I Am Enough

 

When you hear the term “enough” what comes to mind?  Do you think of having enough money to make ends meet? Do you think about having enough education to land that perfect job?  Attractive enough to land that perfect guy or girl?  Normally that’s the types of things I would have thought of, but lately I have been taking that word “enough” a little deeper.

I have been meditating on the fact that I am enough.  I am enough even if I don’t have the perfect job, or a degree on my wall.  I am enough even if I’m single and haven’t met my spouse yet.  I am enough even when there’s more month than money and I am still enough if I need to gain or lose a few pounds.

I am the first to tell you that in the past I have had insecurities that have left me feeling like I’m not enough.  Like something was desperately missing from my life, from my appearance, from my relationships.  I often felt like, if I would just do everything I could to be perfect, acceptance would come from those in whom I was seeking it.  What I have found out is that often times there’s rarely anything we can do to be enough for some people.

I should know, I have tried to be all things to all people, I have given up time with my family trying to be “enough”, exhausting myself on the way down the path of hurt and disappointment.

I have decided that I Am Enough.  I discovered this truth as I immersed myself in the Word of God.  When I was able to connect with other believers who had similar stories and we were able to pray and encourage one another.

God’s Word is bursting at the seams with affirmations that He thinks we are enough.  I invite you to discover that God purposefully orchestrated you just the way He wanted you to be.  When we know we’re enough for the one who made us, not much else matters.

 

 

“But God”! Two words that will change your situation.

There have been countless times in my life when I felt like the bottom had dropped out from under me.  Times when I just knew the end was nigh.  I could see no recovery, I had no solution and could hear nothing from God.  I was overwhelmed.

To be overwhelmed by definition is to be strongly affected by something, causing someone to have too many things to deal with.  Thank you Mr. Webster dictionary, but I would like to offer my definition of being overwhelmed.  It’s a feeling of numbness. Times when I have really been overwhelmed by life’s troubles, I have been to stunned to pray, battled with anxiety to the point of fighting for the very next breath and yes, questioned God’s position in my life.

God is not shocked neither is He surprised by our thoughts during these times of trouble. But what does surprise Him, is how long it takes us to remember the things He has already successfully brought us through.

It’s so easy for us to get caught up in our trouble, its way to convenient for us to rehearse our mistakes a thousand times in our head.  It always amazes me how quickly we can hear the voice of the father of lies, but it takes us several hours or even days to recognize the voice of our Heavenly Father.

We must constantly remember that there is always a “But God”.  We must intentionally remember the things that God has done for us so that we don’t find ourselves trapped in the lies of the enemy.  God has rescued us a thousand times and will continue to do so when we trust Him.

 

 

 

My Body, God’s Temple

 

Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Corinthians 6:19

 

If we would really take this scripture at face value we would be very careful of how we use our bodies. Our bodies belong to God, and not only that He has allowed His Spirit to live within us. I see it as kind of a bonus for belonging to Him. The Apostle Paul was speaking to the Corinthian church about their sexual immorality. He tells them that when they commit such immorality they are sinning against their own bodies which belong to God.

We must ever be mindful of what we do or put in our bodies. This does not only include sexual immorality, but it includes our words, what we put in our bodies such as nicotine, drugs, alcohol and unhealthy foods. We are to glorify God in our bodies. The Holy Spirit so graciously lives in us, and we should not ever want to offend Him.

I think of it like this; if I am using vulgar language in my body, I can only imagine how offensive that is to Holy Spirit. I imagine this would grieve Him horribly. I never want Holy Spirit, my teacher, my comforter to be grieved or offended by my selfish actions.

Our bodies are to bring Him Glory!

For further Encouragement: 1 Corinthians 3:16   2 Corinthians 6:16   Romans 14:7-8

 

 

 

GRACE

 

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.

Romans 3:23-24

 

Amazing Grace, written by John Newton a former slave trader has become one of the most beloved hymns of the last two centuries. It describes God’s grace to mankind. It sweetly describes it as saving grace, leading the way for the lost and opening the eyes of the blind.

It has been described by many as unmerited favor. I like to think of Grace as God smiling on us through His son Jesus Christ. It’s what God uses to meet us at our point of need. He knew we would have issues and bad days. It’s because of Jesus that we can find ourselves victorious in our struggles.

Acknowledge the presence of God’s grace in your life and praise Him for it. It is by grace that we are saved, it’s by grace that we have obtained eternal life. His grace prevails over any and every situation we face.

 

For further study and encouragement:   John 1:16-17       Ephesians 2:8

Let’s Get Ready to Rumble

And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. Genesis 32:24

I have very fond memories of my siblings and I watching the WWF. For all of you who don’t know that’s the World Wrestling Federation. We couldn’t wait for our two favorite wrestlers Junkyard Dog and Hulk Hogan to jump into the ring. Week after week we waited with anticipation to see them beat the other guy to a pulp and gain the victory.

I remember much to our surprise we were able to be front and center at a live fight. Our eyes were as wide as marbles as we made our way to our seat to enjoy a dirty fight and popcorn. Sometimes the struggle was real for these guys, sometimes they seem to have the upper hand and other times their opponent would get the best of them. The thing I most admired was their tenacity to never give up, to fight to the end.

For several weeks I have been facing some challenges. I noticed that at times I was full of confidence and other times I felt like I was in a fight, contending for something. I realized through the help of the Holy Spirit it was my faith. I was contending for my faith! I was wrestling against unbelief and the lies that the enemy were feeding me. I was wrestling to stay grounded, to not be double minded and to stay focused on the word of God.

I was fighting like Jacob to obtain the blessing. Challenges have a way of making us lose sight of the blessing that is sure to come if we just keep the faith. In my challenge although I was fasting, praying and believing God for the victory, still some days were harder than others to hold fast to the promise. But just as Jacob told the man who wrestled with him, “I will not let you go until you bless me”. I’m feeling that same way right about now.

When God promises us the blessing we may have to wrestle for it. We must keep knocking, asking and seeking until we see it manifest. We must be like those wrestlers I used to enjoy so much, we must stay focused and not allow the enemy to pin us down making us doubt God. We can’t allow him to get us against the ropes and make us feel like our praying is in vain. I’m excited just writing this piece! I refuse to give up, I will not forfeit my blessing through doubt or my inability to see movement.

God is moving on our behalf. I just know it!

For further study and encouragement: Matthew 7:7 Jude 1:3 Genesis 32:24-26

 

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

 

I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.             Psalm 139:14

 

One thing we must all understand is that the formation of man is not of himself, nor of his parents, but of God, and is very wonderful in all it’s parts. Everything about us has been fashioned by God. Our exquisite makeup is full proof of the wisdom and knowledge of God.

How often do we look at ourselves and find something we wish we could change. Wishing we were skinnier, taller, shorter, bigger in certain places or smaller in others. We look at our society and wish we looked like the person on the magazine cover, or our favorite actress or actor. We wish we had lighter skin vs. dark skin, longer eyelashes, longer hair or longer legs.   I joke all the time about why others can sing and I can’t hold a tune.   But the fact is that God made you and I just the way He wanted us to be.

When the psalmist expresses that he will praise God for he is “Fearfully” made, he’s referring to a reverence toward God for making him just the way he is and for the life He has given him. No matter what we dislike about ourselves, and we all have something, we must honor God for who and how He has made us. He also gives praise for being “Wonderfully” made. In this we must understand that everything God made is good. This includes you.

Have you ever noticed how children from the same household, with the same parents, following the same rules can be so different. It’s because God made them to be unique in their own way. I have three daughters, and believe me not one of them are alike. Husbands and wives are different, and God did that on purpose. If you’re a compulsive spender, God knew that you would need a spouse who would be able to bring balance in your finances.

We each have passions that are unique to us. What I have a desire to do may not be yours, and vice versa. That’s what makes us unique. When we take hold of this truth, it will be very liberating for us. God has a specific plan for your life and noone can fulfill that plan but you. Don’t waste time comparing yourself to anyone else. Celebrate the gifts of others while you embrace the gift that God has specifically placed on your life.

For further Encouragement:     Isaiah 44:24     Ephesians 44:10     Psalm 139

Humble Pie

I remember growing up, whenever my little brother would disobey or be downright defiant, my parents always knew how to humble him. Chastisement.

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction will drive it far from him. Proverbs 22:15

I have been eating my share of humble pie lately. I found myself with a very foolish stubborn streak over the past several months. All about what I was not going to do and what I was not going to take. Well it turned out I made a very foolish decision and it has cost me dearly.

During this foolish transition, I was forced to be still for several weeks. During which God served me a good dose of humble pie every single day. I don’t know if you’ve ever had to swallow humility, but let me tell you it does not go down easy. Somedays it felt like spikes were in it, and it was tearing me up on the inside. When asked what the greatest three characteristics of a Christian were St. Augustine replied “humility, humility, humility”.

Through many tears, and I’m sorry’s, I began to feel my heart being humbled toward my situation. So, if you haven’t figured it out yet at the root of my situation was PRIDE! Yes, pride, you know that thing that God says He hates in Proverbs 8:13. Pride, the one who says it’s all about me, and I do what I want.

We can actually be walking in pride and be oblivious to it. We can feel like we’re OK and it’s everyone else’s fault, when really we just need to humble ourselves. God knows how to humble us. We will be put in a situation that we thought we’d never be in and God will use that place to teach us humility. It can be very humbling. God is so smooth with it too, every time you’re in a situation that requires you to humble yourself, you can hear that still small voice saying “open wide it’s time for dessert”. And all you can do is open wide. You’re to fearful to complain because you don’t want to go back to square one.

I’m taking my medicine as gracefully as I know how without complaining. Somedays it feels like I’m going backwards, as a matter of fact someone recently told me it looked like I was going backwards. But in reality I knew that God was dealing with me.

When God chooses to humble us, it’s because He’s trying to take us somewhere, somewhere PRIDE is not welcome.

For Further Study and Encouragement: Proverbs 16:18 Proverbs 8:13 James 4:10

 

Greater Expectations

Too often we as God’s people set our expectation on many different sources. The pendulum of our expectation swing far too wide, missing God with every swing.

We expect that our livelihood lies in our next pay check, or that prosperity will come through working longer hours. We expect that good health will come through the next popular diet plan or procedure. Our expectation is that we’ll be happier if we meet the right gentleman, or that if we get hooked up with the right person, there lies our success. We expect that if we receive enough applause from men, that makes us somebody. We expect that if we wear all the right clothes or drive the most luxurious cars then we will gain the respect of others.

We expect that if we give our children everything under the sun, we’re doing them justice, or that if we say all the right things and look the part people will think we’re living the best life ever.   We expect that the more money we have the better off we will be. Solomon the wisest and richest man that ever lived, described all of this as vanity and vexation of spirit (Ecclesiastes 1:14-17). At this season in my life I find myself agreeing with Solomon. There was a time in my life when all of the expectations I just mentioned was my way of thinking. I have recently found that it all fades away like a vapor. Here today and gone tomorrow.

My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.     Psalm 62:5

When the people were hungry they went to the place where Jesus was. They were expecting to be fed by His hands. When they needed to be healed of their diseases they went to Him for a touch. When they were vexed with demons they were taken to Him to be delivered. All of their expectation was from Him and Him alone and we should have the same expectation.

We should expect that God will supply all of our need and that He is our source, we should expect that God will heal our bodies and give us the wisdom to make healthier choices . We should expect God to put the right people in our path, those that will compliment who we are.   We should expect that God will not give us more money just for the sake of having it, but that He will fine tune our character first, so that we may use that money to make our world better. We should expect to have the mind of Christ and not lean to our own understanding. Likewise we should , expect that He will do exceedingly abundantly in our lives and that in every situation we will come out triumphant.

We can expect forgiveness of our sins and restoration of what was lost. We can expect open doors and favor, and goodness and mercy to follow us all the days of our lives. Our expectation should never again be on what people may or may not do for us.

Instead we look to Him who is able.

Rejected by Man Loved by God

1 john 4:19- We love Him because He first loved us.

Rejection. It’s a word that none of us want to be associated with. It’s message brings hurt, isolation, resentment and even bitterness. I’ve heard it used with not much regard, but it’s not a word to be taken lightly. Rejection seperates mothers from daughters, sons from fathers, husbands from wives and Christian leaders from their congregations.

Rejection comes in different forms for many different reasons. You may have experienced it from a spouse, a child, a parent, co-workers, family members or a church leader. It doesn’t matter the source, the results are all the same. It hurts.

When I looked up the word rejection in the dictionary, one definition described it as being spewed out. That explains how hurtful rejection can be. I have felt the sting of rejection more times than I care to count. It left me feeling battered and misunderstood. I always felt like if I just worked harder I would be loved more. It’s always extra hurtful when it finds it’s way to you by those you love. What I didn’t understand was this; Jesus taught that we can’t believe because we receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God.

You see I was seeking to be honored and recognized by people. I thought if they accepted me, I would really be somebody. We must look to receive Honor from God, and not people. This has been a very long and hard lesson for me. But I got it. I finally got it, and my life is so much more fulfilling. Because I now look to God for everything I need. I learned that people will love you as long as you’re dancing to their music.

Please don’t misunderstand me. God puts people in our lives to guide us and give us His wisdom when we need it. We just can’t make the awful mistake of making them our God.

Know today that although you may be rejected by men, you are certainly loved by God. He has loved us with an everlasting love. Jesus wants you to know that His love is genuine. His word is the proof that He loves us. Let’s take Him up on His offer to Love and Accept all of who we are.

 

For further encouragement:

1 John 4:9-10   Psalm 91     Genesis 50:20   John 5:40-44

 

In My Weakness

Life is a journey. Some days the roads are a little more winding than others. We find ourselves constantly faced with one dilemma or another. We can become so overwhelmed at times we can easily fall prey to insecurities, offense and even anger.

I recently found myself dealing with some emotions I thought were long passed from me. Only to find out that in certain atmospheres they can easily resurface. Everyday it was a struggle for me to show up, and I began to feel the life slowly being sucked out of me. I felt unable to thrive in such an atmosphere. Thus becoming weaker with every passing day.

And then a light came on. One morning while in prayer, I was reminded of a scripture.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

That verse has become like music to my ears. I had to begin to pray about what I was facing because negative thoughts and bitterness would set up in my heart if left unchecked, and the last thing we need is bitterness and sin in our hearts. Through prayer I realized that if God brought me to it, He would lead me through it. People will be people as long as we’re on this earth, but we must be careful not to let people define who we are and what we have been called to do.

We will always have to deal with people whose motives are wrong, who are attention seekers, those who are unjust in their dealings with others and those who thrive to sow seeds of discord. In all of that we must see our way clear and seek after righteousness at all cost. God is teaching me to not allow the actions of others to drive me to wrath. After all the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

For further study and encouragement:

James 1:19-20  2 Corinthians 12:9-10  Hebrews 4:15-16