Overcoming Regret part 1

Have you ever done something that you deeply regretted? A harsh word spoken in anger that you can’t take back that hurt someone you love to the core. A horrible mistake at work that harmed your reputation, a bad relationship that you stayed in for too long, a dream deferred. We all have regrets in our lives, things that we wish we could do differently.

Regret, when absorbed properly, can push us closer to God and deepen our sense of conviction and dependence on Him. We don’t want to repeat those mistakes and we realize, with painful clarity, how much we can mess up our lives when we don’t keep Him at the center. However, regret defined by Webster’s as “a feeling of sorrow or remorse for a fault, act, loss or disappointment’ can also turn into condemnation when it festers in our spirits.

Regret can keep us in a mindset where we are constantly looking back to our past weighed down by what could have been and what you should have done. I’ve found myself literally trapped in my mind watching the same scene over and over again wishing that I could make the outcome different. Satan likes to use regret as a tool to make us feel ashamed and to heighten our sense of unworthiness before God so that instead of turning to Him we run from Him, the only One who can change the situation.

For this reason Paul said, “there is now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1 NIV). Paul knew a thing or two about what regret could be like and he could have easily allowed his past to hinder him from being all that God had called him to be.

How-to-Overcome-Feeling-Regret-and-Shame-From-Past-Mistakes

True Life I was a Mediocre Christian part 2

As God’s creation we are anything but mediocre! God formed us by hand and breathed His very essence into us, we are His masterpiece (Genesis 2:7). David says “ for you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made, (Psalm 139: 13-14).” God is the Alpha and Omega, the almighty God, it is literally impossible for Him to do something that is not at a level of utmost excellence. He created us for His glory and He has an awesome and unique plan for each of our lives. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations (Jeremiah 1:5).” God knew everything about us before we ever set foot on this earth. He knew our potential in Him, each of our fears and deepest desires. Christ came to this earth and died for our sins that we may have life more abundantly in Him (John 10:10).

The key to being set free from a false sense of mediocrity and combating Satan’s lies is to embrace our identity in Christ and the truth of God’s Word.

  • Pursue an intimate relationship with God. God desires that we know and grow in Him.
    • “You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God… I made you and I will care for you”(Isaiah 43:10 and Isaiah 46:4).
  • Discover God’s unique purpose for each of our lives. God has a distinctive calling on our lives and has given us the gifts and ability to fulfill His will. He will be with us every step of the way as we join that ministry, start a nonprofit, write a book whatever He is calling us to do.
    • “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren,” (Romans 8:28-29).
  • Recognize the ultimate price Christ paid for our redemption and freedom. Christ died for us taking on our sins so that we might be clothed in His righteousness.
    • “He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed,” (Isaiah 53:5).
  • We don’t want to squander His sacrifice but should strive to live our lives for His glory so that we might hear well done my good and faithful servant.

As we begin to understand our identity in Christ and draw closer to God our desire to live passionately for Him will increase and we will have a holy discontentment for a mediocre life.

In Christ image

True Life: I was a Mediocre Christian part 1

Have you ever met someone who was comfortable doing just enough to get by. Like in school there was always that one student that had the potential to get all A’s but would settle for C’s. Imagine if you saw Michael Jordan playing a basketball game at the height of his career and he had a chance to take the winning shot but he chose to let the other team win. You’d be like Michael you have all this talent yet you’re just content to sit on the sidelines and watch your team get defeated.

That is how mediocre Christians are, we have all this amazing potential from God that He has poured into us and yet we are content with doing just enough to get by. I’ll go to church every Sunday but don’t ask me to roll up my sleeves and get involved in ministry. I’m happy to put a fish bumper sticker on my car but don’t ask me to go out and be a fisher of men.

It is painful and embarrassing to admit this but I have often been seduced by comfort as a mediocre Christian. It’s easy for me to do just enough to keep up my good Christian girl front while not actually getting in the trenches and giving of myself to the kingdom. I had a television show for every day of the week and I drifted from work to the gym to the couch and church before I did it all over again. I was afraid of the cost emotionally, spiritually, time-wise of getting involved in ministry. I feared that I didn’t have anything to give, that I wasn’t particularly talented in any area so I settled for a life of mediocrity.

A life of mediocrity is often marked by:
• A lack of passion for life and the building of the kingdom
• A sense of complacency and comfort with the status quo
• Stagnancy in your spiritual relationship with God

One of the most dangerous and false beliefs we can have as Christians is that we are mediocre. Mediocre by definition is “of only ordinary or moderate quality, barely adequate.” Satan whispers his lies that we are inadequate, that we don’t have the talent or ability of (insert Christian superstar here) so better to stay on the sidelines. The thief comes to steal kill and destroy and nothing would make Satan happier than to see us live a life far below God’s potential. The hardest part is that Satan’s lies often align with our own fleshly sense of unworthiness making it even harder to step out in faith.

i was not created to be mediocre foundhervoice

Giving God His Due part two

But if we are to know God, we must first approach Him in a manner that reflects His glory, holiness and almighty position of power. If we look at Jesus He approached the Father in a very specific manner. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus withdrew to a solitary place to be alone with God and pray (Mark 1:35 NIV).”

Jesus understood that He needed time in and with God to be refreshed and saturated in the Holy Spirit so that He could execute God’s perfect will. He spent time with God alone and separated from all distractions. We live in a 24/7 world and its so easy to be distracted by our phones, email and in my case my own rampant thoughts. Setting aside time and going to a private place shows God that we take our time with Him seriously.

When instructing the disciples on how to pray the Lord said “this then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:9-14 NIV).

We should approach God in reverence first and foremost because He is worthy. “The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth…no one can measure the depths of His understanding” (Isaiah 40:28 NIV). As we reflect on and acknowledge God’s majesty and omnipotence our own hearts are humbled “but to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word (Isaiah 66:2).”

A humble heart is pleasing to God and allows us to hear from Him. Our time in prayer should refresh us as an opportunity to hear and be encouraged by God as we walk away fully submitted to His will. In the Lord’s prayer He focuses on God’s sovereignty, His all-powerful will, daily provision and our need for His forgiveness.

Help us Lord to enter into prayer with a servant’s heart full of adoration for you, not as something we need to check off our to-do list, but as a privilege paid for by the blood of Christ. Help us to be grateful for the blessed honor of coming before you the I Am that I Am. In the end prayer is the way that we have communication with God and build a relationship with the one true God who first loved us.

Giving God His Due part one

If you met the Queen of England you wouldn’t just stroll up to her and say ‘what’s up’.  There are formal rituals in place to ensure that we address them in a respectful way to honor her title. According to the Royal family’s website you would curtsy and refer to her as ‘Your Majesty.’

It’s interesting; when we meet royalty or celebrities we get so excited and are so in awe of their title or talent. But when we come before the God of the Universe who sent His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16 KJV) we take Him for granted.

Just this week, I have been guilty of treating God and my time in prayer like a drive through hopping in the express lane because I don’t have ‘time’ to cultivate a true relationship. If a friend called and the first thing he/she said was ‘hey can you spot me $20’ and then hung out we would be completely offended. How dare they call me, not even bother with niceties and then have the nerve to ask for my money.

But how often do we do that with God, treating Him like an ATM machine when we could, by the blood of Jesus, build a relationship with the one true God. Yet we settle for keeping God at arm’s length because we believe our own lies that we’re too ‘busy’ but in reality our hearts have just grown cold to the voice of God.

How mind-blowing is it that we as sinful humans can be redeemed and truly know God. How amazing is it that the almighty, most Holy, righteous God desires for us to know Him in the first place. 

Good Girl Gone Wrong part 2

When we believe Satan’s lies that our sins ‘really aren’t that bad’ we fall into a prideful mindset that like the Pharisees can harden our hearts to the Holy Spirits promptings for repentance. When Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath day,  He performed a miracle right before their eyes but they missed it due to their legalistic blinders. Jesus called them white washed tombs, because they looked put together on the outside but were spiritually dead inside.

As a child a homeless man once came into my church and sat down next to me. My first thought was that he smelled and his clothes were dirty, didn’t he know to get himself together before he came here! I saw the side stares and rude glances from the people around me and knew I wasn’t alone in my negative estimation of him. The judgment eventually because too much and he left. I immediately felt so guilty because maybe he wasn’t physically clean but he had a heart for God and came as he was. His dirt may have been on the outside but all of us were just as dirty, messed up and desperate for God’s grace we were just better at making our dirty look and smell pretty.

We have all fallen short of the glory of God, no matter what the sin none of us is worthy of God’s forgiveness, His unconditional love and Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice. We have to pray to see people the way God sees them, to look at the heart instead of the outward appearance. Jesus has given us the power, through His awesome love and the Holy Spirit, to live fruitful lives that will honor Him “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit–fruit that will last” (John 15:16 NIV). I pray going into the New Year that I would be refined by the Holy Spirit and bear fruit for the kingdom, not to look good for or to others, but so that I can please the only One that is worthy Jesus Christ. 

Praying for a safe and blessed New Year for everyone!