faith

Choose this day whom you will serve.

What does that mean? Have you ever really thought about it? Can you break it down to define what it means to you, or what it means in your soul? I can tell you, when I heard this years ago, it was usually in one ear and out the other. I’ll do what I want today and tomorrow I’ll try a little harder. God knows my heart, I can cheat a little, He knows I try hard. Tomorrow I’ll read that passage. Tomorrow I wont lose patience and yell at my kids, I’m just tired today. Tomorrow, I’ll go see Grandma, I don’t feel like it today. But my problem was that tomorrow never came. It stayed tomorrow.

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I’m the kind of person who always thinks I have more time that what I realistically have. I have the bad habit of putting things off. Especially overwhelming things, and things that make me feel bad or guilty. I don’t know why I do it, I just do.

But there comes a time that it starts to be an issue. Not only for the people around you, but for the Father above you. And he starts to weigh in on your heart. It starts out with little things, that small little voice that says, maybe I shouldn’t do it this way. Or that feeling you get…you know the one….when you know God is aware how you acted or what you just did. We can’t  live on this earth and pretend that our consequences don’t matter anymore. Our actions mean just as much to Him now as they always have.

I had a terrible sugar addiction. Like Bad. Like when I was stressed, or it was getting close to that time of the month, I had to have something sweet to calm myself. I would run to a gas station in the middle of the night, to go buy chocolate or cookies, or whatever they had. To make myself feel ok. And it wasn’t just every once in a while. No ma’am. It became every day. Every day I had to have something sweet. If I didn’t make it at home, then I had to buy it. I neeeeedded it.

It was my vice. And it kept me from growing in Christ…Now before you roll your eyes and click away, hear me out. What does Jesus tell us to do with our anxiety? Does he tell us to be gluttons when we are stressed out? Does he say it’s ok to eat yourself to death? (I was starting to have very frequent heart palpitations and thyroid issues. BOTH of which have resolved after changing my diet). NO. What he tells us is to turn to him in our burdens. Choosing my self and my vice was not serving Christ. This right here, deciding to put away the sugar and to trust only in Christ is what changed my path.

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I was stuck. I didn’t feel like I was progressing in my path because I wasn’t truly trusting that He would take care of my problems. I was using my anxiety as an excuse to eat everything in sight. It stopped me from growing and it stopped me from seeing who’s path I was going down, and it wasn’t the straight and narrow. And it wasn’t just because I had an addiction. I think when you allow yourself a vice like that, where you refuse to turn to the bible and see what Gods word has in store for you, but instead try to cope on your own, without God, this is choosing the other guy. Especially when you are wallowing in self pity, crying in your closet with a pint of ice cream, trying to be quiet so your kids don’t hear you and want some ice cream too worry about you crying.

I don’t want to say that every once in a while when this happens that it’s wrong, because I know life happens. But for me, It got to the point it was wrong because I’d let myself take in all these negative thoughts, instead of hearing what God tells me. He tells me he does not give me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-discipline. I didn’t love myself, I had no self-control over what I ate, and I was powerless to change. All that stopped the moment I chose him over myself. And not in a sappy, now I love God so my life is perfect kind of way, but in a way that I need him every day. I need to start my day with his words so I can keep him in my mind when I do get stressed. I need to meditate on him throughout the day so I know what he wants from me. I need to go to him in my troubles and cast my cares on him, not let them burden me. Don’t let the devil steal your joy. He is real and that is one of his many distributing goals.

When you give your troubles to Christ and put him in control of your life, something crazy happens. He takes that control and stress and anxiety and uses it for good. Good in your life and good for his kingdom. You just trust him and let him work for you. Step out in your faith. If that person offends you, don’t try to “get them back” He tells us that it is to our glory to overlook an offense. HE will make it right!! Maybe not right away, but in his own time and we have to trust that. This place is not our final destination. Think about it. Once we pass from this life, we will move on to the next. There’s no stopping it. And I want my next life to be by his side. I want to feel that eternal love and comfort he promises us. If you struggle, there are some great videos on youtube to help you grow closer to God. Greg Laurie, David Platt, Jeff Durbin, Matt Chandler all of these people and more helped lead me to Christ. Always be wary when you are listening, and compare their words with your bible. You don’t have to accept someone’s interpretation of the word, read it yourself and see how you feel with it. Break it down. Look at the hebrew translations of words or passages that confuse you. STUDY!! You will not be disappointed.

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John 10:10   New International Version

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.


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faith

Not Denying the Spirit

One thing I’ve always been awwhed at is coincidences. They can be really amazing sometimes, can’t they? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered coincidences in my lifetime. And I’m not even 50 yet!

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But the longer I continue on this walk with God, He’s help me come to the realization that there is no such thing as a coincidence…

I was cleaning my countertops this morning, the kids were running through the house, chasing each other with pillows and screeching at the top of their lungs, when I started thinking some of those negative thoughts. You know the ones. Someone said something to you and it hit you wrong so you’re trying to figure out if it is worth the effort to chase down the situation over and over in your head, but when you decide it isn’t worth it, another thought pops up about that persons wife, and how she has treated you in the past. How you’ve tried with everything you can to be her friend, but somehow you always end up the one getting hurt. The one who feels depressed after having any sort of conversation with her. You try to keep in mind that it is to your benefit to overlook an offense. You don’t have to rebuttal every little thing that she says that bothers you. That in time, God will take care of this situation. Everything about it. The gossip, the jealousy, the lies. But I’m gonna be honest, it’s hard. It’s difficult not to call her up and let her know that I know the things she’s said about me. I know how she has torn me down when I’ve built her up. I know the things I want to say to her, but I don’t say them. You see, what I wanted from her was friendship. Not the kind of pass by friendship or acquaintance’s type of friendship, but a heart felt friendship. A kindred spirit friendship. And I’m finding that those types of friendships are few and very far between.

Thankfully I found my faith within the last few years, enough so that when I get the urge to do something I know that I will regret, I control myself. Because that is a fruit of the spirit that I defiantly need to work on. It’s much easier to control yourself than to feel guilty and ask for forgiveness.

Anyways I digress. I was basically feeling sad because I don’t really have anyone in my life at this point to call a kindred spirit. I was really starting to overthink and then bring up past disappointments and continue down that long, lonely spiral downhill. I happened to be listening to “Thy word” network on the radio. When I’m in those moods, I’ve found this is the best way to get the word into me. I can’t always focus on reading when emotions strike. But I can sit back and let God work by listening either to the radio or YouTube (very carefully with YouTube, there are many good people on here, but there are also alot of distractions). Back to what I was saying before, I noticed the words, “true friendships”.  My ears were pricked. I’ve been standing here in my kitchen that last hour, depressing and obsessing and somehow, someway, the very same issue I’m struggling with and the issue that is threatening to throw me down in darkness, is coming up on a radio broadcast.

God speaks to us, not only in that quiet voice in our minds, but through people. Through his ministry, through his workers that are apart of christian broadcasts that are trying to reach your heart. And through many more organizations and people scattered throughout this world.

This broadcast…. I truly believe the Lord is working through it for so many people out there in this tough world. This man on the broadcast encouraged people to pray for a kindred spirit in your life and then be on the lookout for it. He talked about how the majority of the people we encounter in this life do not have the qualities of a true friend. That you only have a few in a lifetime, and I believe this. Especially in my personal life. I know in my heart how hard I’ve tried. I’ve come to the point that I have decided not to hold grudges. But to forgive and just remain wary. I can still love the people in my life who are causing me stress. I can choose to edify them in those moments their names are brought up to other people. Because I believe God is there. In that conversation where you didn’t take the chance to knock them down in gossip.  I can choose to see goodness instead of focusing on the hurt. But I can still be wary and know with discernment, how much to be involved with that person. Always forgive, be wary, but continue to act out in love. Because we are told the greatest commandments are to love God, and love one another as ourselves.

Proverbs 12:26 The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

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I didn’t deny Gods presence in that message. I knew at that moment, he was speaking to me. I’m not going to lie, I always wish he would appear right by my side in these moments, hold me to him, and tell me everything will be ok. But if he did that, I wouldn’t have much need for faith. I think the beauty is in identifying when he is speaking to us, and thanking him and praising him for that.

If we can catch those moments, the ones when we are feeling sad or discouraged and something or someone is trying to help us. We can know that those people who are helping build us up in our times of need are sent by God. That is his Spirit working through the radio when we are sad, working through our parents when we are upset, working through the blogs we search for when we need reassurance. The Spirit is there and trying to build you back up. Don’t deny it. Know at that moment, God is with you. He loves you, and he will help you overcome.

” data-hasqtip=”22″ aria-describedby=”qtip-22″>John 16:13-15

“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. “He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. “All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.