Category Archives for Life of Faith

Don’t Wait. Start Over Now

September 14, 2019

I recently published a video for my YouTube channel on how we do family devotions. From the looks of the video, it would seem I had it all together. However, some events that took place after publishing that video was a great reminder that I really don’t.

It was a long day and my outburst of wrath at every child in sight confirmed that the day got the best of me.

I had committed to staying off my phone, but by the end of the evening, I had the phone in hand scrolling on Pinterest looking for an escape from my current predicament but none helped me escape my reality. I have been following the Carnivore Diet for three months with great success and had just recorded another video saying I no longer crave the wrong foods. That evening, I suddenly began to crave the animal cookies I bought for my kids. I went to find them and took a handful and justified eating them because they were organic. I had intentions of going back and getting seconds of the cookies but after a few bites; I realized they were really not what I wanted. I felt guilty knowing I had given in to eating what I shouldn’t and to get no satisfaction from it made me frustrated. As for family devotion, I wanted no parts of it. My husband had a late evening so that meant I would have to do family devotion by myself. Given my behavior that day, I felt unqualified.

I decided I would take the shame and guilt I felt from the failures of the day with me to bed. BUT GOD! As I sat there in my upstairs hallway bogged down by defeat, He spoke to my heart. He told me I didn’t have to wait until the morning, I could start over at that moment. I began to cry and His affirming words broke down the wall and bridged the distance between us. I repented for my wrong actions and lack of self-control. At that moment the shame, guilt, and frustration I was feeling were replaced with the peace and joy of God. As the tears flowed, I began to praise Him for His love and the way He repeatedly makes repentance possible.  After I got it right with Him, I called the six children upstairs to get it right with them. I apologized for my behavior and we then had a time of sweet fellowship in God’s word and prayer. I went to bed free of shame and guilt from wrong choices. My head hit that pillow, and I was at peace. This incident was another reminder of the truth in Proverbs 28:113, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

What is the purpose of me telling you this story? Often we mess up, whether big or small and we try to stay away from God or continue along the path of sin because we allow the enemy to trick us to believe that God is not interested in forgiving us. I want to remind you as God reminded me a few nights ago; you don’t have to wait to start over, you can start over right now. If you mess up, don’t carry that shame and condemnation around with you. Confess it to God, get right, not tomorrow not next week but right now!

You Crave What You Prioritize

September 11, 2019

 

Over the years, I have observed that the more I eat the correct foods, the more I crave what is good for my body. However, when I deviate from eating clean, I resurrect the sugar beast. When I give in to those wrong cravings, I am left feeling sluggish, bloated and guilty. I have a choice to either practice self-control and go back to eating as I should, or I can continue to give in to the sugar cravings giving it even more power.

Isn’t this how it is with our spiritual walk? When I press and sacrifice to be in God’s word, I gain the proper focus and I develop a greater hunger to seek His face. I crave being in His presence.  However, when I allow distractions to get the best of me, it’s only a matter of time until I choose binge-watching videos on YouTube or mindless scrolling on social media over being in God’s presence. My mind gets cluttered and I compromise my ability to hear His voice. Being in His presence then seem like a chore instead of a privilege. I have the choice to repent for not prioritizing my relationship with God or I can continue to feast on the things that distract, giving it even more power. I am so glad that God gives us the opportunity to stop and turn around. The question is, do we make good of this opportunity or do we continue down the path of feeding our flesh instead of our spirit?

Confess, Forgive, & Move On!

We were having an ongoing problem in our home and my assumption was that the culprit was a particular child. For months as the problem continued, I would reprimand this child and he would vehemently deny it. I didn’t believe him and the more he denied it the angrier I became. We recently had an impromptu devotion with the children because we all needed a spiritual tune-up. I shared Proverbs 28:13– “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” After reviewing this scripture with the children, I invited everyone to confess their sins to God. Right before bed, I was reminded of the reoccurring problem we had been having for months. I approached the one I assumed was the culprit and before I could finish my accusations, another child began to confess that he was the guilty party. All this time, he kept his sin hidden. It shocked me. I could see the shame on his face as he confessed, and I could tell he was expecting a negative response, but the grace of God overwhelmed me, and I responded accordingly. I told him that even though his actions were wrong, I was happy that he confessed his sins. I encouraged him to apologize to his brother-the one he allowed to carry the blame for all these months. What happened after that warmed my heart. The other brother who was accused all this time responded with grace. He let his brother know that he forgave him and just like that he carried on playing with his Lego. He didn’t take the time to relish because he was finally vindicated. He forgave and moved on.

I had a few exchanges with them and went to my room and uttered a prayer of thanksgiving to the Father. I want my children to know Jesus, like for real know Him. I want them to respond to the convictions of the Holy Spirit. I want them to confess their sins. I want them to know the beauty of forsaking sin and receiving God’s forgiveness. I want them to experience the grace that comes from true repentance. I also want them to freely forgive others and not hold on. The struggle with sin is real in our home, that I won’t pretend! But this incident was a sweet reminder that God is at work, and He is greater!

I encourage you to, confess your sins when needed.  Our sins not only impact us but it can impact others, so when necessary apologize to those who have been affected by your sin. If you are the one that has been offended, be merciful and receive the apology and move on, no need to remind the person of what they have done! In other words, respond with mercy- the way God responds to us when we repent.

Don’t Hide Your Sins, Confess Them!

I was recently crying to God and telling him about an ongoing area of struggle. I didn’t say it out loud, but I was thinking, “isn’t God tired of me coming and crying about this?” His answer to my unspoken question was Proverbs 28:13, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” I didn’t receive it as a rebuke instead I knew it was a loving reminder of His loving-kindness and mercy toward me. He was letting me know that He was pleased with my willingness to bring this sin before Him. I wasn’t trying to hide it. I wasn’t trying to make excuses for why it was there. I didn’t categorize it as a not so serious sin. I came clean before the Lord. My repentance and brokenness over this sin ushered in a flood of God’s mercy.

Do you have sins you are trying to conceal? I want to remind you you cannot fix or deliver yourself, that is God’s job. We will always have areas in our life that we need to work on. However, pride will convince us to hide those areas. There is no prosperity there, it will only leave us weighed down and stagnant. However, when we humble ourselves and confess our sins, turn away from them, God’s mercy meets us!

Be Blessed,

Anika

Can You Be Trusted To Deliver?

Recently I went to a party to celebrate a good friend. My intentions were to have a good time and lighthearted conversations.  However, in having a conversation with one attendee, the Lord gave me some words of correction to share. I didn’t want to appear as a killjoy, but I knew I had to obey the voice of the Lord.

I felt bad when I woke up the next morning and wondered what the person thought of me. The Lord immediately convicted me and asked me if he could trust me to deliver His message. In that moment, God spoke to me and told me I should not place my reputation above obedience. Many times, we hesitate to speak the truth that could offend because we want others to like us.

As a servant of God, my responsibility is to deliver what He gives me without fear of the response. I cannot alter the message; I must deliver exactly what He gives me. My mail man doesn’t get caught up in my response to the package he delivers, nor does he try to change the packaging. None of that concerns Him. He just knows that his boss is expecting him to deliver the mail. I want to be faithful in delivering all the messages God gives me.  How about you?

Romans 1:16 NLT:  For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile.

My 41st Birthday. I Will Worship

I woke up on my 41st birthday and one of the first things I did was rub my hand on my head looking for the sign He had finally answered this longstanding prayer request. I told Him that this would be the best birthday gift. I thought He told me He would do it, that this was finally my time.  I was wrong.  Sadly, the familiar bald spots created by alopecia and scattered hair met the touch of my hand. I felt the disappointment trying to overtake me, but I fought against it. I thought on the goodness of God, and where He has brought me. No, I’m not a millionaire but at 41 years of age, I am a rich and fulfilled lady.

I am living on purpose.
I am at peace.
I have true joy.

I am blessed beyond measure.


And I know God in an even more intimate way.

So I got up looked at my mostly bald head reflection in the mirror and a sang a song of rebellion against disappointment!  Restoration of my hair will come, of that I am certain.  In the meantime, this song will become my anthem because I will worship as I wait.

What will I do As I wait on you?
I will worship
I will worship

Time does not change your mind
You are not a man that you should lie
So I will worship
I will worship

The doubts are trying to silence me
Lord help my areas of unbelief
By faith I declare
I will see what you have promised

Because you are God!
You are faithful!
I can trust you
So I will worship
I will worship

 

What are you waiting for?  What are you doing as you wait?

Be Blessed

Anika

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