Do You Go To Google Or Do You Go To God?

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Need tips on how to have greater self-confidence…no worries – Google it!

Need to find out information on that new degree program …research it on Google!

Struggling with forgiving your spouse for infidelity…there are thousands of articles on Google for this!

Need to understand how to overcome depression & anxiety…don’t fret or get depressed – Google it!

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The power of the internet. The ability to have boatloads of information, videos, content, and articles at your fingertips in nanoseconds. We don’t have to think too hard and neither do we have to wait.

Why wait on an answer from God, when all you have to do is go to Google? Google is quick. Google is fast. Google provides instant answers.

But, alas, with God we must wait! God is just too slow! We need an answer NOW. Therein lies the essence of the problem. To go to God and not Google, we must resign ourselves to wait patiently, sometimes a long time for the answers.

It is far easier to type your issue into the search engine box, than it is to shut down the TV, the mobile phone, the social media and the computer to sit quietly before God in prayer, praise & worship.

It is far easier to surf from article to article, blog to blog, video to video, post to post, tweet to tweet than it is to open the Bible and read it.

It’s because we are humans. We tend to take the easy way out or the path of least resistance. We would rather go to Google than to God because we can control the timing, what we click and what we choose to read. We can get an immediate response from Google and we do not have to have discipline, humble ourselves and wait.

Going to God is simple, but the truth be told, it is not really that easy. It requires discipline, consistency and a certain tenacity. If it were that easy, then we wouldn’t struggle so badly with it. If prayer and seeking God above going to Google were so easy, then we wouldn’t have so much opposition and resistance from without and within.

Why is it that as soon as you do decide to seek God that EVERY DISTRACTION in the world comes your way? Why is it that as soon as you crack open the bible, your cell phone goes off and folks that you haven’t communicated with in a while all of a sudden take a notion to text you, tag you, DM, and inbox you? Why is it that when you get in position to pray you are all of a sudden so-o sleepy and can barely stay awake, but when you are not trying to pray at all you are buck wide awake?

Going to God requires humility. It almost always means being willing to let go of what you thought you knew (if you really had the answer or the solution to your problem your life would reflect that by now). Going to God means that you have to relinquish control of your situation to Him and admit that your way is not working. This is humbling and painful sometimes, especially if you really thought you had it all figured out.

It means that you must be willing to submit to His higher ways and purposes. His ways and His purposes are always higher, bigger, better and for the ultimate and highest good of ALL FOLKS INVOLVED in your situation, not just you and your world. This sometimes is a tough pill to swallow and hard to get a handle on because of our inherent selfishness.

Going to God almost always, 99.9999% of the time requires some level of change in your mindset and emotions, i.e., GROWTH. You cannot go into His presence, seek Him out and remain the same. Receiving and walking out the answer from God, usually requires that you have a different mindset than the one you had when you came with the problem, i.e – “You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it” (author unknown).

In other words, going to God requires change and growth – things that we humans typically tend to resist. Whereas, going to Google just means that we simply gather information, but do not have to change.

Finally, going to God forces us to meet and see ourselves in the silence as we wait.

Real growth happens in the quiet moments, in the silence when we are just alone with God and ourselves. Under the search engine of the Holy Spirit, our flaws, weaknesses, hurts and emotional wounds will rise to the top. The unhealed parts of us. The dark side. The parts of us that only God sees where Google’s powerful algorithms cannot access. The parts of us that need to be healed before we have the capacity and the maturity to handle the answer we are searching for.

This is where God really wants us. He wants relationship. He wants communion. He wants to give us life, heal us and bless us. Google can give thousands upon thousands of answers, but God is THE ONLY ANSWER. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

Google can give you lists, but only God can give life. Google can entertain your mind, but only God can engage your heart.

When we go to Him, we go to our Creator. Our Father. He is The Source of All Truth and All Power – not Google or Bing or any other search engine for that matter (even if they appear to have all the answers and information).

So, Instead of going to Google about your relationship problem, your marriage, your career, your health, your kids’ problems, your medical condition, your distresses, your ministry, your brand, your business, worries, spiritual and emotional questions and issues – Go to God first. If He leads you to go to Google to look up something, than follow that lead. What does a lead look like?   It looks like a little inkling. A gentle nudge. A prompting. A series of coincidences such as four different people referring you to the same book to read or scripture in the Bible within the same day. That still, small voice. That is your lead for inspired action. And if that inspired action says “look it up on Google”, than by all means do so….

But first, always remember: before you go to Google – GO TO GOD!

Until next time,

Tonika

For more information on walking in emotional wholeness or ending dead-end relationships, order your copy of Get Out of that Dead-End Relationship NOW! A Christian Woman’s Guide on How to Get Real, Healed & Move On TODAY! Available at http://www.amazon.com in paperback or Kindle or for an autographed copy go to www.tonikabreeden.com.

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Are You Striving on the Inside or Resting? You Must Be At Rest to Receive the Blessing!

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To be in a position to receive from God, we must first be at rest.  This is an internal rest on the inside where there is a cessation of all internal and external striving and anxiety.

God is sovereign.  He has All Power. We are mere, small humans.  Our life is like a vapor (James 4:14).  Our life is like a flower of the field.  We can be here today and gone today .  When we leave this earth realm, life will continue in some ways as if we never existed. (Psalm 103: 15-16). Our physical frame, our substance, the body in which our spirit dwells is like dust (Psalm 103:14).

Yet we strive and struggle as if everything we are dealing with right now is permanent and forever.    We fret and fume as if somehow we can make something happen in our natural efforts that can only be done by the supernatural hand of God.  We desire for the promises of God to fully manifest in our lives on our time frame and from our limited perspective.  We confess, go to church, pray, read the bible and fellowship.  We do all of these good and right things yet we find ourselves frustrated, restless and overwhelmed while the promises of God remain un-manifested in our lives.

There are many, many reasons for this – way too many to go into here as to why this could be the case for some of us, but I believe one of the primary and key reasons why we fail to fully receive and walk in the promises of God is because we strive for it too much in our limited human energy.  Our pride causes us to strive to do God’s work and “make it happen” in our own strength.   The problem is that our strength is very limited and we are not God, therefore we reach a point where we become too anxious and uptight to even receive what we are believing for, much less have the capacity to keep it when we receive it.

Strive:  To make great efforts to achieve something; to exert much effort or energy; endeavor; to struggle or fight forcefully; to contend; to make a great and tenacious effort; to exert oneself vigorously; to try hard; to labor and to work.

Restlessness: Marked by a lack of quiet, repose, or rest; not able to rest, relax or be still; feeling of agitation expressed in continual motion; the feeling of being agitated and not calm; turmoil; instability; bustle; inconstancy; hurry-scurry; anxiety; disturbance; disquiet; edginess; uneasiness.

For example, imagine a beautifully dressed woman sitting down in a very nice restaurant.  She would like to have a cold glass of water.  Normally, the customer will sit and patiently wait until the waiter or waitress stops by the table, sets down a glass, and pours water into the glass from a pitcher.  The customer does not have to do anything but sit there and wait for the glass to get full and then drink.

However, this woman is very, very thirsty and she is impatient.  She really wants someone to fill her glass RIGHT NOW with some ice, cold water.  Instead of sitting at her table and waiting, she decides that it is absolutely imperative that she gets her own water.  She is tired of waiting.  She is getting restless and agitated at having to sit still for so long.  She finds a glass, gets up and walks all over the restaurant in circles around the tables, to the restroom, outside in the parking lot, all over the place to get her glass of ice water.  She fails to notice the nice waitress calmly standing there with a pitcher of water waiting for her back at the table ready to fill her glass to the top if only she would stop scurrying about like a chicken all of over the restaurant, huffing and puffing, getting all tired and sweaty.

All she had to do was sit down and wait.  But no, she wanted to figure out how to get her own water, her way without any help from anyone.  She wants everyone to see that she can get her own water all by herself.  In the meantime, the once poised and well-mannered lady is now all crazy, tired, overwhelmed and frustrated.  Her hair is messed up and her clothes are wrinkled.  Her glass is now dirty and is cracked.

This is how we look to God when we try to help, heal, fix, deliver, figure out something, get revelation or wisdom, or try make something happen that only God can do. Yes, we have our own part to do.  Yes, we are supposed to work but ONLY from a place and position of rest and peace.  A peaceful mind is a powerful mind.  God has not given to us a spirit of fear (anxiety, striving, and turmoil) but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7).  When there is work to be done, it is to be done decently and in order under God’s timing with his wisdom and peace.  If the work we are doing to make something happen is causing inner striving, turmoil, restlessness and lack of peace than we can be sure that we are doing the work in our own fleshly energy.  Working in the energy of God is working in the energy of Grace. His grace is sufficient and his grace does not bring the striving restlessness but peace and poise even under trying circumstances.

In the example above, how can the lady get water in her glass when the glass is always moving? How can we expect to receive anything from God when we are busying moving about and refuse to get still enough to receive it in the first place? God is very big and powerful.  We are the little ones.  We must get still and seek Him for us to fill us with what we need.  Sometimes He will wait until we have depleted all of our human energy before He can begin to move on our behalf.  By this point, we are so exhausted that we cannot move and are finally still enough to receive what He was trying to get to us all along.

Rest: The cessation of work, exertion or activity; peace, ease, refreshment; mental or emotional tranquility; relief or freedom from disquiet or disturbance.

Because our God is peaceful and orderly it would behoove us to ask Him to help us become like Him.  It will help us receive from Him much easier.  We cannot approach an orderly, peaceful, All powerful, Almighty God in a striving, huffing, puffing, and anxious way. In 1 Peter 5:5 in the Amplified Bible reads:

“…Clothe (apron) yourselves, all of you, with humility …For God sets Himself against the proud (the insolent, the overbearing, the disdainful, the presumptuous, the boastful) – [and He opposes, frustrates, and defeats them], but gives grace (favor, blessing) to the humble…”

With all of the perplexities, issues and struggles we face in our lives the last thing we need is to have the Sovereign Lord God of the entire Universe opposing and frustrating us because we are too proud to stop trying to do it ourselves.  However, if we do not humble ourselves and get still before Him, this is exactly what happens.  Then  we wonder why everything is so hard, so frustrating and so aggravating when we believe we are doing everything right.

It is because we carry our own cares instead of casting our cares as we are told to do in 1 Peter 5:7. We then exalt ourselves in pride to do it ourselves in our way. God sits and watches the proud from person at a distance according to Psalm 138:6.  We do not need God watching us from afar as we stumble and bumble along without His Grace.  We need Him actively involved and working in our lives!

For us to truly rest and let God work and be led in our work by and through His Strength, we must align ourselves with what He plainly tells us in scripture about the nature of HIS work:

  1.  He chose us.  We didn’t choose Him. (John 15:16)  He made the choice to die on the cross for our sins and love us.  We didn’t have sense enough to choose Him first.
  2. It is God who works in us, both to will and to do HIS good pleasure (Phil 2:13).  He works in us (not us) and it is for His pleasure (not ours).  The Amplified version states: “[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight…”
  3.  Jesus is the Author of our Faith and He will finish what He started.  He started this work in his and He will finish it.  (Hebrews 12:2 )
  4. We are his workmanship.  We are His handiwork.  We were created to do preordained good works, but in His strength only. (Ephesians 2:10)
  5. We are to be confident that he started this workmanship in us and that He will keep on working in us until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6)

We are to let God do it. It’s not about us.  This whole process is His business and His work. Not ours.

We are to wait with confident expectation and most of all in a spirit of rest so that we can receive the peace, the instruction, the wisdom, the revelation, and understanding that we need (and the breakthroughs and blessings) so that the work that we are to do we do it in His grace, His Timing, His Way and in His Strength.

Blessings,

LadyTMaria

When I Thought I Was God: The Danger of Fretting & Figuring

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Isaiah 30: 15-17

For this is what the master, the Lord the Holy One of Israel says: “If you repented and patiently waited for me, you would be delivered; if you calmly trusted in me you would find strength, but you were unwilling…”( New English Translation)

God, the Master, The Holy of Israel, has this solemn counsel: “Your salvation requires you to turn back to me and stop your silly efforts to save yourselves.  Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on me — The very thing you’ve been unwilling to do…” (The Message)

I have recited these scriptures over and over again, yet I still struggle to remain at rest on a daily basis.  Some days are better than others, but for the most part, it is no easy feat to calmly trust in God when everything seems to go wrong.  When mishaps, mistakes, and misunderstandings occur.  When there is not enough money to go around.  When it seems like I am all alone.  When people act funny towards me or get easily offended.  When the kids act up.

God clearly tells me these scriptures to repent or turn back to him and calmly trust Him.  Yet, I am still unwilling.  The main way my unwillingness to calmly trust in God is manifested by choosing to fret and figure in a situation instead of calmly waiting on God for revelation.

There is a difference between calmly going over a situation in your mind and going off the deep end trying to figure it out.  You know that you have crossed over into not trusting in God when the thinking turns into fretful figuring.  This is a manifestation of a silly effort to save myself when I try to figure out something that only God can give the answer for.

The last time I checked, Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. He did not fuss and fume to figure out anything.  The only time He sweated was at the Cross when he sweated blood in preparation to die for the sins of the world.  He told us plainly to not let our hearts be troubled and neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).  He told us to stop allowing ourselves to be agitated, distressed, fearful, cowardly and unsettled.  He told us to fret not ourselves.  He lives in us.  We are complete in Him who is the Head of all Principalities and Powers (Col 2:10).  In Him we live and move and have all of our being (Acts 17:28). If all of this is true, then why do we act the opposite? Why do we let agitated and anxious thoughts take over until they take root in our souls?

It is because we are carnal human beings.  The Self, The Ego, The Flesh naturally thinks that it is God, that it can figure out something, that it can control something that somehow or another it can solve something and get the credit without God.   We want to be IN CONTROL.  It irks us to no end when we are not “in the know”, when stuff happens that we didn’t expect, what stuff takes a turn that we didn’t anticipate and we are left struggling trying to gather ourselves.  When things like this happen, we decide to do all we can to anticipate, plan, prepare and be in control of our lives, but in spite of our best made plans and preparations, something inevitably goes awry.

When stuff like this happens it HURTS.  It feels bad.  We look bad.  What will other people think? The list goes on. We don’t want to hurt again.  We don’t want to go through that mess again. We don’t want to be embarrassed.  We have our pride.  We don’t like the shame.  So we figure. We fret.  We plan. We fuss.  We think and think and think some more.  We can turn a situation around in our heads a thousand different ways.  We say a quick prayer and think we are trusting in God.  But we are really trusting in ourselves. We think we can figure out all by ourselves.  Even though we would never dare verbalize it or admit it to ourselves, our actions show that we think we are smarter than God. God takes too long to do stuff.  We can do something now.  Although we have confessed Jesus as our Savior, He is not our Lord when we still have our small weak, selves sitting on the thrones of our hearts trying to run our personal worlds as if we were the Sovereign God.

In my head I know that I am not Sovereign, yet  in my day-to-day life,  I sure think I am!  I don’t have any control over my own heart beating.  I can’t control the automatic inhaling and exhaling of my lungs.   I can’t wake myself up in the morning from deep slumber. I could easily die in my sleep on any given night and not know it.  God, however, has control over all of this in my life.  He created me. He knows my thoughts and words before I think them.  He knows the past, present and future for me. Why do I think I am smart by trying to figure out something beyond my capacity?  Why do I worry, fret, fume, and figure?  It is because I think I am God.   I still wake up in the morning and act like I’m God when I attempt to control circumstances or run my life by figuring in the flesh instead of calmly trusting that the One Who made me in the first place will order my steps.

To me the most painful part of this awareness is the fact 1) it is sin and 2) the fruit of such behavior will eventually manifest in my life as the form of lack of peace and poise.  How can we attract unsaved people to God when we have no peace? Why would they want what we got? Peace is defined as the absence of all strife or fighting within or without.  It is also defined as the absence of agitation or discord. Fretting, figuring, trying to be in control is evidence of strife, agitation and discord from within.

The biggest blessing from the times where I have surrendered is the state of peace from within. It is worth its weight in Gold.  Nothing can compare to it.  Surrendering your will to God’s will in life situations bring peace.  Peace that passes your understanding.  It is ironic that the only way to come to this level, is a slow, long process of self death.  By the time you really surrender, you are to the point where you could care less, you just want peace.  When God is Sovereign, you have Peace.  When Self is Sovereign, you have Stress. When God is truly on the Throne, there is quietness in the soul.

I realize that I will not change overnight.  It would be very easy to actually start stressing about the fact that I am unable to trust God fully and that I am probably relying on myself most of the time. Ouch.  I cannot change myself by trying figure it out how to do it.  It is a work of the Holy Spirit from within.   Therefore I continue to read this scripture further and receive comfort in knowing that when we truly settle down and rely upon Him that he ….“ longs to be gracious to (us); therefore he will rise up to show you (us) compassion.  For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him…”