By Amanda Casanova
When I was in college I left my apartment on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:17 a.m. to make the bus to campus. After a short bus ride, it took me three minutes to walk to my Spanish class from the campus bus stop. I then had six minutes before class to relax. I had a routine.
Years later, as a wife and writer now, my thoughts are a tangle of things: dinner plans, story ideas, to-do lists. I developed a remedy for that confusion. I developed another routine.
Because routines are one of my favorite things. They keep life orderly and neat and planned, but the awful truth about them is they don’t need Jesus.
Just before Joshua sets out to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land and just as he picks up from where Moses left off, God tells him to “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
Now I’m sure the Israelites had a system down. They knew how to set up camp quickly and how to travel light. They knew how to get a stubborn camel moving and which packs carried the most. They were experts, and when we become experts at scheduling and routine, it’s easy to not need Christ.
Until we crash. Until something doesn’t fit in the routine. Until something wrecks our remedy, and we are calling for help.
But what if we didn’t wait until the crash? What if we took routine and gave it to the Lord? Routines may not need Jesus, but you and I, we do.
Dwight Edwards writes in “Revolution Within: A Fresh Look at Supernatural Living”:
“Apart from me you can do nothing” – Those words have not a trace of exaggeration in them. Yet our flesh tries to keep the prideful hope alive of accomplishing something worthy on our own. Usually we try it in areas that we consider our strengths: our intellect, our personal discipline, our godly upbringing (if we were so blessed), our personality traits, or our Christian training or education.”
Routines are great at getting us to survive the day, at getting us through the day, but God wants so much more from each day. I don’t want to just make it through each day, and my schedule, my idea, my remedy, is just barely getting me there.
God called Joshua and Moses to faithfully pursue him and trust him every day. God doesn’t need to see our planning skills. He wants to see us follow him. He wants to see us love him more than a schedule, with that and I’m reminded of Paul’s words to the Galatians: “Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?”
By Ronya Osman
We don’t need to look at our imperfections as weaknesses. God is writing our story and there is a purpose for every one of them. In his attempt to steal, kill, and destroy Satan will afflict God’s children, all the while doing God’s will. Rom 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
The people God used were not perfect; they were outright dysfunctional people. David lusted after Bathsheba, a married woman. He impregnated her after committing adultery and had her husband, Uriah, killed (2 Samuel 11). Sarah let her husband sleep with another woman then resented and hated her afterwards (Genesis 16). Moses had a hard time controlling his temper (Exodus 32:19, Numbers 20:11). Jonah ran from God (Jonah 1:3). Hosea’s wife was a promiscuous woman (Hosea 1). Paul murdered Christians (Acts 8), before God blinded him for three days, and revealed the truth to him (Acts 9:9). So you see, God does not use perfect people. He loves you and uses you just the way you are.
In 2 Corinthians Paul talks about a thorn in his flesh. He explains this thorn as a painful thorn, a thorn that Satan put there, but God uses for a greater purpose. 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, “In order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Paul asked the Lord to remove this thorn three times, but he was given something better. God gave Paul the understanding of His will and the truth that His grace is sufficient. Paul said, “In order to keep me from becoming conceited.” Nothing is worse than a “holier than thou” Christian. Paul delighted in his imperfections because he knew they produced humility and Christ-likeness. He also knew that only God could make him whole and whatever he lacked God would make up the rest, “For when I am weak, then I am strong”. Through it all, Paul’s source of strength was God. So boast about your imperfections because you have the ability to lean on God too!
We are created to be vessels full of the knowledge of the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 4:6-7, “For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
If we look at our imperfections as cracks in the potter’s clay jars we can see that they are placed there for the purpose of allowing God’s light to shine through them. Cracks allow others to see God’s forgiveness, mercy, redemption, healing, and love at work in our lives. They allow us to identify with one another and come together and say “oh, you too?” The cracks are a witness of God’s glory to people who don’t know the healing power of Christ, the power that holds us together through the brokenness. So delight in your cracks.
Allow me to share the story of the broken pot…
A water bearer in India had two large pots. Each hung on an end of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the masters house. The cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.
"I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you."
"Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?"
"I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your masters house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts." the pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the masters house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path."
Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the Pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pots side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my masters table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."
We all have imperfections. We are all cracked jars of clay. Never the less our cracks are used to grace the Father's table. Delight in your imperfections. Citation: http://www.gbumc.org/assets/1323/naomi_table_web.pdf
By Danelle Vingtas
When we are in the midst of hurt, sadness, sorrow and confusion, it’s difficult to understand why it’s happening – let alone how it could be beneficial.
Being “broken” doesn’t necessarily mean that something dramatic or drastic had to happen to you to get you to that point. Each one of us is completely broken spiritually, mentally, and sometimes even physically if we do not know the love of Jesus. It is this love that allows us to function normally, it is to the human spirit as oxygen is to the heart. We were all born broken, and only become who we were created to be once we become one with our Creator.
It is our brokenness that takes us on a journey that will be beneficial to not only God, but to us as well. How, you might ask? It’s really quite simple: brokenness gives us a testimony, which in return brings glory to God. Without a testimony, we would not be able to reach people for Jesus; they would never know His love. A testimony is the link that helps the witness connect the listener to Jesus. As it says in 2 Corinthians 1 v 3-4: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”
We can never give away anything that we ourselves have never had. When we are in the midst of these tribulations, it seems impossible to believe that anything good could come out of it, but rest assured, there will be plenty of good to tell. The truth is, we are all broken in our own way, and some of the things that God has in store for us requires us to be whole. It requires one to be so in tune with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Sometimes, when we rush into things and find it hard to understand why we seem to be stagnant, we should stop and ask God what He’s trying to tell us. More often than not, it’s just Him trying to protect us from what He knows will damage us even more. For example, it’s very common for single women to focus on their desire for a husband and kids, more than they focus on allowing God to heal them from past hurts, disappointments and mistakes that they might be ready to step into their desired season.
When you’re married, there are so many other things that need your attention. Catering to the needs of your husband, running a household, caring for your kids, to name a few, will be on your list of priorities. No longer will you have the amount of time and focus to be able to seek God intensely about whatever it is that might withhold you from experiencing His complete joy in a marriage as He intends. This can cause deeper issues such as depression and malfunction. This is but one example of the importance of healing and the preparedness of a heart.
Seek God about the hidden corners of your heart, the little things from the past that you have forgotten about, the hidden emotions that were not dealt with after that last break-up. Those will cause you to go into a new season with old baggage, when God intends for you to go into it whole and ready to receive the blessings that come along with it. If you wait patiently and actively for the Lord, you will surely have a testimony to share. A testimony of how God has healed you of your hurtful past. A past that was once confusing, but now makes perfect sense. You will be able to comfort other women who find themselves in your shoes. A testimony that will bring life and inspiration to so many others. A testimony that will sow seeds of hope in the hearts of those who have lost faith in Jesus. You will be the salt that brings the lost to the light of Christ.
Wait patiently for the Lord to bring your breakthrough as He comforts you and equips you to comfort others. Fear not and do not be dismayed, it is our brokenness that strengthens our relationship with our compassionate Saviour and allows us to grow.
By Morgan Fisher
If there is something, just one thing, that God has vividly shown in my life recently, it's that we need each other to get through the struggles of this life. I cannot stress enough, the importance of how you choose your friends.
Proverbs 13:20, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
I am a strong believer in being the light in the darkness, being the Good Samaritan, and showing believers and non-believers the life of love that a Christian individual should walk. However, it is vital that we have a support system of fellow believers to encourage us, pick us up when we fall down, and provide God's wisdom in times of celebration just as much as in times of darkness.
John 15:12-15 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
Recently, a friend of mine and I discussed the difference between friendships based on convenience and friendships based on commitment. When you associate yourself with people that are simply convenient, you will find yourself with nothing when God calls you elsewhere and those friends do not care to pursue your friendship, because that element of convenience is gone. However, when you choose Christian friends that walk in love, you have a support system and community that will be invested in your life no matter where you are, no matter what you are doing, they will not leave you alone.
2 Kings 2:2 And Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, for the LORD has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.
I encourage and challenge you to evaluate your friendships. Are you basing your friendships off of convenience or commitment? Are you going to be the friend who will leave the office or classroom to answer a call to be there for someone? Do you know a friend would do the same for you?
C.S. Lewis wrote, "Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”
My prayer is that you evaluate your friendships and relationships and ask God to provide people to walk in faith and love with. Ask Him for friendships that will assure you, you are not alone.
By Julie Caulder
I won't lie this season has been difficult. As I am transitioning into the unknown of what God will do next, I have often struggled to find my rhythm again. Admittedly, the feeling of worthlessness have sneaked in and I've felt more like a victim than a victor. I've been sorting through memories old and new and reliving them all over again. I'm writing this in the midst of another potential relationship gone sour because both of us failed to commit thanks to my insecurities and their pride.
For the past few months I've felt worthless. This feeling of not being good enough I can't shake. It always finds me in moments of joy and never leaves in moments of defeat.
Something is buried deep in every woman's heart, in her soul, where someone or something made her feel worthless and I can sit here and replay every situation in my life where I felt this way. Worthless, fat, ugly, stuck, empty, I've been there. The worst moments of my life happened in the hands of others who swore they'd never abandon or hurt me. They promised to protect and love me forever.
Forever never came and I've often blamed myself for their behavior. I fed into the lie maybe I deserved the abuse and abandonment. I wasn't worth the investment because others saw through my tough exterior and didn't like who they saw underneath; the real me.
I tell myself everyday the way I feel is normal because I'm a woman. It's okay to have moments of insecurity and doubt as long as those feelings don't keep me from seeing the bigger picture of God's plan despite them. But to sit and tell any of you I actually believe I'm worth being loved by a man other than God, I'd be lying. Most days I don't feel it. I don't see it and I've considered spending the rest of my life alone. This has caused me to turn inward and focus on aspects of my character I often overlook in my defeat.
My worth as a woman has never been communicated to me. This is a hard truth I've had to swallow as I look back on every moment of my life where I felt worthless and had zero support to carry me. My parents never told me how they were proud of me. I was always met with rejection and criticism regardless of any of my achievements and when I tried fighting back, I was met with abuse. My worth withered.
How do we find our worth when we've never had it? On a deep and spiritual level, I know my worth can only be found in Christ. When it's Him and I in my quiet time, He reminds me who I am and what I'm worth. It are the moments in between I'm struggling with. The world is noisy. The world tells me everyday how I will never amount to anything. The world tells me I'm not going to marry or find a man to love me. The world screams their dirty lies in every direction of my life when I try and turn the other cheek. The world is a filthy liar and I believe its lies.
The question why sits with me and stirs my heart. It makes me question everything I've ever felt and went through with other people. It makes me face the hard truth I'm not as strong as I think I am and there is more work for God to do in me. I don't know how to die to my old way of thinking. A part of me isn't ready to lay to rest the old me.
The only way I can find my worth as a woman is if I place God back on the throne of my life and leave my old way of thinking behind me. I'm not saying it's easy or I won't stumble again and buy into the enemy's lies. But, they're lies. And while they're believable, they can't define me any more. The moment I entered into a relationship with Christ, He promised a new thing. The old me was crucified and a new life began. Everyday He's doing a new thing in my mind, body and spirit.
Ladies, I don't have a magical formula to tell any of you how to feel. We're women and we feel everything. We've all been through different walks in our life but they have all brought us to now and regardless of the transitions and opposition, we've endured it and came through stronger because of it. While I'm still trying to find my rhythm again in this new skin, a part of me feels whole; I feel worth it.
And it's about time.
2 Corinthians 5:17
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
By Jami Greene
“…creating words of praise. The Lord says, … and I will heal him.” Isaiah 57:19
For too much of my life, I had no voice. I was simply the echo of other people’s voices. I suffered and existed in virtual silence. Why? Because I did not understand nor appreciate the value of my voice. I did not grasp the power that lies within my words.
I am the daughter of two preachers and pastors. My heritage and bloodline are saturated with preachers. So I have heard repeatedly the scripture, “Life and death are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21. Yes, I have heard and even preached from this scripture. However, for many years I did not allow this scripture to come to life in my life!
Today, in this season of my Journey, I am totally convinced, that what you SAY has a direct correlation to what you SEE. When you speak God’s Word over your life, you pull into the natural realm ALL that His Word provides for you. When you speak positive affirmations, you see positive things manifested in your life and in the lives of those who are connected to you.
The enemy of our souls is continually after your voice. Have you noticed that after he plants a negative thought in your mind, the very next thing he does, is silence you? He knows that if he can get you to be quiet, then you are on your way to defeat. You must refuse to be silent. Refuse to enter a state of doubting. When you doubt, you delay and often derail the manifestation of the great things coming your way.
As specifically designed by the Father, we not only have a Voice, but we are a Voice. We have been uniquely gifted to speak things into existence. Our words have creative power. When you “speak it” you command it to be seen. When you “speak it” you confirm your belief in what you are saying. When you open your mouth to speak, you are releasing what lies within. Now, you can see it!
“The Power of THE VOICE”
The Voice soothes a crying child.
The Voice comforts a wailing woman.
The Voice revives a lifeless man.
The Voice strengthens and unites a fragmented family.
The Voice is POWER.
Excerpt from my book, “I AM a Voice”
By Danielle Erwin
I remember the day I found out my sister was pregnant with my niece. Driving down 85 (more like sitting in traffic) and getting that call was one of the happiest moments of my life.
It’s interesting what happens when a woman finds out she is pregnant. Everything else is seemingly put on hold as her body begins to change and life begins to grow inside of her. Plans must be made to provide for the child, clothes must be bought, cribs must be assembled. There is so much that goes into bringing a life into the world!
When you’re expecting, there are so many joy-filled days! In the first few months of my sister’s pregnancy, my family would all wait anxiously by our phones every time she had a doctor’s appointment. Obviously the most exciting appointment was when she found out she was having a baby girl.
Watching my sister change from a woman into a mother was the most beautiful sight. Seeing her belly grow and feeling life moving and kicking inside her…moments that like make you truly see what an awesome God we serve.
The only day better than finding out my sister was pregnant was the day my niece finally arrived. She was five days past her due date and we were all (none more so than my sister) anxious for the big day. When I got the call that she was finally in labor, I dropped everything and rushed to the hospital. She was in labor for the entire day and seeing her in pain was difficult to watch.
After being in labor for 13 hours, the doctors finally decided it was time. About 20 minutes later, my niece was finally here.
And right on time.
When God places a vision in you, it’s a lot like a woman who is pregnant.
You’ll want to share the joy of your promise with everyone. You’ll begin preparing for your vision and preparing for the birth in advance. That way, when the time comes and the promise arrives you’ll be ready. You’ll be prepared.
Like an expectant mother, those around you will watch in amazement of God as you begin to change. You will begin to look like someone who is expecting. Not to say that your body will begin to change but you will begin to walk, talk and look like someone who is waiting on God.
Like a woman preparing to bring life into the world you will know that the vision God has placed in you cannot survive in your current environment. So you change your environment. You set aside habits that could have a negative impact on your vision. You prepare your environment for the birth of your vision, removing things that could hinder or harm your vision’s growth. You being to add things to your life that will serve no purpose until your vision is finally birthed.
Your prayer times become like an expectant mother’s doctors’ appointments. You wait anxiously at the feet of God as He updates you on your promise. Hearing specific details about your God-given vision brings about the same excitement as a mother learning the gender of her unborn child.
But unlike a pregnant woman, you don’t always know the due date God has for the promise He’s placed in you. So we begin to get anxious. We try to take matters into our own hands, in an attempt to induce labor. Can you imagine God looking down with a loving smile and saying, “Not yet my child.”? Like an expectant mother placing her hands on her belly and feeling her child kicking within her womb, you too can feel the presence of your promise moving within you.
Then the day finally comes. Your vision, your promise…the very thing God has placed inside of you finally comes into fruition.
All the months of preparation and all the labor pains have finally served their purpose. You have successfully birthed the vision God placed in you.
It’s right on time.
Waiting for the birth of your vision, much like waiting for the birth of a child can be an exciting yet anxious time.
What will it look like?
How will I provide for it and keep this God-given promise alive?
Am I capable?
Am I truly prepared?
As these questions and more float in and out of your mind, a sudden peace overtakes even the most anxious of thoughts.
We’ve all heard the saying, “God doesn’t call the equipped but He equips the called.” Trust and believe that whatever vision, whatever promise God has placed in your spirit…you are more than qualified to birth it. God promises us that He will never put more on us that we can bear so rather than shying away from seemingly daunting responsibilities, we should rejoice in the fact that God sees our potential to handle those responsibilities accordingly.
As our promise undergoes it’s own gestation process, we recognize it as God taking the time to prepare us. Like an expectant mother taking birthing classes and reading parenting books, our prayer time and our study time will help prepare us for the birth.
No birth can take place without some sort of pain and certainly not without a process. Every now and again I’ll catch my mom looking at me or my siblings with a slight smile on her face and a twinkle of pride in her eyes. Noticing us looking back at her, she’ll make mention of how long she was in labor …the strange food cravings she had while carrying us or how her body changed throughout the pregnancy. But after saying all that she’s sure to say, “It was all worth it.”
Your gestation process; your spiritual pregnancy may not be the most comfortable time in your life. A pregnant woman has to give up certain freedoms she once had and as a parent you are forced to give up even more. But it’s worth it.
You might not be able to go to the same places you used to frequent or clear your scheduled and lay in bed all day like you may want to. But it’s worth it.
You’ll have to be more fiscally responsible and aware of your actions because you never know who is watching or listening. But it’s worth it.
“A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when the baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.” John 16:21
It WILL be worth it.
By Christina Stolaas
Have you ever wondered if God was just going to drop you? You’ve had too many screw-ups; too little faith; not enough self-control; too many wildly volatile emotions; poor decisions and deliberate rebellion. Ever felt like perhaps God’s grace and patience with your inconsistent heart was exhausted? I’ve felt like that this week.
As I grow closer and dive deeper into a life changing faith I am more aware of my sinful nature. I’m a mess! Can’t do what I want to do and do the things I don’t want to do. The fruits of the Spirit – I lack them. In fact, this week at one time or another I am pretty sure I lacked every single one of them. (Gal 5:22- 23, love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control)
"He chooses to love us even at our messiest."
This morning, I was wallowing in my mess, fumbling through scripture, trying to allow what I was reading to speak life into my heart; the gap between my heart and God’s seemed insurmountable. It was there, in Romans chapter 8:31-40, that God reminded me that the grip He has on my life was not initiated by me. As Christians, I think sometimes we forget that God’s love is perfect, and in His perfection, He chooses to love us even at our messiest.
When you give your life to Christ something amazing, almost incomprehensible happens. He securely locks your life into His. As I was considering this truth, I am reminded about one handy tool mechanics, engineers, and common laborers often use to secure things: a vise grip. Ever seen one in action? A vise grip is similar to pliers, except, it has locking “jaws.” Vice grips function by using multiple pivot points to expand and contract the jaw in direct proportion to the amount of force applied to the handles. Now, aside from this useless mechanical lesson I just gave (smile), there is one very cool thing about vice grips that I want you to know. A vise grip allows the tool handler to multiply the amount of pressure tenfold to secure the object being gripped! Essentially, a vise grip amplifies the hold on an object to be unbreakable! The user of a vice grip can simply apply more pressure, to create a firmer hold circumstances as needed.
Friends, Jesus sacrificial death on the cross, created a vise grip for you and I! When God granted the gift of salvation, He did so permanently and lavishly. Paul confirms to those who doubt, to those who fear their failures, to those who feel condemned, to those who wonder if they’ve gone too far, to those who feel unworthy, and to those who feel insecure: You are held securely by the love of Jesus.
I love the way the message version of the Bible words this passage. Pause a minute and let it pour over you “Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture…None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”
I love that Paul (author of Romans) tells us he is convinced of this! Paul is completely certain! Paul gets so clearly specific in his list of “nothings” because He wants the church to realize the security of their relationship with Christ. Jesus initiates salvation and Jesus secures it. Nothing you did earned God’s love, and nothing you do will take it away! Isn’t that phenomenally freeing? Today, rejoice in the fact that you are securely His. If you doubt it, write it down somewhere where you’ll see it often; maybe a nightstand, mirror, or dresser. God knew all you would do, every thought, mistake, failure, and still chose to die for you. As I read Romans today, that still small voice moved in my spirit with such reassurance, “Hey You. I chose you. I love you. Forever. Always. Just because, I can.”
By Shal-Mar Hill
Have you ever said something you wish you could take back? Even said something good that you thought Wow! Did that come from me? We all have done both and training our mouth is the most difficult thing for us to do. You know the myth saying if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all. We all have said some things that were not nice to say or said something beautiful, and wonder where did that come from. In a nutshell, we have the authority over the power of our words. God gave us the control over our mouths and what we speak.
Proverbs 16:24, reads, “Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
I constantly think about what I am saying in conversations and how I speak. I don’t always hit the mark, but I am more conscious about the way I say things, and what comes out of my mouth. I have learned that the powers of my words are effective. Let’s look at God and how he spoke.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
Throughout all these scriptures God spoke in existence how he wanted the earth to be formed. He knew that there was power in everything that he said. That is the same way we have to view ourselves when we speak things into the atmosphere. I make daily positive confessions from God’s word to keep my spirit man encouraged and uplifted. There are days that I miss doing this, and I can always tell when that happens. My flesh and emotions are leading more than my spiritual man. My emotions start ruling the outcome of my day and week. So, it is always important to speak inspirational positive things over your life. We don’t realize, when we say negative or positive words out of our mouth into the atmosphere. How it could affect the outcome of our life?
James 3:9-11 reads, “Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?”
I promise you, the power of our words are so important in how we speak to people, our children, and over ourselves.
How many of you are living the outcome of what you have been speaking over yourself, whether positive or negative?
By Nicole Wian
"I’ve learned the hard way that pushing pain aside is not the same as pushing past pain."
My New Year’s intent this year is to be real. Authentic. Honest. The truth is, I always thought I had this down. I though I was quite genuine and forthcoming, but – no. God has shown me that, for thirty-three years, I have not been real about my feelings. Perhaps, not even about my motives. I have hidden behind an illusion of ‘okay’ as in I’m okay. Just fine. This is okay. This is fine.
So basically, I’ve possessed more cash-register honesty than real honesty and if I’m not being real with myself, then I can’t be real with other people. God calls us to come from behind the facades of ‘alright’; take our hurts and our issues to Him for healing so we will be equipped to share our strength, our hope, and ability to encourage others. This is impossible if we refuse to be real, if we have not yet admitted our own struggles.
I believe the church is getting slightly better at this admittance, but sadly, there’s a long history of finger pointing and failure to look within the body. There is a long history of fake within the church. There’s a reason that so many of us often hear that those outside the church would rather not come in.
There’s a reason that so many friends I share recovery with will state that the God of their own understanding is Love and they’ll follow this statement up with the assurance that this is unlike the God of the Bible. That God they believe is not a God of love. I hear these people talk about the True and Living God they know and have a personal relationship with. I know the God they’re talking about. They do not. It’s not because their God is different than the God of the Bible, it’s because the body has not properly given skin to God, has not effectively communicated His love. People are asking, “Will the real God please stand up?” Sisters, we have got to stand up as representation of His love. But we can’t tell the truth about God if we withhold the truth about ourselves.
I’ve learned the hard way that pushing pain aside is not the same as pushing past pain. I’ve experienced the catching up of it and the chasing down of it because one way or another, God is going to make sure that pain grabs my attention. Not to hurt me, but because He knows that this will draw me closer and that it’s the only way to get me past it.
God instructs us to “be still and know” that He is God. I stumble a little on the ‘still’ part. He’s going to talk and I’m going to be forced to listen. ‘Still’ can equate to a whole bunch of feeling, a whole bunch of sitting in the pain – something I’m really not too good at. I’d much rather push that pain aside and pretend I’m getting on with life. Sometimes I don’t want to feel or even acknowledge. The reasons for this are many, but the core reality, is that while I’m shying away from the healing, I’m robbing others. I serve the God of the Universe, the One who makes all things new. How awesome is that? How much does God want to heal me so that I might aid in the healing of others?
Stubborn human that I am, I, too often, forget that ‘stilling’ a moment or giving it up to God brings relief. Release. Healing. God is the one person I can go to, drop my defenses, and be real with. That’s where I’m starting this year. I’m asking God to take my fear of pain, my fear of admittance. I’m willing to allow Him to use both to mold me, to make me new. If I’m real with myself, then, and only then, can I demonstrate to the hurting the realness of God.