Does it really matter?

6 Ways to Keep Doing What’s Right When Everything Goes Wrong

How do you “keep on keeping on” in the midst of struggle and stress?  How do you keep doing right when everything feels so wrong?

Even when you are walking in your purpose…You will STILL GO THRU something!  There is no short-cut, quick road to success and excellence.  So when troubles, transitions and contradictions arise remember these things:

#1 Keep an Eternal or Long View Perspective

Ask yourself the question: “Will what I am struggling with, brooding and stewing over really matter 200 years from now? A year from now?  Will I remember this? Will anyone else remember this? Is it really that important?  This is especially true when it comes to other people – their opinions, who’s mad at you, who likes you, who said/did what, etc.  If, in the grand scheme of your life and purpose, you determine that it does not really matter in the long view, then why is it dominating your mind in the short-term view? What is another thought that you can chose think about instead of this issue that years from now you may not even remember or if you do it will seem very insignificant?

We are reminded in Colossians 3:2 (AMP) to “Set our minds and keep them set on things above (the higher things), not on things of the earth.  Simply put, this means to elevate your mind to think the way God thinks, to see and function at a higher level.  This requires not allowing yourself to get overly bogged down in your earthly, fluctuating circumstances as if they are permanent and forever.  Eternal things are forever.  Your earthly circumstances are not.

#2 Do Everything for the Glory of God

While you are in this earth realm, you are living in an earthly body which is the temple of God if you are a believer.  God dwells in you.  You are a carrier of presence of God.  You are called and chosen to bring glory to God while you are living until He calls you home. This perspective will enable you to endure and go through the hard stuff when your feelings want to quit.  Why? Because if your motives are all about self, you will quit when life gets too hard.  Impure motives involve doing things for the wrong reasons – to impress others and receive praise, to get a “like” on social media, to be seen, to feel good about yourself based on your smarts, performance, possessions, and other selfish reasons.

“Be delivered from public opinion so that you can produce.”  Felix Anderson

If you do things for the reasons above, instead of for the glory of God, when the results you wanted do not manifest and things go wrong, you will quit, murmur and complain.  Yet, if you know that taking care of your family responsibilities even when it is hard, being good to people when they are not so good, leading, sacrificing and making a difference is for God’s glory (not your own gratification and puffing up), then you will do it knowing that God is watching.

That thought alone is enough to help you do right when it feels wrong.  If you are doing out of a love of God to honor him with you life, then He will provide the enabling strength and the grace to endure.  If you don’t serve for the glory of God, you will serve from your own strength in a spirit of striving because your motives stem from the ego or flesh and not from Him.

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. – Col 3:17

#3 Recognize & Appreciate the Sovereignty of God

The last time I checked, God is God.  He is not taken by surprise by our circumstances.  We are.  Nothing catches God off guard.  But we are often caught off guard.  God does not fret about what went wrong.  Why should we? In His Sovereignty, he allowed the situation to come about the way that it did.  He allowed it to further His purposes in our life and for His eternal purposes that we know not of.  Our free will choices and the choices of others are still under his Sovereignty.

We must remember what Romans 8:28 says: All things work together for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.  They work together for good, but may not necessary feel good.

And when we fret, fume and fuss, the devil goes and tells it in hell to the rest of the demons about how easy it was to get us out of our peace and make us useless that day.  Why should we give the devil ammunition and reason to laugh at our fretting instead of simply trusting in God’s timing and sovereignty in our lives?

#4 Learn to Lean on God and Love You

Dwell in and spend time with God daily.  You need God’s strength, grace and power so that you become more rooted, grounded fixed and founded in His Love.  It takes effort to keep your mind on Him and His love for you but so very critical to your emotional and mental health.  Without knowing and receiving God’s love on a daily basis you will never really learn to accept and love yourself as a fearfully and wonderfully made man or woman of God.

This is the process of healing and deliverance and it is also the process in which we finally learn to forgive ourselves and accept ourselves for the person we are right now and will become.  This is not a license to remain stuck in sin but rather an acknowledgement that you are not perfect, but are a redeemed, whole and loved child of God, ever growing and being changed from glory to glory as you learn to lean on Christ.

The offenses, experiences, and struggles that cause you to doubt yourself, feel rejected by others must be dealt with and not pushed to the side or swept under the rug or you will attract more of the same thing. We must allow God to heal those emotions and learn to forgive self and others for the past.  How does beating yourself up, feeling ashamed and condemned about your past help?  It does not!  It keeps us stuck.  We must learn how to love and trust again.

#5 Every Experience is a Lesson – Don’t take it so Personal

It happened. Yes it did.  Once we absorb it and think about it, no matter how painful is, at some point in order to move forward and live again, we must learn the lesson and let it go.

Instead, what we tend to do is to take the lesson plus the pain and all of the extra baggage, plus a big dose of shame, condemnation, blame, and a host of other negative emotions and drag it around with us forever.

We take every offense and experience personally and allow it to penetrate our heart and sit there long enough do significant damage. 

My NEW FAVORITE SCRIPTURE: Great peace have they which love thy law and NOTHING shall OFFEND them.

This is what causes us to stay stuck and struggle.  This is what delays blessings, progress and full manifestation of all of the prayers we keep praying.  We just have a hard time letting go of stuff.  Every single situation and relationship problem is an experience.  We do not have to let it linger.  Observe it, your response to it.  Detach emotionally to think clearly, long enough and logically enough to learn the lesson. Ask God to help you, give you wisdom, heal you and guide you in the situation.

Do the best you can and keep it moving.  It is an experience to be learned from but not the focus of your entire life.  It is not something that you must cling to, drag around and nurse in your head and heart forever. Let. It. Go.

#6 Guard Your Heart & Renew Your Mind

In Proverbs we are called to keep our heart with all diligence for out of if flows the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23)  We are also commanded in 2 Cor. 10:5 to cast down imaginations (thoughts) that exalt itself against the knowledge of God.  We are called to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).

If you fail to guard your heart, cast down thoughts contrary to God’s word, and renew your mind, you will do the opposite of what is listed above in items #1 through #5.

  • Instead of keeping an eternal perspective you will…

Live a low-level life with a temporary, transient world view.  You won’t arise above your circumstance long enough to fulfil your God ordained purpose. 

  • Instead of doing things for the glory of God you will…

Do things for the wrong reasons (people, possessions, positions, and platforms) and become frustrated when you achieve your goals and find out it was all wrong and instead of feeling fulfilled you still have voids.

  • Instead of resting in God’s sovereignty when things happen that you do not understand you will…

Always be fretting and frustrated and the devil knows that if he can keep you in this state, you won’t be very effective as a Christian.

  • And finally, instead of leaning on God and learning to be loved and how to love again, you will….

Lean on your own understanding, never get real and be healed, and live a surface, shallow type of life. You never really fully learned how to walk in and receive the healing, the wholeness and fullness of life that Christ offers.  You did not want to take the time to be still long enough to know God and His Love because healing can be painful at first.

Beloved, let this not be your testimony!  Don’t give up doing right when everything in your circumstances scream and you feel all wrong on your job, in your home, your marriage, with the kids, ministry, business, etc.!!! Be steadfast in your eternal perspective.  Hold your ground for the glory of God.  Remember that He is Sovereign and don’t let the devil gain a foothold laughing while you fret.  Lean on God and learn to love again.  Keep in the mind that it is an experience to learn and not an offense to carry around forever.  And finally, above all else guard your heart for out of it flows your very life.

Until next time, remain blessed and in Him,

TB

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Issues of the Heart Pt. 1: How God Enlarges & Expands Our Hearts for Kingdom, Purpose & Love

(Mismanaging Your Heart Can Cost You!)

We think we are ready for love but the truth be told, our hearts are not ready to handle the weight of authentic partnership.  We are not emotionally and spiritually mature to have the capacity required to sustain and maintain the level of sacrifice, understanding, compassion and forgiveness that a real relationship requires.  Love is not a mere feeling.  It is not tingly feelings, longings, desires, sexual attraction and arousal.  People say that “Love is not blind”.  Not so! Real love is very aware and full of light and knowledge.  Why? Because God is love and the last time I checked, God is not blind!  This means that love is not illogical, nonsensical, all over the place and characterized by unstable feelings and emotions.  Love is intentional, logical, wise, knowledgeable and sacrificial in nature.

To love the way God loves requires a fundamental transformation of the human heart.  In order for our hearts to be prepared for and ready to receive, give, retain and sustain true, authentic Kingdom Love, the Lord does three things with our hearts.  First, He enlarges our hearts.  Secondly, he elevates our hearts and thirdly, He establishes His Kingdom in our hearts.  In this post, I we will only address the expansion of our hearts and in the next post, I will address how he elevates our hearts and establishes His Kingdom in our hearts.

Enlarge: make or become bigger or more extensive; to make larger, increase in extent, bulk, to increase the capacity or expand the scope of; extend, grow, expand, amplify, augment, magnify, build up, supplement

Scriptures:

Psalm 119:32 – I shall run the way of Your commandments, For You will enlarge my heart.

Various translations of the above scripture, indicate that an enlarged heart is a willing, understanding and free heart.  It is heart set free, renewed and inclined towards God, the things of God and serving Him.  A heart like this is willing to obey God and has the capacity to function and flow in love and be very fruitful.  A heart like this is large, has depth, scope, capacity to fully receive from God and others as well as give.  A heart like this is fruitful and productive. The issues of life that flow from a heart like this always lead to righteousness, peace and joy. A heart like this can handle a bigger flow of anointing, power and grace to do mighty things.  A heart like this mirrors the heart of God — the heart of Christ.

To better understand what it means for God to enlarge our hearts, we must first understand what it means when the heart is small.

A small heart is the condition of the human heart when it is broken.  I would also say that a heart like this lacks the saving grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, but I would be wrong.  Why? Because there are a lot of people who have experienced the grace of God and are believers, yet their hearts remain small and hard.  Heart enlargement is a choice and a process.  A person must be willing to go through and grow through the enlargement process.

A small heart is hard and diminished because of the effect of sin such as pride, unforgiveness, bitterness, fear, insecurity, jealousy, anger, numbness, strife, grief, unrighteousness and so on.  If my heart is small and diminished, then very little love, grace, and power can flow through.  The Kingdom of God cannot be established in a tiny, small and hardened heart!  A heart like this can have a small amount of it, but because the heart is not enlarged enough due to unresolved pain, sin and issues crowding it up, it cannot receive.  A person with a heart like this cannot handle the weight of the full mantle of God’s original intent and purpose for their lives.  A heart like this is more likely to attract unhealthy, toxic or dead-end relationships and repel healthy relationships.  A heart like this is predisposed to deception and becoming further entangled and ensnared by sin.

Hearts become hard and small when we “mismanage moments” (a term I learned from Dr. Matthew Stevenson) over a long period of time that it becomes a mentality or a stronghold.  Mismanaged moments occur when we fail to develop self-awareness, check in with God and allow our hearts to go unchecked for extended periods of time by staying busy and overwhelmed.  In times like these, it is very easy to live in a state of distraction and heart mismanagement where we are totally unaware and unconscious of what is going on in the inside.  When this occurs we,

  1. Allow hurts & offences to fester
  2. Being easily offended & sensitive when under stress
  3. Numb/Run/Check Out (TV, social media, busyness, recreation, work, drugs, sex, etc.)
  4. Fail to discipline our thoughts. (where mind goes, mouth & body follows)

Every mismanaged moment builds up over time and leads to a mismanaged heart that is shrinking and diminishing instead of growing and expanding.

So how does God work in our lives to enlarge our hearts?  Heart enlargement involves the process of preparing our heart for more of God’s love so that we can be prepared to not only have healthy relationships but to fulfill His call, His plan and His purposes in the earth.  Heart issues must be exposed, purged and the heart healed in order for expansion to occur.  When these issues are exposed and worked thru, by healing, deliverance, prayer, confession, counseling then the heart becomes enlarged.   The debris and scars and dead tissue has bene removed making space for grace and space for God’s love.

Heart enlargement or expansion is NECESSARY, why?

  • For you to flow in purpose and flow in love. GOD IS LOVE.
  • For you to be fruitful & multiply (Gen 1:28), be fruit that remains (John 15:16) and occupy until He comes (Luke 19:13).
  • To be like Him – John 3:16 for God so loved that He gave. To have a big, large heart like His.
  • To love others that you are called to serve and be in relationship with — marriage, family, friends and connected to. (we want to be married but our hearts are small and full of junk that would run a potential partner away or we would attract another person with a similar heart situation)
  • To receive greater degrees of insight, wisdom & understanding necessary for life and for kingdom advancement. Wise hearts are expanded hearts.
    • The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction. Prov. 16:21
    • Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. – Psalm 90:12

If you really want to be ready for love, then you must be willing to go thru the process of heart expansion!  If you want a fruitful life that is one of significance to the Kingdom of God – a life of purpose then you must submit to the process of heart expansion. It’s not always pretty and can be painful.  But very necessary and produces fruit.

Two Ways God Uses to expand your heart for Love and for Your Purpose

The process of heart expansion is also the process of sanctification, healing and deliverance.  Our hearts are daily expanded every time we are intentional to:

  • Grow from Spiritual disciplines – prayer, Bible study, fasting, being in fellowship with other believers.
  • Grow from Tests and temptations, people, situations and circumstances that God allows for you to see what is in your heart. The only way to grow through these things is to be intentional to collect the wisdom and lesson in each experience.  Without reflection and self-awareness of what is going on inside, the same patterns, problems and cycles will keep showing up.

So, when you pray for love, for marriage, for the call, for your dream — EXPECT to be EXPANDED!!!!  Don’t run from the process!

Failure to submit to the process of expanding your heart will cause you to:

  • Greatly diminish or sometimes forfeit and not even walk in your purpose.
  • Miss out on opportunities because of unprocessed pain and heart issues.
  • Miss out on real love by self-sabotaging or staying in dead-end relationships because an unhealthy heart will always attract another unhealthy heart.
  • Spiritual death

Take your heart management very seriously. Don’t go long periods without checking in with self and God on the condition of heart.  It’s very easy to ignore, dumb, numb, pretend, over spiritualize without really being honest with what is going on inside. We must tend to our hearts daily by asking God to create in us clean hearts and renew a right spirit (Ps 51:10) knowing that God doesn’t look at our outside, but the inside – our motives, intents, thoughts, purposes. When we do this, we are well underway in our process of heart expansion and will see positive changes, freedom and healing over time.  Don’t give up.  Keep moving forward!  Stay tuned for Elevation and Establishment next.

TB

 

 

 

Do you Want Peace or Do You Want Pain? Then Stay In Your Lane!

The Danger of Judging Someone Else’s Journey

Do You Want Peace or Do You Want Pain_Correct

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. Matthew 7: 1-2(NLT)

“Observe Life Rather than Judge It” – Shannon Yvette Tanner

Judgement. What a harsh sounding word. “Oh, I’m not a judgmental person…” Yet all of us – yes, I’m including myself, are guilty of doing it.

If I sit in judgment of you as a person, it really means that I believe I know as much as God does about you.

It means that I believe I’m so smart, so all knowing, so anointed, and so gifted that I am perfectly capable of discerning the true motives behind your words, actions, decisions and choices.

Now don’t get me wrong, as Christians, we are clearly called to speak against and call out clear wrongdoing and to judge that rightly. I’m not talking about that type of judgment.

I’m talking about the judgment that goes on when we judge someone else’s journey — -their life choices, how they implement and execute their lifestyle, their business, their ministry, and their calling. I’m talking about the comparisons, the jumping to conclusions, assuming that we know something to be true based on our limited perspective, when in fact our theory is far from the truth. I admit, I’m guilty of this.

We see something on Facebook and automatically jump to some conclusion that is erroneous. We assume things only to find out later we were wrong. We compare our lives to someone else’s lives and either think we have missed the boat because they appear to be ahead of us or we sometimes we think we are better than them.

Remember, we only see from the outside looking in, but God looks at the heart (1 Sam. 16:7)

When we sit in judgment, our very judgment mirrors a reflection back on ourselves. The extent, degree and severity we judge others with is the extent and degree that we judge ourselves. If we are very hard on others, we will also be very hard on ourselves. This is a painful way to live and blocks the peace that Christ gives.

For those of us who are called to serve others in an influential capacity, can we effectively reach and minister to people when we secretly sit in judgment of them? Can we honestly serve people if deep down we think that we are better than them? How does sitting in judgment inspire true transformative change? I don’t know about you, but I’m inspired and motivated to change and do better through love than with harsh judgement.

A subtle, but very common example of the way in which we judge is when we see someone else moving ahead and making progress — i.e., they obtain quite easily the thing that we have been working, struggling and praying for a long time and we think the thought: “God, why her/him?” This is actually JUDGING SOMEONE ELSE’S BLESSING! Who are we to judge when or how someone else gets blessed?

But haven’t we all at one point or another done this? We think we know why someone did something or that we have a “revelation” and then create theories based on feelings and not the truth. It creates unnecessary suffering. When we fail to stay in our lane, we create pain.

This also happens too when we are disconnected from our own journey – our own calling. If we simply focused on our own journey and stayed in our own lane, we would be too busy to fixate on and judge someone else’s journey. We will be making our own moves and can celebrate with them instead of judging them or asking why.

The next step close to judging is when we attempt to fix and heal someone else at the expense of our own growth. Instead of letting people live their lives and go through their own consequences so that they can learn, we try to jump in and be their Savior to fix and heal them. We try to do more fixing than God does! God doesn’t jump in to fix us. He waits for us to seek Him, ask for help and submit to Him.

When we make a judgment about someone’s journey and then try to fix them in our feeble efforts, we circumvent their growth process. We create more of a mess and a wreck by jumping in with our judging and fixing than by simply praying and allowing life to unfold. This is much easier said than done, especially when it comes to the ones we love!

Judging someone else’s journey is a manifestation of our own judgment and diminishing of ourselves. If we are really and truly walking in alignment with who we are in God and actually believing what God says about us as we grow and transform, we won’t continuously diminish and judge ourselves and others so harshly. We won’t be so prideful and anxious about other people’s journeys that we attempt to judge and fix them.

When we function out of our lane and get in God’s lane, we get lost. When we try to operate in someone else’s lane, we crash and wreck. However, when we stay in our own lane – leaving the judging, fixing, comparing behind, there is peace – Benne Brown

Remember – if you want peace over pain – stay in your lane. Stay out of judgment!

Until next time,

 

TB

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.