Thursday, August 7, 2014

Creation Appreciation

Hi everyone! I'm so delighted to humbly minister to you on a subject that God dealt with me about and that I was actually inspired to do a post about after reading a Instagram post by a sister in Christ Mariah Milan whom I only know of through Facebook, but am connected to her and her best friend Angel Walston through the Spirit which makes us family. Lol! Anyhoo....My sister in Christ Mariah posted on Instagram the other day a snippet of how we can sometimes worship God's creation more than Him the creator of it all. I know we've all had this dilemma happen at least once in our lives. So I wanted to share with you how appreciating God's creation is not sin in itself, but it's when we go past the line of appreciation to outright lusting after and worshiping His creation is where the sin factor comes in at. Don't worry I won't leave you with the sin, but a solution how to resolve it and avoid doing it in the future! So let's begin! God has many creations(trees, stars, animals, flowers, etc..) and they are very beautiful and uniquely made, just like me and you. I won't get to naming all His creation as that would take a lifetime to do, but I do want to focus on the main creation I think is the easiest for us to appreciate a little too much and that is people. Yes, men, women, boys, and girls. We admire their gifts/talents, style, personality, but most often their looks. We've even gone as far as to give them their own day to glorify them on social media, with the hashtag #WCW(WomanCrushWednesdays)and #MCM(Man Crush Mondays). Now before you get to jumping on the defense and losing your "religion" on me, hear me clear and hear me well. There is absolutely NO SIN in appreciating someone's looks. It's OK to look at a fine as wine man/boy or a drop dead gorgeous woman/girl and comment on how great a job God did in making them, HOWEVER the issue comes in when we behold them too long and it turns into lust, which turns into wrong thoughts, and then goes down into intimate parts of the heart, which then becomes sin. James 1:13-15(NLT) explains this the best, It says "13 And remember, when you are being tempted, do not say, “God is tempting me.” God is never tempted to do wrong, and he never tempts anyone else. 14 Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. 15 These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. I know, I know you say "Well, God shouldn't have made him/her so fine", "I'm just appreciating God's creation", and "God gave us eyes to see, and if he didn't want me to look he would've made me blind", and on and on with excuses to justify sin. Don't we just love to do that? God's Word in James clearly tells us that God doesn't tempt anyone and that it's our OWN choice to give in to OUR lust which when we let it breed it brings forth the not so cute baby sin, and if unchecked death. Death to our relationships, standards, morals, and values, identity/self esteem, etc... The issue is us keeping our focus horizontally on the person in front of us, rather than vertically on God up above us. Well, What do you mean? I'm glad you asked..... Keeping our viewpoint horizontally on that man/woman all in the name of "just appreciating God's creation", will put us in the danger zone as our minds will be off God and directed on that person. In which we'll start fantasizing about them, comparing ourselves or spouses to them, and setting up a little throne positioned in our hearts for them conceiving sin. Jesus says in Matthew 5:28(NLT) "But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So you see it's a heart thing, and what you let dwell to long in your eye gate, gets in your mind gate, and it trickles on down into your heart gate which manifests into sinful behavior that doesn't glorify God. Still not convinced? Let me give you some examples.....You hear the Holy Spirit telling you it's wrong for you to keep watching that TV show/movie that you can't even tell what it's about because you're too busy lusting after that fine man/woman acting on the screen, or you see out while in the store shopping. The Holy Spirit gently tries to guide your attention away, but you shut Him out convincing yourself there's no harm in looking, all the while He knows it will harm you in the way you look at your spouse or your standards on what person to date/marry. He tries to warn you about admiring a little too much that celebrity, pastor, singer, person on social media, etc.. that you hold highly. You try to justify the praise you give these people by saying you're giving respect where it's due or you're doing nothing wrong by studying and learning from them, when He knows you're wrong in idolizing them and how it's harming the way you look at yourself whom is His most prized possession and you're holding them as the standard for your life. These are just 2 scenarios I used to paint the full picture of how subtle "creation appreciation" can become dangerous and harmful, leading to all types of sin of adultery, fornication, coveting which leads to idol worship, and so many more. The solution is keeping a vertical focus on God. When praising or appreciating that person for their gifts/talents, style, personality, looks, give the credit to God. When you see that chiseled piece of chocolate hunk walk by you or that curvy beautiful bright eyed girl, thank God for making that fine man/woman wonderfully and fearfully. Give him glory for that person's gift/talent, personality, swag, and style you like. Even go as far as the Spirit leads to lift that person up in prayer, thanking and praising Him for that person, how HE has blessed them, how HE made them, how you ask that HE would lead/guide them, keep using them, help them to know Him and make Him known, etc.... You see by doing this, you keep the worship where it's always from the beginning supposed to go and that's on the creator God Almighty. He created us to worship, and give all that attention and praise we're giving to His creation to Him and Him only. He allows us to see in our horizontal view all of his beauty and splendor in His creation, so we can redirect vertically reverence and thanks unto Him for it all. It's for us to behold and gaze upon His glory. It wasn't purposed for us to gaze upon His creation as if they made themselves, their gifts, style, talents, or personality cause NEWS FLASH they didn't and NEVER will come close to God's power, splendor, and majesty. No, all glory belongs to the one who did create all of this wonderful creation we see, and that's the one and only man God Almighty! If we would redirect our appreciation from the creation to the creator, we'd see how amazing, fine, wonderful, excellent, beautiful, and glorious He is above all of creation and appreciate and love Him more as we were created to do!

I love you all, but God loves you so much more!
Your Sister~Jassmine~A Dear Daughter of The King!

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Got Contentment?

con·tent·ment(Webster's Definition)
noun: contentment
1.a state of happiness and satisfaction.

Contentment(Greek Definition, G841)
Transliteration: autarkeia
Phonetic Spelling: (ow-tar'-ki-ah)
1. a perfect condition of life in which no aid or support is needed
 2. sufficiency of the necessities of life
3. a mind contented with its lot 

I should have known that I would get tested in this area, as 1 Timothy 6:6 was the scripture that my small women's bible study accountability group was meditating on for last week. The big word with such a simple meaning from this scripture, kept ringing loud in my ear and staring me down right in my face. That word that most of us struggle with, even as Christians no matter how young or mature you are in the faith. That word has slapped you a time or two and made you rethink your faith in God, and where your relationship with Him was found on your priority list. That word is called Contentment. All last week it seemed out of nowhere, I kept struggling with this thing called contentment. The more it pushed at me, the more I attacked back with the Word of God quoting our study scripture and other helpful scriptures. Just when I'd think it was done swinging at me, it would come back for another round. Now I know how my Savior Jesus must have felt when he was tempted by Satan in the wilderness.(Matthew 4:1-11) Social media didn't help me at all I realized, as it was only being a distraction and hindrance to me all the more during this time of testing in the area of contentment. The more I scrolled through my timeline, the more the negative thoughts bombarded me. They taunted me saying things like “Look at you, you're not doing anything as great as so and so", “You're purposeless”, “You're meaningless”, “You'll never reach your purpose”, “You're inadequate”, and “blah, blah, blah, blah” The more the thoughts kept coming, the more I became discontent with where I was in life, with my walk in Christ, and with even my identity in Christ. It made me feel like I didn't have enough, wasn't doing enough, and that my life in Christ where it's at presently was simply not enough. The impression that I had to have x, y,z, and do a, b, and c along with God would give me contentment, was weighing heavy on my mind trying to find its' way in my heart. As I began to read and meditate upon God's Word to cast down the negative thoughts that were bullying me, I realized that this was the same stupid trap that Satan pulled on Eve in the garden in the beginning. He made her think that her good life she had in the presence and fellowship of God, being provided everything they ever needed and wanted was not enough. He made her believe that she lacked, and that she was inadequate. He made it seem as though God was trying to withhold something good from her, by forbidding them to eat from the tree  of the knowledge of good and evil. He deceived her into thinking that if she ate the fruit from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil, then and only then would she have contentment and be complete. We all know that Eve fell for Satan's lies, ate from the tree anyways, and even brought her husband Adam into the mess which resulted in the fall of man and why years later Jesus had to come and be THE PREFECT MAN to get things back in order. Thank God for Jesus! (For more on the story with Eve reference to Genesis 3). Don't be deceived Satan is still pulling that same ole' trick out of his bag on a lot of us today. Making us think that we have to have that perfect husband/wife, perfect kids, successful career, big promotion, awesome friends, great ministry, new car, new shoe, new boo, and so on, and so on to be happy, satisfied, and have the perfect condition of life. What happens is you get what you were going after, and find yourself still unhappy, unfulfilled, unsatisfied, and you then start chasing after something/someone else to give you contentment that only a submitted life to God can give. That is not to say God doesn't want us to have goals, ambition, achievements, and possessions, but the problem occurs when you feel that accumulating and achieving all this stuff is the key to your fulfillment, happiness, and creating this so called “perfect and good” life for yourself. At that point you're then replacing Christ who is your life(Colossians 3:4a), with all this stuff you've setup as your “god” which WON'T and CAN'T give you the fulfillment that
 Christ gives you. His Word tells us that blessed or happy are the ones who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled or satisfied, it didn't say those who hunger and thirst after the things of this world.(Matthew 5:6) *Also side note sisters, all this stuff won't be going with you once you leave this earth anyways.(I Timothy 6:7) So let's not get distracted and let the enemy deceive us into thinking like Eve, that God is trying to withhold good from us, and that life in Christ alone is not about nothing unless we have all this other stuff mixed in. Christ gave us an abundant and rich life in him(John 10:10b), and he knows how our abundant life in him will play out as he has the perfect master plan for it.(Jeremiah 29:11). It is our job to trust, rest, and delight in him, and in due time he will bring about any additional thing/person he already planned to be a part of our lives.(Psalm 37:4, 5, and 7a, Proverbs 3:5-6) When he does it won't cause us to feel as though we are so much greater or lesser with or without these additions, as we'll know our contentment lies in Christ and Him alone. By the way I did past the test last week and overcame the attack of the enemy! Woohoo! Glory to God! Here are some things that I did and still do, when I find myself battling discontentment that will also be helpful to you all as well:

  1. Start confessing God's Word. The Holy Spirit will bring back God's Word in these type of situations and once he does, start speaking it aloud and meditating in your heart God's truth which will cast out the lies that the devil, the world, and even your flesh is telling you. (Again reference to the example Jesus gave us in Matthew 4:1-11 during his temptation in the wilderness with Satan.
  2. Get In God's Word. The Holy Spirit won't have anything to bring back to your remembrance if you are not ever taking the time to ready/study/meditate upon God's Word. Everyday you as daughters of the King you should be spending time with God through His Word and prayer. In doing this you will know who you are in Christ, and that God has given you everything you'll ever need in his Son Christ, and that you are complete in Him. Then when the negative thoughts and lies come we can do as The Word tells us in 2 Cor 10:5 and cast them down making them captive to the obedience of Christ.
  3. Pray and Seek God for help overcoming these feelings/thoughts. Sometimes it may feel as though you're speaking all the scriptures and discontentment is still overwhelming you, then pray and ask God to help you and trust that he will and has.(1 John 5:14-15)
  4. Cultivate a thankful spirit. A definite way to combat feelings of discontentment is to start being thankful for all that you do have that God has given to you. When the thoughts come, just start saying I thank you God for life in you, health, strength, this season of my life, your presence, etc... and I'm sure those negative feelings you had will have no room to stay.
  5. Cut out distractions and hindrances. Things or people that you know will only add to your discontentment, break away from for a period of time or altogether as the Lord leads. That may mean not talking as much to that friend who is always complaining about their portion, or taking a social media break(which I recently had to do) which will only tempt you to look at others "seemingly happy" portion and be more discontent with yours. Use this time away from the distractions to become focused on God, and him alone. Spend as much time in his face, soaking in His Word, totally relying on Him, and praying and before you know it you'll be so busy walking with Christ being content with and in him that you won't even know what discontentment is anymore. It'll be like discontentment who? LOL!

These are just some of the things that you can do to help you stay focused and content in Christ. With that being said here's to finding contentment in living godly submitted lives to Christ ladies and knowing that if we never gain anything in this world, life in and with Christ alone is great gain in itself! (1 Timothy 6:6)

I love you all, but God loves you so much more!
Your Sister~Jassmine~A Dear Daughter Of The King!
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Intentionally Speaking...



noun \in-ˈten(t)-shən\
: the thing that you plan to do or achieve : an aim or purpose

"I intended to", "It was my intentions", "I meant to", and "I had good intentions to"..... Have these words ever rolled off your lips before? Believe me honey, I know they sure have been familiar visitors coming in and out of my mouth a time or two. Every time their visit is over, they leave a train wreck of false hope, regret, defeat, and failure behind. Then I'm always stuck trying to figure out how to clean up the mess it has made, until I start thinking maybe it wasn't my intentions that made the mess after all. Many of us have all the good intentions in the world, intending to spend time with God, to stop gossiping, cut unhealthy relationships, prepare that resume, write up that business plan, get in shape, be more punctual, be active in our God given ministry, etc..... but when they are not fulfilled as expected we fail to realize the problem wasn't really in our intentions but instead us. What is the common link of all 3 statements made above that I first started out with? Yeah, you guessed it right that word "I". When we start the sentence off with I, well we've started the direction and focus all wrong from the jump. You see when you say "I intended", "I intend", or "I have good intentions to", then you're focused on the you, me, I, within yourself, to accomplish these great plans and purposes you have. Let me tell you from experience, that is the wrong answer sis. You see in God's Word in Romans 7:18 it tells us, that in us, our flesh, dwells no good thing. So that is why when the focus starts inwardly to accomplish that, aim, goal, plan, or purpose, it doesn't get fulfilled or either it gets fulfilled, but in a negative carnal way. It's because in our carnal, sinful, flesh, we don't have the power or strength to do that which is good and right. Sis don't be fooled, you better believe the enemy knows that, and will work through our flesh so that we won't fulfill our good and great intentions. So we can remain idle and fruitless, and our words of "I intend(ed) to" become empty and vain. We'll be just like a car without gas, going nowhere. Likewise my sister know this, there is a fuel behind every fulfilled intention, purpose, aim, goal, and plan, and that is ACTION. This fuel comes from the greater person living on the inside of us, which is the Holy Spirit. That is who we need to look and listen to within, to shift our great intentions from a fantasy to reality. The bible tells us in Philippians 4:13 that we can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens us, not through yourself. So you don't have to be defeated, and continually spinning in the same inactive futile cycle. We have NO EXCUSES. Sorry to bust your comfortable and stagnant bubble girlfriend, but it's time to stop barely surviving in the hope of our intentions, and instead thrive in the success of our actions. How do you do this? I am so glad you asked! This starts by daily surrendering to AND obeying the Holy Spirit, when he gives you direction and instruction concerning your everyday intentions. Doing this you can then began to walk out those intentions, instead of just talking out those intentions. Then you will also accomplish them the way HE intends them to be carried out, according to HIS will which will bring glory to the Father. It's OK to start with intentions, because you need to start somewhere, but don't stay stuck there because the real power comes in the action that follows. This year let's stop starting, intending, and meaning, but move on to acting, producing, finishing, and succeeding! 

I love you all, but God loves you so much more!
Your Sister~Jassmine~A Dear Daughter Of The King!
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