There is one man that I look up to more than anyone else- this mans name is Job. What you need to know about Job is that this man was extremely blessed. He had 10 children, a beautiful wife (I assume), lots of land and animals, a house, good health, all the food he needed, among many other blessings. But above all of these great things, Job had a breathtaking relationship with Christ, I mean literally one of the best. One that didn’t waver. One that didn’t let distraction seep in. One that was a two-way relationship. One that wasn’t just about wanting but one of thankfulness and praise.
One day, satan came along to test Job to see if he was in fact strong in the Lord. So what happened next? satan took all his blessings away: his children, his wife, his land, his animals, his house, his health and so on. But here is the powerful thing…Job never stopped praising God and being thankful for what he once had and continued to have. When he lost everything he said, “…the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD,” and “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”
Did you notice who really caused the evil and heartbreak? It wasn’t God. God was the one who blessed Job (and us) with all the wonderful things we do have. What satan wanted was for Job to curse God, angry and blaming Him for all the catastrophe occurring in his life. Always, satan is testing us to see how we are going to react when things don’t go our way. I.E. sickness, death, divorce, heartbreak, failure, etc. My question to you is are you falling into satan’s trap or are you being like Job? I may not always choose right but man, I long to be like Job!
Have you ever felt distant from God? We all have different examples but somehow the same stories. Maybe we used to go to church with our family when we were younger. Or maybe we used to go to church “religiously” but then missed it that one time and haven’t made it back sense. Or, maybe you’ve always been distant with God and never really had a relationship.
But when your heart is yearning for more/you have more time in your schedule/you’re ready to see what this relationship with The Almighty is all about, you wonder how in the world can you? Often times the bigger struggle is wondering how to jump back in, pondering if God even wants you back after the [long] lag period of a moot relationship. In Jeremiah 24:7 it says, “I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD, and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.” What I love about this verse is that it says “they WILL return.” God knows you will go off the beaten path; you’ll learn, you’ll work hard, you’ll fall down, you’ll be where you shouldn’t, you’ll be curious but He knows, you WILL be back!
Now you still may be wondering, “Jeez Erica, its been a while since I’ve spoke with God. Where do I even begin?” My answer is start with what you know; Similar to how you would jump back into a relationship with a friend. You know how to feel right? How to talk? vent? It’s as easy as a conversation. Just remember, like the relationship with your friend, its a two-way street so don’t forget to listen (:
Whether its a dry season or a relationship you’re now exploring, IT IS NEVER TOO LATE!
One of the biggest lies that the enemy tells is, “You were [are] a mistake.” Siblings say it, parents say it and you say it about yourself. Now, you can say your time table was different but as far as the mistake part…nothing about Gods plans are a mistake. He knew that you [or whoever] were meant to be born at that exact moment, just like He knew you would be reading this blog right now.
What about the other lies that attack who we are? You’re not talented, funny enough, as smart as, never capable of, the list goes on. Yes, we are all of our harshest critics but don’t forget about all of the great qualities that God gave you. Remember how sweet you are, how quick you are in difficult situations, your generosity, the beauty of the family you’ve been placed in? God created ALL good things, it says so in 1 Timothy 4:4, “For every creation of God is good, and nothing that is received with thanksgiving should be rejected…” Do you believe that? Don’t just assume everything is coming from God: negativity and everything surrounding it isn’t His! The God I’m referring to mapped out your life WAY before you were born, knew of the sin we would commit and decided to send his son Jesus, to die, in order for us to stay on Earth as sinners. That is the God who loves you unconditionally and accepts all your flaws! Nothing you have ever done is bad enough for God to not love and accept you. You’re His daughter [son] for cripes sake!
If you know that to be true or want to believe this, talk to God! Confess to Him and accept that Jesus did the ultimate courageous act and died for YOU!! –not bad for someone who thought they were a mistake, huh (;
A woman feeling scared and unprepared before she has a baby. A med student about to do their first surgery. A teen before they get their license and a cosmetologist as she does her first clients hair. What do all of these have in common?
Each of these examples are what we face almost everyday. Its the question of, “am I ready for the next step? Because I don’t think I am yet” and “maybe I just need more time/practice/patience/etc.” We push off these things because of the fear of the unknown and doubting our own ability. And I get it…it can be scary and worse yet, all the self-doubt hits you like a ton of bricks. But then God reminds us, “I gave you these abilities for a reason! I want you to take the next step. Trust me.” God isn’t asking for you to sit still and ponder the ‘what ifs’. Instead, He is telling you that taking that next step IS the confirmation that you are ready for it!
My advice to you is…go for it! Be brave! Taking that next step is the step, letting you know that you are ready and you had it all along! And if you need more encouragement than that, well, you know where to find me (:
Do you ever see someone and just think, “What is that shine about them?” Well friends, to quote the great Pharrell, it’s because I’m happy, The Holy Spirit is alive and well!
What battle are you having a hard time over-coming right now? For me, I struggle with letting new people into my life. At work, in my relationships, within my family, I have a wall so high, you’d think Trump built it. All jokes aside, we all struggle with something: hating someone, not being able to forgive, gossiping, over compensation with lies and a big ego, addiction, whatever it may be, it can be hard to shake these things off.
And low and behold, who sweeps in to remind you of these feelings and kicks you while you are down, saying “you’ll never be able to beat this. Why try? This is just who you are now.” But remember, all these negative feelings and things that bring about stinky feelings, they are not of God. Plain and simple. Going back to my example, when I meet someone new now, I am consciously aware of how I can better open up to them and push my own worries aside of who they are or what their intentions may be. But then like clockwork, the enemy steps in and says, “You won’t like this person. They aren’t good for you. And why are you even trying to fix this when you know you will just go right back to doing this again?” and to that I reply, “Shut up, stupid! I am the daughter of Christ [a son of Christ] and you will not talk to me like that. I may fall down but God will lift me up again!” Princess and prince, this (fill in the blank) does not define you!
There may be many different reasons why people don’t believe in God. Some of the reasons are: they think its all a load of crap, they believe more in science & evolution (refer to my past post about this), believe in another idol, their culture forbids it, their government forbids it and the list goes on and on. But one of the largest reasons that people shy away from God is that they don’t think God could ever love or forgive them for what they have done in the past.
Let us assume that is what is holding you back right now- fear that God would reject you because of your past mistakes. Well let me tell you friend, you fell into the trap of the enemy. God has made it perfectly clear that He will love and forgive you no matter what. One example is in Psalm, “But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.” You may think to yourself, God could never forgive me for what I did to my spouse, boss, with drugs, abuse, etc but, those thoughts do not come from God. If you give in to those thoughts, we have lost. There is a constant war going on each and every day; good vs. evil, God vs the enemy. When we believe that we cannot be loved, or forgiven, or worthy, we have given in and let the enemy win. Stand strong in this war and know that you are worthy, loved, beautiful and forgiven because God, your Father, told you so and tries to tell you each and everyday. Its a nasty and hard cycle each day, though, I know. Let me lay out a scenario: Susie went to Target and was planning on buying a bunch of things but was short on cash when she went to the self-check out. She quickly glanced over her shoulder and decided to throw that eyeliner in her bag without paying for it. Susie walked out of there feeling so paranoid and guilty that she doubted she’d ever return to that Target. In that moment, she was ashamed about how God would feel about her and worse, she heard whispers of, “I’m a terrible person”, “God could never forgive me” and “that was kind of fun though right? Let’s try something bigger next time.” Don’t let him win the war-God is waiting for you with his arms wide open, regardless of what you have done. It’s the enemy who is trying to convince you that you are not good enough for Him but God is saying, and I paraphrase, “That is just not right. I sent my only son to die for you because regardless of what happened in your life (mistakes, sins, failures), I love you.” Talk to Him today, He has been waiting!