Tag Archive | #LivingEpistles #NoExcuses #40Reflections #NewNation #NewBeginning

Tempted to Look Down


The last few posts have been about the temptation as it today’s but I want to look at something different; a very surprising one if I say so myself because it surprised me too.

I was negotiating a payment a while back and had used what I making in business as a base and multiplied it by a factor that I thought was good to go. One of my sisters called and asked what I had settled for  followed by some really hard questions about how I arrived at that figure. I explained it and when asked why I thought it was the perfect amount, I couldn’t really say. I think I had just guessed it. Over coffee she asked a myriad of questions and did some calculations then she drastically increased the asking price, and I mean drastically increased it with solid reasoning behind the rise. I was aghast! 

It wasn’t the price that got me rather how off base I was with what I had thought was adequate. A while later when I was once again negotiating a fee for a job and I gave a figure I thought was fair but was later told I needed to value myself better.

It doesn’t end there; another situation came to mind. 

In a conversation with God when I was changing work situations, He asked me to consider earning twice my then net pay. I almost screamed in shock (well, actually I did). Why? I was already able to do so much with what I was earning so why would I need more? Anyway, after a few days I accepted the amount as a possibility but guess what, the next week He upped the figure to almost three times my current pay. What did I do? You can guess; I stalled. Yes I did!!! I sat there and couldn’t understand why He would have me earn that kind of money. I had never wanted much from life and that may not be a good thing. I was used to settling and making do with what I have never making too many demands.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with money, what I am looking at here is my attitude. In this instance, I had a poor view of who I am in comparison with God’s view of me and agenda for me. It was clear that I saw myself as less than He did and didn’t even know that. I bet you never thought that possible; yet it is the truth.

Romans 12:3 is absolutely clear that we should not think more highly of ourselves than we ought but very little is said about thinking too lowly of ourselves. It operates like low self-esteem and often stems from the thought that we are being humble. In truth, we must choose not to yield to the temptation to undervalue ourselves and therefore lower our standards in life or expectations. This is worse than thinking too highly of oneself because it is denying the reality of God’s view of us and living our lives on a lower plane…false humility!

Sound strange right? Just give it a moment to sink in!

This low expectation of oneself is often based on a false sense of humility we learn early on in life. We learn to respond to life in a certain way so as to gain acceptance. How do we learn it? By the things we are told to do or not, talk about or not to talk about etc. It also comes from being told girls should behave this way and boys should behave that way or just accept what comes your way  others have had it worse.

What is the solution for this?

It goes back to a question I ask people all the time; Who has God said you are? This is God’s spoken word to each one about how he sees us and therefore must remain the minimum standard to live by. This must become the definition of our lives. When we live by this definition our steps are carefully guided, our choices are made with certainty and our path is secure.

The big question here is; what is your perspective of yourself? 

What has informed your perspective? When did you develop it? Are you on track or off track? How do you get back on track? Have you let yourself believe you are less than who God says you are?

Do not yield into the temptation to undervalue yourself. It is not worth it and will guarantee you become less than all you are slated to be. You are the beloved of God, destined for greatest and impact…don’t sell yourself short like I almost did.

 

For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. Rom 12:3

THE COURAGE TO SWIM UPSTREAM


My sister Phyllis, shared something a while back and I sense to share it here in her words.

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Salmon have a fascinating journey……

Born in a fresh water stream, salmon start their life’s journey swimming downstream like everyone else; following the easy way where not much effort is required to ride the current or should I say let the current (the patterns of the world, the acceptable norms) carry you downstream.

As they head downstream, a genetic mechanism allows their body to change to enable them leave fresh water and commit to living in the ocean (sort of like how we change to find it, to be acceptable, to be loved).

They spend 2-4 years in salty ocean water which is a time to mature (this suggest that God allows that time of trying to fit in to teach us lessons, to refine us and thus the reason all things work for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to purpose) and prepare them for the final and most difficult journey of their lives.

While living in salty water they somehow retain an amazing ability that is required for their final journey home. This is the ability to smell a drop of their home river in 2 billion gallons of sea water. for me this is that sense in each one of us for something more, that hunger in your spirit that causes you yo seek your purpose, to seek to know God, to go back to who you were created to be and what your life represent, home=back to God and his plan)

They also have that impressive ability to leap up waterfalls. The impossible becoming possible right here; The ability to live outside of the rules of the world.

Swimming upstream isn’t the only difficult part, there are obstacles, pollution, predators, raging currents and yet the salmon persists eating nothing (man shall not live by bread alone, need I say more) until finally those who survive reach the river they were born in years earlier and lay their eggs.

The salmon’s journey requires dedication, perseverance, reliance on an internal radar system and a deep hunger to do what they were born to do at whatever cost; even death.

MANIFESTATION will require a deeper cooperation with God, a desire that my life will be about nothing else but to fulfill that which I was born to be and do, whatever the cost…even death. A willingness to die daily as described in Luke 9:23;

Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily,[a] and follow Me.”

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Where are you on this journey? Where am I?

  • Are we gliding downstream?
  • Are we adapting to live in this new environment?
  • Are we in the salty ocean?
  • Are we preparing to swim upstream after tasting water from home?
  • Are we swimming upstream, battling the challenges on the way?
  • Have we arrived to lay seed for the next generation?

We are all somewhere in the process and need to find it and course correct if we are off track or keep going if we are on track. Remember that because God ordained our steps we cannot fail if we hold onto Him and obey His instructions.

Walk in understanding that you may attain the calling established for you before the foundations of the earth. Shalom.

On Purpose 


I recently read a post from Mother Are that brought Acts 27:23-26 to life in a new way and I will share it here.

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Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me
and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’
So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. NIV

Note v24 in several different versions:

he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ NLT

…and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ Vs. 24b

266 souls were saved from physical drowning because a man of God was on board the ship.

  • A man who speaks with God.
  • A man who hears angels.
  • A man who knows the God who can save physically and spiritually.

How great is this news.

God can graciously give you other souls!

God can bless others because of His relationship with someone (Gen 19:29; 39:5).

Paul’s life would have been saved alone but I wonder if Paul was praying for the safety of all in that ship. I wonder if that gift was an answer to prayer. We know that Paul often prayed for others and received answers for them.

Acts 27:24
and said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul-for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God has granted your request and will save the lives of all those sailing with you.’ TLB

I wonder:

  • How  many souls you have secured for God;
  • Who has escaped physical, or spiritual death because of you?
  • Is it not this truth that is the basis for Psalm 2:8, Ask of me and I will give you nations for your inheritance? Will those nations not be saved because we asked?

I encourage you to ask and listen on! Indeed, some people will escape untimely physical death and also the second death because of your prayers.

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This got me thinking about my walk. Am I walking aright? Have I done all I have been instructed to do? Do I press in to God daily before I go out to walk in obedience? Do I know for certain what I am here for and how I am to live it out?

God has an expectation of  me, that I would walk in Him, with Him and for Him all my days. That I may showcase him to the world; That others who are unlikely to read the word will find my life an living example; That he would be so important to me so I would serve him only; That His love for me will overflow to others and the world around me will be changed for Him; That I would be so in love with Him that I would press in every moment of my life.

This day I make the choice afresh that My life will conform to the word of God daily, for the rest of my days. How about you?