Watch Your Surroundings

Awareness, is crucial. To become aware of who you are, there must be the awakening within your mind that if you are not where you truly want to be it is because you are not placing yourself in the correct environment to reach your fullest potential.

Many of us are unaware of the excuses we create and engagement in mediocrity on a daily basis, because we have become comfortable with where we are. We want to excel, but it takes more than a desire – it takes commitment, confidence, courage, and a changed mind.

Many of us are also unaware that we have the potential within ourselves to achieve greatness. If we serve a GREAT God, everything He creates is GREAT, and He created us to be like Him, then of course we have GREATNESS potential. What are you going to do with what you have been given?

Become aware of your potential, become aware mentally that you can achieve your dreams. Once the limits in the mind are banished you will not settle for a life of mediocrity but rather craft a life of limitless abundance. The abundance of peace, the abundance of joy, the abundance of love, the abundance of forgiveness, the abundance of kindness, the abundance of salvation, the abundance of contentment.

Get your mind right; prepare yourself for what you have been seeking for and watch your surroundings.

  • Surround yourself with people who want to grow.
  • Surround yourself with people who want to be effective.
  • Surround yourself with people who will hold you accountable.
  • Surround yourself with people who will not settle.
  • Surround yourself with people who are not just readers but also doers.

If you do not surround yourself with better, you’ll become surrounded by bitterness, defeat, frustration, anger, low expectations.

Watch your surroundings!

1 Corinthians 15:33 (NLT)
…“bad company corrupts good character.”

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Faith is the Substance

What do you do when your spiritual walk feels like a crawl? How about when you feel like a disappointment to yourself and to God? What do you do when you feel like you have lost the fire you once had?

To answer these questions, we must check our level of faith. Who are we truly trusting and what are we trusting that person for? It all resides in your level of faith.

On yesterday, Sunday church service was so enlightening, but I don’t think many really caught what the Pastor was saying. The scripture we discussed is this:

Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Faith is the substance.

Faith is a SUBSTANCE!

What is a substance?

By definition, substance means: The physical material from which something is made or which has discrete existence.

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So Faith is the…PHYSICAL MATERIAL from which something is made.

We been viewing faith as an intangible, untouchable thing but NO! Faith produces what we hope for.

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We assume that going from where we are to where we want to be is impossible, so we settle. We read about the bold faith of others, we memorize the scripture and regurgitate it to help someone else, but we discreetly believe God would never want to use us. Truth is, it all aligns with your faith and how you use it. It is on you. If you want to see the Lord move mightily in your life, what physical material are you producing to bring what you hope for, to pass, right before your eyes?

You have to have faith, even when you don’t have the answers!

 

Stop Choking

The formal definition of choking is: “The inability to breathe caused by a blockage in the throat or windpipe.”

What’s choking you? What noun (person, place or thing) is blocking your ability to breathe and take in the word of God?

Mark 4:19
And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

Ever wonder why the word doesn’t seem to “work” for you, but you hear of how it works for others and how God is moving in their lives? It’s not that God has respect of person. No He told us that.

Acts 10:34
Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:

It’s our own fault. We make the word unfruitful in our lives. How so? There are many ways. As Mark 4:19 states, we allow circumstances in life to make the word void (nonexistent). We hear the Word of God, yet we don’t apply it. Or, we hear it but we don’t believe it.

How do we not receive God’s word? By not doing what God says and not allowing His word to take root, we demonstrate our unbelief in the power of God.

What am I saying?

When roots form to create a tree or plant, they spread deep beneath the surface of the ground to establish a foundation. They then draw resources required (nutrients from the soil, water, etc.) to grow and spring forth above the ground. We see and smell the end result of beautiful flowers but we do not fully understand the process it took to develop under ground.

When you allow the cares and pressures of life to take root in your life, they become the source or foundation of everything that drives you and it spreads. Instead of allowing the word to take root, we allow lies, lust, fear, anger, gossip and depression.

There is blockage in your spirit that is sabotaging your entire life. Get rid of the choking hazards in your life and open the airways to receive the breath of life through the word of God, so the Lord can speak to you.

Then he added, “Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given —and you will receive even more. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.” (‭Mark‬ ‭4‬:‭24-25‬ NLT)

Your Body is His Body!

Do you love yourself?
Do you care for yourself?
How do you prove to yourself that you love yourself?

No, really.

Can you ask yourself these transparent questions, honestly? Self-care is not about what you possess or purchase to make your physical appearance pleasing to you, as you model from side-to-side in the mirror.

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Self-care is any activity that we INTENTIONALLY do in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. It is not just physical.

If we are honest, we do not exercise the best self-care for ourselves. Just to be clear, here are a few common ways we do seem to be pretty good at, with regards to taking care of our body:

  • When the temperature is cold outside, we purchase gloves and jackets to protect ourselves from extreme temperatures that will make our limbs fall off.
  • If the temperature is too hot, we buy hats, umbrellas, and sun block to cover our skin from the heat of the sun, so our skin does not burn.
  • If we have common cold symptoms, we will drink teas, eat soups and take over the counter medicine, to nurse our bodies back to working health conditions.
  • If we are hungry we eat, thirsty we drink, and exhausted, we go to bed.

In these instances, we show concern for ourselves and protect ourselves as if we only have ONE body; but often times…

  • We eat foods that deteriorate our health.
  • We self-sabotage our future by allowing our own thoughts to create scenarios that are non-existent.
  • We drink beverages that destroy our organs.
  • We consume products that affect our lungs and make it difficult to breathe.
  • We sleep around with many partners that destroy our body AND soul.
  • We participate in minimal (or inconsistent) cardiovascular exercise to maintain a healthy heart and physical fitness (ohhhh, I’m talking to myself right here).
  • We connect with people who mentally drain us which cause stress and anxiety, leading to doctor prescribed medications.

So do we REALLY care about ourselves?

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You get ONE body; Just one.

I had a deep thought about this idea and a scripture crossed my mind that had me like…WHOAH!

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:27‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The Bible says that we are the BODY of Christ – oh I’m excited as I type this. Oooh weee – can you see where we are going?

“No one ever hates his own body, but feeds it and takes care of it just like Christ does for the church because we are parts of his body.”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5:29-30‬ ‭CEB‬‬

If we are Jesus’ body, of COURSE He is going to take care of us. He is taking care of himself (duh). So why do we question if He’ll “come through?” Maybe it is not a question of the abilities of Christ, but more so our inconsistency and lack of commitment to Him, that has us pondering if He will supply our need.

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For example; Irregardless if we are frustrated with how out of shape our physical bodies are, that frustration will not prevent us from taking care of clothing. Just because I put on some pounds from having 5 children and I’m no longer a size 4, I’m not gone get upset with my body and be like…”I’m done with you. You will NOT be clothed today!” Noooo, I’m going to do what I need to feel good about myself and be at the healthiest weight level for my age.

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This holds true with Jesus. Since we are His body (that is to say the people of God), He will protect His body, cover his body, nurse back to health any portion of his body that aches. Why? Because the body performs at its peak when all parts are functioning at a high level. The body will do what the mind says. If the body functions correctly, it will listen to the voice of the mind (the mind of Christ – C’mon Jesus)!

“Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Remember, what you do is not for you. It is to serve the Lord Jesus as we operate as one. Everything we do is serving the Lord, feeding His body. If what you are doing is not for that purpose, you are allowing sickness, deadly poison to enter the body, and the body cannot operate in the fullness of Christ, like that.

Oh – one more thing, to remember: We are the body of Jesus, and it is the breath of God that we are breathing.

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I’m Getting Up!

I fell on good ground. How can a fall be good? Isn’t this like an oxymoron- contradictory? How can a fall be good?

When you’re in a position of imbalance, unable to stand, you need assistance.

  • It’s unfortunate that your heart was broken. It’s unfortunate that you loss your job.
  • It’s unfortunate that your child strayed from the morals and values you instilled.
  • It’s unfortunate that your life was threatened – but your life was not taken.

A fallen posture means that you needed some assistance.

  1. Now your ears are no longer dull of hearing the word of God.
  2. Now your heart is open to receive correction.
  3. Now the veil of sin can be removed and your spiritual eye is open to see the works of the flesh and the works of the spirit- just like Paul.

The fall prepares you for victory.

The Bible just man can fall 7 Times, but don’t count me out (Proverbs 24:16). Bae baeee…that 8th time, when I get up, I’m getting up in victory. I’m getting up in power. I’m getting ip in strength.

Why? Because the number 8 signifies resurrection and regeneration.

8= 7+1

…and since the number 8 comes just after seven, which itself signifies completion, 8 is also associated with the beginning of a new era or that of a new order.

You need proof?

  • When the whole earth was covered in floods, it was Noah the eighth person who stepped out on God’s word against the odds
  • It is said in The Bible that Jesus rose on the first day of the next week from the day he was crucified. Thus again it was Eighth day which was chosen by God.
  • When the prodigal son was in a pig pen, he fell to the shame of his sinful ways but when he came to himself, he stood up, and when back to his father.

You may have fallen, but don’t stay there. Get up! That fall was good and so was the ground you fell on.

Breathe!

What if I told you the enemy was trying to take your breath away? Whelp, he is. Prayer is your connection to life. Life comes from God, through Jesus Christ. He is our source for everything.

Prayer is your connection with the Kingdom of Heaven.

So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Luke  11:2 (NKJV)

Prayer keeps us honest with ourselves and vulnerable enough to recognize we are dependent on the Holy Spirit, to help us reach Heaven; but if we never or seldom converse with our Father, how can we allow Him to lift the weight of life from off our shoulders? How can we cast our cares upon Him?

Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.  1 John 3:20  (NLT)

How would you feel if you were an afterthought? Most times, we pray as an after-thought…After we have been beat down with responsibilities from work and family, we freshen up, climb into bed, take a deep breath and say: “Oh…let me pray”

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Anything you feel is important, you will make time for. How often do we excuse ourselves and con our minds into believing that these 2 minutes before we drool on our pillow is all the time we can afford? How would you feel if your spouse only spoke to you when he or she needed something? How would you feel if your children occasionally thanked you for what you do for them, but the kudos only arrive after you fulfilled a previous request from them or if they are in urgent need? How would it make you feel if  you met with your bestie for lunch, to vent about your frustrations, but they held a conversation with someone on their cell phone?

Imagine how God feels.

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HE has feelings! I can confidently say this because He told us in the book of Genesis, that He made us like Him.

So, let me pose a couple of questions about this prayer (i.e. communication to Heaven):

  • If your breath dependent upon your prayer life, would you be breathing right now?
  • If your communication with God was contingent upon how much you pray, how much air would you have to breathe? Would you be alive?

The breath that you breathe is the Spirit that God blew into your nostrils to create you. Therefore, we must use this breath to uplift Him, to speak TO Him, about Him and Him through us.

Jesus was and is a “fresh breath.”  First He was flesh and then He was breath.

Jesus became breath
And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:22 KJV

Ahhhh a breath of fresh air…that’s Jesus! The enemy is trying to take your breath away – your connection with Jesus, through prayer. Don’t cut off your life line. Your life is suffocating and you cannot breathe because you have stiffened it through the lack of comunication through your prayer life. Take time to establish a relationship through prayer so that you can breathe again.

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Open Your Eyes

  • Have you ever felt as if every time you move forward, something pulls you back farther than where you already were?
  • Ever felt like the more you pushed, the more opposition you faced?
  • Have you ever felt as if all of the good you are doing is useless?

Open Your Eyes!

What you see is preparation for God’s master plan. Even the people that hurt you, belittle you, lie on you, devalue you – are a part of the process.

We are so accustom to seeing the negative and focusing on the distractions that we become blinded to the success and progress we have made or the good that will come from the not-so-good (if you allow it).

Believe it or not, you have more people for you than against you. Tap into that resource and I bet your mind will change. I’m speaking spiritually. If God be for us, who cares who is against us?

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:31‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Open you eyes…

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2 Kings 6:16-17 (NKJV)
So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.