Don’t Let the Circumstances Hinder Your Faith

As you all know, I’ve been reading the book Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. I’ve gotten all the way to chapter 11 thus far and the further I read, the better it gets.

In particular there’s a section that talks about a mind that battles doubt and disbelief. This is something that hit home with me because I know I’ve been there. I’m sure many of us have been there.  Any who, in one particular passage she talks about Peter walking on the water to Jesus and how he began to sink once he took his eye off God and lost sight of his faith. She also compared that to the promise that God made Abraham to have a son even with Abraham being old in age.

The difference between to the two was that Abraham choose to believe God in spite of his external circumstances, while Peter allowed the external storm to affect his inward faith. I had to read over this passage several times before it really sunk in and hit home with me. A lot of the times, we allow the external to hinder out faith. It’s so easy to focus on the external appearance of  a situation until we forget about our internal faith that lies with God.

In the book it says not to allow circumstances to hinder your faith. In my own personal notes I wrote that circumstances may say one thing, but God always makes the impossible possible. Belief can’t waiver because of the outer appearance of a situation.  Belief (faith) is internal, not external. The external shouldn’t dictate our faith internally.

One of the scriptures that came to mind when reading this was Colossians3:2 where it talks about keeping your mind, set on the things above. Even in the midst of a situation, the best way to find peace is to reflect on God and his goodness. This is the time to praise God in spite of. Praising God during a trial confuses the enemy because he’s counting on you to backslide and walk away from God because of ONE situation. That’s all it takes. If the devil can get you ONE time and hit you where he think it will hurt, he thinks he’ll win.

However, the crazy part is that even when the outside circumstances may seem crazy, there’s something about having an internal peace with God during the storm. There’s a true refreshing in his presence  where he’ll allow you to go through something and not feel it as bad you thought you would. But in order to do so, we must will our spirits to continuously think on the things of the Lord.

One of my favorite passages is Psalms 42 where David talks about his soul thirsting after the Lord in spite of. His external circumstances didn’t seem to be the best, but he willed his soul to believe in God. He pushed past his emotions to find a way to praise God instead. Sometimes if we praise God enough, there’s power in the praise that will break some stuff off of us. But that kind of power can only come if you’re fully convinced and trusting in God to do what His Word says. God is faithful in all that he does and he’s always worthy of the praise.

Again, I emphasize the title of this post: DON’T LET YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES HINDER YOUR FAITH!

The older I get, the less I allow outer circumstances to shake my faith as much. About 2 years ago I remember asking God to help me in being able to deal with disappointments better. Once upon a time, I would get really upset, frustrated and easily give up. Every time I reached a brick wall, I was quick to turn around. When I broke my knee back in 2011, this was something God really worked out of me. It was almost as if God had found a way to hold me in and press me to continue on even when there were many times I didn’t want to.

Now, I’m looking back and yes I still get upset and frustrated at times; but the difference is I’m not as easy to give up and I find I press forward in spite of. I know that God has been faithful too many times to let one incident stop me. When you think about it, it’ll always be “one incident of many” so why dwell on ONE?

I encourage you all to have continued faith in spite of any external situation. Remember your spirit (where your faith lies) should dictate your flesh’s response, not our flesh rule your spirit.

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Praise and Worship: Break Every Chain

There is great power in praise and worship. Sunday morning my church’s dance ministry did a dance to Tasha Cobbs’ “Break Every Chain.” It’s her latest single from her new album Grace. The dance they did was really powerful and the spirit broke out all over the church. It’s moments like this I love to fellowship with Christ and other believers of His word. I hope that you hear this song and experience the power I experienced Sunday. #Enjoy. This song is simple, but I found it to be very healing to hear the lyrics.

Seeking his Presence

All this week I’ve been feeling off. It was almost like I couldn’t feel God’s presence. I knew he was there, but I couldn’t feel him. I had lost my sense of peace. I was trying to read my Bible, do praise and worship and it was just like nothing was working. Yesterday I felt I had really reached a breaking point. I almost felt a panic in myself.

Long story short, I got really frustrated that I couldn’t feel God’s presence. I was angry because I wanted to believe that God had left me. That he was hiding from me. But then I had to remember that God never leaves us.

Deuteronomy 31:6 – “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

If anything I had left God and I wasn’t even sure how or when it happened. But all this week I just felt off and there was a heaviness in my spirit. Yesterday I kept wanting to fight and pray against it, but it felt like the heaviness almost wanted to press harder.

I rode the bus home from work yesterday and cried the whole way home. I felt lost without God. I had lost my sense of peace and my soul was just in a panic. When I came home I went straight to bed, but in all honesty I didn’t get any rest last night. Even with praise and worship music on in the background, my spirit was restless.

When I woke up this morning, I could feel the heaviness still there and I started to pray. I was praying that I refused to go another day without feeling God’s presence. I prayed that my spirit would be lifted in Jesus name in spite of, that I would praise God because I know him to be faithful. I kept thinking about Psalms 42, where David talks about his soul thirsting for the Lord. When his soul felt discouraged, he told his spirit to hope in the Lord!  I literally just kept praying and within the matter of moments, it was like the weight lifted off of me and I could feel God’s presence return.

I felt 10x’s better! It was like a sense of peace came over me and I knew; God was there again. I could feel him again. For about 30 minutes all I did was praise him and thank him. I simply refused to go another day feeling “off” and “lost.” I couldn’t allow my mind to meditate on the same low thoughts. I had to ask God to help me pick my spirit up.

Glory, God is faithful!  There’s a sweet peace in his presence. A peace that only God can give and it can’t be replaced. When I felt I had lost that, I knew it was time to pray and get it together. I’ve been in a place several times before where I thought I had lost God, and too many times before it took months to finally get him back. I simply refused to go that route again. The Lord hears our prayers and he’s faithful. If God never does anything for me, I just don’t want to lose sight of him and his presence.

Acts3:19 “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

If anyone has ever felt how I felt, I encourage you to pray through until you feel God’s presence rest upon you. God is faithful continuously. I love when God constantly shows me who he is and how mighty he can be. Truly, nobody but God alone.
-Amen

Battlefield of the Mind

Today I was speaking with my spiritual mentor and she suggested that I read a book called “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer. Originally she was saying I should get the recording and that hearing it would allow for the message to sink in better. She told me to check online to find out how much it would be to download an audio copy and she expressed how she thought it would be something really good to invest in for my spiritual walk.

Anywho, long story short; I got off work tonight and ended up walking to Barnes & Nobles. While in there I was browsing the books and remembered the book she’d told me. Came across it and it was only $15. So, on the spot I just decided to buy it.

I purchased the book and read it on the bus ride home from work. The bus ride is usually 45min.-1hour long. I read through the first 3-4 chapters. The book is really easy to read and everything is laid out plain and simple. I look forward to continuing to read it and share more with my readers.

Apparently this book has done a lot for many other people and their Christian walk. I’m hoping it’ll bless me as well, and maybe blogging about it will encourage someone else to pick up the book and see for themselves.

The biggest thing that has stuck out to me so far, was that it’s important to be strategic in our walk with God. You can’t be passive in trying to fellowship with God and truly make a change in your life. Part of being active in your walk is allowing God to enter into your mind to break down any strongholds you may have. Breaking down strongholds makes it easier for your mind to conform to God’s will and way for your life. Strongholds can cause resistance in walking with God if we’re not careful.

If anyone wants to join in reading with me, that would be great. I’d love to hear some feedback or comments from others who have read the book. I enjoy being interactive with my readers whenever I can be.

***And if anyone is wondering, I probably will end up getting the recorded version as well. I like having both. Something tangible I can mark up and highlight if I need to. But the audio would be a great addition to my “praise and worship” playlist on my iPod. ***