Devotion Topic : No power in fear!

This devotion focuses on Ephesians 6:14-15 (And the book of  2 Timothy).

Webster defines fear as, “to be afraid of:  expect with alarm fear the worst” (Read the whole definition here).  Fear, to me, is something or anything that stops you from making progress or keeps you for desiring to reach a destination or achieve a specific goal. Fear cause unnecessary challenges in your life. It prevents progress.

Sure sometimes your fear is well founded and it protects you. It saves your life. It keeps you from doing something that could potentially harm you. (That is a healthy fear). That is not the fear I am speaking of. Nor is the fear that the author of the devotional is speaking of today.

The fear I am speaking of is one that is founded in negative self-talk and supported by lies that others have told you about yourself, others or life in general. (I do believe we know the difference) While we may know, or at the very least suspect, that they are lies, we believe it because the fear feels very real. The fear seems too big and too strong for us.

I know personally, I have struggled with these negative thoughts, false truths in order to overcome the fear. I was only able to do it because I trust in God, and had faith in His word and began to understand the truth. (The truth about Him and myself) The author of this devotion says, “Fear comes from the enemy…. By believing his lies, we give him his greatest weapon. Instead, expose the lie for what it is.” (Source: A Little Time For God For Women* (Page 254))

Today I choose to focus on the one with all power! I choose to focus on the one who knows all about me, and desires great things for me!

 

 

* A Little God Time for Women: 365 Daily Devotions

Additional content on this subject.

Devotional Topic: God is our healer

This devotional focused on Psalm 147: 1-3

Have you ever read something, It just made you give a sigh of relief. You could feel yourself exhaling (as if you had been holding your breath for hours) and then taking a deep breath. You feel your body relax, and fears drop to the side. You see things coming back into focus. Well, that is the feeling I often get when I read my bible and my devotionals. God’s word always centers me and brings me back into focus.

If you have never known a safe place. If you have never had someone who when they hugged you, all fears dropped to the side. If you never had someone to wipe away your tears, this may be difficult to relate to, but trust me it is real.

Broken souls, broken bodies, broken sisters, be reminded of his power in these moments and do not turn away.*

As I read this devotional it reminds me of when you are younger and something terrifies you, maybe it is a dream. Our scary sound in your room and you run into your parent’s room for safety. This devotional was to remind me (and you) that is who our God is.

Whatever hurt. fear or pain we are experiencing, we can seek refuge in God. In Psalms 147 it says “He heals the womb of every shattered heart”. That is indeed what He does. I want to point out that it doesn’t say He prevents the wound (although He can do that). This scripture reminds me that some times God will allow me to (or I make bad decisions so I must ) go through difficult situations that may wound me. It may break my heart. The beautiful thing is He is a healer. The devotional put it very nicely, it said, “There is no requirement or need too great; he will piece you back together.” (From A Little God Time For Women; Page 253)

* (Source) A Little God Time For Women: 365 Daily Devotions (New Faux Leather Gift Edition)

Additional reading on knowing God as your healer.

 http://thehealingverses.com/god-is-our-healer-bible-verses/
 http://hallockexodus.blogspot.com/p/healing-scriptures.html
 https://newspring.cc/devotionals/god-is-our-healer

Scripture Reading Reflection (Genesis 1-2)

My overall insight:

This is a very familiar scripture for me. If you grew up in the church this is a scripture that is taught to almost every year child. In Genesis it is where the word of God makes it clear that God is indeed the creator of all life. Now as a biology major, I am well aware that this is one of the most challenging hurdles for individuals to overcome in the belief in God. In a rational persons mind you can’t help but think, “How can a person do this, create the world?” Well I think that is the point. God is not a person…..He is God. You can not apply the limitations of man to God.

I found this particular scripture reassuring and encouraging today. Today is the first day of 2017. As I sit and think about the goals I have laid out, I can’t help but feel a little bit overwhelmed. In my mind I begin to think….How can I do this? Then as I read this passage there are a couple of  phrases that are repeated over and over… God would speak the word “Let” followed by what ever His command was. And if you continue to read you will see the word of God says “And it was so”…here is an example:

 ‘And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so.’ (Genesis 1:11)

All God has to do is say… “Let” and it will be. Why does this comfort me? I believe the goals I have laid out are really things that God has called and created me to do. In my heart I believe He has said, “Let Shantell do …..” and because He has declared it it will be so. That means whatever obstacle God will allow to come into my path, He has already created a way for me around that obstacle. That means there are no worries, no fears. All I need to do is trust and have faith in his plan for me.

Another phrase that I saw that was repeated was “And God saw that it was good” whenever God created something, when He stepped back, He looked at it and saw that “It was good” Let’s look at the example from verse 11:

‘And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. ‘ (Genesis 1:11-12)

You see not only does God just speak it into existence and it comes to be, He sees that it is good! When God finished creating everything (that includes man and woman) He declared it good. Now I realize that there are “bad people” in the world, however when God created man…He said it was good. Now we know later that mans actions will change things, but what encourages me is Gods intention for us!

New Insight:

One thing I love about God’s word, it never gets old! While I have read this scripture many many times, and I have heard it preached many times, today a passage finally clicked with me. As a women this truly resonated with me. Starting in chapter 2 verse 18 begins the the details about how woman came to be. God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Genesis 2:18)  So God began to bring all the animals before Adam for him to name them. That is what Adam did, however this scripture just jumped at me….verse 20, “The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.” (Genesis 2:20) You see Adam wasn’t just naming the animals, he was looking for a helper among them. Adam did not see one that was fit. It is because of this God created woman, because of all the wonderful things he created, there was nothing suitable already made to help man!

How awesome is that! There is so much that can be said here. But I think the most powerful is Gods intention for the partnership. God was letting Adam choose his helper, and Adam was so picky that God had to create one! I think very often we miss this. It was God’s intention that man and women come together as a partnership of sorts. He gave them a big job to do, and He trusted them with it.

How can I apply this in my walk with Christ

This scripture reading today reminds my of God’s intention for me. They are great. He truly desire great things for me. As a matter of fact, He has already laid them out. The only thing he requires is that I believe in Him and His Son and to trust Him. That is what I will do. So as I go through my day today. When I look at the things God made (the animals, sky, trees and people) I will remember that God created it all, and ultimately is the on in control. And that is good!

How to walk in your purpose

I am not going to drag out the answer to the question, “how to walk out your purpose?” There is no point because I don’t believe it is a secret, and I think we all know deep down inside. The only way to walk out your purpose is to step directly into it!

What is success?

puzzle-1686918_1920I use to think of success as more of a destination. Perhaps when I make X amount of dollars. Our when I am living in my dream home or driving my dream car. How as I get older, and as a learn more about God’s purpose for me, I have a new definition. I know see it differently and define it differently. I use to see success as a destination, but now, it is truly a journey. I use to define success by my accomplishment but now I define my success by my walk. True success, I feel, is when you are walking in the purpose that God has created you for. Success is your constant movement in that which God has called you for, and created you for. (Ephesians 2:10)

4 Misconceptions I continue to overcome.

woman-1209866_1920I believe walk in your purpose is a continuous process. You are continually moving over hurdles, avoiding stumbling blocks. However sometimes you fall, and all you can do is get up, move forward and try to do better next time.

However I realized there where for misconceptions (lies) floating in my mind that really would hold me back. (And usually if I am ever frozen in fear it is one of these thoughts keeping me there)

#1- I don’t have a divine purpose.
In such a huge world, with so many people it is hard to believe that I was created with a specific purpose, but I was. The whole world may never know it, maybe just a small circle will ever see it. But what really matters is that I was created for it and I walk in it.  For example this very post. At the time of this I believe there are about 5 of you reading it a month….and that is perfect. You are the five I that was suppose to see it. This post may trigger you into action that may effect thousands!

#2- I am not ready yet to walk in my purpose
I know that God often shows me a vision of things he wants me to do. At first glance I think to myself…”I don’t know how to do that”. “I can’t do that”. The thing is God created us, and He had a purpose in mind for us. That means He will guide us to the resources we need. He will make sure we have everything we need to walk in the purpose He designed us for. For example I have now been teaching youth for over 15 years. While I enjoy it sooo much! It was something I was afraid to start. I felt that I didn’t know enough to teach the word of God. However God didn’t require me to know the whole bible. I just needed to know Him. That was enough. Over time, as I study in preparation to teach God provided everything I needed. That means you have have everything you need right now to start! ….so start!

#3-I don’t have the right background ( I have messed up to much)
I often feel like I am not good enough to do the things God has called me for. As I told you, when I began teaching youth I did not feel like I should be there. I have messed up, done things wrong, what kind of example is that for the youth. Turns out it is a good one. What God desires everyone to know He is very aware of your past, it is your future He wants to help you with (inspite of your past). It is not where we came from, it is where He wants to take us!

#4-I can’t get it right, I keep messing up
sand-768783_1920There is something all Christians have in common, we know we are flawed and need Jesus Christ in our life. It would be awesome if ones we choose Christ, we could walk perfectly. But that is not the case. Being a Christian means we will mess up, but now we are not on our own. Now we have someone to turn to. We have someone to help us do better. Jesus Christ is living in us, and He is continually helping us to walk in His will. Our walk doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be purposeful. It has to be for Him.