Are You Praying In Faith or In Fear?

 

God is already there

I admit that although I accepted Christ more than 25 years ago, for most of that time I have been praying in fear and not in faith. For some reason, and I cannot for the life of me tell you why I just didn’t believe that the blessings of God belonged to me. Even though I believe in him and in the sanctifying saving power of his grace. I just did not think that he could overcome my genetic code and save me, change me into the woman he needed me to be to teach his people. Maybe I just did not think I was good enough, after all, I was a poor nobody with no connections. Who was I to hear his voice and teach his word?
So, when obstacles came my way, and sometimes it was as though they were non-stop. I worried and tried with all my might to change my circumstances using my own power. I did not want to trust and believe only to be let down because my prayers were unanswered, or God said no. This behavior not only decreased my ability to get a prayer through to the Lord. It also reduced the depth of the relationship I so desperately wanted to have with him. Hebrews 11:6 reads, “and without faith, it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” My fear of being let down and disappointed made it impossible for me to please God and to obtain the rewards he so wanted to give me.
I do have to tell you that even in my disbelief and disobedience the Lord continued to love me and bless me beyond anything I could hope for or imagine. You would think that this would be enough to move me from fear to faith. But it was not. Albert Einstein said, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” That is precisely what my life had become, a wild roller coaster ride of me wallowing in fear and then trying to use those fear-based emotions to change my situation.

Insantity

It wasn’t until I was at a dead end that I begin to listen to the Lord. I was out of money, unemployed, and alone. I cried myself to sleep at night, and when I allowed myself to think of what my children must think of me, fresh tears emerged, and I had no strength left in me to turn them off. I heard the Holy Spirit say, “acknowledge him.” I thought to myself, what have I got to lose. I have nothing. No income, no connections, no resources. Looking back, I see how backward my thinking had become. I thought God wouldn’t bless me, because I had nothing. And here I was with nothing, and there he stood with his arms open wide waiting for me to just acknowledge him. “In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6 Oh, the time I wasted.
I am praying that you learn these lessons quicker than I did. First, the Lord did not give us the spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 You will probably always feel a little bit of fear, or maybe even a lot as you move in your purpose and began to do things that you never thought you could do. Just know that it is normal and that God is with you all the way. Nothing significant happens in our comfort zones. Great things occur when we move beyond what we thought possible.

The good news is that our creator knows what we can do because he has equipped us with all the gifts and talents we need. The prophet Isaiah proclaims, “Listen, far-flung islands, pay attention, faraway people: GOD put me to work from the day I was born. The moment I entered the world he named me. He gave me speech that would cut and penetrate. He kept his hand on me to protect me. He made me his straight arrow and hid me in his quiver. He said to me, “You’re my dear servant, Israel, through whom I’ll shine.” Isaiah 49:1 (The MSG)
Secondly, faith is not an emotion. Faith is not something you feel, it is something you do. Even when you cannot see the outcome, you must have faith that God knows what he is doing and that nothing that happens to you will take him by surprise. The just shall walk by faith. (Romans 1:17) Because, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. (Hebrews 11:1) Faith requires you to move sometimes without the benefit of a safety net that you can see, but our God who has written your name in the palm of his hands will not let you fall. Isaiah 49:16 You do not need a lot of faith, just a small amount of faith that is strong and true can move mountains. (Matthew 12:20)

disobedience to the lord
Three, disobedience is never an option. Even when you are afraid you cannot disobey God. Disobedience brings only death and destruction. It separates you from God and moves you out of his will. It delays your progress and your success. It delays the message that someone is waiting for you to deliver. Disobedience cancels out faith and has dire consequences. Just ask the Israelites who wondered in the desert for 40 years because they did not listen to the Lord. (Joshua 5:6) They died without seeing the promise land. Are you willing to risk that in your or your family’s future?

Four, God loves you. This is by far the most important revelation. Knowing that he loves you will strengthen your faith and lower the possibility that you will be disobedient. Because of his love, you will want to please him. You will look forward to waking up each day without regret. Now, all this sounds wonderful, but I will not be the one to sugar coat this journey. It was hard getting from fear to faith. I had spent many years walking in fear. I had to put myself and my emotions aside. But, each day it gets easier. Just do one thing each day that the Lord has asked, you to do and you will move closer to him.
Remember he loves you. Pray in that love, pray in the knowledge that no matter what you have done, no matter where you are in your walk, that God loves you and that will never change. His love is perfect and perfect love casts out fear. Pray in faith, and your fear will diminish. (1 John 4:18)

Courageous Women

Ladies, Join The Family-Click the Link and join our private Facebook Group

 

Inviting God In

There is something about the ocean that reminds me of God’s power. The ocean is powerful. It moves through the land and seas changing everything it touches. Giving life, breaking down barriers erected my nature and man. We try to control it but in the end in its power is relentless and it always wins.
Is it time for you to let down the emotional and spiritual barriers you’ve erected and let God fully into your life. You know the barriers we erect to keep God in his place. We don’t want him touching the areas that we have deemed off limits. We’ve been hurt before, can’t let anyone get that close again. Not even God. Especially God, like the ocean he never leaves things the way he finds them. He’s always changing, pushing, and moving things around.
But, unlike the ocean, he never moves without our permission what a perfect gentleman. Waiting for us to invite him into our lives. To give us a hand sorting out our mess. Are you ready to invite him in? What do you really have to lose?
#spiritually #spiritjunkies #blessed🙏 #prayer #bible #God #faithwarrior #jesus #jesuslovesyou #spirituallife
ocean waves

Three Tips To Strengthen Your God Connection

prayer changes things

How strong is your God connection? I can always tell when I have slacked off my daily prayer routine. My life is a complete mess. My stress level is running high and everything no matter how small gets on my nerves. My beloved husband, my beautiful dog, the lateness of the garbage pick-up. Every area of life is torturous. Its feels like nails scratching against a blackboard.
I find myself loosing things. Like the bracelet, my husband purchased for me on our first trip to Florida. My Fitbit, which was on my wrist one minute and gone the next. When did I take it off? Where’s Winston’s leash? Oh, there it is, connected to his collar. Everything in my life is off track when I forget to nurture my prayer life. Nothing is quite right, it’s a little left of center. I am angry, misplacing, losing, and forgetting things because I am not entirely present in my life. Prayer does that for me; it keeps me grounded and connected to my world.
Romans 8_37
A glance at my scripture and prayer journal shows a two-month lapse, and then it dawns on me-that my connection to the Almighty is at best 10 percent. Much like the power on my laptop because I can’t find the power cord. It is sure to shut down soon. Prayer is one of those things you really can’t let lapse. Not if you want to fight evil, make wise choices, or just remain sane in the midst of chaos.
It took me some time to realize that having a daily conversation with God was a non-negotiable tenet of my Christian journey. At the beginning of our relationship, I talked to God all the time. Morning, noon, and night, I lifted my prayers and praises up to him. I couldn’t get enough of him. Then like what happens in most relationships, I started taking him for granted. I was married with five children, taking care of a home, and scheduling activities for my volunteer work. Pushing him to the bottom of my “to do” list or, cramming in a quickie prayer to assuage my guilt just seemed like all I could do at the time.
Then life happened. I got divorced. I was afraid and lonely. I felt lost. I was looking at the faces of my children who were looking to me for the right answers. I ran back to God realizing that I needed his protection. I needed to feel his love. I needed to feel the joy of connection. Of course, he was there waiting with arms open wide ready to shelter his little girl from the storm.
I wish I could tell you that -that was one of the few times that my prayer life collapsed. But, to be honest, like most people I find that my fervent prayers to God end when the disaster is over. Do you find this happening with you? Do you pray non-stop in the midst of trouble only to take a deep breath of relief when it’s over, and go back to your usual routine?
The problem with that is what my late pastor, Pastor Clemons, use to call taking withdraws without making deposits. Our spiritual account becomes in danger of experiencing an overdraft. That may sound like a religious cliché,’ but it’s the truth. Prayer is not only how we communicate with God it is how we establish a connection. Each prayer represents a deposit of time into creating a relationship that is built on a firm foundation.
It is this relationship that enables us to stand against evil and stand firm in the midst of trouble. The bible says in 1 John 5: 14 “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” This kind of confidence only comes if we do what Jesus advises in Luke 18:1” always pray and not faint.” Our spiritual strength is only as strong as our connection to God. Without him, we are like sheep waiting to be slaughtered. Don’t get slaughtered.
I want to share with you three tips that have kept me in sync with our Dad. First, I schedule my prayer time. It is the third thing I do when I hop out of bed each morning. First, I wash my face and brush my teeth. Because you don’t want to go to the Lord with bad breath. Right! Prayer starts my day, that does not mean that you cannot pray outside of your scheduled time. I find myself talking to God all day and listening for his response.
The second thing I like to do is write down my prayers. There’s something about looking in my journal and rereading a prayer entry that brings me joy. Writing them down makes them solid and real. Don’t panic. I am not asking you to write a short essay. Just two or three sentences and a scripture to pray and meditate on during your time with God. The third tip, which I find is lost on many of us, me included. Is to listen. Prayer is a two-way communication with God. You should not be doing all the talking all the time. Wisdom is born in silence.
To recap, here are the tools for a healthier prayer life:
Schedule a time to pray each day.
Write down your prayers in a journal.
Listen for God’s voice. Don’t do all the talking.
Lest we forget, we are at war. Prayer prepares us for battle and defeats the Enemy. Without prayer, the relationship you believe you have with God is only a figment of your imagination. Don’t wait until disaster strikes. Start building or rebuilding your relationship with God today. There is no time like the present to start.