Category Archives for Life of Faith

I Published My First Book. Dreams Realized!

I have known for a long time that writing books was a part of my purpose. I would start and then stop. I would either get distracted or discouraged. I finally made up my mind to sit and focus and write my first book but there was one problem, I didn’t know where to start. Which book do I write fist? The week I was praying and asking God for clarity was the week that a sweet friend invited me to a service at a local church. At that service, the Lord prophetically used the speaker to answer my prayer. I came home energized and encouraged. The Lord helped me to see that the material for my first book had already been written and it was just a matter of editing it and putting it in book form. I hit some bumps along the way, but I was determined to complete what I started. When I got serious, God sent me the help that I needed to complete it…and I really needed help! One of my biggest sources of help came from the author of this award winning book.

I am so happy to announce that as of this week, my first book, “Lessons Learned Along the Way: A 40 Day Devotional,” has been released. I took the content that I wrote for my 40-day reflection before my 40th birthday and created a devotion with reflection questions and scriptures for meditation. You can find it on Amazon in both kindle and paperback form. If you choose to purchase it and are blessed by what you read, I invite you to leave a review on Amazon so that others would be encouraged to get it as well. This is indeed a dream realized!

Reflection Question: Is there something God has called you to do but you have put it to the side? Do you need clarity on how to pursue that purpose? I encourage you to earnestly seek the Lord and respond in obedience to His directives!

Be Blessed

Anika

 

Satisfaction In Jesus

We live in a culture where greed and the abundance of material things are promoted. However, as of late, the minimalism movement is of interest to many. Why is that? Could it be that people are finding out that material things don’t bring lasting satisfaction? I was watching a video on minimalism by a Christian youtuber and she made a powerful statement. In reference to minimalism she said that it was the “giving away of stuff to find that more!” That statement hit me to my core because it is so easy to misdiagnose what we need more of. Therefore, some continue to grasp for joy in material things, but it is all in vein. The only “more” that can truly satisfy is Jesus! In the moment, material things are great to have but they quickly lose their luster. However, a relationship with Jesus fills us to satisfaction, again and again.

Take inventory of your actions and your priorities. What is the “more” you have been seeking after? Is it more of Jesus? Or is it more of this world and its possessions?

John 6:35 NIV
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

1 Timothy 6:6 NLT
Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.

Doing the Hard

God often calls us to do things that scare us or make us uncomfortable. Previously I abandoned some of my God given assignments because they were hard. We have assumed that the call of God is easy.  This is often not the case. You don’t believe me?

Ask Moses how he felt standing before Pharaoh repeatedly.
Ask David how he felt running from Saul, the one occupying the position God called David to.
Ask Esther how she felt standing before the King, risking her life because she had not been summoned.
And my favorite, ask Jesus how He felt in the Garden of Gethsemane agonizing because he felt the weight of what was before Him.

In this season, I am stepping out and doing specific things I’m called to, and quite honestly it is difficult. Being stretched is uncomfortable. But I am learning that God is more concerned with my obedience than He is with my comfort. And while it is difficult, I am seeing His grace show up as I move in obedience.

Have you been putting off what God has called you to do because it is difficult? Are you waiting for it to make sense and become easy? I encourage to move in faith and obedience and the grace of God will meet you in the hard.

Philippians 4:13 NLT 

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Fight From A Stance Of Victory

We fight from a place of defeat when we don’t know our identity and we are then unaware of what is rightfully ours. We must first know who we are, what we possess, and then fight accordingly! 1 John 3:1-2 and Ephesians 1:5 both remind us that we are children of God. As children of God, victory is our inheritance. Deuteronomy 20:4 says, “For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” If we walked in that reality, our response to the attack of the enemy would be so different. We would fight from a stance of victory and not one of fear and defeat. We would put down our carnal weapons and instead put on the armor of God and face the battle with confidence. Think about it, what do we have to fear if God is with us in the battle? Reflect on all the battles before you, how have you been approaching them? Be reminded of who you are and fight knowing the victory is already yours!

The Destructive Voice of Unresolved Pain

Unresolved pain, if given a voice can prove to be destructive.  I remember before I got married, I received what was intended to be some well-meaning advice from a woman I barley knew. Her husband had cheated on her multiple times. She told me I should keep my bank account separate from my soon to be husband…just in case.  This advice came from a place of unresolved pain.  Her lack of forgiveness gave her pain a greater voice.  For the record, here I am 17 years later, and I am so glad I did not take heed to her council.

It is so easy to view life and give council from the lenses of past and present pains.  We can miss the valuable lessons that are taught by pain if we choose to hold on to how it felt instead of focusing on the beauty it could produce IF GIVEN TO JESUS. When giving counsel about working out, most trainers don’t focus on the pain, they instead tell you about the progress that will come as a result of the pain.  They tell you how many pounds you will lose, how your physique will be changed for the better, the increased energy, the quality of sleep, etc.  They highlight the positive end results.

I have had to really stop and think about some conversations that I have had recently to make sure that what I share comes from a place of purity instead of a place of unresolved pain.  If we stay stuck in our pain, we will speak with a voice of anger, resentment, and fear when counseling others.  This is something to pause and consider because our council if heeded, can change the course of someone’s destiny. That’s heavy!

The truth is, we will experience pain in life, but we can’t wallow in it.  We must be sure to immediately bring it to the feet of Jesus.  Depending on how deep the cut, we may have to bring it to Him more than once as we walk the road to healing.  If the pain is given to Jesus, when you open your mouth to council, you will speak with wisdom that is laced with love instead of venom. Food for thought.

Be Blessed

Anika

Isaiah 61:1-3

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,[ato proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,     and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

How To Wait On The Promises Of God

Let me just put this out there from the beginning, waiting on the promises of God can be hard. REALLY HARD.  Waiting can be hard for many reasons, BUT God is not to be blamed for any of them.  In our humanity, we can be fickle and waver in our trust of God, not because he isn’t faithful but because at times we lack faith. God has taught me a few lessons on how to wait for His promises to manifest and as mentioned in this post, I wanted to share them with you. This of course is not an exhaustive list.  I pray these points bless and encourage you as you wait.

How to wait on the promises of God

1.       First identify what the promise is, not what you want it to be, but what God has spoken. We hear the personal promises God make to others and we may try to claim those promises for ourselves. We then become frustrated when they don’t come to pass. So, let me get this right, you are mad that God didn’t give you what He didn’t promise…think about that one.  It is imperative that we take the time to truly discern what God is saying to us.  Once we know, then we stand and wait with great expectation.

2.       Don’t Fill in the blanks in areas that God has remained silent (dates, location, etc.…). Sometimes God makes us promises and we then take it upon ourselves to set a timeline and plan out scenarios for when and how the promise should manifest.  It is so important for us to not speak where God is silent as we wait on the promise.  Don’t put words in God’s mouth, this will only lead to frustration and confusion.  You can’t force the hand of God to make the promise play out at the time and the way you think it should. Be patient.  He is God, you are not.  Don’t let your impatience cause you to run ahead of God.  Impatience always leads to a bigger mess. For a quick refresher on this point, read the story of Hagar and Sarah.  Enough said.  

3.       As you wait, have your spiritual eyes and ears open for ways that God is confirming that He is going to fulfill the promise (dreams, prophetic words, visions, etc.).  God is just so sweet to me. For years, I have been waiting on certain promises to manifest.  Just when I become weary in waiting He sends me a “hold on I am going to do it” sign.  As of late, I have been more aware of those signs, but I wonder how many I missed in the past because of my complaining and doubt.  If we are not spiritually in tune and get caught up in complaining and doubting, we can miss the ways that God sends confirmation.

4.       Feed your faith for the promise.  Simply put, get your daily dose of faith by getting in the word to be reminded of the faithfulness of God.  Focus on scriptures that highlight His faithfulness.  Don’t know any? Google the term “scriptures on the faithfulness of God.”  No excuses.  Read bible stories of those who had to wait on the promises of God. I also encourage you to remind yourself of your own testimonies, the times He delivered on what He promised. The faithfulness of God is not what should be on trial as we wait.  Instead we should cross examine our doubts.

5.       Don’t let what you see or don’t see cause you to doubt.  Listen, we are called to walk by faith and not by sight.  Many of us know this scripture but we seem to do the opposite of what it says in the process of waiting.  Many of us have seen God move in miraculous ways.  However, we quickly get spiritual amnesia and doubt that He will do what He has promised.  God has given us enough proof that He is trust worthy. For the record, He is not pleased when we doubt, because He has shown us otherwise.  Read God’s response to the children of Israel doubting after they saw so many miraculous signs in Numbers 14: 11-12 for a fresh reminder.

6.       Don’t become so obsessed with the promise that you forget about the promise keeper.  This is a subtle one.  It is easy to make an idol of the promise and forget that the one that deserves our worship is the promise keeper.  God sometimes delays the promise so that we can learn that He is enough.  Let me tell you, once that promise manifest, you are still going to need God.  The promise in and of itself is not what brings ultimate satisfaction, only an ongoing relationship with God can do that.

7.       Shift your perspective and celebrate the fact that the process is meant to perfect you, not destroy you. In the process of waiting we learn lessons that positions us to possess the promise.  Getting the promise prematurely can prove to be detrimental.  You are not as ready as you think you are for the promise. Calm down, sit in class, be an attentive student and take notes so you can pass the final exam.  Every lesson in the classroom of waiting is intentional, don’t miss it!  Stop whining and start thanking God for perfecting you.

8.       PRAISE AS YOU WAIT! My praise is a bold declaration that I believe I will see what has been promised.  Praise when you don’t feel like it.  Praise louder than your doubts.  Praise beyond your disappointment.  Praise to strengthen your knees that have become feeble while waiting.  Praise to magnify God.  Praise because He who promised is faithful!

 As mentioned above, this is not an exhaustive list, these are just some things I have learned as I wait on God.  How do you wait on the promises of God?  Leave me a comment below, I would love to hear from you.

Be Blessed,

Anika