THE ART OF CONFRONTATION

Enemies Staring -

In the body of Christ, we all have to deal with offenses which lead to confrontation. How we confront our brothers and sisters in Christ, friends, family members, coworkers, even the unsaved, makes all the difference in the world if we want to be peacemakers, maintain unity, and keep a good witness. That’s what I want to address today.

Lately, God has impressed upon me two areas where He wants me to come up higher in my love walk:

1) Think the best about others when I observe offensive behavior.

2) Be gentle when I have to confront people who cross my boundaries.

Because we live in a fallen world, we will step on each other’s toes or offend one another, from time to time. That’s when we have to employ the strategy of 2 Timothy 2:24-26 which reads:

24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

There are several nuggets we can take away from this so that when we do have to confront, we have the best possible outcome and get the results we desire.

  1. Be kind. Kindness will break down their defenses and make them more receptive to your message.
  2. Be a teacher. As a teacher, your goal is to help them to learn principles for interacting effectively with others.
  3. Be unresentful. Get rid of the anger before you approach them, and this will set the stage for a more fruitful outcome.
  4. Be gentle. Gentleness will cause them to be more likely to respond gently in return and keep the enemy from escalating the situation.

Furthermore, I think that if we apply the principle of “thinking no evil”
(I Corinthians 13:5), we will be much more likely to put these principles into practice. Very often we get angry because we believe that people are deliberately trying to hurt us when they really aren’t. As Jesus said on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). II Timothy 2:26 confirms this when verse 26 says they need to come to their senses because the devil has “taken them captive to do his will.” They really don’t know what they are doing. We have to believe if they knew better they would do better.

When we confront God’s way, the results will be manifold and the offenders will:

  1. Be more likely to repent.
  2. Gain knowledge that will help them to improve their social interactions.
  3. Be enlightened and come out of their state of being deceived by the enemy.
  4. Be delivered from Satan’s control.

Saints, if you feel you need help in the area of confrontation, I challenge you to adhere to these guidelines laid out for us in the Word. We will probably have a better chance of a positive outcome if we can avoid generating defensiveness, and the Holy Spirit will be more able to effectively convict them. Finally, learning the art of confrontation is necessary if we want to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace as stated in  Ephesians 4:3.

How can you apply 2 Timothy 2:24-26 to your relationships? Please leave a comment below.

 

I’d love your help in spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth. Click here to find out ways you can help.

 

 

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GOOD QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF IF YOU WANT TO BE AN OVERCOMER

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I pray the favor of God is showing up in massive ways in your life and that you are blessed and abounding to every good work. Today, I want to focus on some questions Paul asked in Romans 8 we need to ask ourselves when it comes to living a victorious life.  Let’s face it, sometimes the enemy uses people, even other believers at times, to come against us. He orchestrates adverse situations in our lives in an effort to keep us from reaching our destiny. When he does, not only do we need to ask ourselves these questions, but we need to readily know the answers deep down in our souls if we are to escape the traps set by the devil and fulfill the plan God has for our lives. If we don’t know the truth in our inward parts (Psalm 51:6), we will fall prey to the enemy’s deception.

Let’s look at Romans 8:31-35. These are the questions we as believers should ask ourselves and have ready answers that come from knowing who we are in Christ:

  1. If God be for us, who can be against us? (verse 31) When you find yourself in a conflict or that people are warring against you, remember that God is on the side of the righteous. Remember God is your Daddy, and He’s bigger than any adversary that you could ever face. If the enemy is advancing against you today, you don’t have to fear. God says He is for you and the battle is not yours but His (2 Chronicles 20:15).
  2. Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? (verse 33) We are justified by faith. That means that God sees us through the blood of Jesus as if we have never done anything wrong. The divine exchange, where Jesus took our sin and gave us His righteousness, has taken place. When your humanity shows and the devil starts to wield accusations at you, hell-bent on pointing out your faults, keep in mind that God Himself has justified you. There is no need to even defend yourself.
  3. Who is he that condemeth? (verse 34) None of us is perfect. Very often when we make mistakes, we find that people will judge and condemn us. But God says in Romans 8:1, “There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh.” Therefore, refuse to receive condemnation from anyone, and that includes the devil and yourself. Remember, Christ died for you.
  4. Who shall separate us from the love of God? (verse 35) It’s important that you’re rooted and grounded in the love of God. If you do not recognize that God loves you unconditionally, the devil will wreak havoc in your life. Without the love of God, you will live in constant fear (I John 4:18), and you will have trouble loving people because you won’t be able to love yourself. Therefore, it’s important that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that NOTHING and NO ONE can separate you from His love.

So as you can see, Beloved, Paul asked these serious questions because it’s important that you know the answers like the back of your hand.  As Maya Angelou once said, “If you know better, you do better.” If you believe right, you will live right. When you are able to correctly answer these questions, you will be a victorious overcomer in Christ, and the devil won’t even be able to handle you.

Which question above resonates with you most and why?  Please leave a comment below.

 

I’d love your help in spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth. Click here to find out ways you can help.

 

 

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LOVE, FAITH, AND FORGIVENESS: THE DECISIONS WE MAKE AND THE ACTIONS WE TAKE

TIME TO ACT by Stuart Miles

 

Today, I want to talk to you about love, faith, and forgiveness. Normally we associate these three things with how we feel. But I want to submit to you that these aspects of our Christian walk which are commanded in the Word of God are not about our feelings. These commandments are about making decisions and taking action!

LOVE IS AN ACTION

For example, Jesus commanded us to love each other (John 13:34). Agape love, or the God kind of love which is unconditional, is not a feeling. It’s a decision you make to meet a person’s needs regardless of how you feel. First Corinthians 13:4-6 talks about what love does:

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Therefore, we are to avoid relying on emotions when it comes to loving others. It’s all about your actions, or what you do, not how you feel.

FAITH IS AN ACTION

In Mark, 11:22, Jesus commanded us to have faith in God. Faith is also about deciding that regardless of how you feel, you are going to take action. For example, In Luke 5, Peter didn’t feel like letting down his nets when Jesus told Him to do so after he and his colleagues had fished all night and caught nothing. However, he took action, obeyed the instruction, and received a miracle. Maybe at some point, you haven’t felt God’s presence, but faith says when you don’t feel His presence, you still pray and pursue God. Why?  Because faith is not about your feelings, it’s about what you do. You may have “a feeling” that God is going to move on your problematic situation, but If you don’t move, He won’t because the Bible says faith without corresponding works is dead. Faith is about your actions.

FORGIVENESS IS AN ACTION

Forgiveness is the decision we make to refuse to pay our enemy back or seek restitution from the individual for what we have lost. In Romans12:19 God said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” Isaiah 61:7 says He will pay us “double for our former shame.” However, forgiveness is also about taking action because In Luke 6:27-28, Jesus gave the following instructions: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” If you do what He said, even if your emotions are still raw, that’s how you know you have truly forgiven. Healed emotions will be the byproduct of your decision to forgive and your choice to take action and follow Jesus’ commands.

So I encourage you to take action and love people by meeting their needs in spite of how you feel. Have faith in God and take action by continuing to pursue Him anyway in spite of whether you feel His presence or not. Forgive those who have hurt you by acting in accordance with God’s prescribed method for dealing with your enemies. When you take action first, your emotions will soon line up with the decisions you make and the actions you take.

 

What are your thoughts about faith, love, and forgiveness being based on actions instead of feelings?  Please leave a comment below.

I’d love your help in spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth. Click here to find out ways you can help.

 

 

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR SANITY WHEN YOU ARE BLINDSIDED

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Have you ever wondered why God lets us go through situations or tests where our world is rocked to the core? You know what I am talking about. When things happen that we don’t understand.  Someone dies. We don’t get healed. Things don’t go as we had planned, and we ask God, “What were you thinking?”

I’ve been at that place in my life two times. The first time, five people in my world died in a four-month period. The second time I recognized an unsaved person in my life was prospering wildly while I was struggling. Believe it or not, I actually got to the point where I was questioning if God really existed. I praise the Lord that I worked through my garbage. When it was all said and done, I made up in my mind that from this point forward, NOTHING would cause me to disconnect myself from the Lord. I believe that’s the state of BROKENESS that God wants every believer to experience.

I also believe that God allows us to go through those times for three reasons:

  1. To show that we don’t want Him only for what He can give us. I heard Bishop T.D. Jakes mention this on the Potter’s Touch broadcast one day. Joyce Meyer says we should seek God’s face, not His hand.  When people in our lives seek us out only when they want something from us, we don’t like it either.
  2. So that we will get to the place where we fully trust Him no matter what. That means it doesn’t matter who comes or goes, who gets healed or doesn’t, who lives or who dies, I trust God knows what He Is doing. I know He loves me, has my best interests at heart, He is still good, and His Word is true even if I don’t understand.
  3. So that we mature to the point where nothing will cause us to walk away from Him. God loves us unconditionally. We need to get to the place where we love Him unconditionally. That means nothing can separate us from His love.

If we survive the uncertain times that try us, the bond we have with God will be unbreakable. We must keep our relationship intact and stay plugged into our power source. The Bible says the devil walks around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. If we stay connected to God, we will not end up being one of those devoured by the enemy, and he will not be able to get the best of us.

Think about this: If you are a parent, you don’t explain everything to your children either.  There are some things your kids don’t need to know. And even if you told them, because of their age, they still wouldn’t understand. If earthly parents can choose to share certain information with their kids or choose not to explain themselves when it comes to certain decisions, shouldn’t God have that same privilege? In the same way, God is asking us to trust Him when we don’t understand.

If we indict God’s character, choose to disconnect ourselves, and deny His existence, where does that leave us? He is still God, but not in our finite perception. That basically causes us to enter into atheism. But Tony Evans said, “If you get rid of God, you’ve still got your problem.” The thought of living life in this world without God is a scary prospect. Therefore, if we want to hold on to our sanity and regain equilibrium when we have been blindsided, the only answer is this: Trust God. It’s the only way out.

Have you ever been blindsided? What did you learn from the process? Please leave a comment below.

I’d love your help in spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth. Click here to find out ways you can help.

 

 

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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TRUST IN THE LORD!

Trust by Stuart Miles

The other day, I was meditating on Proverbs 5:6-7 which says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not to thine own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all thy ways, and He will direct thy paths.” TRUST. “Trust” was the word that jumped out at me and the question came to mind, “What does that really mean for believers?”

The definition of trust according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” Trust must have an object. God is the object of our trust as believers. He is well worth putting our trust in because He has never failed us, and He never will.

When we trust in God with all our heart, that means that we will not allow anything to separate us from His love (Romans 8:39). When tragedy strikes, we cling to God for dear life. We still believe in the impeccability of God’s character no matter what. Trusting God with all your heart means you know without a doubt God is good, His Word is true, and He cannot lie!

So when we as believers really put our TRUST in God and we say out of our mouths, “God, I trust you!” that means we are making several declarations simultaneously:

  1. We trust that He loves us unconditionally. God said in Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” His love is so vast and so deep, and it never ceases. When you know your Daddy loves you, you can rest assured that He will do everything in His power to make sure that you are well taken care of.
  2. We trust that He absolutely has our best interests at heart. You can trust that God is for you. Romans 8:31 says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” He says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Therefore, we know that we can rest in our heavenly Father’s good intentions toward us.
  3. We trust that He knows what He is doing no matter what it looks like. Trusting God entails our belief that God is executing His divine plan even though things aren’t necessarily going the way we planned. Even if we don’t understand and have unanswered questions, when we trust Him, we can rest in knowing that He has all the answers and is working everything out for our good (Romans 8:28).
  4. We trust that He will always keep His Word. The Bible says, “All of the promises of God in [Jesus] are yes and amen” (II Corinthians 1:20). Numbers 23:9 says, “God is not a man, that He should lie, or a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?” Therefore you can trust God to be a promise keeper. He will never fail to do what He says He will do!

Are you trusting in the Lord today? God is certainly trustworthy, and He will never let you down. No matter what you are going through today, know that God loves you, He is looking out for you, He knows what He’s doing in your life, and He will keep His Word to you. You can fully rely on Him and know that those who put their trust in Him will never be ashamed (Isaiah 49:23).

What are you trusting God for today? Please leave a comment below.

I’d love your help in spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth. Click here to find out ways you can help.

 

 

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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HOW TO MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS AND KEEP YOUR PEACE

Accusation by Ambro

God has been really impressing on me to release some things lately, mainly my expectations of others. My mom once said this profound statement: “Lower your expectations of others. Raise your expectations of yourself.” Although when she said it I may not have liked it, but I never forgot it. And now that I am older, it’s just starting to sink in. She was right. When I lower my expectations of others and raise my expectations of myself, the judgmentalism stops, and I maintain my peace. I’d like to share some other ways you can put this into practice.

RELEASE EXPECTATIONS ABOUT YOUR STANDARDS
We all have standards, and sometimes we expect others to adopt our standards. When they don’t, we get annoyed and tend to lose our peace. For example, you may have set the standard for yourself to show up on time for meetings. But what if your colleague does not show up on time? How can you reframe your thinking in such a way as to not lose your peace? We have to remember that they may not have the same values. Everyone doesn’t think like we think. Maybe promptness wasn’t given a priority in their home where they grew up. Maybe there was an unfortunate mishap that kept them from being on time. Whatever the case may be, we have to lower our expectations of others and raise our expectations of ourselves. Let’s be led by the Spirit in what actions we take, refrain from judgment and take the behavior in stride instead of taking it personally. That is what we must do if we want to stay in peace.

GIVE PEOPLE MARGIN
I am also learning to raise my expectations of myself in the sense that I try to give people margin and lower my expectations of others by not expecting them to be perfect. Colossians 3:12-13 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” If we are to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:3), we have to be long-suffering and forbearing with each other. We have to be forgiving and willing to overlook offenses and believe the best. That’s hard sometimes. But we can do it with the help of the Lord, and if we know who we are in Christ, we can and will choose the high road that God has called us to travel.

RECOGNIZE HOW HARD IT IS TO BE A HUMAN BEING
Furthermore, we have to recognize how hard it is to be a human being in this life. Let’s face it. We all come from dysfunctional families. All of us are capable of being deceived by the devil. When we get saved, we have the huge job of renewing our mind after we have been programmed wrong for years! To be a decent, law-abiding, functional citizen of the Kingdom is a huge challenge. We all are swimming against the current just like a trout swimming upstream. In the same way, the forces of hell are arrayed and working against all of us with the goal of dividing us, destroying us and keeping us from fulfilling the plan of God for our lives. Therefore, we need to raise our expectations of ourselves, lower our expectations of others, give one another a break and pray for each other!

Saints, we have to keep in mind that every one of us is a work in progress. Hebrews 10:14 says, “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Thank God that in Christ we are covered by the blood while we are being sanctified. If we can hold on to that thought, we will be able to maintain our peace and joy even when people don’t live up to our expectations.

What are your thoughts about managing your expectations? In what area do you need to raise your expectations of yourself to improve your life? Please leave a comment below.

I’d love your help in spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth. Click here to find out ways you can help.

 

 

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND

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I have a secret to share. The Bible says in James 5:16, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” Sometimes I struggle with trusting God when what I experience in this natural realm makes no sense to me.  I believe we all struggle with that to some degree at times, wouldn’t you agree? Have you ever been there? Have you had a time in your life when what happened to you just didn’t make sense at all, and you were left reeling?

The other day I heard someone on a Christian television program say, “When you don’t have all the answers, you need to put your questions in a file marked, “I don’t understand.” I wish I could remember who said that because it was so profound!! That was such good advice and a great analogy!

When I thought about it, I do have a file folder in my file cabinet, marked, “Miscellaneous.” In that file, I put items that don’t fit into any other category of the folders I have in there. In the same way, all the things that don’t make any sense whatsoever to your finite mind, those events where you have no idea why things happened the way they did, need to go in THAT folder. And not only do you need to put them in the folder, but you also need to FORGET ABOUT THEM until you get to Glory. When you get to Glory, you can open the file, pull out all of those incidents and ask God face-to-face, “What were You thinking?”  Now, He may choose to explain Himself before you get to Heaven. However, if He doesn’t, and you want to maintain your sanity, you will drop those things you don’t understand into that “Miscellaneous” file in your mind, and trust God with abandon as you recognize the following things about your Heavenly Father:

  1. He knows what He’s doing, even if you don’t.
  2. He loves you and has your best interests at heart.
  3. He will reveal what you need to know in due time.

For example, the other day, I ran across a believer who was bitter because a family member had died after the person prayed and believed God for healing. In that individual’s mind, the death was so senseless.  There was anger at God Who was painted as an unfaithful liar. Although I could understand the pain and confusion that was clearly evident, what needed to be understood is that the Lord sees everything from beginning to end (Isaiah 46:10), and He knows everything. What we see in this natural realm with our senses is like looking through a peephole while God is sitting on His throne viewing the entire landscape of our life. He also knows what all the players are doing, thinking, and believing. My question is how can we indict God and lament that what He is doing makes no sense when we know practically NOTHING in the big scheme of things and He knows EVERYTHING?? You see, from God’s perspective, what you’re experiencing makes perfect sense because He has all the information and you don’t. As my pastor once told me, “Just because it doesn’t make sense to YOU, doesn’t mean it doesn’t make sense.”

If you are struggling with trusting God today, I want to encourage you to remember Who He is. He’s God all by Himself, the One Who cannot lie. The One Who cannot fail. The One Who knows exactly what He’s doing and sees and knows all. Most importantly, He’s the One Who loved you so much that sent His Son to die for YOU.

Have you ever had an experience where you had to simply trust God when you did not understand what was going on? What were the circumstances? Please leave a comment below.

I’d love your help in spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth. Click here to find out ways you can help.

 

 

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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