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Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “discernment”

Wicked People

There was a time when I thought all people were good people.  Then I thought, some people were troubled.  Now I understand, there are those who are evil.  Sometimes, they wear sheep’s clothing.   Other times, they do not.  Beware!

duck-looking-around

This man [Jesus of Nazareth] was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.  —Acts 2:23

It was not easy for me to accept the notion that wicked people exist.  If in a group, I would be the one trying to understand why one person would intentionally hurt another, why one person would intentionally be cruel to another, why one person would intentionally break the spirit of another—particularly when the two profess the same faith as I.

“How could this be,” I would think.

Rest

Where is the love?

I would search to identify the why, not the wicked.  [You will know them by their fruit, I have come to rely upon.]  Truth is, some are wicked.  They are not crazy.  They are not demented.  They are not touchedThey are evil.  It is spiritual and as my spiritual awareness heightens, so does my respect for the spiritual realm.

Maturity has allowed me to accept people for who they are—not how they are with me.  There is always a spiritual conversation occuring, even when not conscious to us.  Because of this, I constantly pray for discernment.

Woman Praying

Do not be deceived:  Wicked people will work with you when you are working for their purpose.  Such agreement may not be obvious to you (immediately, if ever).  Know your helpmates and their spiritual significance.  It is a matter of life or death.

 

Who Do You See?

If Jesus was standing before you, would you recognize Him?  Songs have been written about this and sermons have been preached, but do you regularly consider this question?  As Christians, shouldn’t we?

Lady Pointing at Herself

At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”  Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”  Jesus said, “Mary.”  She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).  John 20:14-16

Do you believe that God sends people to you and you to people?  I do.  Of course, not everyone who cross my path I believe is of God, but when I am aware of its occurrence I pay special attention.

Kevin Hart It's About To Go Down

I can’t help but to think about all of the prophets God sent before He sent His Son.  I think about how so many people, particularly people professing to believe in God, did not recognize them.  As a result, they were opposed to the message the prophets brought and to the work they did.  The people countered the God they said they served.  Isn’t that interesting?  What a scary thought!

Girl with Arms Crossed

Have you ever wondered if you have acted in opposition to someone God has sent?  Have you ever been that person who was sent?  Do you think such resistance is because people, particularly fellow Christians, do not recognize God in the situation before them?  Do you think people have stopped believing that God sends people to do divine assignments outside of sanctuaries?  Do you think they ever believed?

Rest

Like Mary Magdalene, there are times when I do not expect to see God, so I may need to take a second look.  Titles and suits, smiles and charisma can be misleading.  Following trend can leave you watching Noah and his family sailing away.  I am growing more conscious, however, about identifying who is standing before me.  I am listening to hear the voice–His voice of which I will know.  What about you?

You Are Hated

Do you concede the notion that you are hated?  Seriously, have you ever settled yourself enough to acknowledge that you are detested, and then to understand why?  Have you ever fought to emerge pass the hurt and pain, the shock and self-doubt to maturely and boldly stand in your creation?  Have you ever made such awareness not about you, finding comfort in He which you reflect?

Women Thinking

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  This is why the world hates you.  —John 15:19

In sanctuaries, we valiantly profess our love for Christ.  That is always easy to do in environments where we think we are the majority.  Would you be so loud if you knew you were surrounded by wolves in sheep clothing?  Are you as brave when you are in the world?  Spirits recognize spirits, even when one does not do so consciously, no matter the conditions.

Have you ever shown up somewhere and people become uncomfortable?  Your mere presence causes a shift in the atmosphere—sometimes it is pleasant and other times you know to be on heighten alert.   Do not be deceived in thinking such changes are because you are well-liked or disliked.  It is spiritual.  Are you amongst your Family or have you found yourself in the midst of the clan of another?  Know your truth!  Spirits do.

Friends

For me, it became vital to understand the spiritual nature of hate.  Sometimes it is easy to identify.  Other times, it will masquerade as a friend or ally.  However it appears, it is a formidable opponent.  Love and hate cannot share the same space contently.  There is no compromise.  Life lives!  Are you living according to your faith and His purpose?  Sure, there may be times when you feel as if you are all alone.  Know that you are not.  There will be times when you will feel outnumbered.  Remember, Light shines upon darkness.  Do not become distracted by hate.  You have a purpose founded in love.  You have work to do, a work much bigger than you.  You have been chosen to stand out, to not surrender to hate, envy, or jealousy.  So YES, you are hated!!!  You are hated because you are different from that which the world purports.  Now that that is understood, carry on.

Me 12.30.15 talking to group

All this I have told you so that you will not go astray.  —John 16:1

 

Great Leaders’ Eyes

People will cheer for you when you do what they want you to do, especially if what you are doing is trendy.  They have no loyalty to you, but to that thing they want.  Understand THAT.

Women Sitting Across From Each Other

Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name.  But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men.  He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man.  —John 2:23-25

Frog

Recently I had the blessing to be placed in a situation that confirmed my spiritual growth.  Progress makes me happy!  My change in perception provided me with spiritual protection.  I was able to see the attacks thrown at me fall by the wayside.  If I did not respect the opposition, I would have laughed.  I do respect the opposition, however, so I stood firm and discerned.  Are you at that place—the place where people can cheer or disrespect you and you receive it in the same way?  It would be nice to think that I am there consistently, but my truth is that I am not (there yet).  I do see much maturity though.  Life continues to present opportunities which enable me to measure my development.  Noting, these experiences are important.

Rest

A few days ago, I complimented a man’s temperament.  I have watched him over a course of time sit calmly when disrespected and when complimented.  I do not know what he is experiencing internally, but his outward disposition never seems to change.  He is smooth and I appreciate his example of leadership.  He exemplifies traits all great leaders have.  He understands the purpose and importance of his role.  He is clear concerning his assigned mission and committed to its completion.  In addition, he discerns the operation of people.  Sounds easy right?  Of course it does, but it requires a lot of discipline.

girl pouting

Smiling, I see progress…but I still have work to do.

All in!

Talk Too Much

Believe it or not, there are times when I can talk too much.  I have always loved words, though not wordiness.  (I just have a lot to say.) 

One Sunday many years ago, I was addressing a congregation.  Afterwards, the Pastor said, “Now we know who the talker of the family is.”  (Funny how you remember things.)  It seemed like everyone laughed, everyone but me.  My family and others reassured me that I had done well.  Likewise, the Pastor complimented me.  Still, I was confused by his remark although I did not linger long on it.  I knew I said what was on my heart and the people expressed appreciation.  This was symbolic of the season of growth I was in.  At that time, if I had something to say, my belief in its truth would result in a high probability that I would say it and move on without much thought.  Times have changed.

Over the course of my life, I have learned the importance of being discerning in speech.  The more I deepened my personal relationship with God, the more I began to understand that sometimes He will show me things for me to know and not to share, at least not immediately.  YES!  I had to learn to keep my mouth shut until the appointed time.  (LOL.)  That was hard.  I have grown.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.  They kept the matter to themselves, discussing what “rising from the dead” meant.  (Mark 9:9-10)

Shh

What I learned was to appreciate the blessing of possessing knowledge.  I regularly pray for greater wisdom and increased discernment.  There is a responsibility that comes with these three spiritual gifts.  Many avoid conversations.  That in itself could require a lot of discipline, not to be confused with fear.  For me, the bigger test was learning when not to speak.  The more I worked on controlling my tongue, the more I was able to identify frivolous conversations.  In doing so, discovering the purpose of my conversations became increasingly important.  I gained greater respect for the power of words and for the season for their expressions.

Truthfully, I value when God shows me things.  I am still learning when and how to speak on those things I share.  After all, there is a time for all things…and an audience for everything.  I have not mastered it yet, but I like the growth I see.  Now, when sharing information I try to let the Holy Spirit guide my tongue, not my ego.

Inside Out

Not long ago, a friend told me he admires my diplomacy in speech.  Apparently, he had noticed how I handled a number of situations over a period of time and was impressed.  His compliment was not surprising, however, his observation was unanticipated.  You never know who is watching.  Although not mentioned often, there is an important connection between our words and their connection to our hearts.

“Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body?  But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’  For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.  These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.'”  —Matthew 15:16-20

It is easy to appear clean in a world that seems fascinated by materialism and superficial things.  Bathe the body, put on clean clothes, wear a neat hairstyle, drive a nice car, and don’t forget to smile.  This simple formula will win you a few friends.  If you are charismatic and approachable, you will win a few more.  People will want to be in your presence.

Both near and from afar, people will watch you and they will search, for flaws.  They may or may not tell you what they see, but many will see you for who you really are inside out.  Discerning Christians will know if your inside matches your outward presentation.  Do not be so mesmerized by a person’s outward appearance that you neglect to listen to their words, that you fail to hear their heart, that you neglect knowing them inside out.  Not everyone is entertained by unclean hearts.

Woman Reading Bible

Agents and Self-Worth

Agents are always on the lookout for talent. Some will promise you the world if you sign with them. If they are proffering such a large, shiny carrot, make sure you know your worth. If you do not, you may end up selling your soul for phantasmagoria.

Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'”
Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
—Matthew 4:10-11

Have you ever been in situations where your primary desire was to help? You could see how your gifts and talents could be used for the betterment of a situation, but the loudest person of interest seemed to be an auctioneer whose mission was to persuade you to stand on the auction block. You are uneasy. Historically when people stood on auction blocks, they stepped off as slaves. Through Christ, you know that you are free indeed. Why walk those forty years again?

Woman Praying

Be discerning of the agents you entertain. Ask yourself, “Are we worshipping the same God”. There are many times in our Christian journey when we must boldly say, “Away from me Satan!” Watch him flee. Do not become entrapped by your ego. Stay focused on God. He will send His angels to attend to us. God is always with us. His agents are never far.

The Backhanded Temptation

A part of life’s journey is the continuous greeting of temptation. Some are more obvious than others and amazingly they arrive in numerous forms. As a result, I have learned to pray for increased discernment.

Woman Praying

One of the behaviors I had to grow in the awareness of was that of consciously thanking God in the “good” times. I needed to break the habit (–the backhanded temptation–) of having as the motivating reason for humbly coming to the Lord, that of listing needs and wants. Sure, I would regularly pray for others too and it would be common that I would include expressions of gratitude, but at some point I noticed that I would for sure make time for God when I had a need…or when someone asked me to pray for her/his need, again there I was bringing to Him a need.

Upon reflection, it had been easy to develop this way. It seemed like most of the gospel songs of which I listened to then evidenced situations of people needing God. Most of the sermons I heard seemed to highlight a people in a place of need. The alter callings seemed to be marketed to those in need. As a result, in my adulthood I would take my worries, my concerns, my problems to the Lord because that is what I was taught to do. This is what I still do and what I believe I should do, but in doing so at that time I can honestly say that there were many, many times when I would forget to pray and I noticed that it was more probable that I would forget during times when things were going well. Isn’t that something? Am I the only Christian with this experience?

When I fed them, they were satisfied;
when they were satisfied, they became proud;
then they forgot me.
—Hosea 13:6

I am thankful for this awareness. Interestingly, it came as a result of being overwhelmed with happiness and needing to express it. Guess where I turned? That’s right. I turned to God to say, “Thank You”.

I have recently watched God manifest a series of miracles in my life. They are so awesome to see. As I type this, I am smiling with excitement because God is truly amazing. I am very conscious that in this time of life, I have an expressively grateful heart. As a result, it would not be unusual for me to pray and have moments when I just take a minute to say, “Thank You God” and just start listing stuff. When you KNOW that you KNOW that God is REAL, sometimes you just have to take a moment and list the blessings He is truly doing, has done, and will do in your life. (Amen.) As my relationship with God deepens, I find that just as determined as I was to express to Him my concerns, I am just as excited to say, “Thank You.” His presence in my life is much too appreciative for me to forget to acknowledge His blessings along the way. It’s funny. I am finding that I am even more blessed by doing so.

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