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]

 

I Have A Choice. Lesson 26 of 40

This morning was one of THOSE mornings.  You have them as well?  I was feeling extremely overwhelmed.  My house was a mess from our carefree weekend. In addition, my children had as much enthusiasm as I did to get the morning started.  In that moment, I had a choice to respond in one of two ways, give in to how I was feeling or go and pray.  If I gave it to how I was feeling a little bit of everybody in the house was going to feel my wrath and hear my long drawn out song of how overwhelmed I was.  However, praise God, I made the choice to STOP, DROP, & PRAY!

For today’s lesson, I have learned that when faced with different emotions or life circumstances, I have a choice on how I will respond.  That sounds basic but hear me out.  A choice is defined as, “an act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities.” Oftentimes, we act as if we are left with one option when faced with difficulty.  But that is not true.  When our emotions or life circumstances are threatening to get the best of us, we have TWO options to choose from; give in or rise above it. We don’t have to be passive and act as if we are without a choice.  What’s your choice when faced with difficulty?  Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Be Blessed,

Anika

Psalm 61:2-3 From the ends of the earth, I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
 for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.

Consider The Source. Lesson 24 of 40

For today’s lesson, I have learned that before I receive what is spoken, I must first consider the source.  I can’t receive everything that is spoken to me, even if it is from people who are considered qualified by the world. Qualification with the world does not automatically mean they are qualified by God to speak into my life.

There were times, I allowed the words of unauthorized sources to discourage me.  These were individuals who were not out for my best interest.   Some were hurt people and their unresolved pain, made them a perfect tool in the hands of the enemy. They allowed the father of lies to influence them and were used to try to derail me from my purpose. The negativity of their words, would often dictate my mood and even impacted the way I saw myself.  I would rehearse and reflect on the words they spoke, instead of rejecting their lies.   However, as I mature, I am becoming more discerning and I am very careful of whose voice I listen to.  Before I receive words that are spoken, I stop and consider the source.

1 Peter 5:8 NLT Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.