What I “Eat” For Entertainment Matters. Lesson 31 of 40

Don’t kid yourself, your choice of entertainment matters. God tells us to have times of refreshing.  However, we must be careful that the entertainment we feed ourselves during those times don’t become counterproductive and leave us “burdened” instead of refreshed.

I have learned that even though I am “good and grown” I must still be mindful of the kind of entertainment I feed my spirit.  I can’t be naïve and think that it doesn’t matter because it does. The enemy has an agenda and a lot of the stuff that is labeled as entertainment is contrary to the word of God. Sometimes we are struggling in certain areas and it’s because we have opened the door to the enemy through the things we watch and listen to.  We can also greatly compromise our ability to operate in our gifts because of our choice of entertainment.  All areas of our lives but be submitted to the Holy Spirit, and that includes our choice of entertainment.   Is choosing the right entertainment an area of struggle for you?  Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Psalm 101: 3-4  I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them. I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil.

 

Release The Offense. Lesson 30 of 40

People will offend us.  That is a byproduct of living in a fallen world.  However,  I have a choice in how I will to respond to the offense.

For today’s lesson, I have learned that I must choose to release offenses.  Holding on to them and refusing to forgive can create sickness in our bodies and spirit. Furthermore, God makes it clear that if we do not forgive others, we ourselves will not be forgiven.  Here is the truth of the matter, we all stand in the need of forgiveness…ALL OF US!  We shouldn’t be hypocrites and ask of the Lord the very thing we withhold from others.

I know firsthand how difficult it can be to release an offense and forgive.  I have spent a lot of time in prayer asking the Lord to heal wounds that were caused by an offense and to help me to choose to forgive. On some occasions, I had to pray more than once because the wound went deep.  I am not proud to admit it but sometimes after praying, I would then go and share the offense with someone else.  I felt justified. That was extremely counterproductive.  The constant rehearsing of an offense was a great way to undo my prayers.

God has provided a blueprint in His word on how we are to handle offenses.  No amount of “justified” anger is worth my soul.  I have made it a habit to continuously pray and ask the Lord to make the choice to release offenses.  How about you? Is it difficult for you to forgive others and release the offense?  Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Colossians 3:13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.

Mathew 6:14-15  “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. 15 But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.

 

Redefine Success. Lesson 29 of 40

I have learned to redefine success and ditch what the world told me.  This lesson has really hit home for me the last few years.  I reflect on my life and it did not go as planned. It would be easy for me to say it hasn’t been successful.  However, that’s just not the truth.  My life is successful because I am doing what God has called me to do.  That’s as simple as it gets for a definition, but it can be a challenge to live out. Truth is, when you say yes to God, that yes leads you to carrying your cross. 

That yes leads you to a place of death

Death to self

Death to your own agenda

Death to things you could have done that would have caused the world to applaud you and call you successful.

I also realize if I am not careful, I can abort what God has told me to do if it doesn’t become a “success” in my prescribed time frame. If I don’t guard my heart, the response of others can make me second guess if I am truly successful.

I have been a stay at home mom for the last 14 years.  My duties can be summed up to tending to my husband, children, and house.  Nothing glamorous about that.  However, I have had to remind myself to keep my eyes on Jesus and look to Him to define true success.  How about you?  Are you struggling with this truth? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Isaiah 55: 8-9 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.  “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

Use Your Gifts. Lesson 28 of 40

How would you feel if you gave someone a well thought out gift, only to find out that they didn’t think much of it.  If they used it, it wasn’t  very often and they didn’t take good care of it.  You wouldn’t be too happy would you?  Here is the thing, God has given each of us gifts, and He expects us to use it and for His glory.

I have learned that I shouldn’t take my gifts for granted. I must work on perfecting them, and one of the best ways to do so, is to use them often and according to God’s leading. I must also look for ways to develop my gifts. I should never get to the point of thinking I know it all because there is always room for growth.

Additionally, God has shown me that I can’t turn my gifts “on “and “off” based on my feelings or the setting that I am in. Sometimes, we are placed in certain situations that we think is beneath us, so we choose not to share our gifts in that setting, and if we do, it is not with the spirit of excellence. WRONG ANSWER! We take orders from God, not our feelings or ego. We shouldn’t wait for the “big stage” to turn “on” our gifts. We must start now and do so with all our heart. If teaching is your gift and you have been asked to teach a Sunday School class with only two half-awake students; I encourage you to prepare to teach those two students in the same way you would if you were called to teach an audience of a million people and all the cameras were on you. It is also important to note here that sometimes we don’t operate in our gifts because we don’t see the value in them. Instead, we are too busy coveting another’s gift that seem bigger and shinier than ours. We’ve missed the point all together when we have this mindset.

It is my desire to be a good steward of the gifts God has given me. I want Him to be pleased with the way that I used them to be a blessing to others. In the end I want to hear, “well done good and faithful servant, enter the joy of the Lord.” How about you? What have you been doing with your gifts? Are you using them for His glory or have you hid them and only take them out when its convenient for you? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Be Blessed,

Anika

1 Peter 4:10-11  God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

 

Turn Off The Distractions. Lesson 27 of 40

There is nothing like feeling overwhelmed or having something hanging over your head that you just don’t want to deal with. In cases like these, I am quick to look for something to distract me instead of dealing with the issue or how I am feeling. I sometimes grab my phone to do some mindless scrolling or reading. I have also been gluttonous and even ate the wrong things, to use food as a distraction. This is not beneficial because after I am done being distracted, the problem still exist.

For today’s lesson, I have learned that I must be willing to turn off the distractions and deal with the issues that are before me. Before I can turn off the distractions, I must be honest with myself and admit that I am not looking to relax but I am trying to avoid dealing with an issue. There is a difference! I am learning to turn off all the external distractions and run to God to help me deal with the very thing I am trying to avoid.

Do you find that you look for ways to get distracted when you have issues you are trying to avoid? Leave a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Be Blessed,
Anika

Isaiah 26:3 NKJV
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

 

Receive Correction. Lesson 25 of 40

In my last post, I spoke about rejecting the words of unauthorized sources.  However, I have also gobbled down the vein praises of those who were not looking out for my best interest.  I would then reject godly rebuke from a certified source. We are often willing to receive drips of honey to feed our pride from the enemy while rejecting truth from God.

However, as I have matured in the Lord, I am learning that correction from the godly is good and should be heeded. I think it is also important to point out that God can also use the unsaved to correct us.  He can use whomever He chooses to set us straight. Remember when He opened the mouth of a donkey to speak to Balaam in Numbers 22:28?

I should never get to the point of feeling that I am above being corrected and disciplined.   I must constantly remind myself that being corrected and disciplined is a privilege.  How so?     I correct my children not because I hate them but because I love them, and I know that correction will bring growth.  The same is true for us and God when He corrects and disciplines us.  Do you find it difficult to receive correction and discipline?  Leave me a comment.  I would love to hear from you.

Be Blessed,

Anika

Psalm 141:5  Let the godly strike me! It will be a kindness! If they correct me, it is soothing medicine. Don’t let me refuse it. But I pray constantly against the wicked and their deeds.

Hebrews 12:5-6 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children?[d] He said, “My child,[e] don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”[f]