Trusting God When You Don’t Feel Like It

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Well hello there! Happy Monday to all and to all, happy Monday. I cannot believe I haven’t blogged in almost a year or should I say posted a blog in a year because I’ve been writing lol. My last blog published was June 16, 2015, and since then, a lot has happened. Let’s see, my son is doing well, he is maturing gracefully… hopefully. Great news as a parent, Chris decided to be baptized on his own so he was baptized on February 14th, 2016. Besides having an almost 9-year-old son, he is getting older and I am getting younger. I started a new job in October so I will be blogging about trusting God in the workplace here shortly.In the past couple of months, I have traveled to Washington DC for ministry purposes. I traveled to Memphis, TN with my sisters and mother for Mother’s day. Last Monday for Memorial Day, I traveled to Austin and rode a ski boat and Jet Ski.

In the past couple of months, I have traveled to Washington DC for ministry purposes. I traveled to Memphis, TN with my sisters and mother for Mother’s day. Last Monday for Memorial Day, I traveled to Austin and rode a ski boat and Jet Ski (waverunner). That was my first time riding both and I had a very scary experience. Matter of fact, this is the most dramatic story of my life this year lol. I don’t know what possessed me to operate a small little skinny boat in the middle of a LAKE!!! Whatever high I was feeling that day was quickly condensed once I realized I just flipped off the Waverunner and was in the middle of the lake… the deepest part of the lake probably. I just knew a shark was on its way to chop on my legs, but I realized Sharks are in salt water. Long story short, I survived and after a week of my experience with the Waverunner, I realized I was being overly dramatic and it wasn’t that scary lol. I will admit I was a little traumatized and dramatic after the flip lol, but it’s not that scary after I replayed what happened in my head a million times, but next time, I prefer the big party boat, the one that goes extremely slow. Praise God for His protection.

Furthermore, I have grown as a woman, a mother, and an individual. Before 2016 started, I was asking God what is it that he wants me to do in this season because just like others, I’ll pull our pen and paper and list my new year’s resolution, but it dawn on me that it may be a new year, but is this a new season for me? I’ve been feeling this burning sensation of hunger for the things of the Lord, then again, it’s like back to the basis of seeking Him first (Matthew 6:33) which I am ok with. I want to walk more in transparency with God and to be more vulnerable to Him, the Person who sees my heart and truly knows me. I thought I walked in 100% transparency and I was vulnerable to God, but circumstances said differently. Trials have a way of showing us our hearts and motives. Nevertheless, God is still faithful and He cares about the details of my life and your life as well. So good news, God is not intimidated by our thoughts and ways. He can handle our little emotions and opinions. In fact, Psalms 139 says, “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I Rise You perceive my thoughts from afar”. Even so, there is nothing that scares God, not even the words you don’t say out loud.

Furthermore, I have grown as a woman, a mother, and an individual. Before 2016 started, I was asking God what is it that he wants me to do in this season because just like others, I’ll pull our pen and paper and list my new year’s resolution, but it dawn on me that it may be a new year, but is this a new season for me? I’ve been feeling this burning sensation of hunger for the things of the Lord, then again, it’s like back to the basis of seeking Him first (Matthew 6:33) which I am ok with. I want to walk more in transparency with God and to be more vulnerable to Him, the Person who sees my heart and truly knows me. I thought I walked in 100% transparency and I was vulnerable to God, but circumstances said differently. Trials have a way of showing us our hearts and motives. Nevertheless, God is still faithful and He cares about the details of my life and your life as well. So good news, God is not intimidated by our thoughts and ways. He can handle our little emotions and opinions. In fact, Psalms 139:1-3 says, “You have searched me, Lord, and You know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; You perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH ALL MY WAYS.” Even so, there is nothing that scares God, not even the words you don’t say out loud.

So sis or brothers in Christ, pour out your heart to Him and start by being honest with Him. I remember after being at my current job for a month, I was placed in a new position, a position that I felt like it was going to hinder my plan of moving up to a higher position within the company. Apparently, God and I had two different plans because this was not what I envisioned. I feel like I was demoted into a position that was not going to get me to my goal quicker. I vented to God and cried to him and explained my reasons to why I should not be in that position and why it was a good idea to keep me in my original position, but I said nevertheless not my will but your will be done. My exact words to God was, “I don’t like your plan, but help me to like it and help me to obey it with my whole heart”. You may not like God’s plan for your life or for a particular situation, but you have a choice to make – regardless of your emotions. I have to believe that he knows what’s best for me and if I believe God gave me this job or put a particular relationship in my life that he knows what’s best for me way better than what I know for myself.

Sometimes I just have to ask myself, “If God is not in a rush or hurry to bring something to pass I prayed for then why am I?” Let’s choose to take it a step at a time and trust Him. Let’s start by being vulnerable and allowing Him to continue healing our heart of trust issues, fear, and hurt. If you need prayer or someone to touch in agreement with you on a particular situation, please do not hesitate to email me at cultivatedbylove@gmail.com. God bless you!

Scripture to meditate on:

  • Psalm 139
  • Matthew 6:33
  • 1 Peter 5:6-7

Good Enough?!

Sometimes if not most, we go in for the kill and deliver a low blow to our soul by thinking bad of ourselves. We dance with the enemy of comparison as it reminds us of every flaw we can think of about ourselves. We sway left to right and twirl around with its’ cousin fear who tells us we aren’t good enough. “Only if God would have created me this way, then someone will want me”. “Only if I had this degree, then maybe I could work at the (insert the company you’ve been eyeing) company”. “If I had this amount of money, car(s), career, house, then maybe I can be a better man or a better dad”. “Only if I spend more time with my kids and do more fun activities, clean more around the house and fix every problem my kids face, then maybe I will be a good parent”. Can you find yourself in one of these scenarios listed above or at least relate to one of them? To sum up the issue, the problem most of struggle with is the fear of not being good enough. We feel inadequate to make decisions on our own. Probably too prideful to ask anyone for help so we put up a front and act like everything is alright. Too independent to come to God as a child so we stay distant. When will this mental nonsense STOP?! This battle that we fight daily in our minds is filled up with thoughts of feeling like no one else understands us or we are the only one going through this. We have to cast down arguments and EVERY high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 cor. 10:4-5). What people think of you is none of your business! Let them think whatever they want to think, good and bad, you continue to focus on Christ. See the real problem is that we are to focus on ourselves and not focus on Christ. Not even a little bit! Everything listed above was from an “I” perspective. What you can and can’t do but not on what Christ did and can do.

We fill our quiet time with the garbage we watch on TV and the Internet. Our quiet time is filled with what everyone is doing on Facebook and Instagram. Social networks have become void fillers and the little effort you did have on seeking the Holy Spirit as the Helper was booted out by your new idol. Ouch, ouch, ouch, yes, I’m talking to myself as well. See whatever you fill your mind with will produce fruit, good or bad. Let’s evaluate what I said but in a scenario. Have you ever logged onto Facebook out of your frustrations with life or because you were “bored”? You’re strolling through, clicking on profiles, reading everyone else’s updated status. After you got your dosage of FB, you feel full and you get off. You go on about your day and thinking nothing of your time on FB except you spend too much time on there.  Maybe later on that day or the next day, the cute guy you have been hoping would notice you just hooked up with Lisa. You’re a little disappointed but ok for the most part. You wonder when it’s your time to date to marry. Rob got a promotion after only being there for 6 months and you’re still at the same position after 6 years of being there. You’re trying to remember the sermon from Sunday about putting people first so now, positive thinking is comforting you at the moment. All of Sarah’s 5 kids including the 3 year can quote the book of Matthew verbatim and you can’t even get your 5-year-old to sing the ABC song correctly without messing up the order of the letters. By day 5, you’re exhausted, frustrated, and ready to curse out the next happy person you see and you threaten God you’re going to quit on Him if He doesn’t make your life better. Do you see the root cause of the issue? You’re discontent!

Let’s go back to day 1 in details. You logged onto FB and saw one of your HS classmates getting married, at the time, you didn’t feel envious of a new relationship, but your mind captured that image. Sarah updated her status about her kids’ good progress, so you thought to yourself, “She’s a good mom, wish I can get my kids to do such and such”. You move on without thinking much of the thought, but your mind captured that image. You turn on your favorite reality TV drama show and you watch so and so popping off at the mouth, cursing out whoever she pleases, fighting, and doing what she want cause “nobody gonna stop her”. You start to reminisce about the good old days when you were “hard” and clubbing and doing what you wanted to do. You laugh and say, that was the old me and turns on Jesus Culture and goes on about your day but your mind captured that image. Fast forward back to Day 5 and you find yourself discontent at Jesus’ feet heartbroken because your life “sucks”.  Do you see where the problem began, instead of taking your boredom or issues to God, you took yourself to FB and TV to fill those voids. Can’t you see that you are empty of God’s presence? Don’t get me wrong FB is not bad, but we should be good stewards of our time on there. If you’re struggling with discontentment, maybe it’s not a good idea to log into your social networks but log into the word of God who is the True Void Filler. In Numbers 11:4-6, the children of Israel complained to Moses about what they had back in Egypt, a place that was not good for them. This made God furious so He destroyed some of the people with fire (Num. 11:1). We need to watch our complaining and stop disrespecting God as if He is this weak god because He is not! The problem is not God or where He brought you from; it’s about your dedication to the things of God. How serious are you with following Christ? Notice you still feel empty after you filled that void of loneliness with everything except the word of God. Filling your issues with God produces Substance that sticks; everything else is just temporary that produces a temporary change. Sunday sermon will not sustain you by Wednesday. If you do not get into the word daily and feed off of that, your flesh will start feeding on what the world has to offer you and you will still fill not good enough. You can’t help build the Kingdom of God having a worldly mindset. It’s two different kingdoms with two different agendas that are trying to accomplish two different goals. God do not agree with the world and the world does not agree with God so pick which kingdom you belong to? Which kingdom are you helping build? (James 4:4)

It’s true, you’re not good enough on your own because you are imperfect, but Christ is. His grace is so sufficient that you can lean unto Him. Don’t just guard your heart against relationships but with everything you do especially YOURSELF. I learned in Philippians 4:7 that God’s peace is different from the world’s peace. True peace is not found in positive thinking or good genes, or self-help books, but solely in knowing God is in control. God’s peace will guard your heart against anxiety when you know He is in control. Whatever your frustrations are with life, take them to God. He said, “come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28-29. We are all in this fight of faith together and God provide resources to help us. Stop letting your problems beat up on you and fight back with the word of God. I get so sick and tired of the enemy bullying me and the people that I care for that I started fighting back more aggressive with the word of God. Remember, you fight from victory not towards it! God is with you and He loves you dearly. People may not see your qualifications or leadership skills, but it is okay, they didn’t call you, God did. FYI, you are good enough because Christ is enough and if you have Christ, you have all you need. I love you, but God love you more! Be blessed
Here are some practical ideas and scriptures to help you get started:
1) Pray and repent for wrong thinking.
2) Ask God to highlight areas in your heart that’s not like Him. Pay attention to what He shows you and do not be in denial about what pops up in your mind that do not reflect Christ. He’s highlighting it for you to bring it back to Him.
3) Go to the concordance of your bible or online and look up scriptures for whatever the Holy Spirit shows you about yourself. It shouldn’t be a spirit of condemnation but a Spirit of Love that makes you want to change.
4) When you start to feel the temptation to (FILL IN THE BLANK), pull out your scriptures and meditate on it.
5) DO NOT ENTERTAIN THE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS, whip out them scriptures again and again and again and again until that bad thought is submitted to God.
6) God’s peace will guard your heart.-Philippians 4:7
7) How to give God first place in your life. -Matthew 6:33
8) Know that God restores your soul. Psalm 23

A few updates:
1) Follow me on here to stay connected on my latest blog
2) Connect and follow me on Instagram (@in_pursuit_of_Christ)or Facebook (facebook.com/iluvmoreofme) for daily encouragement throughout the week
3) For prayer or guest posts and/or collaborations, email me at cultivatedbylove@gmail.com

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When Walking for Christ is Tough

So in my time with God this morning, I was writing confession statements to help with situations that may pop up throughout my day. I wanted some scriptures to fall back on to encourage myself during those mental conflicts and I came across Colossians 1. I was looking for a certain scripture, but the words of the chapter started jumping out at me capturing my spiritual hunger. I originally wanted to talk about the Christian journey and how tough it can be using Revelation 2:13 as a guide, but since running into Colossians, I want to encourage my sisters and brothers in Christ with what I read in Colossians 1. First off, I want to say that no one is exempt from pain and sufferings and no one lives the “perfect life”. We all have our own issues, but the difference is whether you’re putting your trust in Christ alone or in the things of this world including people.

I was thinking about how this world seems cold-hearted and dark more times than often and how easy it is to get caught up in what everyone else is doing or what is popular.  It’s so easy to get distracted with the things of this world and what you see in front of you. The enemy is the prince of the world who has already been judged so he has nothing to lose. With that being said, we see things “fixed up” or the “grass greener”, but really it’s really messed up. We think if we have “it” then our life will be complete. The truth is your life is complete through Jesus Christ if you chose Him to be your personal Lord and Savior. I always felt like if I had “this” then I will “do that” or if things were “this way”, then I can be “that away”, but the scriptures says, “by his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life” (2 pet.1:3).  Paul said he learned the secret to being content in all things (Phil. 4:12) and my prayer has always been, “Lord teach me to be content in what I have and to be grateful” because truth is, I didn’t and don’t deserve anything but death so I need to submit this entitlement attitude to God.

Furthermore, I understand my walk with Christ is our (me and Christ) journey alone. Too many times, people give their personal opinions and personal formulas on how to live for Christ which trips us up. We then strive with our own strength and missing “their” mark and then start complaining that God is not with us or God is not answering our prayers.  Don’t get me wrong, it is wise to get godly counsel (prov. 12:15) but we should not stop at godly counsel alone but go back to God and ask Him what He thinks or has to say about the situation. My motto is, take what you need and leave what you do not need from people who give you advice, but no matter what, we should always filter any advice with God especially through His word. So as you read my heart through this blog, ask God to speak with you and to guide you and show you the truth with life and what others tell you about life or advice. So here it goes…

When you grow up not feeling beautiful or feeling unwanted, you suffer from insecurity. You are scared to make a move in fear of making the wrong decision and many times you doubt you hear clearly from God. You look for others to confirm what you think God is telling you to do then you return back for them to validate and affirm your move or decision. You watch their body language or facial expression as a way to see if they approve or disprove of your decision/move. You sink further and further in the fear of the unknown, the fear of insecurity, the fear of incompetent, fear of going the wrong way, and the fear of God don’t care for you.  The devil is so skilled with his lies that we believe every bit of it and we use fear as a way to “guard” our hearts when we’re making a move. I would like to say, I thank God for my deliverance. That was me, I was controlled by these fears and I didn’t make many moves because of it. But the thing that gets me the most is how God always stayed faithful to me and never let me go. He actively pursued me and fed me His word to live on and walk in His victory.

I grew up feeling unwanted so I struggle with rejection and abandonment and I lived as if I was unloved by God. I struggled to believe God really died for me and He really loved me. Yes, I knew the scripture said God so loved the WHOLE world, but the truth was, it was not personal to me. I guarantee you anyone who suffered from abandonment issues and needed that attention more likely can attest to what I am saying.You didn’t feel like you had God’s personal attention so you felt like a spot in a crowded world. I would say things like yea He died for everyone but it wasn’t just for me so He really didn’t die for me which means He really didn’t love me so I concluded that I was a mistake; that I just so happened to be a part of the group of people He loved by chance. So in my small little mind, I didn’t see the magnitude of Christ’s love for me by dying for me personally. Christ rescued me from that stinking thinking. Colossians 1:13 says, “For He rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of His dear son,” He rescued me from the enemy’s grip through His ultimate sacrifice. I am no longer a slave to fear and whenever I start to have wrong thinking, I’m choosing to depreciate what the word of God said about me. So I just want to encourage you, wherever you are mentally, really think about God’s love for you. I get it, this journey is tough and sometimes it can feel like we are walking in the desert alone, by ourselves, but that is a lie from the enemy.

If we believe God is the Creator of this world and He is everywhere at the same time, then know He knows what’s going on in your life. I use to think God didn’t care about me let alone the little things that concern me until He literally took me to 1 Peter 5:7, “ Give all your worries and cares to God, for He care about you.” It’s true, God cares about every detail of my life and He cares about every detail of your life as well. Sometimes I quote scriptures during a difficult time and it seems like the scripture is not working but truth is, the scriptures are alive and living but do we have faith to believe what the scriptures is saying or are we rubbing God like He’s a genie waiting on Him to perform magical tricks? The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time (Ps. 34:19) so don’t fret and grow weary thinking you are the only one going through. You are your own testimony to God’s faithfulness on how He came through for you many times in the past.

This is my prayer for you from Colossians 1:9-10, I pray that God will give you complete knowledge of His will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Through the spiritual wisdom and understanding, you will live in a way that will honor and pleases the Lord always and your life will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better in Jesus name. Need prayer? Email me at arabia.whitfield@yahoo.com. Have IG, follow me at in_pursuit_of_Christ for inspirational messages throughout the week. God bless you!

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Did You Forget Your Purpose Today?

What situation has happened that brought you down? What made you get distracted and now you have given your full attention to it? You worrying is evidence that you have taken your eyes off of God and onto your circumstances and problems. The same God who brought you out the first time, the second time, the 100th time, etc. is the same God who is waiting to bring you out this situation that is bothering you. Rather it is a relationship you’ve been seeking God for, finances, career, or even your purpose of existence, you have taken your eyes off of God and on the problem. Your anxiousness thoughts have become a surfboard for you to ride and its tossing you back and forth, on an emotional rollercoaster. When I am distracted, I have to aggressively ask myself, “girl can you change it?” and usually that shuts me up. Sis, bro, the winds and waves obey the voice of God. You have power to tell every storm in your life to hush up, God got this! You don’t have to let the trials of life beat you up like a big bully in grade school.

Do you know who your Daddy is? Just in case you forgot, let me remind you. Your Daddy is the Creator of all things. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is the Conquer of all things, the Ruler over everything, the High Priest and guess what He is with you. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Give all worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.” He cares so deeply about you and the things that’s on your heart. He extends His hand to you and say, “let’s tackle this together”. Your part is to let go and let Him handle it. He has already done the hard work. He wants you to be like Mary in the bible and sit at His feet and worship Him, spend time with Him, cling to Him. He wants your FULL attention back. He wants all of you, everything about you, He wants you. Every morning before I drop my son off at school, I have this pep talk with him before we pray. So this morning we talked about choices and that he has the power to choose what choices he wanted to make today at school. So I asked him, do you think I have a choice to be your mom and he said yes. So I told him you are right, but I choose you every day. I choose your good and your bad. I choose you because I love you including your imperfections.

Now, I don’t know too much about what it means to love and besides I am an imperfect person, far from getting things right, but just imagine how God feels. How greater is His love for us furthermore, His love is perfect. He accepts our good, bad, and in between and don’t love us any less when we mess up. Ask yourself, can you fully grip God’s love for you? It’s too big to grip! My heart feels like it’s going to explode when I think about the magnitude of God’s love for me. Here is a transparent moment for me, for the past couple of days, I was feeling anxious and worrying about things I had no control over. I was too busy trying to figure things out that I had to step back and pull out the Sword, the word of God. Philippians 4:6-7, says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Man on Man. How these scriptures have been feeding me. I read this many times in the past and, to be honest, I use to get tired of hearing this passage from people when I told them I was worrying, but today, honey I am clinging on this with every grip of my beings. For some reason, this is like eating unlimited cheesecake and pecan pie without calories and cavities affecting your health but better lol. Every time my mind starts to wonder and worry, Philippians brings me back to focus and I start to give God thanks for who He is and what He has brought be thus far. I got distracted for a minute, but I remembered my purpose through confessions of scriptures which subsequently aligned me back with God’s word.

So I encourage you today to start confessing God’s word. Our feelings are fickle, inconsistent, so we can’t rely on how we feel. Now ladies, every month, we have a legitimate reason to be over emotionally due to our lovely and precious cycle  and It’s so tempting to go off on every little thing that breathes at any given opportunity, but even those hormones have to obey the Word of God. We don’t have to give in and be controlled by our hormones but be controlled by the word of God. Monthly I have to have these repeated conversations with TOM about staying in line and she’s not going to act out (TOM is time of month) and guess what ladies, hormones have ears too to obey. So I encourage you to spend some time with God and tell Him how you are feeling. You can tell Him who did what to you and what you want to do to them. No, He will not bring to pass your violent request but He will comfort you and give you peace and maybe an answer, but it’s not yours to worry about it. He will handle it for you, but you have to keep your eyes focused on him. Once you remember your purpose, that should help you get back on track and continue on your journey. I would love to hear from you or if you need prayer, please reply back or email me at arabia.whitfield@yahoo.com. You can follow me on Instagram at in_pursuit_of_Christ. Be blessed and have a terrific day!

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Be A Light To those Who Are Watching

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The best thing I can do as a mother is give my son an opportunity to achieve and succeed in life by showing him with my actions. Just because I’m a single parent does not give me the right to cheat my son out of being all I can be for him as God allows me to be to him. Being a single mom is hard, tiring at times, and double the work of a healthy 2 parent home, but God’s grace is sufficient. He sees me through single parenting and He will see you through it as well. Trust me, God knows your deepest cries and longings for a mate. He knows your desire for a father for your child but lean onto these two promises, “the Lord will teach your children” and “He is your husband”.

You might be saying, “well, I want a physical man.” Well, maybe when you learn to submit to God as your husband then He will allow one of His sons to enter your life and be a husband and father. See, who we marry is not just about us and our likings but everything to do with God’s will for you and your child’s life. So I’m praying that you’ll trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In everything you do for you and your child, you will acknowledge God and He will direct yall paths. Be blessed sis! (Proverbs 3:5,6)

You Can’t Do This Alone.

Really good post!

NotoftheNorm.

When I was younger I used to complain about how hard it was to be a Christian. “There’s so many rules to follow. I have to be constantly pleasing God. If I mess up people are going to call me a hypocrite. How am I supposed to be perfect all the time? I can’t even go a day without sinning.”

I’ve always been taught that being a Christian isn’t easy. It’s hard work. There’s no way to be lazy as a Christian. You have a job to keep, rules to follow, and a perfect life to live. You have to act like Jesus, think like Jesus, and be like Jesus. And if you can’t then are you really a Christian? Do you really love Jesus? Or are you just another hypocrite?

So I wanna let you dudes know that being a Christian doesn’t mean you’re perfect. Jesus shows us that…

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