Getting Your Joy Back! Part 3

Know that You are not alone for God is Omnipresent!

How are you when you are alone?  Know that you are never really alone because everywhere you are God is present. Spending time alone with God can be refreshing. This is a time to build spiritual intimacy and grow in His Word. A time to pray and release your burdens to Him. But most of all a time to Thank Him for being GOD! This also is a  great time  to get your JOY back!

If you are lonely you need to connect more with the Lord. God really is everywhere you are. You can reach out to the Lord wherever you are. Momentarily lay aside whatever is distracting you. Become cognizant of what is happening around you as you then invite the presence of the Lord all around you. Take this time to pray and seek His direction.

“Praying without ceasing” is a state of mind. You do not even have to utter a word. You simply discipline yourself to shift your focus upon the omniscient God. This is also what keeps you connected to Him as well. God is the Creator and Sustainer of life.

There needs to be a balance in your life

The point here is that there needs to be a balance in your life.  For all this to happen you must begin to relate to the Lord differently.  GOD is a SPIRIT! As you develop an intimate relationship with the Lord He reveals Himself to You more and more. 

All the books in the world cannot totally explain GOD and HIS infinite wisdom and knowledge. The Word of God gives us a factual spiritual account of who He is. God has given us His Holy Spirit who can and will open our spiritual understanding. He will bring His Word to our minds as we study and embrace it within our hearts. We can continuously grow in His grace. KEEP IN MIND GOD KNOWS ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING!  In the Lord you really can discover everything that you will ever need for life, daily living and eternal life.

Worship the Lord in Spirit and in Truth!

There is nothing I enjoy more than a marvelous Spirit filled Worship service. God should  always  be the main attraction in and during worship. Some  come to be entertained, socialize  and need an escape?   Some because they need a quick fix? Some often simply come out of habit?  Some will come because they do not know God and are searching? Some sincerely come because they want to worship and praise the Lord. They know that God really  is everywhere that they are. 

It is important to always be aware of what is going on around you regardless of where you worship. Too much has entered into worship from the world.  Worship is no longer sacred to many. GOD KNOWS why we all do what we do as well as why we worship Him.  Think about it  for a moment.  Is the objective of worship to make everyone feel good? Or, Is it to make them want to give?  God is continually revealing Himself to us. As we diligently worship Him we can better understand and realize that life and living really is all about God.

I Thank & Praise God for His Living  Word Christ Jesus and His Holy Spirit! Truly God is the Most High God!  God deserves the Preeminence! He is due our sincere worship and praise. God will provide whatever it is we need in order to fulfil His purpose within our lives. Have Faith in God we can forever trust him. To please the Lord we must always worship GOD in SPIRIT and in TRUTH!

Life is full of many experiences

Life brings about a plethora of experiences. But through them all the Lord is present. Yes, at some time we all are going to experience a degree of  anxiety, conflict, sickness, disappointment, grief or turmoil at some point in our lifetime. A little anxiety is actually healthy because it helps you to put yourself in check. As followers of Christ Jesus God has told us that we are going to have tribulations while in this world,  but through Christ Jesus we can always emerge victoriously! Not because of who we are, but because of whose we are.


Get to know God intimately


You should want to daily develop a closer walk with the Lord. It is important to get to know God intimately especially since you say you want to spend eternity with Him in Heaven. God is able to keep us in any situation. Knowing this in advance will help you to prepare for what’s ahead. Everyday on this side of Heaven is a precious GIFT from the Lord.

It is important to acquire some preventative coping skills, so you can become better prepared as you go through any turmoil and not become stagnated. See this as a time to allow the Lord to strengthen you. There is much spiritual warfare to undermine the importance of  growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. To oppress, depress and distract you from daily drawing closer to the Lord.  Reach out to the Lord. God has promised to be with us always!  This is a promise you can believe and stand upon. God is willing and able to help us in every situation.

Know God and His Word for Yourself

Once the enemy knows and realizes that you “GET IT” that you are aware of his many entrapments, he will do all he can to harness and undermine your good intentions and influence and solicit others to try and help disrupt your life.    You  become a treat as well as a target. He will use those who are  not believers who are weak  to try and pull you down. He will also use believers who have been misinformed. Pray for Discernment!

Remember he loves darkness. Therefore he slips around behind you in the dark lurking to undermine your sincere efforts to shed LIGHT to a world that is ignorant of his many devices.   But get this; he can not do anymore than the Lord allows. “Resist the devil and he will flee…”   Fear not keep your focus upon the Lord and remember He can keep you in perfect peace. It is important to know God and His Word for yourself.
 

Put yourself in check and daily adorn yourself with God’s Spiritual Armor.

There is VICTORY in CHRIST JESUS!

CHRIST JESUS has the VICTORY over life, living, death and the grave! He did not die for us to live unhappy lives. Wherever you are and whatever you have been through the Lord knows. Our Lord wants us to have abundant lives in every way. He wants to daily multiply and manifest the Fruit of HIS SPIRIT within us who believe. We are to “Walk by Faith!” His Word is the necessary spiritual food to help us and His Joy is available to strengthen us. God wants to “supply all of our needs according to HIS riches in CHRIST JESUS!” Philippians 4

Always be willing to receive correction from the Word of God. Always be willing to readily repent whenever necessary.

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What Does It Mean to “Love” ? Part 1

What does it mean to love someone? Does it mean you give them everything they want? Does it mean letting someone run over you? Does it mean you tell them what they want to hear? Does it mean you never make them angry? Does love ever end?

Webster defines love in this way; strong affection for another based on kinship ties.

Example: maternal love for a child. Attraction based on sexual desire. Admiration or benevolence. Warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion. A beloved person: Darling. Brotherly concern for others. To hold dear. To feel a lover’s passion, devotion, or tenderness. An unselfish concern of God for man.

The scriptures tell us that “God is Love.” Tell me can you really truly love someone and not know God? Or better yet to the degree you know God; does it help you love in a profound way? According to I Corinthians 13 LOVE…….is PATIENT…….is KIND…….does not ENVY……. does not BOAST……. Is not PROUD…..is not SELFISH. Keeps no record of wrong doings…….does not DELIGHT in EVIL….but REJOICES in TRUTH. Always protects. Always TRUSTS. Always HOPES. Always PERSEVERES.

Does your definition of love encompass Biblical principles? Guess what? Well, whenever the above are not in operation it is not love. We all should seek to improve how we respond in love. Guard the Love the Lord Blesses you with!

I have found that love is a term that many people use loosely. If you listen clearly they usually base love on doing or not doing something for them. Love is not giving someone what they want. Love is not letting people run over you. Love is not telling people what they want to hear. If you love them you will speak the truth in love. Just know when you truly love people they will get angry with you sometimes! Learn to be “angry and sin not!”


I am eternally grateful that the LORD has bestowed His Love upon our lives and our marriage. I can say we genuinely love one another as husband and wife. It is not something we take for granted. We both are able to stand firm as individuals in what and who we believe in. Together we have faithfully allowed the Lord Center Place within our marriage. We are thankful for His Holy Spirit His Comforter. There is never question as to His Divine intervention in bringing us together. This was confirmed by our late Pastor/mentor. He told us it was important to not let anything come between the “circle” of love. We have held his godly wisdom dear to our hearts… It has helped us to weather the storms of life as well as the plethora of mountaintop experiences. We enjoy, genuinely love, respect, trust without doubt and care for another.

I am most thankful for God given coping skills. There is a Joy and an unexplainable Peace that is present even in the midst of sickness, sorrow, contention or spiritual warfare. The HOLY SPIRIT is a SPIRITUAL COUNSELOR! GOD’S TRUTH is POWERFUL. It will not allow you to freely move in denial but rather seek TRUTH. (ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ANYWHERE IS HIDDEN TO THE LORD) A lie will keep you in bondage. There is no place in truth for delusional illusions to persists. I/we Thank the LORD for “Sound Minds!” And an undoubtable constant awareness of GOD’S OMNIPRESENCE everywhere you are. Always seek the TRUTH above all else… I fully realize without the Lord I am nothing but walking breathing formed dust. Yet in Him I am confident knowing that within me His Holy Spirit resides.

As we submit to the “WILL & WAY” of the LORD HIS HOLY SPIRIT leads us to ALL TRUTH!

It is important to readily strive to resolve conflict. It only serves to limit your own “Walking in the Spirit! Feelings need to be validated. Discipline needs to be embraced when responding or not responding. Confrontation exercised from the perspective; “this is how you feel” Be willing to “REPENT” whenever in error. Move forward allowing the Lord to build your character. Don’t let life make you Bitter Always strive to “BECOME BETTER!” Life is so very precious and you do not want to spend the majority of your marriage and your relationships in “much ado!” You get stronger in this as you practice it.

There are those who have lived with much turmoil. Rather than seek to resolve their inner turmoil they tend to continue to create it. They will often project how they are feeling upon you. Pray for Discernment!

Whenever you are dealing with someone who does not really understand love they will often misinterpret your intentions. Their perspective of you will fluctuate. They base everything on their feelings. Not usually looking at what they have done or said to make the relationship go south. Yet, you suddenly are no longer the kind wonderful person that they thought you were? All of a sudden you will be perceived as being cold, uncaring, and selfish. But yesterday you were the greatest… But now since you won’t let them have something or do something you are cold. Yet they have done little or nothing. Go figure? Watch the double mindedness. They will accuse you of not really loving them when you don’t give them what they want. Know they are hurting and want you to hurt too. This is not usually the case in a healthy marriage or relationship. You know one another and don’t try to reduce one another to a lower standard. You can disagree respectfully. Patience is key!

Don’t fret! God knows your heart. Pray for them. (In a trusting relationship you don’t go here…) Stand fast. Be patient and allow the Lord to bring what is really happening to the forefront. Don’t manipulate or don’t allow anyone to manipulate you. Seek the Lord fervently for direction. In the meantime pray for them. Begin to practice healthy boundaries with them. Or you will engage in a continuous cycle of dysfunction.

There are many angry people who will chew you out at the drop of a hat. They have oodles of pent up unresolved anger. Cancer, high blood pressure, eating disorders, temper tantrums and depression are just a few results of stored anger and or unresolved conflict. It’s okay for them to have a tantrum. Its okay for them to vent and rant. Its okay for them to do very little. Like a spoiled child they want what they want right now. Usually at your expense. But you are expected to appease them.

Anger is natural. It takes discipline to combat anger. Encourage them to learn to be patient and find healthy ways to express their anger. Suppressing anger is unhealthy. Just know it takes more control to not respond than to throw a fit. Did you know you can be angry and sin not?

By the way you must let go of some people you love. I am not talking about letting go like in divorce. Divorce occurs because two adults are not able to work through whatever problems they are experiencing. They are not able to keep the commitment they made to each other for whatever reason. Often this is because they really didn’t think things through first. The responsibility to nurture the marriage is not mutual.

Many couples are unaware of the necessary tenacity for building an enduring marriage. There are also those who come to marriage to get rather than to give. They have been so hurt that they remain insulated from learning how to really love and keep the vows that they made. Sometimes living behind a wall of shame… (But that’s another column/sermonette). When I say letting go I mean putting them in hands of the Lord. Allow Him to intervene.

There are those who just enjoy a habitat of tension and confusion. They will often go the mile with a coworker or a friend and their spouse receives the leftovers. Or as a friend you will have to carry the load the majority of the time. They tend to participate in just about everything at their place of worship, or work related activities, yet their home life suffers and takes secondary place. Their need for acceptance is the priority. This should not be. It is clear that they don’t perceive God’s Omnipresence.

Anger and dysfunction need to be confronted. Avoiding conflict is not healthy. Did you know you could break unhealthy cycles by employing better ways to resolve conflict? Allowing a cooling off period before discussing the problem may be helpful. Always seek direction from the Lord He will never lead you wrong. He will help you to humble yourself. Learn to walk in meekness. Which is power under disciplined control.

Sharing a one sided account of what has happened to your friends will not help your relationship. It may get you some momentary support. But it won’t help you to grow spiritually. Words spoken in a fit of anger can be very damaging. Taking responsibility for your actions is always a step in the right direction. Letting go and allowing them space to feel the consequences for their actions can be beneficial to their spiritual maturity.

The world is a very inconsistent place. God’s standards are not often respected nor appreciated by many. God must be the central focus of your life for true successful living as a believer. Life will present challenges. But with the help of the Lord; He can and will deliver you through it all. The prophets pleaded over and over with God’s people to return to His principles. But many still preferred to do their own thing. Knowing the WORD of GOD for yourself is important. God wants to be first in your life. Remember after all you claim you belong to Him?

As believers we have been grafted into His family. He wants us to know Him through His Word. God has instructed us to; “Hear O Israel: the Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thine soul, and with all thine might. And thou shalt teach them diligently unto they children and talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest……. (Deuteronomy 6) God loves us and is faithful. ALL HIS WORD IS TRUE.

‘”GOD IS LOVE!” Love will help you weather the storms of life. Love must be balanced. The term “unconditional love” is often used today. I often hear SOME SAY; “I can do without your kind of love.” Well, “your kind or my kind of love” is not love at all. This is really more about how you are feeling in the moment. Remember, God sets the standard for love, for “God is Love” Unless we measure it by His standards it’s merely subjective opinion. For example; the more I don’t rock your boat you love me. Once you rock my boat I tell you to get out. Now all of a sudden you cry, “You don’t love me anymore.” As long as I let you rock my boat it’s thought of as love. This does not have to be. WRONG! This is immaturity. How can something as important as Love be reduced to such insignificant terms. This is what I call “intoxicating affections.” It mimics love and doesn’t last.

Don’t get love confused with how you feel in the moment. You can not like what someone does and still love them. It is love that actually helps you to respond properly or not respond to them despite the way you feel. Remember God’s love rejoices in the truth! Although it can be painful shift through what someone says to you and see if there is any truth in it. Make an adjustment whenever necessary. This is how you shape your character. Beware of counterfeit love. When you have been truly loved you will know the difference.

In a healthy marriage or relationship you do not seek to reduce the love you have for one another. You take responsibility for your actions and how you are feeling.

There are only a few that find genuine love. But God really wants this for all of us. Love is precious! It is never too late to seek GOD’S LOVE! This is true if you are married or single. “Be ye perfect because I AM Perfect” God really does wants us to become perfect in HIM. Which means to become complete in HIM who IS LOVE! No one is flawless but JESUS. This is why we all need HIM as SAVIOR & LORD! HE says; we ALL CAN BECOME PERFECT in HIM! Scriptures tells us that love covers a multitude of faults. This does not mean we ignore or condone sinful habits. Don’t be deceived. There are consequences for sin. This is why it is so very important to know His Word for yourself!

Growing your love in a healthy marriage or genuine relationship should be a mutual priority!

We are living in some interesting times when some of everything is happening all over the world. The Spiritual Warfare has heightened. The devil’s agenda is to reek extreme havoc upon the children of God as well as those in the world. He will use whoever he can. He knows that time is winding UP!

Now is a good time to seek the Lord above all else. In the Word, God says; “Is anyone of you in trouble! He should PRAY!” James 5 Humble yourself before the Lord. Be encouraged for GOD always has a way to HIM 24/7…

See Part 2


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