Boldly Chasing God

At some point, you may have lost your zeal for the things of God. The cares of this world, the opinions of others and attacks on your life (spiritually and physically) may have caused you to surrender in the midst of the battle. You feel overwhelmed and as if the Lord is distant. You cry out to Him, but your cries seem to fall of deaf ears. You reach out to others, but they are so busy with their own issues that they lack the time and patience to deal with you. So what do you do? Do you give up or do you fight? Do you sink into despair or do you rise up?

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You boldly chase God! You start praising God right where you are. He loves our praises...not our pity parties (Psalm 22:3). You get back in the Word of God (the Bible) and study to show yourself approved (2 Timothy 2:15). You repent and renounce any sins/habits that may be separating you from His holiness. Ask Him to create in you a clean heart and a right spirit ( Psalm 51:10). You break off any friendships/relationships that may be interfering with your communion with the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:33). You get around those who will encourage you and build up your spirit...if you can’t find anyone, encourage yourself until God brings the right people into your life ( Psalm 1:1-2). You put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-18) and prepare for battle because the enemy does not want you to restore your relationship with God. Therefore, you must be prepared to pray and fight more than ever (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Jesus never said following Him would be easy, but He did promise the Comforter, the Holy Spirit and His peace (John 14:26-27). You can get your zeal and joy for the Lord back! Boldly chase God!

Forgive Anyhow

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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 the 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? 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 Mark 11:25 that I realized I had to truly let go. I was blocking my own blessing and hindering my progress by holding on to lack of forgiveness. 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. Forgive...even though it hurts. Maybe the person who hurt you is not sorry...forgive them anyway. Perhaps they do not even know that they hurt you....forgive them anyway, and if possible, go to them and settle things. Regardless of the situation, you are the one that has to live your life. You can choose to live in peace, forgive and break those soul ties. Or you can choose to hold on to the pain and develop a bitter heart and victim mentality. It’s your choice.

Diamond

Regardless of what anyone has to say, know that you are doing great. Many do not see the awesomeness in you. They do not understand the process that you are currently going through. These people are simply observing your outer appearance. Well, sorry to disappoint, but life does not work like that, and neither does God.

You see, before a diamond is an actual diamond, it is just a piece of carbon. It has to go through massive amounts of pressure and heat before it come out as exquisite as the diamonds you see in the jewelry store. It is the same way with you! You will have to endure numerous trials, temptations, and adversities. You will have to accept loss, defeat and mistreatment. All of these experiences are building and sculpturing you into who God created you to be.

What people do not know is that all of this horrible stuff that you are going through right now is just preparing you for your season. Yes, your harvest is on the way! Do not give up just because it seems bad right now. God has a plan and a reason for everything. This is no cubic zirconia adventure. No...God is preparing a diamond in the rough, strong enough to withstand pressure and fire at any amount of intensity. Yet, beautiful enough to be exalted to the highest level of excellence. Hold your head up and shine.

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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. 

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!

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.

Coping with Social Anxiety

For years, I had suffered with social anxiety. I was afraid that others simply would not like being around me. When in small groups, I would panic. Scary thoughts would would run through my head and I'd break out in a cold sweat. My gosh, what if she notices my blotchy skin? What if I say the wrong thing and look like a dork? Thoughts of me stuttering all over my words haunted me. Oh Lord, why did I have to be the insecure one in the bunch? 

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Throughout my teen and early adult years, I panicked whenever I had to go out in public. The spirit of fear had latched itself onto and held on tightly. I desperately wanted to be like everyone else, but there was always a blockage. Everything I did always resulted in me being uncomfortable because I was never able to be myself. My insecurities ate away at me like, and I became a recluse. Later on I discover the verse, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7, KJV. Nothing about me was sound! I was a total wreck!!!! 

God begin to deal with me concerning fear. He revealed to me that He was never involved in any of the anxiety and panic attacks that I had gone through. It was the enemy of my soul, Satan. The main goal of Satan was to stop me from reaching others for the Kingdom of God. I knew God had a calling on my life, but my insecurities prevented me from pursuing ministry. For years, I would shrink back when asked to speak or teach on a subject that I felt I was an expert in. I knew the answers, but was afraid that others would not accept me. All my talents were going to waste. I knew there was something I had to do.  As a result of this revelation, I came up with three simple ways to overcome fear. 

1. Pray. When faced with fear, immediately start praying. Pray for peace and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will start to soothe you and calm your anxious heart. Whenever I would get upset or full of fear, my heart would beat so fast that I thought I was having a heart attack. I would break out into a cold sweat and immediately seek cover. The Lord did not give any of us a spirit of fear. So immediately, start praying. Ask the Lord to give you serenity. 

2. Analyze.  Ask the Lord to show you the situation from His perspective. What exactly is going on? Are you in any immediate danger? Is there any help readily available to you? Calm down and take a deep breath. Monitor your surrounding. Pace yourself and realize that the Lord is right there by your side. He said that He would never leave nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5); therefore, you need to trust that He is there. Analyze the situation. Are you overreacting? Did you drink too much coffee or have too many sweets? Did you get enough rest last night? Many times, our habits can cause us to become jittery. 

3. Retreat Remove yourself from the situation if it seems to overwhelming for you. I know that I have had to remove myself from social gatherings in several occasions because I could not deal with the fear of not being accepted by others. At the time, I had not been taught how to deal with fear. I was simply going through the motions. If you do not feel the need to remove yourself, give yourself a quick motivational pep talk. Tell yourself that you are an amazing person. There's nothing wrong with boosting your own self-esteem. Now when I am faced with fear of being around others, I tell myself, "Hey, how can they not like me? I have the favor of God all over me!" 

Practice speaking positively to yourself daily. Write Scripture, affirmations, pep talks and more on sticky notes and place them around the house, in your purse, locker and/desk. When faced with fear, pull out a note and say it to yourself over and over again. Repetition is key to getting these thoughts and Scripture in your head. Once you realize how special you are to the Father, you will be less fearful and more wonderful than ever. 

*Anxiety can be caused by a medical issue, also. Please check with licensed professional. 

 

Broken Vessels Made Whole

If I had of listen to the vile things spoken against me my entire life, I would not be here right now. People often say "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." This is a lie. Words can hurt more than sticks and stones ever could. Once the pain goes away from being hit, it is over with. But the scars that are left from words can hurt you for a life-time.

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Being made fun of or ridiculed for your appearance, flaws or something that you have done wrong in the past can scar your present and your future. People can be horrible and will go out of their way to "remind" you of your shortcomings. You could have deeply repented for a sin that you have committed against a person and received forgiveness from God and that person, but others will still bring up the sin. That then triggers a reaction in the person you sinned against and they start to rehash old feelings...only to start hating you all over again.

The enemy is very crafty. He will stop at nothing to damage the Kingdom of God. If that mean constantly reminding you of your flaws and failures, he will bring them up every chance he can get. You could be feeling fine and going on about your life. Then all of a sudden, a friend will come to you about something that she heard someone else say about you. Satan will find any loophole he can so that he can do his job...to steal, kill and destroy.

Listen, don't give up on you. God has invested too much in you for you to quit now. I am saying this because it is on my spirit this morning. There are many of you that are facing this same situation. You feel as if you need to throw in the towel. Your past is taunting you. People are talking about you. Your mistakes are haunting you. Well...every week I hear something about what I USED to do. I hear gossip about things I used to say, places I used to go and people I used to associate with. Am I going to let it stop me from pursuing the Kingdom and doing God's work??? NOPE! God's angels rejoiced when I came to Him. He saw something in me and decided to use me for His good. He sees something in you, too. God has no use for the perfect people....Jesus died for the sinners. So let Him use you!!! BROKEN VESSELS CAN BE WHOLE AGAIN.

The Comparison

"Comparison is a thief of joy," said Theodore Roosevelt. This is so true. I would pour over the success of others for hours...comparing myself to anyone that seemed to have it all together. I would stare at their shiny photos and unrealistic happiness into the wee hours of the night. "Why can't I be prettier?" "Why am I not as smart as she is?" "Why don't I have as many fans as her?" "Am I doing this right, because she looks way more successful than me!" Those were just a few of the comparisons that I made over and over again. I had to stop and ask myself...1.) Why are you looking at what someone else is doing? 2.) How do you know if that person is actually successful? 3.) If God called you...like you claim He did...why are you worried about what someone else is doing? Utter reality check!

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You see, I was not content where I was. I was so busy searching for a spot in the WORLD that I was missing out on the KINGDOM destination that the Lord had already prepared for me. I was called by the Lord....but He never promised me that I would be popular, rich or noticed by the fancy people that I was staring at. He called me to help win souls to Christ...not make a million dollars and drive around in a fancy car. If He blessed me with those material possessions, it would only be an added bonus to the Heavenly blessings that He had already prepared. I knew then that I had to cut out the comparison game. It was destroying my spirit!

Maybe you are fighting with discontentment or comparison. You are inviting a spirit of rejection into your life that seeks to control you. You will never be good enough...and this spirit will remind you of it daily. Go before the Lord right now and cast out the spirit of rejection before it destroys your life. You can be free. You can have joy. Make the decision right now that you will not accept discontentment and comparison anymore. 
©Lukizzy Moton