Forget the past and move forward (FOCUS Part 1)

I had the privilege of speaking at my church last weekend and I will share the notes with you over the next few weeks. I spoke on F.O.C.U.S. There are many things in life that can distract us and cause us to lose focus and miss out on the promises of God.  I pray that what the Lord gave me blesses you!

 F-Forget the past and move forward!

I discussed two ways in which we can look back on the past and lose focus.  We will explore the first point today; looking back at our past with regret.

 Looking back at our past with regret

The devil loves to remind us of who we used to be, causing us to lose focus.  When you think back on your past sins, you feel unqualified/unworthy of operating in your gifts that are NEEDED in the body of Christ. You lose sight of who God has called you to be.  You begin to rehearse all your past sins and condemnation imprisons you. “I made too many mistakes for God to use me now,” become your normal thinking pattern.  The shame from your past haunts and cripples you from moving forward. Yes you sinned but if you have repented, God has forgiven you. It is time to move on! Stop focusing on who you used to be, that person is dead! 

You must resist the temptation to look back.   Instead focus on the truth that you are now forgiven. You are redeemed. You are new!  Once I really got the revelation that I am forgiven and I don’t have to live in condemnation the devil’s reminders of my past lost their influence on my mind and spirit.  There was no Velcro on me for his accusations to stick to.  Don’t waste your pain by looking back.  When you focus on today, you will begin to see how God is masterfully redeeming your live from destruction. 

Reflect on the meaning of the following scriptures as you spend time with God this week.  Are you living in the reality of these scriptures?

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

Romans 8:1(NLT)

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

 

 

God Said. There was. It was good.

Hannah creating one of her artistic works.

 

God said. There was. And it was good.  That pretty much sums up my God.  The one who has the ability to speak something out of nothing. Create light out of darkness.  I read Genesis chapter 1 through different lenses this morning because I read it thinking about some things that God has spoken to me.  Things that if I look at it in the natural they seem impossible…nonexistent. But my God, the very God who created the heavens and the earth defies human logic and breaks through every boundary to bring into existence what He wants.  He not only speaks and it happens, but when it happens it is good! As I read that very familiar passage of scripture I was encouraged.  Encouraged to believe that if He created in Genesis 1, He can still create opportunities for me today.  He can create openings in doors that are shut and even create a door that was not originally there.  Encouraged to believe that it will be exactly as He has spoken as I grab a hold of it by faith.  Encouraged to believe that as I pursue the purpose for which I am called, it will all work together for my good!

Reread Genesis 1 and reflect on the following questions

-What specific promises has he made to you that seems impossible?

-When you think about what God has spoken, do you see it as impossible because you are thinking about your own limitations? Is God asking you to do it in your own strength or His?

Be blessed!

 

Quick Study: Identifying the call of God on my child’s life

The enemy is shrewd and is always looking for ways to devour our children.  His goal is to have them live contrary to their God given purpose and to ultimately destroy them. We must not be passive.  As parents we have been given the great task of speaking life over our children, reminding them that they were called before they were born.  It is imperative that we let our children know God has a purpose for their life and encourage them to live accordingly.  Below I created a quick worksheet highlighting the call of Samson in Judges Chapter 13.  Take some time to read the passage and answer the reflection questions below.

 

Reflection Questions for Judges Chapter 13

God gave specific guidelines for Samson before He was even born.  Why did God give these specific guidelines?  In other words what was Samson’s purpose?

 

Even though Samson’s mother was not called to be the deliverer for Israel, she also had to be careful about what she consumed as she carried Samson.  Are you aware that what you consume (spiritually) can affect the call of God on your child?

 

What are some things (spiritually speaking) that you need to remove from your diet, to help foster the call of God on your child’s life?

Sometimes we may need more clarity on the call of God on our child’s life, it is ok to ask. What does Samson’s father do in Judges 13: 8?  What does He ask for?

What does James 1:5 tell us to do?

 

Has the Lord given you any insights concerning the call on your child’s life?  Please list them below.

 

Have you been asking God for wisdom on how to help develop the call/purpose for your child’s life?  What are some practical things you can do to help develop that call?

 

 

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Called Before I Was Born Bible Study

 

Yesterday I wrote about having an identity crisis. However as I connect more with God I am beyond delighted to learn that not only is my identity in Him; but I am also learning that I was called before I was born.  Yes that is right, there was a call on my life before I was even born!  I was created for a specific purpose.   The same is true for you.  Below is a quick worksheet I created to remind you of this truth.  Take some time to fill this out and reflect on the assigned scriptures.  Are you living in the reality that you were called before you were born?  Are you pursuing the purpose God has for your life?

CALLED BEFORE I WAS BORN

Jeremiah 1:5(NLT)

“I __________ you before I ________ you in your _________    ________.Before you were ________ I set you ________and _________ you as my prophet to the nations.”

I also love how the amplified bible states it.

Jeremiah 1:5Amplified Bible

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you [and approved of you as My chosen instrument],And before you were born I consecrated you [to Myself as My own];I have appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

On the lines below, please write this verse in your own words?  What stands out the most to you about this verse?

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Have you really stopped to consider this verse; meditating on what this means for your life?

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Do you live your life knowing that God had a plan for you before you were even born?  Do you believe this?

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Are you in constant communication with the one who created you?  Do you seek Him for how to live out the call on your life, or do you follow your own agenda or what others think you should be?  Answer honestly and give examples.

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What have been some of the biggest hindrances (feeling inadequate, people’s negative opinions, doubt, ungodly relationships, lack of pursuit, finances, etc.?) to you pursuing the call of God on your life?  Have you prayed about these hindrances or have you lived in defeat?

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What are some practical things you can start to do to fulfill the call of God on your life?  For example I know that I was called to encourage others through my writing so I try to be faithful to posting on my blog.

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Others verses to meditate on Psalm 139-13-18

 

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Speaking the word of God over your child

I want to encourage you to really consider the words that are coming out of our mouth when speaking to your children.  It is easy to become careless with our words.  However, a big part of parenting is blessing (affirming) our children.  Speaking the word of God over them is the best affirmation.  As I speak the word over them, it shapes their identity and they recognize who they are in Christ. Blessing my children with the word of God also combats the schemes of the enemy and cancels every curse.

Below is a brief worksheet that I created to get the process started to encourage you to speak life (blessings) over your children.  Take some time to fill out this worksheet and reflect on the suggested verses. Pray and ask the Lord to help you prioritize spending time with in prayer and the study of His word so that He can fill your mouth with what to say as you parent.  Be sure to visit this link for suggestions on scripture that you can speak/pray over your children.

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BLESSING OUR CHILDREN BY SPEAKING THE WORD OF GOD OVER THEM

 

Scripture tells us that _________and ___________ are in the _________of the _________(Proverbs 18:21).

Whose words should you speak over your children?

John 6:63 ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Can we speak life (the word of God) over our children?  Can we decree blessings over them if we don’t know the word?

Briefly write down your game plan for studying God’s word starting this week.  Consider the following questions as you create your plan.

  1. What time are you most alert to study God’s word?
  2. How much time per day do you commit to studying God’s word?
  3. What passages will you focus on to begin your study?

 

Let’s get personal

On a normal day, what are some of the things you say to your children (when you are angry with them, when their behavior displeases you, when they interrupt you)?

 

 

What are your biggest areas of struggle as a parent?  In what ways have your children challenged you?

 

What are some specific scriptures you can speak over your children to combat these issues?

Don’t forget to visit this site to get ideas on scriptures you can pray over your children. Be blessed!

How is that New Year’s resolution to pursue God going?

 

 

It is already February and some of us made a  New Year’s resolution to have a closer walk with God. I am checking in on you to see how that’s going? Are you still making the  study of God’s word  and prayer a priority; or has life crept in and distracted you?  It’s easy to lose steam. If this is the case, ask yourself what are your biggest distractions? Is it an ungodly relationship, excessive time on the internet/television, your own negative attitude, or just wallowing in unforgiveness and condemnation? Take time to commit these distractions to prayer and also pray for grace to respond in obedience to the Lord’s response. Perhaps you are struggling with time management, the desire is there but you just can’t seem to find the time.  Yep, you guessed it…pray and ask the Lord to show you how to make time for Him.  You may be available but you just don’t know how to structure your time with the Lord, have you considered starting a prayer/bible study journal. I want to encourage you to keep going, and if you have fallen off the bandwagon, get back on. Be deliberate about your pursuit of God, your life depends on it.  

If you have children include them in the process.  Below I have a few videos from my YouTube channel to encourage you in this area.  Please leave me a comment and let me know how you are doing in your pursuit of God.  What are some things that helps you to remain focused?