Ever After

I cannot deny the struggle that exists between yielding to what looks and feels good instead of submitting to the God who is good! This is a daily struggle that can only be conquered through a daily pursuit of God. Yes, I live in this world, but I don’t have to allow this world to live in me. I don’t have to become a slave to something that will perish. Oh, but what hope awaits those who choose God.

As I continue to meditate on 1 John 2:15-17, I ask myself what is my end goal? The words in vs. 17 arrest me, “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” How many times do we loose sight that there is more to come?  There is an ever after and our choices now will determine how that statement ends. Will it be happily ever after or tormented ever after?  

Our choice to love the world and what it offers OR our decision to love God and pursue His will determines what our end will be. Choose wisely.

Be Blessed

Anika

Deuteronomy 30:19 New Living Translation (NLT) “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!

 

Do Not Love The World

1 John 2:15-17 cautions us not to love the world or the things in it. Why? Because it will lead us to a dead end. The things the world have to offer appeals to our sinful nature; lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life. Yes, they bring temporary satisfaction, but they also lead to eternal separation from God. Is it worth it? I think it appropriate to answer this question with the words of scripture, “what does it profit a man to gain the world and loose his soul?” (Mark 8:36)

The devil is a great marketer. He knows what will appeal to our sinful nature and he puts the commercial in front of us EVERYDAY! We cannot be passive, we must actively combat the schemes of the enemy. To not love the world, I must first cling to God and put Him in His proper place as Lord! This is not a one-time declaration but a daily reality! What are you doing DAILY to draw close to God? Are you praying to Him, are you reading His word and then responding in obedience? My prayer is that we will not be lulled to sleep pursuing pleasure but that we will remain awake knowing that eternity is at stake.

Be Blessed
Anika

THE PROMISE AND THE PROCESS

Are you currently waiting on a promise to manifest? Does the process seem to be taking forever? Have you taken your eyes off God? Today, I have some encouragement for you! A friend of mine shared a video with me of her sweet baby going after a toy. As I have often said, God speaks to me in what appears to be the mundane. In this short clip, I saw my relationship with God and the process I must go through to get the promises He has made me.

In the video, the mom had the toy in her hand. She didn’t just hand it over to the baby. There was a process he had to go through to get it. Necessary things such as hand eye coordination and his gross motor skills were being developed in the process. The mom didn’t just stick the toy at the opposite end of the room and walk away either. She held the toy in her hand, while encouraging her son to keep coming. She didn’t do the moving for him, but she provided direction. When he followed the voice of his mom, he was able to get to the promise.

This video encouraged me to keep focused on the promise and to listen to His voice. He is there to direct me and if I remain focused on Him, I will get the promise. I hope this video blesses you as much as it blessed me!

Anika

Pause To Pray And Then Proceed

My hair loss had taken a turn for the worse and I was in was in need of something—fast. The beautician told me it was medical glue and the hairpiece would look natural. The price was ridiculous but she began to ramble off a list of names of celebrities whose stylists used said “medical” glue to get them picture ready. I was desperate and gullible—a bad combination. After the consultation, I went home and asked begged my husband to let me get it. On credit that is, because we did not have that amount of cash lying around. Not once did I consider praying about it. As far as I was concerned, it was clear that this was a godsend.

Seeing my panic and desperation, my husband agreed to let me put this SUPER EXPENSIVE hairpiece on credit. Within a few weeks, the medical glue began to produce unmedical results. I broke out with sores on my scalp because of an allergic reaction to the glue and had to have the hairpiece removed. She offered no refund. I was left with a head full of sores and a very expensive lesson on the detriment of not pausing to pray before proceeding.

Admittedly, I have jumped headfirst into many decisions that seemed like a good idea. I am learning and, by the grace of God, I don’t want to continue to make the same mistakes. I find it dizzying going around the same mountain. This week, another test came. I learned of an opportunity to grow in my gift as a writer. The program is legitimate. I read article after article and watched numerous videos of testimonials on the success of the program. I wanted in! The class had a large price tag attached to it, and rightfully so, it is an EXCELLENT class. We are actively trying to get out of debt and be good stewards of our finances, so putting this class on a credit card was not an option.

I mentioned the opportunity to my husband and, this time around, we paused and prayed before proceeding. I inquired via email about scholarships and different payment plans; all requests were denied. On one hand, I was disappointed because I really wanted to take the class. On the other, I was also encouraged (I participated in the teacher’s free webinar which was excellent) because I knew that I had made the right decision and passed the test.

This principle of pausing to pray before we proceed with making decisions is echoed in Proverbs 3:5-6. This passage tells us that we are to trust in the Lord with all our heart, and not to lean on our own understanding. We are to acknowledge God in all that we do and allow Him to direct our path. Too many times we don’t stop to consult God before making decisions and inevitably we end up bumping our heads.

What major decisions are before you? No matter how good the opportunity may look, I encourage you to pause to pray. Allow the Lord to direct your path, and once He responds, then you can proceed in faith! Are you quick to make decisions without first consulting the Lord? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.

All Is Well Because God Is Good!

As of late, when asked how I am doing, my response is, “all is well because God is good!”

Yes, I agree, life can be tough, and problems are real.

Sicknesses happen

Relationships fail

Bills need to get paid

Hearts get broken

Rejection hurts

BUT GOD IS STILL GOD, AND HE IS GOOD SO ALL IS WELL!

This statement is not a dismissal or denial of the difficulties that life brings.  Instead, it is a choice to magnify God over my difficulties and to remind myself that all things will work together for my good.  Why is it so easy for us to focus on the negative things around us while dismissing the overwhelming evidence of God’s goodness that is constantly before us?  This morning, I opened my bedroom blinds and was in awe of the beautiful sunset that greeted me.  I had to pause and take it all in.  What I saw confirmed Psalm 19, “the heavens proclaim the glory of God.  The skies display his craftsmanship.”

We have a choice.  We can begin our day focusing on our problems and the business that awaits us, or we can pause to acknowledge the goodness of God.  You don’t have to look very far to see it, creation testifies of His goodness. I see and acknowledge it, so I will continue to say and live in the reality that, “all is well because God is good!”  What declaration rooted in truth are you making today?

Be Blessed

Anika

Keep Coming


The Father invites us to come and pray about our past pain until we are healed. There is not a limit on our counseling sessions with Him. We know we are healed when we can see with clarity how God allowed that pain to work together for our good. One of the best “goods” that come from bringing our pain to God is the intimacy that is developed between us. I’ve seen God in a way that I have never seen Him before because of deep wounds that I kept bringing to Him.

The desperation that comes from wanting to be healed has a way of breaking down false pretense and formalities in prayers. I have experienced characteristics of God that were veiled because of legalism. When I am vulnerable with Him in prayer about my pain, I suddenly realize that He is not a distant God who is always looking for me to get it right. Instead I come to know Him as a loving Father who wants to guide me with His truth. I no longer see Him as this God who is pointing His finger telling me to get over it and toughen up. Instead I see Him as a compassionate and patient father who extends His grace and helps me to walk the path to maturity.

I also know that I have been healed when thanksgiving and praise flows from my lips instead of venom. The praise doesn’t come from a place of naivety. Instead it comes from a deeper revelation of the goodness and sovereignty of God and His ability to redeem our pain when we come to Him. It is in the coming that we see how God used what the enemy intended to harm us with, as a launching pad for where He, God, wanted to take us. When we are healed we look back on our painful experiences, not wishing they would happen again, but thanking God for His ability to bring beauty from pain.
Keep coming to drink from the healing well
Keep coming to drop the weight at His feet
Keep coming
Because it is in the coming
That healing takes Place

Isaiah 61:3 (NLT)
To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.
Romans 8:28 (NLT)
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.