We can all be our worst critic…I am preaching to the choir on this. A deep realization of growth is learning to preach truth to myself and be still. For me, it is staying in God’s Word, the real truth that speaks life.
But, I’m not gonna lie…sometimes I read Scripture and there is no spark or burning bush revelation. Yes, the Bible is God-breathed and active (2 Timothy 3:16). But God’s instruction may cause different responses. Yes, I get conviction and truth but lately, I have been still in His truth and put a verse(s) in my Christian tool box.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;-Psalm 46:10a
I have been learning to take in scripture and really marinate on a specific truth in my life. I just need to be still. My mind just races constantly about the future. Will life fall into place with my career, with friendships, with a romantic relationship, marriage, children, etc? I almost give myself headaches and anxiety just thinking about an unknown future.
But I am learning to be still. Easier said than done. I remind myself not to worry for what will it add to my life?(Matthew 6:27). Absolutely nothing. The Enemy is trying me but I feel greater is coming…that’s why he is working so hard.
A passage that causes me to be still and preach to myself is: being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.-Philippians 1:6
I am choosing to be still and preach currently: God completes what He starts. So God is not done with me and the things that worry me will be completed in Jesus’ name and timing.
What do you need to be still and preach truth to yourself about?
It’s interesting seeing grandiose celebrations like America’s Inauguration Day, Bastille Day Celebrations in France, and the Queen’s Jubilee in the UK. The fancy clothing, the pretty horses, the waving of flags, the performances, and the fanfare of it all for one day or moment.
But when it was Jesus, it was nothing of the sort. Compared to the above events, it would actually be underwhelming to today’s standards. There would be no big ratings or live streaming in all news stations and social media. It would not be a trending topic on Twitter. It would be too boring exactly.
But that never mattered to Jesus. Could Jesus have done the grand celebration? Yes. But, He did not. He humbled Himself which attests to His nature and character.
He was the KING but he would not act as an earthly king. An earthly king thought of himself but King Jesus thought about all people. Actually, I believe Jesus wanted to distinguish Himself. Set His Kingdom apart from the empires of the day. His Kingdom would be eternal.
His humanity went beyond a fleeting, grand celebration and entry. For what He was about do would show a grander, more promising eternity for humanity itself.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.-Philippians 4:11-13
Not every circumstance is perfect. There are good days and bad days but each day God gives you is a blessing.
I have been saying for a while, I am in the in-between season of life from law school to real world. Well now, I am in the season of adjustment and adapting. I am still working towards being a licensed attorney by taking the Bar in another jurisdiction. After failing the Bar for a second time, I really had to take a step back and reevaluate this plan I imagined. My plan was not working. But the problem was, it was not God’s plan up until this point.
The big question I struggled with was: Am I content where I am?The truth was: I wasn’t. I wanted my come-up and it was this elaborate plan to get my independence on and live it up! I thought it was better for me to live away from comfort permanently.
But I realized that God gave me the opportunity to be content and independent from my family when I was in law school. I learned a lot about myself in Florida being a young, independent law student in that season. I was content with my life there and God allowed that time for me.
Now, after April, I had to learn how to get that content spirit back because I just wanted that life again. But as I started to look around, I saw that I had provisions to be content about that I did not have in Florida.: First off, I had my support system with me instead of six hours away. Second off, I had my basic necessities: food, clothing, shelter for FREE (can I get an amen?). Third, I had my church home and pastor who is one of my mentors close by. Fourth, I still had the same talents and gifts I had before but I just needed to tap into it where I was.
Sometimes, you have to really look inside yourself and pray for God to reveal the joys you forgot you had. I wrestled with that this past summer but now I am in a better place looking to the future. I am still grinding and hustling but still growing in contentment. I have been more active in finding the joy in the present. I take each day at a time.
I learn contentment every day. Every second, every moment. Whether I am serving at my church, serving my family, or serving my community, I learn the peace of contentment that surpasses all understanding. It keeps me balanced and sane.
God is holding my moments: today, tomorrow, and forever. I just have to learn to be present and thankful in every season.
I encourage you to find true contentment in Jesus Christ. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. You can never go wrong with His love and power. He has never steered me wrong though I steer myself wrong. His grace is sufficient in everything. His peace can be your peace.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.-1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
It is daily to exercise your contentment muscle but you can do it. Speak of your blessings (even as simple as waking up), talk to God (He is listening), and be thankful. It will not fail you and God will not fail. Therefore, I thank my God for every circumstance to be content.
I know what you are thinking why would I enjoy rejection. Well I am glad you asked, Bliss Fam.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.- 2 Corinthians 12:9
Don’t get me wrong. Rejections hurts. But that is what grace is for. Though I do not see grace physically, I do feel it through the Holy Spirit working from the inside out.
Whether it is people, opportunities, or other things, grace covers those weaknesses and shortcomings. And grace creates strength, protection, and resilience in the situation.
Perfect example, I had someone in my life lie and hide from me for months. In other words, I was ghosted. There was no explanation, just silence for several months. Then out of the blue, I get a text saying that he wants to talk. Well, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Of course, my sister was my emotional support when he called. He dropped major bombshells that shocked me but not to my core. (On the other hand, my sister was pissed and annoyed for me). When it was my turn to talk, I was candid and honest, handling the situation with grace and poise. I called him a coward and expressed how his lies hurt me but did not damage me. No really, I had moved on without him. Yes, I was rejected but it did not hurt because God’s grace covered the temporary rejection I experienced from someone I cared about.
Everyone has experienced that hurt of rejection in one way or another. But it is how you react that makes the difference with grace.
Now with that situation with Bianca ten years ago, it would have been different in the pitiful way. You see, it took me a long time to figure out how to handle rejection. I was quite the people pleaser who took criticism and rejection TO THE CORE. My head would spin and go crazy over someone’s else rejection of me because I wanted to be loved by everyone…like Oprah popularity love. God knew that desire but He really broke me and humbled me by revealing what and how the rejection would work out in my favor for His purpose.
Rejection hurts but it also humbles you. It humbles and grows you in ways you never knew. You may not see it right then and there but God will reveal it. There is a purpose for rejection.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.-Romans 8:18
Granted, I am still growing and learning grace in the mist of rejection. But it is manageable through Christ because His power covers it all.
And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?-Romans 8:30-32
You conquer because God is on your side. All of us encounter opposition. It’s inevitable but you know what? You have something that prevails overtime against any foe: Jesus Christ. Jesus already conquered sin and death. He gave Himself for humanity. Which means whatever obstacle, in Jesus’s name, is handled.
Let that sink in for a moment…
You already have whatever God has in store for you. God knows the desires of your heart. He knows and supplies all of your needs.
You conquer because He conquered. Keep going. Keep fighting. Keep persevering. You will make it.
I’m not a vision board/manifestation board person but I do like to list my goals. There is something about putting it down on paper that solidifies the dream.
I recently made a God-centered Goals List with my concerns and the Scripture as evidence of what God says about that particular topic. Kinda like “God, you said this so I am asking for that in my life.” My law school background formed this idea.
The reason I made this list was in anticipation for a revival conference I would be attending with my family as part of our annual family vacation. My parents have watched this Haitian Pastor, Gregory Toussaint at the Tabernacle of Glory for years and have always wanted to attend this 40 day revival. This pastor has the power of God on Him and he is truly anointed.
During this 40 day revival, there would be time in the service for prayer. Did I say that it would be at least an hour? Cause it was. And you cannot be seated. You have to walk around and declare your prayer requests. You must come boldly.
So for this, I wanted to be prepared. I really thought hard about what my prayer requests. Not that I did not know what to ask for but not to treat God as a genie but as a child humbly asking for guidance in life.
As I have said, my season of life has rocked my world and it feels sometimes that I have no place to go. But I need to look up. So I wrote this 5-page list of prayers and Biblical evidence. I tell you, it was like preparing for battle. It was important not to write my goals but be ready to come BOLDLY with them to God.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.-Proverbs 16:8
One thing to keep in mind: God has the final say in your goals list. You can want a million dollars but only God can give it if that’s His Will for your life.
My advice for writing a God-centered Goals List:
Be vocal and conversational. God is a personal God. He is your friend and cares. Yes, He knows everything but He still wants to know from your mouth.
Be honest and real. When you write, think of it as telling the closest friend you have “I need help. I am struggling.” God wants to know how you feel.
Use Google or Bible Apps for scripture references. I don’t know every scripture in the Bible by heart but God made resources to pinpoint what you want to say.
Here’s an excerpt from my God-centered Goals List:
Attorney Dreams– Lord, I know you did not bring me this far for me to be nothing. Lord, allow me to the attorney you would have me to be. To administer justice for those who cannot speak for themselves. To assist where I can. To discern the law. To honor your law. I know you have the means and ways, the employment, and the doors you will open. Open this opportunity to serve your people.
“Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits.Have nothing to do with a false charge and do not put an innocent or honest person to death, for I will not acquit the guilty.-Exodus 23:6-7
Acquitting the guilty and condemning the innocent—the Lord detests them both.-Proverbs 17:15
To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.-Proverbs 21:3
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.-Proverbs 31:8-9
Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of anyone, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it.”-Deuteronomy 1:17
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.-Micah 6:8
In him we were also chosen,having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.-Ephesians 1:11-12
Remember, this is a personal, intimate conversation with Jesus. There is no perfect way to write this but God will see your heart when you surrender your needs to him. He says in His Word to “Ask and Receive.” Be open to writing it out and praying over them. God hears you.
“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!- Luke 12:27-28
If God takes care of flowers and nature, God will definitely take of you.
It takes a lot to keep the Earth intact. But in all that is in the world, God sustains to thrive. The Creator of the Universe cares for you.
Bible Commentator, David Guzik states ” If God cares for the flowers but that means that every day for the flowers is not sun and sweetness, If every day was sunny and there were never clouds and rain, the flowers would die quickly.”Think about that...sunshine is needed for growth but you can’t have too much of a good thing. Though sunshine is great, it will dry up nutrients that you do need. The sunshine (or riches) creates a sense of self-sufficiency (i.e. the opposite of dependency of Christ). You never grow and would never need a Savior. You have everything…or so you think.
Remember that growth does not occur without struggle.
Consider this as well. Guzik also states: ” To think the Lord who clothes the lilies will leave his own children naked is shameful.” When we don’t believe in God’s provision, it is a slap in the face to the Creator. Easier said than done but nature trusts its Creator and so should we. He sustains nature in its natural order. Consider the species of flowers on this planet. There are so many varieties of plants and flowers discovered and undiscovered, growing in different climates and ecosystems, and in various colors, shapes, lengths. A cactus in the Sahara thrives like an exotic flower from the Amazon Rainforest. The needs may vary but God still provides. God does it all allowing His Creation to survive the elements into a form of beauty and awe.
Same with us, no matter what life gives, God provides the shade from the heat, restoration in destructive places, nourishment when we need it, and the provision for everything in-between. God wants us to trust Him with everything.
God has blessed me so far with 26 years of triumphs and challenges, setbacks and comebacks, and cringe-worthy and life-defining moments. I cannot say “I DID THIS,.” All that has happened is by the grace and divine providence of God.
The Enemy tries to make situations impossible. He fights hard when he knows a breakthrough is coming. Keep going with God as your compass and foundation. Life is possible because of Jesus Christ. Every day is not easy but with God all things are possible.
I encourage you with this scripture for each season of life and for each day. Life is possible.