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.

Be Honest. Lesson 23 of 40

Denial about your shortcomings doesn’t get you too far.  It keeps you going in cycles.  I have learned that I can’t fully deal with and be free from an issue until I am willing to be honest and acknowledge that the issue exists.  I must be honest with myself when dark parts of my heart are revealed, and I respond negatively in certain situations.   I can’t put up smoke screens and shift the blame. Instead I must look in the mirror and acknowledge my shortcomings.

When I am honest with myself about the state I am in, I can then be honest with God in prayer about the issue. When I am honest in prayer, God is then able to do a work in my spirit. A lack of honesty with God closes the door to Him purging me and making me more like Him.  I can’t fix or change the ugly parts of my heart, but honesty with God, gives Him access to those dark areas.  I am so grateful for a God that can handle all my “ugly” and continues the process of beautifying me.  How about you?  Do you find it easy to be honest with yourself and God about your shortcomings?  Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT)

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

 

Learning From “Unqualified” Sources

For today’s lesson I have learned that I must tune in to what God is trying to teach me, even if the lesson is being taught by those the world may view as “unqualified.”  Today, I reflect on both of my grandmothers. Though they did not attain high levels of education, the Lord used them to teach me some of the greatest lessons for success.  I think about the story in Mark 6:1-6 where people in Jesus’ hometown after hearing him teach had this response:

Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph,[a] Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. (Mark 6 2-3)

The scripture goes on to tell us that Jesus was only able to do a few miracles because of the unbelief of the people. Even though Jesus was very much anointed, the people refused to receive from Him because they saw Him as being unqualified.  It’s amazing how we can reject truth because of our low regard for the carrier of that truth. The world may be impressed with status, degrees, and money but it is not so with the Lord.  He uses whomever He chooses. He can use the young to teach the old, the  poor to teach the rich, the uneducated to teach the educated, and so on.  I  want to encourage you to take note of those God has placed in your life to teach you, don’t be dismissive because you may not see them as being qualified.   Pray and ask the Lord for a posture of humility to receive truth, even if its from the most unlikely, unqualified source.

Be Blessed,

Anika

1 Corinthians 1:27-29

 Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28 God chose things despised by the world,[h] things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29 As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.

What Does It Mean To Be Comfortable In My Own Skin? Lesson 21 of 40

I am learning that becoming comfortable in my own skin, goes beyond embracing my physical appearance.  It goes so much deeper. Becoming comfortable in my own skin includes embracing who God made me to be.  I must also embrace how He chooses to use me.  The more I become comfortable in my own skin, the more confidence develops and the freer I become to operate in my gifts.  It also helps me not to compare myself to others in the process (not totally there, but I am making great strides).

As I become more comfortable in my own skin, it is easier for me to celebrate others without trying to be like them. God did not make me a cookie cutter.  He made me uniquely me, without mistakes.  It’s an insult to God when I try to be like someone else instead of just being who He made me to be. How about you?  Are you comfortable with being in your own skin or are you often trying to be someone else?  Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Be Blessed,

Anika

Isaiah 64:8 (NLT) And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter.    We all are formed by your hand.

 

No More Wigs? Purging Time. Lesson 20 of 40

For today’s lesson, I am learning that I must purge the things that I have been hiding behind. For me, that thing was my wig.  The wig covered what I didn’t want anyone else to see, my biggest area of insecurity… alopecia. The wig made me feel beautiful.  There was nothing wrong with enhancing my beauty, but it was wrong that I didn’t ’t feel beautiful without the enhancer. After publishing this video, I made it one full year without wearing a wig.  That may not sound like a big deal, but you must understand that this came after ten years of constant wig wearing.  When I first shaved my remaining hair and made my bald head debut, I had intentions of still occasionally wearing wigs.  However, after my debut, I tried to put the wigs on at different times, but I was so uncomfortable and would take them off.  A few months ago, I decided to get a head start on spring cleaning and was purging unwanted and unused items in my closet.  In the process, the Lord laid on my heart to get rid of all my wigs.  You would think that it would have been easy for me to do this, considering that I had not worn any of them for an entire year.  But that was not the case.  The tears that followed the purging of the wigs, caught me off guard.  But I later realized that I cried because I was letting go of something that was familiar and had offered comfort.  The wigs had become a part of my identity.  The Lord is doing a great purge in my spirit and is bringing me to a place of understanding who I really am.  He wants me to become comfortable in my own skin.  Getting rid of the wigs are a part of that process and I must say that I am becoming more compliant and excited about the process and the results.

How about you, what is that thing that God is asking you to purge so that He can do what He wants to do in you.  Is a mindset (fear, unforgiveness, etc) , a relationship, eating habits, a job?  Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.

Isaiah 43:19 For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?

My Convictions And Other People. Lesson 19 of 40

It is a huge turnoff when people try to push what God told them to do on others.  I can admit that I have been guilty of doing this very thing.    As believers, we should all agree on the essentials of the Christian faith. However, the more I mature in Christ, I am learning that we wont always have the same convictions on matters that are nonessential.   Our love for Jesus doesn’t erase the fact that we come from different backgrounds and we have different stories, giftings, callings and personalities. We are not cookie cutters.  I may feel very strongly about something wile my brother or sister in Christ may not.

It is so important that we don’t condemn or judge others or try to make them feel bad for not yielding to our convictions. Instead, our job is to focus on obeying the specific things God instructed us to do because it is connected to His purpose for our lives.   I think about Samson’s mother who received strict instructions on what she should do while pregnant with Samson.  Not every pregnant woman in Israel at the time had the same restrictions. Why is that?  The restrictions given to Samson’s mother was directly connected to the call and purpose on Samson’s life.

Despite our differences, let us strive to love each other and be co laborers to further the kingdom of God.

Romans 14:1-4

Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants?