Faithful Consequences

July 26, 2013

I very much enjoy listening to popular preachers, and I have learned a great deal from them. One of my favorite’s has always been Charles Stanley. He is full of wise statements based on God’s Word.

I was reminded of something he said that grabbed my attention when I first heard it year’s ago, and it has stuck with me for years. His message is this…have faith, obey God, and let Him take care of the consequences.

What’s the big deal with that, you may ask? Many human beings try to have faith. They want to do the right thing and take action towards achieving their goals and desires. However, many don’t take action and fail to reach their goals simply because of fear of what might happen. For example, I once knew a woman who was overweight, and wanted to lose weight and improve her overall appearance. It was a strong desire, but nagging fears held her back. For example, she was afraid that some people would think differently of her and would not accept her new look. She was afraid that she might receive unwanted advances from guys she wasn’t interested in, something she hadn’t had to deal with in her current situation.

This is a minor example, but it is a clear example how we sometimes avoid moving forward, even when we strongly believe God is prompting us to do so. This is simply because we fear what might happen.

I will say that it’s not the end of the world if you don’t follow through and let your fears get the best of you. You are simply robbing yourself of major blessings and potential miracles, that’s all. Think about it though. What if Moses continued to tell God that he wasn’t good enough to lead the people out of Egypt? What if David thought going against Goliath would be too difficult? What if Jesus’s disciples listened to those who forbade them to spread the word of Christianity? How ordinary and purposeless their lives would have been! Where would we be today?

I can’t downplay these fears. After all, sometimes obeying God’s call will cause consequences. You may lose friends. It may cause family problems. It can cause loneliness and initial difficulties. However, please know that God’s plan is always the best plan, and even though you may have these difficulties and obstacles initially, know that you will win in the long run. And you won’t just win by a point or two. You will be blessed beyond what you could have ever expected if you faithfully follow through with God’s call and whatever desire you believe He has planted in your heart.

Which consequence would you rather have…some initial resistance from other people and initial obstacles, or the consequence of knowing that you missed a major opportunity to add greatness and blessing to your life, all because you were afraid of what might happen?

I will say again that I understand your fears, especially because I’ve been there many times myself. However, I  challenge you to live in faith. Know that if God is for you, no one can be against you. Know that if He has something great set up for you (remember, He promises that He has great plans of blessing and prosperity for you),  He will handle any consequences that come your way because of it. Have faith in that promise, and move forward with the confidence that great things are on their way in your life. Enjoy the blessings : )


A New Look On Faith

July 18, 2013

I have read through the entire Bible several times. There are some stories and verses that it has taken me several times to read before I fully understood their message.

I was reading one such chapter today. My one year Bible reading took me to Romans 4. It talks about Abraham and how he was extremely faithful. I’ve always read this with the attitude that I already know about Abraham and his faithful deeds. What can I learn from this?

First I will say this…when you ask God “what can I learn” be prepared for an answer. He loves providing new knowledge! As I opened myself for this knowledge today, I certainly received a new enlightenment.

If you are looking for a definition of what faith is, I will point out some details from this Bible chapter that describes part of Abraham’s story. First of all, he was promised by God that his offspring would be like the number of stars in the sky. God asked him to move to another land and do other things to make it happen. Abraham did those things even though he didn’t see the outcome yet. In fact, he didn’t even have any kids yet.

Speaking of kids, there was an issue with that. His wife couldn’t have any, and he was 100 years old. So how could he have descendants like the number of stars? I believe the key comes in verse 20. It says…he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had the power to do what He had promised.

As it turned out, because of this great faith, this 100 year old man was able to conceive a child through his barren wife who was well past the age of child bearing herself. As it turned out, the descendants of an entire nation can be traced to this one man. Why? All simply because he fully believed that God had the power to do what He promised. He then followed through and took action in the power of that promise.

If you are looking to build your faith, or get a better understanding of what faith is, I can think of no better example than this one. Please know that God delivers on His promises. One Bible verse says God has nothing but great and prosperous plans for you. Another says all you have to do is ask in prayer, and He provides great and wonderful gifts for His children. Another says all things are possible if you believe. There are tons more.

I challenge you now to be fully persuaded that God has the power to follow through on these promises, even though you can’t yet see the successful outcome. He can do it in anyone’s life, including yours. Follow this example of the great man of God who was blessed because he believed this concept. I have faith that God will provide blessings beyond your belief. Have an excellent day!


Is It Wrong To Name It And Claim It?

July 2, 2013

Uh-oh. I’m treading on some dangerous territory today. I will reflect on a touchy subject, especially among those in the Christian church.

When you say name it and claim it, a wide spectrum of emotions and opinions is brought out. There are some that say that naming and claiming is simply expressing faith, while others say it is adamantly wrong to overstep our bounds in a world that is supposed to be controlled by God. They say it is completely wrong, and a philosophy we should stay away from.

After seeing and hearing several messages about this lately, I would like to share my take. First of all, being a Christian myself, I can understand why people have their guard up when they hear this concept. There are two main reasons I believe this is true. One is that people say by naming it and claiming it, you are taking God out of the equation and trying to control things yourself instead of surrendering control to Him. Second, they feel God is being used as a magic genie to bring us our earthly desires.

I can certainly understand those concerns. However, let’s take a look at the other side of the argument. I often break down the definition of faith. According to Hebrews in the Bible, faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen. Simple translation…knowing exactly what you want, and knowing that if it’s according to the will of God it’s yours. When you look at that definition, isn’t faith naming and claiming? You are being sure of what you want, and believing it as true.

There are plenty of other scriptures that echo this concept. My favorite is Mark 11:24 which says if we pray for something and believe we already have it, it’s ours. Isn’t this naming and claiming? Other verses say “ask and it will be given”. “Pray anything in the name of the Lord and you will receive it”. In my opinion, those are both bold claims.

I have also heard some preachers talk about positive thoughts lately. One way to do that is to use powerful proclamations.  For example, you can empower yourself by saying things like..” I proclaim that this is going to be a great day”. What follows is usually a great day. What’s wrong with that?

In my opinion, if we are going to have our prayers answered, there is no other way to do it besides naming it and claiming it. I will be the first to say that we don’t do it at the expense of God’s sovereignty. He knows what’s best for our lives and we still need to submit to His will. He is also not to be used as a magic genie to bring all of your desires into your life. He wants to be more than that. He wants a relationship with you, and to be in control to guide you to the right place in life. However, He also wants to provide the abundance, greatness, and success that you are seeking. He wants you to see that His promises are true, and He willingly provides great gifts to His precious children.

I will say again, that I believe a name it and claim it way of life is not only right and good, but necessary to demonstrate the faith it takes to live the life meant for us. Know that God has ultimate control, and ask freely for the desires of your heart. You will see them come to pass. If your prayer is not answered and it’s not His will, it only means He has something better for you and you may have to wait a little bit longer to see it realized.

What is it you are seeking? Claim it in faith in the name the Lord. Believe His promises, and watch them manifest in your life. You will be blessed abundantly yourself, and will be in a greater position to bless others. That’s a claim anyone can live with : )


How Sure Are You?

June 25, 2013

How sure are you that you will receive what you pray for? Did you know that it makes a major difference in whether or not you receive what you are asking for?

I’ve realized the importance of having faith for a long time. However, realizing it and acting on it are two different things. It’s only recently that I’ve really seen the difference between prayers of hope and prayers of faith.

I understand that sometimes God answers our “hopeful” prayers. However, think of how many more blessings you can receive if you strongly believe that you will receive what you are asking for. Several verses in the book of James in the Bible stand out. “You have not because you ask not”. “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” That’s a scary thought isn’t it? I will receive fewer blessings because of my lack of faith. That’s something no one wants.

God has continued to remind me of not only faith, but the concept of worthiness. I have recently written some other posts about that topic. I have read stories about how Godly men seemed to demand answers from God…and they received them with no resistence!

Those men in the Bible are no more powerful than you. If God will answer their prayers, there’s no reason He won’t be honored to answer yours. I am not advocating going to God in a prideful manner and demanding with arrogance that your prayers be answered. In fact, in some cases it’s better for you that your prayers are not answered. I am instead saying that you are worthy to pray and ask. I am saying that when you pray in faith, you will receive either what you ask for or something better. No less!

I ask you again…how sure are you that God will answer your prayer? Know that He desperately wants to bless you, but in many cases, he is waiting for you to ask in faith. What is it you desire most today? Know that it’s yours for the asking, pray boldly for it, wait for the next steps to take, take them, then expect the blessing. It’s as simple as that. And yes, I am sure : ) Have a wonderful day!


He’s Not Out To Get You

May 19, 2013

I love life! I am thankful to God every day that I’ve been given the opportunity to spend part of my eternity living on this earth and helping to make it a better place.

Unfortunately, this life is not always fun and easy. Negative things happen, and we seem to be presented with obstacles on a regular basis. Too many times, people get down on themselves when bad things happen. When presented with the opportunity to pray for divine assistance, they avoid prayer. In many cases it’s because they think God is against them instead of for them. They feel like they are not worthy of His guidance and assistance. Possibly this is because of something they are guilty about, or simply a lack of self-worthiness.

Are you one of those people? If so, I am here to tell you that God is NEVER against you, and He is ALWAYS for you. I know the feeling because I would feel that way on occasion. I would think, “why would God want to help someone like me”? I would remind myself of my sins and all of the mistakes I had made, then think about how unworthy I was.

There are two main reasons I learned that the opposite was true, and that I was indeed worthy:

  1. We are warned throughout the Bible that we would face trials. As good as life is, it’s part of the deal that we will face adversity. I learned that I am not the only person on this earth that goes through difficult times. Everyone does. However, we are reminded in this same Bible countless times that God is there to help us through those difficult times. He is there to help us gain victory, not failure.
  2. This was the clincher for me…Matthew 7:9-11 says…”which of you if his son asks for bread will give him a stone? Or if he asks for fish will give him a snake? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”

You would never give anything bad to those you love most, would you? Even though you are imperfect, you would only give your best to those you love.  You wouldn’t give anything bad in your imperfection, so do you think God would strive to give you bad things, being the perfect and loving being that He is? Never!

Please understand that God is not out to get you. He’s here to prosper you and guide you to greatness. That’s the only way He has intended that you live during this short time on earth. Instead of living in fear of Him, focus on His love and power that He readily shares with you. Use this power for your good, and to make this world a better place for everyone else. He’s out to get you to do that! Enjoy the blessings : )


Who Do You Think You Are?

May 2, 2013

I was reminded the other day of a conversation I had with someone at a part time job I worked at. We talked about Christianity and our confidence in the goodness and power of God. The main theme of the conversation for each of us was “I know who I am”. What we meant is that we knew we were beautiful, powerful, and awesome creations of our God.

I didn’t enjoy this job very much. It was a job I was doing in addition to my teaching job in order to make some extra money to pay off our mountain of debt. It was rather insulting when someone half my age and education level would look down on me because I didn’t do this petty job as well as they did. Each time my friend and I would have a negative experience at this job, we always had our faithful line to fall back on. We would look at each other and say, “I know who I am.”

Do you really know who you are? I’m sure you know your name and all of your bad habits. But have you ever looked beyond that and learned who you really are? Whether you believe it or not, you are a direct creation of the God of the universe. Of the God who created everything. Better yet, His spirit dwells in you and is a part of you.

Do you think God would ever give up on something He created and is a part of? I don’t think so. I read a quote from a website that says, “You are part of the infinite ocean of pure potential where all things are possible. You also are an Energy Being, an individualized vibration of God”. (http://www.essential-practices.com/remember.html)

With God, all things are possible. This power of all possibility is part of you. Knowing this, you can do the following two things to dramatically alter your life:

1. Focus on this connection as much as possible. Whether things are going smoothly, or are difficult, remember that you are a divine creation, and part of that endless power and energy.

2. Begin thinking like the Godly spirit that is within you. God thinks in terms of love, service, power, and endless possibility. Act in this Godly way, and see things from this perspective. Instead of procrastinating because of fear, you will take inspired action to achieve your goals and help others achieve theirs. Instead of going against the flow in your job, finances, relationships, etc., you will go with the flow of the Spirit and be carried to the place where you can serve and do the things to turn your life from bad to good, or good to great.

I will ask you again…who are you? Do you see yourself as inferior and without the faith to live your dream life? Or are you a person who knows the Godly power within you and thinks on its wavelength to create greatness in life? I’ve learned from experience that the second option is best. Do I still have disappointments and defeats? Of course I do. However, I get over them much quicker because I know my Creator is more than ready to pick me up and help me get going again. That power is mine. I know who I am : )


What Can I Do For You?

April 21, 2013

One of the best books I’ve read about self-development is “The Power of Intention” by Wayne Dyer. It has countless ideas and techniques that will bring you to a higher spiritual level and change your life. I strongly recommend it.

I’ve read this book several times, and each time I read it I find something new. It’s funny how it’s always something I’m going through at that time. The relevant thought this time is this: “If you stay focused on making demands on the universe (God), you’ll feel as if demands are being placed on you in your life. Stay focused on lovingly asking ‘how can I use my innate talents and desires to serve?’ And the universe (God) will then respond with the identical energy by asking you, ‘how may I serve you’?” (p. 156-157)

Bam! This one hit me right between the eyes. I have spent so much time in my life wondering how what I do will affect me. I love and care very much about other people. However, I have spent far too little time thinking about how what I do can best serve them instead of me.

That tide is changing, and I already see results. When my focus is on serving other people, it’s amazing how I am automatically served. It’s like I don’t have to think of my own concerns, because they are divinely cared for.

I strongly believe in taking “me” time. You need it to bring yourself to a place where you can be of best service to others. However, if you are one of those who, like me, is seeking to remove the focus from self to others, I challenge you to think about how you can use your gifts and talents to help others. You will make a difference, will feel great, and in turn see your own needs met as well. If you don’t know what to do, just ask and pray, and God will guide you.

This concept is in a chapter in the previously mentioned book called “Living Life on Purpose”. It mentions how many people are confused in life because they haven’t found their purpose. The author stresses that if you make serving others your purpose, your purpose will find you.

If you are one of those many people seeking your purpose, I recommend you start with the above advice. I can tell you first hand how much of a difference it makes. I certainly hope this information serves you well. Many blessings to you : )