Honesty.

Papa God,

I’m so frustrated with people lately. How can people be so misleading toward someone? How can someone ask something of soooo many people, then not wait to hear the result? How can people use those around them who truly care? How can someone lie, continuously exaggerate just to get people to feel for them? God, I truly don’t get it. I know we’re all sinful beings, but these people are claiming to follow You. How will the world know what a true “Christian” should look like, if those of us who profess it, don’t live it out, and live it out completely? It’s no wonder we aren’t able to be effect when it comes to reaching people for You.

God, I’m soooo frustrated right now. You know why, You understand. The same things I’m frustrated with, have frustrated you for hundreds of years. I know I have frustrated You in the same ways, and I’m SO sorry for that. I understand now, the feelings with in me, is the same feelings You had when I did it to You. Forgive me for the choices I made that frustrated You.

God, You know me inside and out. You know me better than my friends know me, better than Kevin knows me, better than I know myself. Only You can truly understand why this is getting to me right now. I can’t even fully comprehend why I’m feeling this way. I pray that you reveal to me the reason behind these feelings. I pray you show me how to not cause you or anyone else this sort of frustration.

Continuously draw me back into Your embrace. Continue to give me a hunger and thirst for you that I’ve never had, but am loving. God, please continue to give me the discernment that I know only comes from You. God, give me a forgiving heart that reflects Your forgiving heart. Enable me to extend to others even a portion the grace that You give to me daily.

Papa, You are ever faithful. You are honest. You don’t deceive. You are who You say you are. You will never leave or abandon me. Your love will never fail me. Only You are perfect. You have my best interest at heart, even when it feels as though that is not true, You always allow me to see that it is.

God, help me to become a better friend. A better wife. A better sister. A better daughter. A better encourager. God, help me to become stronger in You, so that I will be strong enough to help those who are frustrating me right now, and not get bogged down so much.

Daddy, You know my heart for You, as well as my heart for the people You placed in my life. I pray that You will protect me, and those like me who are willing to bend over backwards for the ones they love, from being used. Daddy, we’ve been used so much already throughout our lifetimes. We should not be afraid to get involved in Your church because of fear of getting used, or getting sucked up into the drama of it all. That’s not the way You meant it to be.

God, I bind Satan and ALL his attempts to break apart the Church You have set in place. He has no place within Your church. I bind all of his footholds that he has on some of Your people. God, show those who have allowed Satan’s grasp to get ever so stronger. Make them wise to his schemes and give them the strength and courage to kick him out and kick him out FOR GOOD!

Daddy, I pray that the heaviness on my heart right now be taken away. You know what it is about. I pray you release me from any feelings for hurt, anger, disappointment, disbelief, bitterness, or anything else that hinders me from growing in You. I pray that you will give me the strength to walk through anything you put in front of me, and that You will continue to guide my steps in You.

In Christ’s precious blood,

Amen

Faith or Superstition

“I have noticed something specific to religious people who do not walk with God. They cannot tell the difference between legitimate faith and superstition.”       –Beth Moore
    
     As I read this the other morning, I couldn’t help but think one simple word:  ouch! Which was quickly followed by another question: how many times have I been at a dormant state in my walk and made that very same mistake?
     Of course I can’t pin point an exact time in particular. I do know that I identified with this statement. Although, I’m not completely sure why. Maybe because I’m sure there’s been numerous times that I bought into superstition and mistook it as having a genuine faith. Or maybe it’s because I don’t want to make that mistake in the future.
     Either way, as Christians we need to be aware o our mind sets. Are we going to be confused by superstition or will we be confident in a faith that cannot be shaken? My hope is for the latter to be the reality for myself, and for the entire body of Christ.
     The real question is this:  how do I keep myself from getting true, genuine faith and superstition confused? Another question to ask yourself is:  how do I break the confusion, how can I learn to tell the difference? I believe that there are a few ways to answer both of these questions.
     The fist is by daily getting into the Word of God. How better to learn the facts about life and faith than by going directly to the source of ultimate truth? There’s also no better way to fight a superstition either. We, as Christians, are called to challenge everything. If we aren’t in the Word daily, then how would we be able to defend ourselves and our beliefs? It’s simple, we can’t. For this reason it is essential for us to be in the Word. If we aren’t it’ll be that much easier for us to lose track of God’s truth and grasp superstition instead.
     Another way to test whether something is superstition or if it is genuine truth on which to build faith is through prayer. Not just prayer, but also through listening for an answer. There’s nothing more powerful then going away, setting apart time, going into solitude, praying your heart out to God, soaking in his presence and waiting on God to answer. If we are to be able to discern what is superstition and what is not, prayer needs to be a life-style and not just something we do in an emergency. Living a life-style of prayer also helps us to get to know God and His will for us better.
     In order to have a well-balanced opinion of what sincere faith looks like, we must be involved in a community of fellow believers. By being involved in a community, we are opening ourselves up to others helping us mold our view of faith. Without a community of fellow Christ followers we can easily lose perspective and begin to believe in superstitions.
     Along with living in a community of Christ followers comes accountability. Or doing life with someone to the point of sharing everything, especially our failures. Doing life with a fellow Christ follower allows us the chance to openly question anything, without having to fear of judgment. We are told that iron sharpens iron, so by discussion topics such as Christ, sin, life struggles, death, and our spiritual walk with a fellow believer it gives us strength to face superstitions head on.
     Also, we must do yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, and sometimes hourly self “diagnostic” tests. We should consistently be looking for places where we are allowing superstitions, mistakes, misunderstandings, hurt feelings to prohibit us from listening to God and following the direction He’s giving to us. I urge all of us Christ followers to take self-diagnostics of our hearts, minds, motivations, actions, words, and of our entire lives. This will take prayer, and is bound to hurt sometimes, but without growing pains, we will never grow.
     With Christ, superstitions are nullified. Living a life fully for Christ would mean reading God’s Word daily, worshipping Him daily, praying AND listening to God continuously, living life in a community, and having an accountability partner with whom you can share anything and everything.
     Is this something that I myself have mastered? Absolutely not! Like most of my writings, this comes from what I am learning in my own life as well. I know that I’m learning it for a reason, and my findings are bound to help someone else. Only by the grace of the Almighty God can I come to you and share what He is teaching me right now. I hope in some way this will help you as well.