Stealth Mode

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Scripture: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8, KJV

•When a lion is on the attack, it will sit for hours to watch its prey. Usually, the lion hides in bushes or places that the simple creature cannot see it. The lion will sit in stealth mode for as long as it takes to make a kill. If you would pay close attention, the lion does not attack the strong or those that stick closely together. The goal is to find a prey that appears to be weak or a prey that has separated from the herd. This animal that has isolated itself is usually not alert or cautious of its environment.

•It is the same way with us. Satan and his minions study us carefully. They observe our behavior, and will sit as long as it takes before attacking. If we are weak in our relationship with the Lord, sick in our mind and or body, distracted, lonely, bored, out of fellowship with other believers and living in willful sin, the enemy will come in like a flood. Why? Because we have given him legal entry into our lives. We appear as the sickly or wandering animal that the lion patiently watched before attacking.

•As the Scripture above states, we must be sober and vigilant. That means that we must be on alert and aware at all times.  Preparation is the key; therefore, you cannot wait for the enemy to attack and then get ready to fight. Putting on the whole armor of God, staying before the Lord in prayer and having some sort of accountability will provide you with the protection you need. The enemy is strong, but the Lord is stronger.

Under Attack

When you attempt to do the will of God, know that you will come under attack from the enemy of your soul. He will seek to use fear tactics to discourage any methods you may use to accomplish the tasks that the Lord has given you.

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He may cause you to become so fearful of doing the will of the Lord that you start to back away from God's plan for you. He may bombard you with constant thoughts of failure, also. The Lord is your strength and has chosen you. Therefore, you must remind yourself of His able to empower you and give you what you need to do what He has called you to do.

Satan may disqualify you for God's plan for your life in many ways. One way is to keep you so busy and distracted that you cannot hear the Voice of the Lord. Distractions may seem to come out of nowhere to interrupt your peace. Sooner than later, you find yourself overwhelmed in to-do lists and countless of other tasks.

The enemy may also send someone to distract you or talk you out of your destiny. Maybe it is a friend that may or may not know that she is hindering you. Or could it possibly be an ex or family member that feels the need to remind you over and over again that you are not good enough? These are all tools of the enemy. Trust and believe that if the Lord could part the Red Sea, He can help you with anything going on in your life. Nothing is too hard for our God.

Why Not Me, Lord?

Finally, I had some personal "me" time. The kids were all tucked away, and I was ready to relax. I grabbed my coffee and headed to my bedroom. As soon as I plopped down on my bed, I picked up my phone. Out of habit, I logged into my Facebook account. My newsfeed was filled with the same old memes and stories. Nothing really excited me. So, I took a stroll over to Instagram, and it was there that my heart was broken. 

 Lord, am I good enough?

Lord, am I good enough?

The very first post I encountered was that of a beautiful young woman. Every strand of hair was in place, her body was flawless, and she seemed to have it all together. Most importantly, she was a woman of God. Her ministry was prospering and everything just seemed awesome. It was almost as if she was surrounded by a halo of light! My gosh...she was perfect! Her life was beyond compare!

After staring at several of her pictures, I observed the number of followers she had and all of the positive comments on each of her posts. By now, as you may have guessed it, I was full of envy! I mean, here I was...a woman of God, also...seeking to win others to Christ but barely keeping my page afloat. It seemed as though I was not making a real impact for the Kingdom, my life was far from perfect, and my hair was big and frizzy. 

Immediately, I questioned God. I shouted to Him, "Why aren't You helping me, Lord? I am doing this for YOU!" I went into a pity party about how I did not have the support I needed, as well as how my life seemed to be falling apart rather than coming together. My life seemed to be a disaster compared to the girl on Instagram. Honestly, I ranted until I felt like I had given the Lord a piece of my mind. Boy, did I think I was telling Him something He needed to hear!

Then a voice asked me, "Exactly who are you doing this for? Me or you?" Talk about EGGS IN MY FACE! I was so embarrassed and had to repent. This pity party revealed to me that I had envy in my heart, and envy is a sin. 

"But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such 'wisdom' does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. for where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice." James 3:14-16, NIV

That night, the Lord taught me that we all have a place to serve in the body of Christ. Everyone has a specific task to complete. Therefore, It is not all about who has the most followers, the prettiest website, the perfect body, etc. It is all about our willingness to serve the Lord and win souls for the Kingdom.

The Lord also used this situation to reveal that I was harboring comparison and envy in my heart. We are all created in His image, and He shows no favoritism. It is up to us to use the the talents that He gives us.

Although someone may seem to have it all together, no one is perfectly perfect. We all have secret flaws, yet only our strengths are made public. So we should stop thinking people have it all together just because they post lovely photos on social media.

After going before the Lord, He reveal to me that I often felt rejected by others and that I was trying to outperform others for acceptance. None of this works in His Kingdom because there is no selfish ambition. If you have found that you have been envious of others and their success, repent right now. Ask the Lord to make known what is truly hidden inside your heart and why you feel inferior. There is a root cause that only He can disclose. 

Holy Boldness

Every message from the Lord is not going to be a “feel good” message. It’s not all about you being “happy, wealthy and in love.” There will be times when He’s going to call you out on your sin...out of your flesh. Open rebuke is better than hidden love (see Proverbs 27:5).

It is a lie from this New Age doctrine and way of thinking that convinces you to be Positive Patty. No... sometimes you need to know that you are living in sin and need to stop it. Your feelings do not matter when it comes to snatching your soul from Hell’s fire. Narrow is the way to Heaven and very few shall enter (see Matthew 7:13-14).

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I have observed so much, and lately I’ve noticed many Christians, including my friends and quite a few popular ministries falling into these New Age ideologies...especially the “be positive” and “prosperity” gospel. I was fooled by this seducing doctrine in the past and the Lord delivered me. I still err in my writings at times, but as soon as I see it, I repent and make sure I delete the garbage. I refuse to be a tool in the enemy’s kingdom.

We are to be holy and set apart from the world. That means having holy boldness to call out sin. You will not always feel happy serving Christ. The Disciples were tortured and murdered. Honestly, if you lose some friends for telling the truth, they really never were your friends anyway. Wave bye bye. Your job is to be obedient to the Lord, not make best friends. Paul stated in James 4:4 that to be a friend of this world is to be an enemy to this Christ. You decide today, “Am I going to live holy and boldly for Christ, or please this world?”

Come Out From Among Them

Sometimes you have to just come out from among them (2 Corinthians 6:17). You may want to be accepted by everyone. You want your name up in the lights. You want everyone to look to you as the "expert" or "go-to person." But do you not realize that all of this comes with a price? God tells us in 2 Corinthians 6:17 that we will have to separate ourselves from this world.

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At one point in time, I was so blinded by all of the "girl boss" and "building my empire" talk that I let it take over my purpose in life. God clearly called me to teach His Word to women, yet, I was seeking friendship with the world and listening to all of these secular, New Age "coaches" and "strategists" that were suggesting a zillion erroneous ideas to me. Their whole purpose was to chase the money, get rich and be famous...secure the bag, as they would say. None of it was centered in Christ!

The more I listened to these people, the further I got away from my calling. Before I knew it, I was sounding just like these people..nothing like Jesus! I was motivated to succeed at any cost. I was clearly compromising myself. I started having nightmares, and was always stressed to the point that I couldn't even think straight. My anxiety was through the roof! God was still with me, but I couldn't hear Him. The cares of this world had drown His voice out.

During this time, I started neglecting my time with the Lord, my witness was at an all-time low, and I did not write as I used to. I was focused mainly on "my business." Anytime someone would ask me what I was doing, I would utter, "working on my business." I sounded like a complete fool because I hadn't made one dime...I was too busy listening to all of these gurus...each one telling me something different. It was a chaotic mess.

One day, the Lord came right out and told me, "If you won't do it, I will find someone who will." Now I am no fool, and I know the voice of God. I guess He was fed up with my foolishness and decided to spare me because usually His voice was quite, but not this time! That was enough to scare me straight. I would sneak and try to dabble in "my business" but each time, it would fail. EACH AND EVERY TIME!

I had to repent again, and I knew for sure that I didn't deserve His grace. Once I started back writing and ministering to women online, it was like second nature. The ideas would flow like a river...there would be so much that it would be overwhelming at times. However, I am grateful to the Lord for His grace and mercy. I am thankful that He has been so patient with me. I thank Him for allowing me to go through that period of wilderness, for it was in that wilderness that I became the woman I am today. I know for a fact that this is what He called me to do, I will never stray from it again.

The Restored Blossom

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Dear Blossom, hold your head up high.

No more, my dear, will you have to cry.

I have heard your pleas and requests.

I believe you are now ready for my best.

You do not have to be filled with regret.

Please, Blossom, do not fret.

 

I have been watching you all along.

With me is where you've always belonged.

When you made foolish choices, I was there.

Watching you hurt was almost too much to bear.

Through it all, I never left your side.

I was there in the midnight hour when you cried.

Wanting to reach out and hold you,

But with sin, you were not through.

 

I was there when you were depressed.

You didn't think you were one of my best.

Worth and value, you could not find.

Your light from within could not shine.

You turned to temporary things for love.

Yet none fulfilled you like Him from above.

It is I that created you beautiful and free.

But bondage is where you chose to be.

 

I still love you, now more than ever.

With sin, those ties you must sever.

I want you to come home to me, let me restore you.

There is so much for Me I want you to do.

You have the choice to be free.

In my loving arms is where I really want you to be.

Joy, peace, love and laughter, let Me give your more.

To you, my daughter, my blossom, let me restore.

Overcoming My Low Esteem

For the longest, I cared more about what people thought of me than I cared about myself. I let so many people shoot down my dreams and make me feel like I was not good enough.

If they said I was ugly, I believed it. If they said I was dumb, I believed it. If I was complimented, I would cling to every word, replaying them over and over in my mind. I was not in control of my thoughts or my perception of myself. Obviously, my self-esteem was nonexistent.

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I thank God for showing me exactly who I am. He stated in Psalm 139:14 that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Song of Solomon 4:7 told me that I am altogether beautiful and Honey, there is not a flaw in me. Our God does not make mistakes!

Looking back on my past, I now realize that those same people never really had anything good going for themselves. They only put me down to make themselves feel better. Could they have had low self-esteem too, but found comfort in bullying me? Maybe!

It’s all good though because all things work together for those who believe and trust in God. Jesus did not die on the cross and rise again just for me to wallow in low self-esteem and doubt. I’ve got work to do. As long as there is breath left in my body, I will serve Him and live my life, just as He said I should. The Lord said that I am worthy, and I’m sticking to that promise!

Forgive

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Scripture: “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Mark 11:25, ESV

I had to read this passage several times. I knew deep down in my heart that I was becoming bitter about a situation that had drastically changed my life. Had I really forgiven the person that hurt me. Was that person sorry for what they had done to me? Had we both moved on with life? I honestly could say, “no” at least on my end.

Every time I thought of the person, my chest would burn. My heart raced, and I would begin to panic. If I saw that person, I would feel as though I was being pricked by a thousand needles. Every time I thought of that person enjoying their life, I would break out in a cold sweat. Had I forgiven them? No! Was this right before God? No. Was bitterness taking root in my life? Yes!  I had to break the soul ties and release this person, or else I would grieve myself to death. I had to forgive because if I didn’t, this person would continue to control me from a distance. Control? Yes, control. Every thing I did came with the need of a stamp of approval.  “Did you see what I just did? I’m still winning. I’m still doing good.” I wanted that person to see I was doing alright and know that they hadn’t broken me. All lies! I was as broken as could be.

It was not until I read this verse that I realized that I had to truly let go. I was blocking my own blessing and hindering my progress by holding on to unforgiveness. I was allowing the enemy to set up shop in my life. Satan was operating full time and, I did not know it. He was controlling my thoughts and creating in me selfish ambition. I was going out of my way to prove myself to someone that was no longer in association with me. While I was bitterly trying to prove a point, this person had happily moved on.

We must forgive. If God can forgive us for our sins, we must be able to forgive others. Without forgiveness, bitterness and jealousy forms. The result is always death...death of your vision, joy, and eventually your life. I know it hurts, but please forgive and release that person to God. He is able to avenge you. Let go.

Finding Purpose in Your Pain

Did you know that there is purpose in your pain? Everything that you have experienced has been to establish you for such a time as now. During my youth, I battled heavily with depression and low self-esteem. I would judge myself based on the how others looked. I thought I was soooo ugly. I never felt I was good enough. Therefore, I carried that attitude over into every facet of my life. My low self-esteem and depression led me down a path of negative self-talk and bitterness. I did not love myself, and it was evident in everything that I thought, said and did.

Little did I know that others could pick up on my perception of myself. Did you know that you teach people how to treat you? You actually train others to either treat you positively or negatively. Well, I trained people to treat me poorly. I attracted the worst people into my life. Many only wanted to use me. I always felt that I had to "buy" my friends or give more than the next person in order to keep people around. As soon as the money or whatever I was offering ran out, so did the people..leaving me empty-handed and defeated.

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I was tired of being treated so unfairly. I thought the best place for me to be was dead. So after my mother passed in 2011, I sank into deep depression. The depression was so deep that I thought dying was the only way out. I was dealing with so much. On top of the death of my mother, I was practically forced to have a tubal ligation or risk dying if I had another child. I did not want to have this procedure done. My marriage was failing miserably due to countless fights and arguments. My depression reached an all-time low. And to top it all all, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I ended up leaving my job as a teacher, never to return, and my marriage ended. My world was pretty much falling apart.

Long story short (because there is so much more), it wasn't until I decided to give everything over to the Lord that I was able to have victory in my life. Yes, I still fall down, but I get back up quicker than ever before. I can hear the Holy Spirit when He instructs me now. Before, it was hard to hear Him. Not to mention, my story has helped countless women out there going through many of the same things. All of my horrible experiences worked together to make me the diamond that I am. A diamond is nothing but a rock...until it is put under an immense amount of pressure and heat. Oh, Honey...I had more pressure and heat than the normal person could bear! Yet, I am still standing. Victorious and willing to help other women find wholeness and restoration in the Lord, Jesus Christ.