Wednesday, September 26

What's a Woman to do with Jealousy?

How do you deal with jealousy? Do you quickly recognize it and give it God or do you let it find a comfortable place in your heart and take up residency? Listen girls, jealousy is a destructive pit that if you don't get a handle on it quickly, can overtake your mind, attitude and actions. Jealousy can move from a temptation to a new way of life. It can ruin your daily thinking and keep you from praying. It can lead to a deep root of bitterness that comes out in everything you say and do. It can be the foundation where other sins are birthed. Don't discount jealousy today and pass up this post. We all need to be reminded of this treacherous temptation. 
I still remember a girl from high school that I was so jealous of. I didn't want to be jealous of her because she was so nice, but I was. She was pretty, smart, wore cute clothes, seemed to never have a bad day, was liked by everyone, and every teacher adored her. Every time I would see her, I would just feel so awful about myself. So my natural mind would say, "I wish I was like her."
Can anybody relate? Anybody?
Here's today's truth: God did not create you to dislike yourself.
Get that into your head even if you have to say out loud. He is pleased with "you" His creation. There is NO other YOU!!!
When you and I take our eyes off of God and His Word and place our sole focus on what we "wish" we were like, (that we see in other women) our natural mind will take us into the disastrous pit of jealousy every time. We will wallow in the mucky mire and feel awful about ourselves. That awful feeling will turn into hatred towards another woman for making us feel that way. So then this jealousy has birthed another sin, the sin of hatred. We will not be able to get out of the pit of jealousy unless we determine to come back to God. Until we decide we want to be with Him instead of being with our jealousy. If we choose to stay in the pit of jealousy, our minds will naturally begin to adjust to a new normal, and jealous thoughts will have its way and ruin our thought processes.  
What I have come to find out as an adult who loves and follows Christ, is that jealousy is always going to be lurking in the least unexpected places. That's why we've got to be watchful and let God's wisdom be the pursuit of our thought lives. The wise woman, the woman who places her aim on learning God's Word in her mind, learns how to recognize the temptation to be jealous and quickly seeks to stomp it out with prayer and truth. Otherwise, the natural mind aims at raising jealousy to the new normal. And what happens then is that we begin to live in defeat instead of in the victory of Christ.
Remember the Life of Joseph
Think back to Joseph and his brothers (Genesis 37:4). The more his brothers kept their eyes on the favor Joseph received from their father, jealousy overtook their minds. Their minds changed  their attitude and their attitude took over their actions. For we know that they sold their very own brother into slavery (Genesis 37:28).
A Real Life Jealousy Plan:
1. Confess who you are jealous of to God.
2. Pray for that woman.
3. Find Scripture to help strengthen the natural state of your mind.
4. Do it over and over again until God has broken you free.
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Monday, September 17

Manna Monday- Three "I Will's" of God

Isn't it easy to forget the promises of God?
One day, you are praising Him for each of His promises, and a few weeks later life has thrown you for a loop and you are struggling to remember where each promise you once held on to so dearly is found in the Bible. I am convinced if we will keep God's Word in front of us, we will have more peace, more strength, more joy, more clarity, and more wisdom if we will just open our Bibles. It's all there, in God's written Word. The one obstacle between us and our Bibles is, well... our own selves. We all struggle to keep God's Word at the forfront of our hearts and minds.
This Monday, we focus on the "I Will's" of God. Will does not mean "might" or "maybe." It is a word grounded in certainty.
Say this verse aloud today.
You will find it a great encouragement as I have found encouragement.
"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17
This Monday is a new day with new opportunities. A new day to receive a new Word from the LORD as you read the Bible. Think about how the God of the universe delights in you. Think about how he quiets your heart with His love. Think about how rejoices over you, His creation.
This is solid truth for our minds to be focused on today. Turning our hearts and minds towards God's promises instead of on our impossible problems nourishes our soul unlike any soul food.
This Monday, rejoice over God's promises of "I will."He is a God of certainty, not uncertainty.
That brings me great comfort and I hope it brings you great comfort too!
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Monday, September 3

Manna Monday-Is Your Joy Shallow?

Is your joy shaky? Shallow? Stunted by your life circumstances? These are the questions I asked myself recently as I read a book by the late, great pastor Charles Spurgeon, "How to Have Real Joy." Great title isn't it! It's what everyone wants to know. People want to be happy. They want to know joy. They want to know how to get it and keep it. Spurgeon defines what the believer already has in his heart throughout the book. What's interesting to me is joy is not what you think it is.  His thoughts about joy given by Jesus to the heart of a believer gives me so much to think about. I wanted to share one of his thoughts with you today. Have  you ever thought about someone having shallow joy? Listen to how he describes shallow joy. I think you too will find it quite thought provoking. 
"This joy of the LORD in our spirits springs from an assurance that our entire future, regardless of what may happen, is guaranteed by divine goodness. We are joyful when we know that, as children of God, the love of God toward us never changes. The believer feels complete satisfaction in leaving himself in the hands of eternal and unchangeable love. However happy I may be today, if I am in doubt about tomorrow, there is a worm in the root of my peace. Although the past may now be pleasant in retrospect, and the present satisfying and enjoyable, if the future looks gloomy and frightening, my joy is shallow." 
(Source: How to Have Real Joy, Charles Spurgeon, pg.72-73, Whitaker House)
This thought about shallow joy makes sense. God gives us His Joy. Because joy is a fruit of the Spirit, the way for it to grow is spending time with Jesus (John 15:1-11). But when we turn away from Jesus and let doubt come in and takeover out thoughts about our future, our joy is not growing. It is not deeply rooted in Jesus. It is deeply rooted in our circumstances. If I believe that God is over all things (Ephesians 1:22), is working for my good (Romans 8:28) and has a plan for my life (Jeremiah 29:11), I need not worry (Matthew 6:34). My joy is shallow when I turn my heart and mind away from believing God's Word. My joy is shallow when something happens and I think God is against me. When I think that nothing good will come out of a bad situation, my joy is shallow. 

Dear sister, when the storms come and we find ourselves thinking this way, our joy IS shallow. It reveals our joy is not deeply rooted in the promises and truths of Christ but in our own control. It reveals that we have not been abiding in Christ like we should.

You have the joy of Jesus in your heart.
Grow the joy God gives you by spending time with Him and reading of His Word (John 15:10-11). When the storms of life come, the joy of the LORD will be your strength (Nehemiah 8:10). 


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