1 Samuel 18:1
You will always attract:
1. Who Are You?
Are you confident and secure within yourself? You will attract confident and secure people. They will be a part of your inner circle. Insecure, less confident individuals gravitate towards those who are like them.
2. Where Are You?
Spiritually speaking, when you have chosen to let God rule your life and everything in it, when you've allowed Him to rule your spirit, and guide your steps you will undoubtedly attract others who are authentically in partnership with God.
In the Bible, Jonathan and David's relationship was a divine connection that was made because they were two individuals who felt the same way about God, and honored their faith in God by the level of trust they placed in Him. They were on the same page and this was what the attraction was in Jonathan's soul being knit together with David's. Look at the success God gave to each of these men and when they worked together for the same common goal, God not only made their feats to succeed, He protected them in the midst of it and blessed them. They were able to accomplish what the average person couldn't.
Who Are You Attracting?
The people who are operating in an opposite way than you, will always be repelled by you so expect attacks, and criticism from them, and be assured that God will exalt you and give you good success regardless, because He is God over all and He and only He has the power to take you where you need to go, spiritually speaking and naturally speaking!
Trust in God Always! Put your faith and confidence in Him only!
I use to think that as long as I was doing what God wanted me to do, I would avoid problems. Boy, was I wrong. It is true that when we are being obedient to God we will avoid all the negative, life altering things He doesn't want us to experience. However, we will meet up with unpleasant challenges even when we're trying to obey God. Why is this?
God knows what will build our character, make us strong, and bring out Christ like behavior in us. He is pleased when we are following His will, but He sees areas in our lives that may need some fine tuning.
Life would be so much easier for us if we can just have things go smoothly. That's the human perspective, but life wouldn't be easier avoiding challenges. Think about it. Without challenges we wouldn't learn about the power that God possesses. We wouldn't really see our need for such a God. We also wouldn't learn about ourselves, and who we should depend on. Facing difficulties, and trials teach us valuable lessons in life.
While enjoying the blessings of the Lord, answered prayer, and getting some of what we so desire from God, we could face difficulty simultaneously. There is nothing odd about this. While God is trying to teach us much needed lessons, He also tries to adjust our thinking. For sure, the challenges will force us to stay close to God. Often, when we are in the throws of blessings, we're so happy and glad; we may drift a little away from the Lord without noticing it. We can be so caught up with the blessings of God that we let our guard down. Challenges during times of blessing will certainly keep us grounded and keep us spiritually on guard.
So, if you experience trials in the midst of great moments of blessing, just simply hold on to God, ask Him for His wisdom and guidance, and ask God to help you to see what He's trying to show you. He is faithful, He will open your eyes to the important stuff that is needed at that time in your life. He will teach you, and reveal knowledge and understanding that only comes with such experiences. He will test your heart as well, to show you what lies within.
Remember, Job was walking in obedience to God and was greatly blessed, and look at the ways his life was being challenged. Daniel was a young man who was honoring God even while in Babylon, he stood out among his peers, but he faced the challenge of the lion's den. The Apostle Paul was fulfilling the calling that God had placed on his life, but he had haters, people trying to kill him and all sorts of problems while walking in obedience to God.
Genesis 6:11-12; Romans 12:19; Psalm 9:9-10
Not only is sexual assault sin, it's equated with murder. Consequences will fall on the one who commits rape!
Sexual assault kills by robbing life emotionally, and psychologically, from the victim. The violation creates hindrances and barriers that go beyond the physical body. The victim is often unable to function healthily in society. The victim's mindset is altered and needs therapy of some kind to restore a sense of health.
Rape imposes a kind of death on the victim (George Athas). The law God gave in Deuteronomy 22:28-29 was for the benefit of the wronged woman because she wasn't to be abused and then discarded. Tamar begged her half brother, Amnon, to marry her. He cruelly refused and she was abused and discarded (2 Samuel 13:16).
The law provided for a victim of sexual assault. The woman was to be supported by her rapist husband and he was never to divorce her. This was her legal right (if she chose to go along with the marriage). If she chose not to marry her rapist, she was still to be supported all her life (Exodus 22:16-17). Tamar was cared for by Absalom, her brother. They had the same mother, Maachah, who was a Princess.
The victim's father could object to the union, but the rapist must still financially support the victim (Exodus 22:16-17).
In today's society, there is little compassion, and no compensation for rape victims. Hardly are these violators caught and charged.
Rape is a devastating thing to live with, especially without being able to make sense of it all.
God can compensate the rape victim and care for her for the rest of her life! When Absalom died, I believe God still took care of Tamar. Perhaps she returned to the Palace where her mother, Maachah, and other siblings were. She no longer had the position and place she had before the assault, but she was cared for there.
Sexual assault affects everyone in the family. Maachah, as a mother had to have been affected. King David, her father, protected the abuser by doing nothing to punish his son, Amnon. David was just simply angry about it.
Tamar's position as a young beautiful woman was now relegated to that of a little better than a servant. I couldn't imagine the psychological challenges and emotional damage she suffered.
Later, in Absalom's revolt against his father, King David, he rapes 10 of his father's concubines on top of a roof in broad daylight as revenge for his sister Tamar's rape being ignored. What an ironic twist to David and Bathsheba's sin. The place David first laid eyes on her was from the roof top.
Tamar means 'Date Palm'. It suggests food, security and life. I believe inspite of all that befell Tamar, God provided food, shelter, security, and life for her all of her days.
God is a restorer of the years the locust has eaten. God hates all sin and even if the rapist is never brought to justice, God will exact punishment on them! The victim may never be privy to God's justice on their rapist, but know that they will suffer the consequences for their crime!
Please take some time to read the above verses at the beginning of this blog. May it bring comfort and help to anyone in need. God can handle your pain and He will bring healing into your life, just trust Him to help you.
" For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He knows your trudging through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have lacked nothing."
When you look back over the years of your life as a believer, what do you see? How do you assess what life has been for you? Do you feel as if you are the only one who knows your story, and life experiences?
I don't know about you, but it is so encouraging for me to know that God knows everything I've been through, He knows all about the challenges, the obstacles, how I've been treated by others, He knows my wilderness journey and everything I've experienced. Why is that encouraging to me? While life is dealing its hand, God is watching it all. He chooses to allow certain events to build me up, grow me, and train me to trust Him more and more. Also, God has so many blessings and blessed experiences for me to enjoy; He also has great ministry work for me to partake in. If I falter and fail, I miss out big time!
Has life dealt you a painful blow? Well, tuck yourself in under the shadow of God's mighty wings and He'll strengthen and nurse you back to health. If the people you thought were your friends fail you, and turn their backs, praise the Lord big time because there is always a good reason God separates us from certain individuals. God wants to bring you into another social circle that will better suit the plans He has for you. Trust God to pick your friends, and trust Him when it's time to move on without them.
All of life is a test! God reveals Himself and His special plans for us often through testing and trials. I know, it's never easy, but I can personally testify to it being necessary.
I have never read in the Word of God about mighty men and women of God who did great things with a social circle in place. Have you? We read that they were by themselves, alone, serving mightily for God. There were no social circles around them. Even David was separated from Jonathan. David was alone with no friends to rely on. In Judges 4:4-24, we read about Deborah and how she, a prophetess and judge in Israel, led timid Barak and the army to victory! She embraced God's calling upon her life and she stayed in tune with God and she knew what to say to the Lord's people. She knew God's Word and she could instruct Barak and remind him of what God said. What social circle do you see standing with her?
The Christian life is a life that requires each of us to embrace the calling God has placed upon our lives. To individually accomplish all that God has for us to achieve, will require being alone and in tune to His voice and His voice only. It is not a 'group effort'! There are places in the journey of our lives where friends can't come along. You and I have to know when to walk away from social circles and be on a mission for God!
Social circles can be a hindrance to the things God has called us to do. Rejoice when friends drop out of your life. They may even be fellow believers, but if you are a believer who sits in God's presence daily in prayer and the study of His Word, and you start to notice things happening in your social life, you can attribute that to God. He is allowing it for your blessing in the end. There is an exception to this that we can find in the first chapter of the book of Daniel. Daniel had friends who were on the same spiritual page as he was. God had a specific plan for Daniel and his friends that led to a deep revelation about God as a testimony to the steward, the chief of the eunuchs and King Nebuchadnezzar. This was truly for spiritual purposes.
God knows what the journey has been for you and all the things you have had to go through and encounter. He will continue to be with you and guide you along the way. Trust God, He knows what He is doing with you. Don't mourn over the losses in your life. God has something specially carved out for you! Take it from me, I am enjoying some wonderful times in my life right now. I look back and see all the things, and people God has removed and set to the side, clearing the way for where He has me for such a time as this. It is wonderful and it is glorious!
Do you want to do great things for God? Do you want to accomplish and achieve what you're gifted in? Do you want to rise to a higher level spiritually? Then, you must ask God to help you to embrace what has to happen in your life in order for that to be possible.
Keep the faith and keep trusting every area of your life to God!
It has been a year so far into this pandemic and so much has changed. People have been thrust into illness due to the Covid-19 Virus, and some have died as a result. The entire world has been impacted by these events. Presently, we are still in a pandemic. Many are starting to feel some relief with the vaccines that have been made available. We will still need to wear masks and social distance a little while longer until it becomes safe to return to normal. The question remains, will things get back to the way they were?
We have been afforded the opportunity to re-evaluate our lives and to adjust our thinking. Many have had to take a serious look within to assess what is of vital importance right now, and align themselves accordingly.
What were the things you were involved in before the pandemic occurred? Have you had to rethink anything? If nothing else, we've seen how brief life is and unpredictable at that. Things happen quickly without warning, much beyond our control. This is not the time to be sailing through life without an anchor of some sort.
There were people I knew who died of Covid-19; some were very young, some were peers, while others were in the prime of their lives. There is so much grief and sadness in the world right now, on top of the usual stuff that many were experiencing. Now is the time to settle one of the most important questions of one's life. Do you know where you will end up when you die?
No one gets to choose how they will leave this life or the events that will bring on death, but we can know where we are going when we breathe our last breath. If you happen to be reading this blog and you don't know the Lord as your personal savior, then please ask yourself that question and see what answer you come up with.
What I love about God is that He gives us a choice whether or not to choose the salvation He offers through His son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He, God, sacrificed His only son to provide a way where mankind could have a relationship with Him. His offer is free for the asking. John 3:16 states very clearly, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Yes, the word, 'Perish' suggests that there is something else after one dies and leaves this earth. God's desire is that all of mankind receives the opportunity to live forever!
There is a question that lingers for those who are Christians and it is this; What have we been focused on before the pandemic? What, if anything, has changed for us now? We should not be going about life the same way as we were prior to Covid. There should be a shift in our thinking. If nothing else, we should have connected with the fact that time waits for no one. The things God has given you and I to do will not wait until we are ready to do them. The ministry work will pass on to someone else if we are not busy doing it.
May we each take a look at where we want to be, spiritually speaking, and may we have the courage and the faith to execute the will of God for our lives. That is the key to 'True Success' with peace and contentment. There is no better life than to live out the life God planned for you. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, "I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
May God help us all to realize the value of our lives and to live like there's no tomorrow.
Stay safe, wear your mask, and keep social distancing!
Areas the Lord uses to speak to us, to teach us, or to discipline us:
1. Emotional challenges: situations that tap into those deep emotional places we struggle with. The Lord enters those places to help us develop strength, and to adjust us so that we don't let these issues hold us back spiritually and in our lives. He wants us to press forward despite things that may have hurt us in the past.
2. Financial challenges: We may be tested in this area to see how much we are trusting God to provide or if we're trusting Him at all. He wants to develop our faith more.
3. Under attack: When the enemy comes to discourage us, the Lord may allow his tactics and the people he uses to cause us grief. The Lord God wants us to be resilient and persevere no matter who doesn't like us, or treat us well, or who is our adversary. So the Lord will send those challenges our way to teach us how to get through it and to keep keeping on.
Life is full of ups and downs. There is not one of us who have not had obstacles in our path. We have all experienced hardship, discouragement, hurt and pain at some point in time of our lives. Initially we may feel as if we can't move forward.
One thing I've learned is that every unpleasant situation that life throws at you is important. It provides an opportunity to learn who you really are and what stuff you're made of. We learn from those experiences, or should learn valuable lessons from them. It's an opportunity to readjust our thinking, our decisions, and the direction we're going in.
As a believer, we are to take our situations to God and sit down with Him and hash out every aspect of it in order to see things from God's perspective, and to get the help needed to deal with the problem. God always has a solution for every challenge we face. We first must be willing to be honest with God about the circumstances we're in and how we feel about it, as well as the struggle we're having in moving forward.
It's important to get to a place where we can shed the weight of troubles quickly. If we hold on to sadness, disappointment, and difficulties for too long, we end up getting stuck. Being stuck can hold us back from the good things that are waiting to happen. 'Being Stuck' now becomes a hindrance. It can linger way too long. In 1 Peter 5:7 it says, "Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." It is God's pleasure to take all of our cares, burdens, and struggles and manage them for us. He takes the load of those things and lightens the stress, the pressure, and the weight of it all. Our duty is to do the 'casting', meaning, we are to readily hand them over to Him. This is how you spell
God has a wealth of blessings, and wonderful things in His hand waiting for you to partake in. Don't allow yourself to be hindered by past hurts, present trials, or current situations that seem hard to bear. Give them to God! Don't get stuck!
Often we forget important events or things that happened in our lives. Here are a few things worth remembering:
1. What it felt like when you were last encouraged!
2. When God answered your prayers in a way you hadn't expected.
3. When you got what you didn't ask for, but God threw that one in there...
4. When God took care of your adversary.
5. When He made a way despite all the odds against you.
6. Why He said, "No".
7. How He provided for your need...
8. All the times He protected you from you...
9. No one has your back like God does...
10. You'll be able to trade in your body for a new one...
11. The Christian you're struggling to like today, will be your bestie in heaven...
12. To laugh more and more by seeing the humor in things...
13. Don't sweat the small stuff...
14. No one wrote the Bible but inspired men of God; don't run with stuff people say unless you see it written there!
15. He has not given you the spirit of fear!
Perhaps 2020 taught us that we need o discontinue certain relationships because they weren't working for us. Maybe we have outgrown certain individuals and are in need of new ones. Whatever the situation, we must approach the quest for relationships very wisely.
We all may know what types of people to avoid, but we may not be clear on the type of friendships we really need in our lives. I will attempt to give some suggestions in regards to this. We each can make up our own minds based on the particulars of our personality and make up with the specifics of it all.
Avoid friendships of utility. This is what the world calls 'Networking'. Those of us who run a business or ministry work know the importance of being able to network with others. God does use networking when necessary, but it is never one sided. Friendships of utility are people who will only attach themselves to you for something they need from you. They will say all the right things, lead you to believe that they are really interested in you, but they are only interested in what you do, and how you are able to do what you do, and how they can get a piece of the action. They are self seeking, unreliable, and selfish to the bone.
Avoid individuals who only speak of themselves. They are always on display and you can't seem to get a word in edgewise.
Avoid people who are sponges. They have the tendency to suck the life out of you. Their long list of problems are overwhelming and when you try to put their hands into the Lord's hand (spiritually speaking), they shy away from it. They only want to stay focused on their problems and emotional needs.
Avoid negative attitudes that only seem to see the glass as half-empty as oppose to half-full. Their mindset is negative and it leaves very little room for stimulation and growth.
Avoid liars! It may take a little time to see that things are not adding up with them.
Embrace those who treat you the way you want to be treated. They are the considerate kind.
Embrace ladies who show love. That's a true friend.
Embrace individuals who are good listeners. They give you time to express yourself.
Embrace sisters who are prayer warriors, for when they are though listening to you, they pray for you and with you. They know who holds the key to all the answers you're looking for and they don't mind accompanying you to the throne of grace where you can find help in time of need.
Embrace those who know how to laugh and don't have to have a 'plaster for every sore', so to speak. They can find where the chuckles hide because they have learned how to laugh at themselves on occasion.
Embrace individuals who know what it is to sit in God's presence daily and hear from Him. This shows that they are dependent upon God and are not navigating through their Christian life aimlessly. They are filled with the Holy Spirit and are in tune with God!
These are thy who push us closer to God!
"What ever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might." Ecclesiastes 9:10
What a simple, yet, important verse. There are a few ways to do something. Something can be done just for the sake of doing it, to say you got it done; it can be done in a mediocre way, or it can be done with all your heart and soul! I prefer the latter.
God insists that we be passionate about what we do. There should be an energy that is evident behind all we do. Nothing should ever be done in a haphazard way. God demands our best. We owe it to Him for all that He has done for us, after all, He gave His very best for us.
It sounds like a tall order to: clean the house to the best of our ability, to cook to the best of our ability, to do laundry, take care of the children, to go to work and do our best, to work that ministry like no man has seen before, to invest the proper amount of time on that sermon, to teach Sunday school, and do everything we know how to do as one who is driven and passionate about it. But is it a tall order? Not to God! It is expected of us.
We are in year 2021 and although church attendance is different and our gathering together is less, it will still be up to God's standards to handle our lives in this way. If you and I develop a habit of doing something a certain way, it will become natural and normal for us to operate to the full maximum potential.
May 2021 prove to be the year we make great strides spiritually, keeping in mind that God is the person who deserves your best!