What’s Shaping Your Outlook

As I rode the bus to work this morning, I pulled out my phone and went to one of my favorite passages in the Bible: Romans 8. I enjoy the book of Romans in general, I find myself venturing there quite often in my moments of need. Lately it seems that I’ve been drifting in and out of my relationship with God and I can’t seem to get my footing back to be as anchored as I once was. However, consistently God keeps sending me reminders of why he saved me and why I have to keep fighting until I get it right.

Flipping through my phone I discovered I had a note attached to the scripture: Romans 8: 5-6

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After reading this I realized how much I had lost my focus of where God really wants me to be. My focus had come so consumed with pleasing my flesh and my own selfish desires that I was slowly forgetting about all the things God has been asking me to do. (Funny how this also seems to correlate with TD Jakes message about Focusing and I read this scripture before I saw the video today…#Confirmation)

I had been running from so much out of pain and fear; not wanting to deal with my emotions. The last few months I found myself trying to use different things to cover up, or put a band-aid on pain  I wasn’t ready to deal with. But at the end of it all, the sting has to be felt to get some healing. Sometimes healing takes pain and that’s just life. Sometimes, it just cannot be avoided; we just have to trust that in the hands of God our pain has purpose.

So the last few months I’ve found myself looking at life through my own selfish outlook. I got caught up in trying to “make career” moves, and settling to date someone because I wanted to be married and for a moment in time I literally felt like they were my only option. They had been putting up with me for almost three years; why not? Just totally ignoring all the previous warning signs built up from all the time we’ve been together. And totally disregarding I had walked away from this person a few months prior. My life has felt like this world wind of thoughts lately.

Anytime I find myself overwhelmed or always thinking about this move, and the next move; more than likely the spirit is no longer shaping my outlook. It’s my flesh looking to be soothed. The devil often tries to get me in my thoughts because naturally I’m a planner. But sometimes in my planning I try to control, so if I’m not careful the enemy allows me to become consumed with planning that I miss living the present life God wants me to live. TD Jakes said something in his video series on destiny that seems perfect to insert here: ” too often we’re so in love with tomorrow, but we’re neglecting where we are today.” 

In a nutshell that describes my situation exactly! I had become so consumed with planning my future and the person I thought I wanted to be, that I was neglecting to work on me now, in the present. If I’m not able to nip some of my spiritual unrest NOW, then there’s no point in planning for where I want to be. At this rate I may never get there, leaving it to my own mind I’d probably mess it up before I got there! I was literally focusing on self-destructive thoughts; not even realizing it.

For the last few months I’ve really felt like I’ve had spiritual ADD. In and out, in and out..trying to stay saved, then wanting to do my own thing. Man…if only you knew how tiring that has been and how much more energy that takes than to stay with God and trust him. Now I’m not saying I’m perfect and I’m not saying I will get this right tomorrow.

But what I am saying is that God has allowed a moment to happen where I’m able to reckon with his truth and finally begin to settle and deal with it. That he’s allowing his truth to refocus my outlook on life.

xoxo

#Focused #LifeOutlook

TD Jakes: Destiny Series “FOCUS”

This series by TD Jakes has been such a blessing. He is speaking so much truth in his message. He’s truly helping me to get it together. He is serving up the truth raw and uncut.

He says a mouthful that I’m still digesting and it’s building on top of the first message. This is something I encourage you to watch more than once to allow it to fully sink in. The meat of this word will fill you up if you can be open to the truth.

SUB30: Total Whine

I missed SUB30 on it’s new night this year. However, I had a chance to watch the message online today and it was great. Pastor Clay touched on some good stuff. This is a great message to start the new year off for SUB30. I especially enjoyed the” spiritual treadmill” analogy! I definitely needed to hear this. #SUB30 #celebrationchurch

01/11/15 – SUB30 – Pastor Clay Baird – Total Whine from Celebration Church on Vimeo.

Dig Deeper

One of the things that God has been dealing with me about is being surface when it comes to serving Him.  I’ve been preparing poems for a poetry show my church has coming up in February and after sharing a piece I wrote with the group; I was told I could dig deeper.

The challenge had been presented…. dig deeper.

As a poet our goal is to minister through our words, and if I’m being surface then I’m missing the opportunity to minister and share with others.

Digging deeper requires getting closer to God and hitting those hard areas in my life. My words would have to minister to me first before i even spoke the word to the people. Which would also mean, I would have to deal with allowing God to heal me in that area. Sometimes healing takes pain. And I had to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I wanted God to deal with that pain right now.

 

 

The Journey

It’s no secret that writing is my spiritual gift from God. In saying that, I know through my writing there is a lot God wants to birth in me. Since 2011, I’ve known God has wanted me to write a book. At first I was excited until I realized 4 years have passed & the process for writing this book has been quite the unexpected journey.

 

so, here I am; January 1st, 2015. Still no book. But what I’ve come to realize is that maybe its not about the book, but the process itself in helping me walk through some healing in my life.

so this year my plan is to write everyday. Even if it’s just a sentence. For years I’ve thought it was all about crafting the perfect story. ( Funny, I didn’t even think I had a story to tell until 2013). And for years I lived in fear of failure because I wasn’t given a blue print for this journey. There is no guide or formula, I’m really just winging it. (with the grace of God on my side).

 

so, I encourage you to join me this year as I share daily on this adventure of birthing the true purpose & power in my writing. Bare w me, because if there’s ever a time to be transparent, the time is now.

so here’s to a new year of growth & transparency!

Feeling the Pain of Selfishness

I recently experienced truly feeling the pain of my own selfishness and seeing what selfishness looks like from God’s perspective.

I  had a situation where my flesh got weak and wanted what it wanted. Prior to this, I had been doing well in my walk with Christ. Had a few hiccups, but nothing major. I was truly doing well in simply maintaining my salvation. However, I stopped reading my word as much, and slacked up on praying and praise and worship and so my flesh started to feel the weariness. I found myself delving back into “old habits.”

In the process of going back to old habits, I end up using someone. I pretty much used them to satisfy my flesh and then I detached myself from the situation. After I got what I wanted, I pretty much distanced myself and tried to move forward. However, the God in me kept nudging me to apologize to this person. I realized on some level, I had used this person and it was wrong to lead them on to think the door was open again for us to have a relationship.

So, I called the person, apologized and in the midst of apologizing and being honest about what I had done, I felt like crap. This was one apology I did not feel good about at all. As a matter of fact, it really made me examine my selfish acts and how I had caused pain to someone else’s life because I wanted to be selfish. While I was concerned about soothing my flesh, I essentially opened up an old wound for the other person. Of course this wasn’t my intentions, but anytime we’re selfish we’re bound to hurt someone else or cause trouble that doesn’t necessarily have to be. And it really sucks because I’ve been on both sides of this story, so I know to be on the other side ( being the person who gets used) is not anything nice to have to feel.

So here I was thinking that by being open and honest it would make things better between me and the other person.  But I felt like I had dug myself into a hole and opened a whole can of unexpected worms. While on the phone with the person, the Holy Spirit was beating me up! I heard him say loud and clear: Well, what did you really expect. Acknowledging you’re wrong is only half the battle. Besides, there’s no way to sugar coat what you did and now you have to face the reality of it.  When you’re selfish, you’ll always be seen as the bad guy and there’s no way around it.

God was really dealing with me trying to “save face” and keep my reputation in tact. The point is, once God says to let someone go you can’t let them go and keep your reputation in their mind. On some level they may just consider you to be the bad guy. But what they think of you at that point should no longer be your concern.

And for so long I’ve always tried to sugar coat things for people whenever I do have to be the bearer of bad news. But God has challenged me to cut it straight, even when it hurts either party involved. Even if me speaking truth makes me look like the bad guy. In this instance the question becomes do I love my reputation more, or the life I’m supposed to be living for Christ?

Now, every time I want to go back and use this person I will definitely think twice because I don’t want to be the one constantly hurting someone because I want to be selfish. (Seeing as I’ve been used before I should probably have a lot more sympathy.) I’ll basically become a stumbling block to him and then God will hold me accountable. It’s not fair for me to intervene in what God wants to do in his life because I’m trying to use him to satisfy my desires. Needless to say being selfish will cause you to act out of character just to please the flesh.

Likewise, what if God chose to have his selfish moments with us? If he decided not to sacrifice his only son and instead let us get what we rightfully deserved as sinners? But his love for us was greater. And it’s love that helps overcome selfishness.

“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”Philippians 2:3-4

xoxox

#Releasingmydesires