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Archive for the ‘Spiritual Growth’ Category

The church is not the block and mortar building standing on the street corner.  The church is the people.  It broke my heart when I read of an individual who lost a family member in another state and received no support from the church.  The individual felt that the church was becoming cold.  Others echoed the same sentiment.

 

Tears came to my eyes.  Now I don’t know the full story, but this is how the person was feeling.  I thought about the church I attend.  It’s not perfect, however when it comes to love and support they give it.  My first thought was where was their Sunday school or friends.  Then It turned into – was this person even connected.

 

My husband attended a teachers meeting the other week.  They told of two stories.  The first was a believer who entered the hospital suddenly and died.  When the pastor arrived there were three others from the congregation there.  The second, and individual passed and the church didn’t find out about it until months later.

 

These two individuals attended the same church.  Yet there were two drastically different responses.  When the staff researched, what they found was one was connected and involved, the other just came for services.

 

The support was two sided.  The first individual made it a point to be involved.  They attended a small group, may even was involved with a ministry.   The other didn’t.

 

I have had three family members die within the past ten years.  We have received cards from the deacons and pastoral staff, cards from the other members of the church body.  It was surprising to me how many showed up for the memorial services because these family members did not attend the church with us.

 

A friend of ours just had a celebration of life party.  She has cancer and stopped treatment.  More than two hundred showed up for the last minute potluck dinner, to pray for her.  she and her husband are greeters.  Every time there is an opportunity to serve they are at the doors.

 

I can’t tell you how surprised I was when the chapel at church was packed to overflowing at my sister’s memorial service.  People, I wasn’t expecting to see there, walked in for me and my family.

 

In order for the church to function and support as they should, each member must do their job.  Especially in a big congregation.  We aren’t gathering just to Connect with God.  At my home church we go by the C4 principle

 

C1 –  Connect to God – through teaching of the Word – service

C2 – Connect to Others – being involved in a small group Sunday School

C3 – Connect to Ministry – serving the body of believers outside of the SS

C4 –  Connect to the world – Missions – going (locally, worldwide) or                                                        supporting via financial

 

Are you connected?  Are you involved with a Sunday School?  If not, try a few out and attend the one that you can be encouragement to others as well as be encouraged.  If you aren’t finding something to get involved in – dare I say it – find a church that you can or better yet, ask your Pastoral staff to start a ministry using the talents God has given you.  My pastor has said, people have met with him and mentioned a ministry the church should have and he tells them great idea why don’t you head it up.  They need you just as much as you need them.

 

“and let us consider how to stimulate on another to love and good ; , not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.”

Hebrews 10:25 (NASB)

 

 

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Tithing is a biblical principle of bringing God the first fruits, the best of labors. One of the ladies in my Bible study group mentioned about tithing our time as a way of making sure God is our priority.

 

Although, “tithing of our time” is not an actually in the Bible, being stewards of the things He has given us is.  I think it’s safe to say that God has given us time.  In my case, sixteen waking hours.

 

I was excited about the concept and was challenged to try it.  How many hours does our culture spend on Facebook, watching a marathon of our favorite shows, reading book after book of our favorite series or, genre? Yet when it comes spending time with God we do a quick ten minutes because it’s what good Christians do.

 

Ten percent for me is approximately two hours of my day.  At first I thought “Whoa, that’s a lot”; however, I can sit for three hours reading a great mystery book.  I can spend two hours watching my shows and then I complain I don’t have time for the things God has for me to do.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, the mystery books are okay, TV is okay even Facebook is okay, but when it’s stopping me from God and what He has for me, then it becomes a problem.

 

I don’t necessarily have a schedule that allows two hours straight.  But a half hour here, fifteen minutes here and there and another half hour later, I have accomplished two hours focusing on God and what He has for me.

 

It’s being intentional and giving God the priority throughout the day not just when we have devotional times.

 

Let me show you some things I’m starting to do to make God the priority though out my day:

  • When I walk in the morning this is the time I have started using to pray. Evening walk now are times of praise and worship through music
  • Instead of watching my favorite show, I’m choosing to watch instructional video’s to improve my writing skill. Or writing more on what God is teaching me.
  • I also now keep a book like When the Enemy Strikes by Charles Stanley in the car so I can read while I wait for my children to get out of school.
  • I also leave out one or two devotionals so that during the day, I take fifteen minutes to read and mediate.

 

These are just a few of the adjustments I’m making.  I’m busy with my children, chores etc.  But just making these little changes help me keep focus on who I am in Christ and what He has called me to do.

 

However, It’s more than just reading and praying, but giving God our best in everything including ministry, and fellowship.  Do you have a ministry you are involved with?  If not, pray about it.  There is nothing like serving the Lord and others to keep our focus on Him.  I‘m scheduling coffee dates with other woman so I can encourage and fellowship more.

 

Some may say, “You’re a stay – at- homer you have all the time in the world. I work 40 to 50 hours a week.”  How do you use your lunch breaks?  Maybe take a prayer walk, read a devotional, or take time to encourage a co-worker.  We all have twenty-four hours in a day.  It not about quantity but quality.

 

I have been following this principle for a week and I have been amazed at how God has used it.  There has been peace, even energy during the hardest parts of the day (afternoons).  I have also been “responding” rather than “reacting”.  I missed one day I could tell there was a difference.

 

Warning:  There is a risk that the “tithe” becomes a ritual or legalistic. I will not become a slave to the clock.  The heart and motives are important too.  It’s all about the relationship.

 

Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk-not as unwise people but as wise- making the most of the time, because the days are evil.  So don’t be foolish, but                                                    understand what the Lord’s will is.                                                                                                                                   Ephesians 5:15-17 (HCSB)

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Recently I was asked to write a 150-word blurb for my church’s Moms at Heart Newsletter on the topic of “How do we trust God, when life doesn’t make sense?”

 

I laughed.  My life doesn’t make sense. How am I to write about a topic when I don’t have the answers for my own life?

 

God impressed on my heart, “You’ve been indulging, in me and there is peace even though you don’t have the all answers.”

 

Of course He was right.  When is God ever wrong?

 

I’ve been indulging in Him a lot lately.  Some synonyms for indulge are savor, marinate, and enjoy to excess.  It’s hard to picture savoring God, or marinating in His presence.  However, that is what I’ve been learning to do.

 

I’ll give one word to describe it: chocolate.  Whoa God is like chocolate?  Well, no that would be absurd, but how we experience Him can be.

 

To say that I love chocolate is an understatement.  Unfortunately, because I like it so much, I have a tendency to scarf it down without enjoying it.  My weight can attest to it.  This is how I can act when it comes to God.

 

I get up, spend time reading, answering my study questions and then immediately start my day without any time to let it soak in.  It’s almost as if I am saying, “I’ve done my obligation; now on with my day.”  Sure I pray before starting, and the Lord shows me things, but is it really soaking in?

 

Since I didn’t really understand what savoring meant, I took a piece of chocolate from my husband’s stash, sat down and let it melt in my mouth.  I was totally surprised.  Taking the time to indulge, I tasted it, felt the texture and it was satisfying.  I didn’t need another.

 

Last year I posted about soul care – taking time every so often to go to a place without distractions to pray and listen.

 

Over the past several weeks, it has been almost an everyday occurrence.  I haven’t been on my knees just for my life, but also for my family and friends as well.  I read, pray and most importantly listen (being literally still, waiting and not speaking until the Lord directs).

 

Have the answers come? I’m seeing God work.

 

Indulging in Him also means being intentional.  I have to make the time; it’s not going to suddenly happen.  I’m trying to be deliberate every day.

 

Warning:  If we aren’t careful, even this purposeful time is in danger of becoming ritual.  The Christian life is about a relationship with the One who created us, not the “works” or rituals that we do.

 

Are there situations in your life not making sense, not “fair” or just plain anxiety – filled?  Take some time to indulge in the Lord. I can’t guarantee your situation will immediately change.  Some of the answers I’ve seen have taken months, but what I can promise is peace.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.”

 Matthew 11:28-29 (NASB)

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If I were to describe my life right now, it would be a Pointillism painting.

 

This form of painting was developed in the late 1800s, in which an artist would dot the canvas with their brush.  In the beginning all you could see would be dots, but when finished a masterpiece.

 

There are many instances when I can see immediately what is happening.  God uses circumstances to produce new character or minister to others.  I can actually see parts of the completed project.

 

However, there are those seasons of my life, when all I see are dots here and there not seemingly part of anything.  The dots and circumstances are floating in the middle of nowhere without rhyme or reason.

 

Now is one of those seasons, and it has lasted for a long time.

 

Half of my life seems to be running in the car going here and there without stopping.  School drop offs and pickups, running errands, household chores, ministry and the list can go on.

 

Did I mention the lack of energy needed, not just for the above but the emotional and physical needs of my children?  I have two teenagers moving closer and closer to independence and a six grader who has been having a hard time adjusting to middle school. Then there are art shows, soccer practices and church activities. It’s a wonder I still have hair.  Oh, then there is that too – the pre-menopause years.

 

My brain always seems to hesitate, get confused, forgetful, fatigued, irritability, hot flashes, night sweats, “Please Lord help me” is the only thing I can cry.  And then I’m staring at all these “dots” of life and wonder what in the world is going on?  What influence am I having?  Have I done anything important?  I sense no direction, or guidance on where I’m to go or what do.  I’m in a sea of dots with no possible hint of how it all fits into the bigger picture.

 

Memories of the toddler years flash before my eyes. They were great times but yet, a nagging feel that I lost myself and who I was. I have no idea who I am anymore, nothing makes sense.  I feel like a failure at times. There isn’t even passion to do the things I love to do like write.  Are you tired yet?

 

While I sit here writing, the Lord gently reminds me I have spent so much time complaining to Him, that I have not asked “What is it You the Master Painter want me to see and learn?”  I have questioned so much concerning what I am not seeing, that I neglect to remember that He is working whether or not I see it or if He even desires to reveal it.

 

These “dots” of hardships and challenges are somehow part of the Masterpiece, but I am spending way too much time complaining to sit back and be content with where He has me.

 

Is it possible that He is saying, “Christine, this is not a time to be focusing on the area you want. Those things I have given you?  I’m putting them on the shelf right now.  Be content with where I have you right now.”

 

That’s hard to embrace, but I’ve decided to wait on Him.  I know He has it all under control and He has a plan, and it is perfect.

 

“For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not calamity to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (NSAB)

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Solitude is refreshing.

I can almost hear your groans.  Solitude is not an easy discipline.  Like I said in an earlier post, silence is not easy for me.  Solitude is even harder.

Webster’s defines solitude as:  “1. The state of being or living alone.  2.  Remoteness from habitations, a lonely unfrequented place.”  It sounds depressing.  And yet Jesus took time to seek solitude.  (Mark 1:35)

It goes beyond being quiet, before God. Solitude means getting away from everything. You would think that for a homemaker with three children attending school it wouldn’t be a challenge; all I have to do is go to the home office and sit.  But even in the office there are many distractions such as the dog, telephone, and mental reminders of all that needs to be done.  So I started praying for a place I could get away to, with no distractions.

One day a missionary friend posted a picture on Facebook of a place she likes to go when she is home from the field, The House of Prayer.  I found the hours of operation and decided to go.DSCF4086

I confess, it was a little uncomfortable at first, because it wasn’t in my own church.  I almost turned around and left.  Well, that excuse doesn’t work, because the church is not a building but believers.

It was beautiful and peaceful with soft instrumental music played and a water fountain flowing.  With only my Bible, notebook and pencil, I chose one of the little rooms to the side, and closed the curtain.  It was God with me, alone together.

By the time I left, the sense of being in His presence was overwhelming.  The amazing thing was how the Holy Spirit brought scripture to mind and spoke to my heart.

It was not the building but what it provided; It was a precious time being alone with my Creator, Redeemer and Heavenly Father.

A few days later, I longed to have that time again.  I finally understood the scripture that says,

             “As the deer pants for streams of water so my soul pants for you. Oh God”   Psalm 42:1  (NIV 1984)

My challenge to you is: to pray about a day and place that you can schedule time for solitude.  It doesn’t have to be a “church” building.  For you it may be a park or beach.  Be intentional.

You will be glad you did.

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up,

left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”   

Mark 1:35 (NIV 1984)

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I’m not a people person.  That is to say, I don’t have to have people around me twenty-four seven.  However, silence is some thing I can’t handle either.  Usually I have to have the TV on just for noise, which in turn becomes a big distraction.  Lately, it’s been Christian radio which in reality, is a better choice in breaking the silence.

Another issue I see is the busyness of life.  Now I don’t cram my days with activity after activity, but with three girls I feel like I’m running all the time.

Our culture says the busier you are the better.  The danger in this is an overwhelmed schedule that makes it harder to hear from God.  This has been true about me over the past several months.

Through circumstances of life I realized that I have been neglecting my soul.  Sure I have been in the Word and praying but there is a discipline I have been ignoring.  Silence.

Silence means listening and that can’t be accomplished unless I’m intentional about doing it.  I can rush to get my time with God done and move on with my day, but what is the point in that?  That is not how a relationship works.

The first time I sat and was still, I stared at the wall waiting, nothing happened.  Frustrated, I started my day.  Needless to say I felt guilty. I determined to start over the next morning.

I sat down and said, “Okay, I’m here God. Show up.”  I don’t recommend saying that, my attitude wasn’t the greatest but He did.

I read the portion of scripture and waited. He showed me things I had never seen or realized before.

Two months later, the women’s director of my church recommended a book to me.  Embracing Soul Care – Making Space for What Matters Most by Stephen W. Smith.  It talks about how our lives get so bogged down with schedules that we start doing things in our strength and then neglect our spiritual lives.

This book has forced me to slow down, and be still before the Lord so He can refresh, and nourish my soul.  I have learned quite a bit about myself and the Lord.  As I have paused after my reading both this book and Scripture I take time to reflect on the questions and what the Lord has for me.

*These are just some of the things God has placed on my heart through sitting still and listening.

  1. Take the clock out of the office: I had become so task oriented that I was constantly checking the clock so I could end my time with Him before my girls got up for school.
  2. Praying before I start reading. Before, I always prayed after reading scripture 1. it took longer so if I had to cut something short it would be prayer  to apply what I read.
  3. Stop recording some of my favorite TV shows. TV became a distraction and took time away from more important things.
  4. Pray more for my children (pinpoint praying not vague prayers)

Even after a month, it’s still so hard not to do anything for a few minutes.  Sometimes I learn something new, other times God brings things to mind I need to confess, and yet other times it’s just to be silent and soak up the fact I am in the presence of the God of the universe, my Father.

How about you?  Do you look in the mirror and see a person you don’t know anymore.   Are you feeling overwhelmed, struggling with your quiet times.  Maybe you feel stretched thin, tired, both spiritually and in your everyday life.  Maybe it’s time to slow down, breath in God through reading, prayer and listening.  You won’t regret it.

Silence is golden.

*Please note – God works with each person differently. What He impress on my heart may not be what He wants for you.

“For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, has said, ‘In

Repentance and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength.’”

Isaiah 30:15 (NASB)

http://www.amazon.com/Embracing-Soul-Care-Making-Matters/dp/0825436702/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1424865693&sr=1-1&keywords=embracing+soul+care

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As much as I wish it wasn’t true, God never promised us a trouble free life. Due to the sin in the world, life can get messy.

So what do we do when life throws us challenges? James the half- brother of Jesus gives us an answer.

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” James 1:2 (NTL)

OR

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.” (MSG)

I have never thought of trials as gifts never mind joyful, until recently.

One day, in exasperation, I told my husband I can not continue to fight “fear”.

His response, “That’s why you need to memorize scripture.”

“I do. When I start feeling afraid I recite the verse sometimes two or three times and nothing happens.”

“You need to meditate on it.”

“That’s my issue. I’m not meditating on the Word.”

Little did I know the opportunity to learn about meditating was coming sooner than I thought.

Two weeks later I found myself in the ER with a wild heart rate. Scratching their heads, the nurses looked at my heart rate then the test results, “You’re staying over night.”

I felt fear creep in. Immediately a verse entered my mind and I prayed:

“Father You said in Your word do not be anxious for anything, well right now, I am anxious. You also said to bring prayers and petitions to You. Well I am. You know the answers. I need Your peace.” (Philippians 4:8)

The peace that came over me surprised me, it shouldn’t have but it did.

With several tests scheduled over the following weeks, the doctors released me the next day. During one of those tests, I panicked, on what I thought was a problem.

Once more, I turned to praying scripture.

Again peace came over me so much so, I could have fallen asleep on the examination bed.

How can we find in joy in trials? James puts it this way:

“For you know that when your faith is tested, you endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” vs 1:3-4 (NLT)

When, my faith is tested, I have the opportunity to grow.

How did I grow?

1. I learned what meditating on the Word meant, and how it worked in my life.
2. I also exercised more dependence on God.

Was it worth it? Yes. Would I go through it again? Yes, because I grew more mature. Will I fail again, of course, I’m human.

How about you? Are you going through a trial right now and wondering where the peace is? Ask God for scripture to meditate on, and what lessons He wants you learn.

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. do not waiver…” James 1:5-6a (NLT)

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If we were sitting face to face and I asked, “What do you think God considers idols?” My guess is that you would say things like cars, money, work, and hobbies.

You would be correct, what about affirmation, worry, significance, perfection, or children? Each one of these can take their place above God.

When I become anxious, I am putting the situation above God. In a sense, I’m telling Him “You can’t deal with this situation; if I worry enough the result will turn out better”.

I believe that many people have facebook accounts to gain as many friends as possible in order to feel popular. They check hundreds of times a day to see how many “likes” they get on a picture or comment.

How do I know? I am one, and it’s not just facebook.
Two years ago, God impressed on my heart to write a blog. Without my knowing, it too, turned into an idol

One day I checked the stats of my blog and saw there were only 1,034 hits in two years.

Depressed I called a friend.

“I guess I need to chuck it all in. Good bloggers and writers have thousands of hits monthly, not a thousand in two years.” I stated, “I know the numbers shouldn’t matter, but I guess people don’t like it, and I’m not being an encouragement to anyone except the same people over and over again.”

She responded, “Why does it matter so much to you that people like it or not?”

“Because, it’s the a way I know I’m doing what God wants of me.”

“Why?”

“Because when people like it, I know I’m loved by God.”

“Christine,” she paused, “Go deeper. Why do you have to have people’s approval more than God’s approval?”

I couldn’t answer right away. “Well, because when people affirm, to me it’s God’s way of affirming me.”

“Why?”

“I’ll have to think and pray about it.”

I pictured her grinning on the other end of phone line.

That Sunday we started a new series in our Sunday school god’s at War by Kyle Idleman. Coincidence?

Kyle’s definition of an idol:

“Anything or anyone I live for other than God is an idol.”*

So the deeper was revealed.  Subconsciously, I was saying, “God you aren’t good enough or big enough to meet these desires or needs.”

These aren’t the only things in my life that I was placing above God. My middle daughter, anxiety, and worry were all placed ahead of God. These are about situations out of my control and were taking the place of God. I trusted myself to control situations, when trust needed to be placed in the more capable hands of God.

The next morning during my devotional time, the realization of the idols in my life overwhelmed like a tidal wave crashing on shore and the tears flowed. Now that I knew the deeper issue, I desired change. I had to:

“…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served…” Joshua 24:15 (NIV1984)

It’s a moment by moment, situation by situation choice. I’m not going to be perfect; eventually, I will worry again. The journey to change will be long and hard.

What about you? Here are seven questions Kyle asked in his video:

1. What disappoints you? Ex: not having spouses/bosses respect.
2. What do you sacrifice money and time to?
3. What worries you? Ex: children, finances.
4. Where do you go when you need comfort? God or man?
5. What makes you angry? Ex: when someone embarrasses you.
6. What are your dreams?*

The final question he presented this way:

“God is a jealous God and will put Himself in direct competition with that idol and say to you ’_______ (insert your name) you have a choice between me or _______ (insert your idol), who do you choose?’”*

I can’t tell you how many times the last question has popped into my head during a day. I never realized how automatic it has been to go straight to the idols of affirmation or worry.

What is getting in the way of your relationship with God? Like a husband who loves his wife so much he doesn’t want another man to come between them, so God loves us so much and wants to be our one and only.

Who do you choose?

http://www.amazon.com/Gods-War-Defeating-Idols-Battle/dp/031031884X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1409532167&sr=1-1&keywords=god%27s+at+war

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I have an issue. I get caught in the comparison trap much too often.  This problem isn’t “Oh I’m better than that person.” I get caught in the trap of evaluating myself to others who I think are better than me.

 

I find myself thinking; Wow, when am I going to be able to run everyday her?  Or why can’t I write like them?  Why can’t I lose the weight or eat like they do?  It’s a ferocious cycle.

 

My spiritual life is no different.  The thoughts in my head go like this, Why can’t I have faith like my husbands?  Why can’t I study the Bible like her? Or He is such prayer warrior.  My prayer life stinks.  That friend is so together and has a strong walk. I’m inconsistent, struggle and don’t seem to have a thirst for God like they do, what’s wrong with me?  I must not be good enough for God.

 

A guest speaker at the church I attend had this to say about comparison, “It will take you down one of two paths – pride or depression.”  For me, 95 percent of the time relating my life to another leads to depression and discouragement. He went on to say our standard should not be those around us, but God is to be our standard.  That makes me feel so much better. Yeah, right. How about you?

 

The truth is we are to be “perfect as our Heavenly is perfect” Matthew 4:28 (NIV 1984).  However, here are on earth it’s not possible because we are in our human, sinful bodies.  But we are to strive toward the goal, by reading the Word, prayer, and through the work of the Holy Spirit.

 

There is another thought I need to consider in reference to measuring up to others.  I am a unique person.  You just have to look at my DNA and finger prints to know that.  Therefore, it stands to reason that I will not be like another runner, writer, or home decorator.  I won’t be the same as another mother, wife, or woman.  And most importantly my spiritual walk will not mirror any other person.

 

My prayer life and quiet times will be different.  But it doesn’t mean the way I do things is wrong.  God works differently in my life because I am unique and so are the details of the situations in my life.

 

What about the other things?  My body can’t handle running everyday.  The writing I do comes from a totally different perspective then others and I’m not called to write like others either.  And the spiritual life?  I have to ask myself these questions:

 

Am I growing?

  1. Is my desire to do the things God wants?
  2. Do I read, and talk to God?
  3. Do I desire to improve?

 

The answers to these are a definitely yes.

 

How about you? Do you find that you compare yourself to others, especially in your spiritual walk?  Stop it.  Talk to the Heavenly Father; ask him to show you what pleases Him about your walk.  Pray He’ll give you the strength to change the things that need changing and to stop comparing yourself with others.

 

You are unique, loved and the apple of the Father’s eye.  Celebrate the fact that there is no one like you.

 

Each one should test his own actions.  Then he can take pride in himself, with out comparing himself to somebody else.”

Galatians 6:4

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I’ll admit it, I’m an addict.  Chocolate and sweets are one of my struggles that have plagued me over the past few years.  Many times I have asked God to take away the desire for them.  Yet here I am, still struggling with the cravings.

 

My morning quiet times have been focused on the attributes of my Heavenly Father.  The ones that have really have made an impact on me so far are, His sufficiency and sovereignty.

 

God is sufficient within Himself, so therefore He needs no one.  I am not.  God created all things which makes Him the only rightful ruler over all.  He knows me inside and out and the choices I will make, yet He does not force Himself or His ways on me.

 

It dawned on me one morning why He doesn’t magically take the desire away. The reason goes back to the attributes above.  His desire for me is to depend on Him to battle the cravings for me.

 

He also allows me to make the decision to walk away or not.  He has a will and I am created in His image therefore I have a will.    He gave me the ability to make the decisions because they are right and I because I love Him.   He did not create me like a robot to be controlled, and to program every chose I make.

 

I’ve noticed, when I am faced with a temptation there is that still small voice of the Holy Spirit that impresses on my heart to go the other direction.  Many times I give in to my wants but other times it seems easy to go the other way.

 

The times when I could be easily swayed by the fleshy desires are times that I should immediately pray, quote scripture (Christ’s example), or if I’m home, go to Word or on my knees to pray for help.

 

Of course this doesn’t just apply to my chocolate situation but all temptations, habits and hang ups in my life.  I’ve also noticed that if I start gaining ground in one area, another sneaks in to take its place.

 

I have to be vigilant in keeping my mind focused on the Word, and depending on the all sufficient and sovereign God.  If I do, I will make the right choices.

 

How about you?  Are there things in your life that have a hold on you?  Maybe for you it’s exercise,  texting, facebook, hobbie or ___________ ? You fill in the blank.  Give it over to the One who knows you best, allow Him to work in you and help you conquer whatever your blank is.

 

I would also encourage you that there are Christian counselors and groups such as Celebrate Recovery that are available for extra support.  Ask your pastor or google for local support groups.

 

 

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:13 (ESV)

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