioned friendships or relationships. The content we watch on TV or the Internet. Sports. The music we listen to may also be the culprit. While none of these things are inherently evil, we are counseled to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23).

2.Remembering the Things You Did Before

Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Rev 2:5)

It sounds pretty simple, but this was the advice our Lord gave to the church in Ephesus. The problem wasn’t in the activities of the church in Ephesus, but that they had ceased doing them. What have you ceased doing? Do it again!

3. The Bible

I couldn’t compile this without the word of God. Scriptures are of essential importance because they focus our mind completely on the Lord. We are so often busy and so easily distracted, that God doesn’t become our sole focus. In the Bible we learn more about who God is, correcting our often incorrect thinking of God. We set our eyes on His promises. And too like Moses God allows His glory to pass before our very eyes. It’s only when our minds are on Him, that we find perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).

4. Worship

Nothing re-aligns our affections more than worship. In worship, we loudly sing, “Lord I give You the praise, not the gifts You’ve given me.” The truth is we are wired to sing praises and to worship, but if not unto God then onto who? Worship keeps the King on the throne of our hearts. Yet, beloved let us not chase our feelings in worship. We don’t worship to match the last experience we had with God, we worship Him because He is worthy. It’s often through worship that we are reminded of His eternal worthiness. We become aware that out of all the things the Lord has wrought for us, we get to worship Him.

5. The Cross

How often do we forget about what Christ suffered for us? At the cross is where we found Him, we shouldn’t hope to leave there. Pity parties and self-righteousness both loses their grip when we see Him who could rightly partake in pity. When we see Him who is truly righteous, alone. We are reminded at the cross of the great love that we are loved with. It’s only then that we can muster up love and offer it to our Savior.

Saints, take fresh courage. Mourn for your sin and confess them to God, and believe you are forgiven. Remind yourself that Jesus Christ died for this sin as well, and love Him even more. Stand in awe of the mercy and steadfast love of the Lord. Thank God that you have a love that will not let you go. For the sake of suffering Servant, enjoy God. Jesus decreased from glory to humanity, from heaven to earth. He dwelled in the womb of a woman and was born completely helpless so that He could help us. He grew up in obscurity and surely didn’t live a lavish life. He wasn’t arrested, flogged, and hung for you to believe that you are not forgiven. Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength (Luke 10:27), and fight to set your heart on things above and not on the perishing things below (Colossians 3:2).

Please, be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter. And, stop by my shop and pick up some cute tees. Thank you for checking my little square of the Internet, be sure to follow and like. Thanks for reading and supporting my blog. I pray that it edifies you and glorifies God.

Satan’s Bag of Tricks

For all that is in the world-the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life is not from the Father but from the world. 1 John 2:16 (ESV)

Today, I will be discussing what is Satan’s reservoir when it comes to tempting us. First, Satan can only tempt us with what we desire. I will be comparing Eve’s temptation (Genesis 3) and Jesus’s temptation in the wilderness. (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13 and Mark 1:12-13). Since Satan used the same dirty tricks with both Eve and Jesus.

                                               The Pride of Life

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, ; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.‘” ; But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. ; For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” ; He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden‘?” Genesis 2-5

It’s peculiar that one of his attacks is the very thing that overcame Satan, pride. Satan thought He was better God, convincing some of the other angels of the exact ideal. So God threw Satan and those who he’d had turned against God; out of heaven (Isaiah 14:12-14). Then Satan puts a spin on it ‘knowing good and evil’. As, if to convince Eve she’d be doing God a favor; having this knowledge of discernment.

Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple ; and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’; “‘On their hands they will bear you up,; and ; lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” Matthew 4:5-6

This proves that our enemy knows just as much Scripture as we do, and in fact probably more. Satan knew Jesus was, in fact, the Son of God. But, wanted Jesus to ‘show off’, just because Satan had questioned His authority. Here, Satan quotes two different verses (Ps 91:11 and 12). But, he was no match for Jesus who is the Word.

                                              The Desires of the Flesh

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food.. Genesis 3:6 A

Eve at this point was already convinced by the crafty serpent. She spoke no more, the Bible only describes what she does. She doesn’t speak again until God arrives and asks “What is this that you have done?” That serpent probably slinked away, already knowing it was done.

And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”

Jesus was at the end of His 40 days and nights without food (I can’t imagine) and was very hungry. As Luke 4:13 reminds us the enemy stalks and waits for the most opportune time. Jesus was weak with hunger, yet (thankfully) would not budge. Jesus who would begin His ministry sometime after this fast; would do miracles turning water into wine (John 2:1-11). And, feeding a great crowd with very little fish and bread (Luke 9:10-17). So, He could very well make a feast appear in the wilderness if He were as prideful as Satan is. Also, this fast would discipline His new flesh, for what He would do for all of us on the cross.

                                                      The Desires of the Eyes

…And it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of it’s fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Genesis 3:6B

The fruit looked appealing, but it was more than food; it came with a promise. Eve had no clue how a bite of a piece of fruit would change existence as we know it. Couldn’t have known that what seemed desirable, would come with a lifelong curse for her, Adam, the serpent and their offspring.

Again, the devil took him to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”  Genesis 3:8-9

Satan attempted to tempt Jesus by taking Him on a high mountain, where these kingdoms must have look picture perfect. Now, we know even through extreme hunger and probably fatigue; Jesus would never entertain Satan. But, all of this took place so we would know how to fight back. Jesus fights back with Scriptures, so we too must fight this way. We have to press on in our studies so we can guard ourselves, by standing on God’s truth.

Yesterday, I was under attack, and just sat there and didn’t bother to fight back with the Truth. So, sometimes it’s not that we don’t know; we choose not to fight back. I knew all I had to do was to pray or pick up my Bible, but ‘I didn’t feel like it’. I cried, and the angels came and ministered to me. But, what I’ve taken from this is, I have to not be led by my feelings. I have to admit that my feelings are always quite foolish and fleshly. And, that I must deny myself more than I currently do. Jesus calls for us to deny ourselves daily (Luke 9:23-24). An awesome sermon I watched that very night, is titled ‘Denial produces Discipline’. And, I’ve been wholly convicted that I need to add self-denial into my everyday living. And, the key to rich prayer life and ‘quiet time’; is discipline.

  • I can’t seem to get over how God walked in the garden, among them (Genesis 3:8)! How awesome! You could be chatting with some friends, and someone would exclaim ‘God is here!’ What! Blessedly, when we fight the good fight, finish our race and keep our faith (2 Tim 4:7)- this again will be a very real, eternal reality for us.

Please like and share! Follow me Twitter & Instagram. And, pick up a tee from —> HERE

I love you, but God loves you more.

The New Way I Study My Bible

I’ve been consistently pursuing the truth found in Scriptures for six months. I can’t begin to even tell you how it’s changed my life. The Bible has changed me, and the way I perceive all things. Yet, I still have this thirst for the unadulterated truth of the Word. In previous times I depended heavily on the helps in my study Bible. And, even Bible commentaries. And, while there is nothing wrong with that; I feel the reason commentators came to certain conclusions about Word, is because they took their time in Scriptures. Sometimes my thirst for the truth will bring me to a place where I only want to understand; and not to patiently take my time. Honestly, sometimes I have preconceived notions about what I’m reading. Which in turns make the Bible read, what I have already believed.

Looks like chicken scratch, but at least I’m learning

I have vowed and prayed that I would like to see God clearer. And, not add on to who He is, and what His word says about Him.

That brings me to my new method, Inductive Bible Study (IBS). My Pastor briefly mentioned that’s how he studies the Word. I had seen it around on the Internet, but it seemed complicated. Well, actually it’s not that complicated at all!

Studying my Bible this way, makes me focus verse-by-verse. It’s a very interactive way of study that calls for marking or highlighting names, places, or actions. You literally lift up every word, looking for the meaning of the verse. I’ve found it takes more time than I’m used to. But, at least I’m fully understanding everything!

And, while there is so much more to IBS than I can hope to explain; I’m going to leave you some links* so you can look into this for yourselves.

The question of the day: How do you study your Bible? And, out of all your studying what verse, passage or truth has stayed with you to this day? Leave me a comment so we can chat!

I love you, but God loves you more!

Walking by Faith (& my shop)

Having an online shop was something I never thought I would do. And, while is not uncommon it’s something that never crossed my mind. Until the Holy Spirit suggested it to me. I was fearful and doubting who would even be interested in buying something I sold. But eventually, I made up my mind that God was more than trustworthy. And, that He knows what’s best for me.This is the beginning of me walking by faith, and not by sight.

This is a huge thing for me, it’s the first fruit of my communion with God. This is really happening! This shop is also God’s way of answering one of my prayers. God is so faithful. I feel so humbled by this opportunity.

…’I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it.” Isaiah 46:11 (ESV)

I also want to encourage anyone who’s been afraid when God’s revealed a part of his purpose for your life. Do it! Write that book, article, song or screenplay. Open that company, charity, or school. If God told you to do it, know that He will do it! Trust Him!

I want to first thank you for the likes and follows on my previous posts, it means so much to me. I would really appreciate your support in this endeavor. Check out my shop in your free time.

I love you, but God loves you more!

The Thing About Idols + 6 Clues You May Be Dealing with Idolatry.


Idol: a picture or an object that is worshiped as a god.

“You shall not make idols for yourselves or erect an image or pillar, and you shall not set up a figured stone in your land to bow down to it, for I am the Lord your God.”  Leviticus 26:1 ESV

The Israelites made idols NOT because of their disbelief in God, but because of pride and control. After all, God had delivered them from oppression in Egypt and performed many great things in their sight. Yet they continually formed gods who would only secure war victories and riches; and who had no disapproval about their decisions or choices. The silence of their gods approved of their reckless lives.

The Israelites knew God, but had no control, or hopes of manipulating  God; so they formed gods. Gods that weren’t so seemingly hard to please; gods that couldn’t chide, discipline or CORRECT them. Gods that inwardly they could boast they formed. It all points to pride. So, they could boast of their own riches, victories, and give no one else the glory. That is why God hates pride. Pride gives self-glory; and robs God of the glory, and credit He is due.

Even today we make idols, but unlike Biblical times; our idols aren’t wooden statues, but live in our hearts. An idol is something that in your mind or heart de-thrones the living King. The thing about idols is that the shift from a desire to an idol is quite a sneaky one. Sometimes our desire turned idol, is not in essence unholy. But, the focus we give it, is.To the extent that we ignore all that God does for us, to focus on the one thing He hasn’t yet done. The other thing about idols is it can be dangerous; if we aren’t awakened and recommit ourselves back to God.

So here are 5 clues that you may be harboring an idol: 

1.When you experience ingratitude for an extent of time.

Now we all go through a spell of ingratitude, for whatever reasons. But in this example, this sort of ungratefulness is actual disappointment in God. And, sometimes bursts of anger or resentment.

2.When your mind is filled with same thoughts of wanting, daily.

When you can only think about how much you want this one thing. What life will be like when you have this one thing? Why isn’t God giving me this one thing?

3. When your conversations with God or prayers are based on one topic.

Sometimes certain urgent situations require constant communication. However, in this example, you can’t shut up about this one thing. Over, and over harping on an endless loop.

4.When your faith dwindles because God hasn’t given you this one thing.

You began to think God hasn’t given you this one thing because He isn’t able. Not, because it’s an idol. Or, not because your focus on it is unhealthy.

5.When you want that one thing more than you want God.

Before all you wanted was to develop a closer relationship with God. Your desires were all correctly aligned with God in mind. Nowadays, God’s a little further away.Because, your heart isn’t set on Him, anymore.

6. When our natural inclinations to praise and worship aren’t towards God.

This one thing takes all your time, attention, and fills your mind. You now worship that one thing. In your heart, you lift it up and behold it.

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 ESV

Conclusion

If any of these clues rang true for you; go in prayer, and ask God to reveal it to you. I went through a spell of making marriage an idol. I thought about it all the time. I dealt with lots of discontentment issues because of it. I told God ‘He was enough for me’, but in reality, He wasn’t. I wanted validation from a man. I wanted a prince charming to rescue me while ignoring my Savior. After tears and prayers, God worked it out for me. And, I know He will do the same for you.

I love you, but God loves you more!