Fearless in Your Faith

faith blocks

Merry Christmas!! What better day to talk about faith than today – the day of Jesus’ birth. Mary and Joseph both had strong faith. God sent angels to prepare Mary and Joseph for Jesus’ arrival. Mary and Joseph believed what the Angels said and had faith that God would do just what he said. Earlier in history, Abraham  (Jesus’ ancestor), left everything that he had and everyone he knew (except for his wife and nephew) to obey God’s command. Out of their obedience and faith, greatness and miracles occurred.

Many of us profess to have faith in God, His will, His power and his timing. But, faith is also something that a lot of us seem to have a shortage of when things become uncertain (or so we think) or there is change in our lives.  We often give God our plan(s) and then become confused when He doesn’t lay our lives out the way we gave it to him. When the rubber meets the road, we talk to our friends about the possible outcomes of various situations. We worry. We doubt. We question whether God is going to answer our prayers and supply our needs.

In the past few days I have determined to be more fearless in my faith. Last week I gave my letter of resignation to my boss. Initially, it was a difficult decision. But, it was the right thing to do. When I first joined the office, I had a 5 year plan. I got comfortable and outstayed my 5 years by 2 years and a couple of months.  I am leaving because I have become uncomfortable. It was all God’s doing. He had to push me out of my comfortable position in order to effect change in my life. I am leaving to go into private practice with my father, something I used to talk about doing all the way through college graduation. But, I never did. A few months ago when I decided to take this huge leap, I began to have doubts and what ifs. What if I don’t make enough money? What if I don’t have enough clients? What if this?  What if that? What if, what if, what if?  But, because of my decision to be fearless in my faith, I feel better and better (read: less stressed :-)) with each passing day.

But, then I had to remind myself that God is NOT a God of what ifs. He is a God of provision (Jehovah Jireh). He is not a God of maybe. He is I Am.  He is not a God of uncertainty.  He is a God of certainty. Being fearless in your faith means you have expectant faith. Expectant faith sustains you. Expectant faith gives you peace. Expectant faith changes lives. I reminded myself that God is not a man that he should lie (Numbers 23:19). I also reminded myself that God’s word will not return void; it will accomplish that which he sends it to do (Isaiah 55:11).

Today, I encourage you to have expectant faith. Expectant faith is the best type of faith. It means that you believe that with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26) AND that He will give you the desires of your heart, if you delight in him (Psalm 37:4). We have to be more like Mary, Joseph and Abraham – believing that God will do just what he has promised.

I am stepping out on faith and walking deeper into my purpose. I am purposing to have Faith in God’s timing. I am purposing to have faith in God’s plan for my life. I am purposing to be fearless in my faith. I invite you to do the same.

Dear Father, thank you for going before us in every difficult situation and decision. Thank you for the ability to rely on your word during difficult times. Thank you in advance for increased faith. I pray that every act that is prompted by our faith in you brings glory to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Wishing you Christmas Miracles and Blessings,

Signature - Nefertara pink pretty

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Confirmation is Convicting

When God keeps giving you the same message through different messengers, some would say it is a coincidence. Others would say it is confirmation. I agree with the latter assessment. When you hear the same message many times, the confirmation can be convicting.

A few weeks ago I read a Proverbs 31 devotion (that I can’t find right now – otherwise, I would include a link to it) about longing for and pursuing other things (relationships, status, career, etc.) more than God. After I read the first post, it spoke to me, so much so that I wrote a prayer, a prayer I read daily.

Today, my friend Monica sent a few of us a blog post that her friend Ashley wrote a few days ago – On “Good” Girls and Winning. (Click the title to read Ashley’s Post on her blog, the Thankfulness Project).

Often, I feel that being a good girl is overrated. But, then I have to ask myself, “Why are you a good girl? Is it because it is the right thing to do or is it because you think being a “good” girl will ultimately pay off (i.e. make me “win” at life)?” I know that God loves me regardless and that my good works and behavior can’t and won’t make God love me any more than he already does. So, for me, it is sometimes the latter – thinking that being and doing good will make or cause God to give me the desires of my heart. But, I clearly have it twisted. 🙂 Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in The Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” I/we have to delight in him and only him, without the thought of any reward, other than eternal life through his son Jesus Christ. This is where my prayer and daily affirmation come in. If you are like me and there are times when you find that you might be desiring something – be it marriage, a family (if you are already married), a better job, etc. – more than you desire communion with God, you should pray this prayer.

Dear Father,

My reality does not match my desires. I don’t understand your ways. But, I understand that your ways are not my ways, and your thoughts are not my thoughts. Help me recognize doubt, frustration and fear as an indication that I am longing for something more than I long for you. I desire to love you because of WHO you are not WHAT you can do for me. Help me LOVE, TRUST and PURSUE you above all else.

Ultimately, we should desire and pursue God with reckless abandon. Our desire to know Him should overshadow our desire to receive the good and perfect gifts (James 1:17) He promises. When we discover joy in God alone, only then will we be satisfied. It is then that we will “win” at life. This is how confirmation has convicted me. 🙂 Does confirmation ever convict you?

Peace,

Nefertara

Verses for thought:

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you. Matthew 6:33

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you, My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:25-26

P.S. Be sure to read Ashley’s post.

P.P.S. This morning (10/3/13), the Proverb’s 31 Devotion was entitled Sacrifices of Praise. The topic is in line with this post. Read it when you get a chance.

True Love Waits IV: In the Meantime

imageWe ended the last post in this series discussing the consequences of not waiting.  So, now we have to focus on how to spend our meantime. In the meantime, BE CONFIDENT! BE SEXY! BE YOU!  Your meantime is the time between now and you meeting the man God has pre-ordained to be in your life. During our meantime, we must be women who control our emotions.  In order to do that, we must ignore our fleshly desires (die to ourselves) so that we can listen for the Holy Spirit’s direction (John 14:26).

BEING CONFIDENT means being self – assured (sometimes easier said than done). How you see yourself is more important than how others see you.  How you see yourself determines how others see you. When you feel good about yourself, that feeling manifests itself in the way you carry yourself.

BEING SEXY doesn’t mean that you have to have sex (see below).  It simply means putting effort into and taking pride in your physical appearance.  After all, physical attraction is usually what causes the first spark.   If there is nothing to make him take a second look, he won’t learn what a nice young lady you really are.  But, remember to leave something to his imagination.  This way you won’t cause your brother to stumble (1 Corinthians 8:9 and Romans 14:13).  Invest a little time in your appearance.  Join a gym. Wear clothing that flatter. Your size doesn’t matter, just be healthy. But, by no means is physical appearance everything.  Your spiritual growth and maturity are top priorities.  Besides, by now, we know that everything that glitters isn’t gold.

candiesI’ve had this tank since law school.  I came across it a few weeks ago (happy dance time).

BEING YOUrself is another key factor.  When you try to be someone you aren’t, it shows.  You stick out like a sore thumb and come across as awkward. You should want anyone who falls in love with you to fall in love with the real you, not your representative.

I know that it seems as though even “church boys” are superficial.  They seem to want bible carrying, solo singing, meal cooking, gym loving model look-a-likes as girlfriends and wives. They want women who look like they’ve just walked off the runway into the sanctuary. But, you shouldn’t be concerned about that.  My males friends tell me that all that isn’t necessary.  More importantly, the bible tells us that our beauty should not come from outward adornment (1 Peter 3:3 and 1 Timothy 2:9-10). Instead, it should come from within because the inner beauty of a gentle, quiet doesn’t fade. In order to develop that type of beauty, we must study God’s word.  Studying God’s word will equip us to adorn ourselves with pure hearts, a peaceful spirit and godliness.

I have a friend who often tells me that I am “shy about certain things.”  When he says this, I deny being shy. I like him.  He knows that I like him.  But, telling him that would be traumatic.  So, with regard to my alleged shyness, I  think that I have simply been exercising restraint (as it relates to my emotions).

So, during the meantime, pray for the ability to control your emotions, be patient and grow in grace.  Also pray for strength not to manipulate situations.  God is faithful.  He knows your needs, and he will fulfill your desires.  I pray that you find joy in God and his word so that he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).

Peace and blessings!

FOCUS SCRIPTURE:  “See, I am doing a new thing. Now, it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19

P.P.S.  Stay tunes for Part V – the final installment in the series.

P.P.P.S. Check out my latest birthday creations – birthday banner and decorations (crafts page) and the guacamole and tequila lime bars (recipes page).