WAYS TO WARD OFF OFFENSE

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Have you ever had someone you trusted betray you? Maybe you needed help and they weren’t there for you.  Now you have a wound in your soul you have to deal with, and you’re struggling with forgiveness issues. As I’m sure you well know, Jesus said that when a brother sins against you, you must forgive them seventy times seven (Matthew 18:22). Sometimes that’s very difficult, but here some thoughts to ponder that will help you to make the decision to forgive and continue moving toward your destiny:

It’s not about you. When someone betrays you, sins against you, or fails you in some way, you must realize it’s not about you. You really need to be thankful because they have just revealed something to you that you needed to know. Maybe they have a character flaw, but at least you now know that.  If they are not for you, you need to know that. Maybe they are in competition with you on some level. Thank God it’s been exposed so that you can plead the blood over yourself and make divine connections with people who God has ordained to help you to reach your destiny.  My point is this: don’t take it personally. What’s going on inside of them is the reason they have responded to you the way they have responded.

God’s plan cannot be thwarted. Whatever they did or did not do, you need to understand that God’s plan cannot be thwarted. (Job 42:2) God can use anyone He wants to get His plans accomplished in your life. That’s His prerogative because He’s sovereign. When you get mad because someone didn’t help you or betrayed you (or whatever it was they did), you are bucking against God’s decision to not use that person or His decision to use that person for another purpose you don’t yet understand. Maybe He wants to accomplish spiritual growth in you. Whatever the case may be, you need to know that God can use any means He chooses to get His plan accomplished in your life, and He can go around people who appear to not be cooperating with that plan.

That’s your cue to pray. When people offend you, sometimes it is just a communication that they are battling their own demons. They have issues that are driving them, and they may not even be aware of them. Therefore, hurtful behavior should be taken as your cue to pray. Hurting people need our prayers. They are probably wrestling with something that is bigger than they are capable of handling on their own. We all need people to pray for us at times. When someone has come against you in a negative way, the most loving thing you can do for them is pray.

The way you think about the situation will determine how profoundly it will affect you. When people sin against you with words or deeds and you get offended, many times, whatever it was that they did, in reality, does not really harm you emotionally unless you interpret it improperly.  It is the negative interpretation of the event that puts a wound in your soul. If Isaiah 54:17 states that “No weapon formed against you shall prosper,” and Luke 10:19 says, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you,” then you can indeed live above the enemy’s onslaughts through people.  You simply must know who you are in Christ and be firmly rooted and grounded in regards to your worth and value. People’s words and deeds cannot hurt you when you refuse to allow the work of the enemy through them to define who you are. Romans 8:28 says that God will make sure that everything works for your good anyway.

So when someone in your life betrays you or did not respond in a way you expected, you don’t have to allow that to wound your soul and thwart your progress toward your destiny.  Your job is to forgive, love, bless, pray for, and do good to those who come against you according to the Word (Matthew 5:44). When you realize it’s not about you, that God’s plan cannot be thwarted, and think of the situation from the perspective of God’s Word, you can rise above their words and actions and fulfill God’s ultimate plan for your life.

How have you successfully handled an offense? What steps will you take to ward off offense in your life? Leave a comment below.

 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick 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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LESSONS LEARNED IN THE MIDST OF TRAGEDY

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I have something heavy on my heart to share today. Some of you may know, but many of you may not know, that recently I had a horrific tragedy happen in my life. I am a private person when it comes to my personal life, and for the most part, I don’t share personal life events on Facebook. As the Purposeful Poet, my goal is to encourage, uplift and inspire people to be their best for Christ. However, today I feel the Lord is leading me to share a painful portion of my journey with you, and I hope and pray that my testimony will help someone out there get through a difficult time in life or perhaps be set free in some way.

I want to tell you about my beloved, Steven Allen Williamson, Sr., one who  was very dear to me. We had known each other for almost 6 years. He was an excellent HVAC Technician, and we met when he came over to my house to fix my boiler which wasn’t working properly. We became best friends, and after being in a love relationship with him on and off for over five years, we finally got officially engaged on August 8, 2016. September 24, 2016, was supposed to be our wedding day, and I was to become Mrs. Stephen Allen Williamson, Sr. Unfortunately, the wedding never took place. My beloved fiancé died on September 7th of a massive heart attack two days before his 60th birthday and 17 days before our wedding day. I walked into his apartment only to find him lying on the bathroom floor cold and lifeless. I screamed, I cried, I prayed, I commanded life to come back into him, I tried to perform CPR, but he was already gone. He had passed away in the middle of the night. That traumatic scenario  will be indelibly etched into my memory for eternity.

On October 8, I journeyed to Pittsburgh, his hometown, for a memorial service with his family and friends from that area. This provided much-needed closure for me. We weren’t able to do the service here in Norfolk, Virginia, because of money and time constraints. In Pittsburgh, I was able to eulogize my beloved Steve at that service. Within that eulogy, one of my goals was to relay lessons that I had learned from this tragedy that has changed my life forever. When someone very close to you dies or even when your dream dies (my dream of doing married life with Steve died on that day), if you’ll remember the following thoughts you will fare much better in your healing process:

  1. When the bottom drops out, refuse to get mad at God. Sometimes when things don’t go your way, you may be tempted to get offended at God and withdraw. This is a huge mistake because in doing so, you cut yourself off from the very Person who can heal and restore you. Instead, do your level best to cling to God, receive His comfort and instructions for recalibrating your life and move confidently forward.
  2. When a loved one dies, focus on his or her highest good.  Normally we focus on ourselves and our pain. We ask , “What will I do?” “How will I carry on?” “What will become of me?” “Who will meet my needs?” However, love is not self-seeking (I Corinthians 13:5). Therefore you must seek to prioritize your focus upon the other person’s highest good and not your own pain and loss. Surely you must grieve, but at the end of the day, if that person died in Christ, and you want to keep your sanity, you must focus on his or her highest good. Shift you focus on the reward received by the one you dearly loved and let that bring you comfort. That’s what love does.
  3. Submit to the sovereignty and omniscience of God. We don’t always understand why things happen the way they do. God is sovereign and can do what He wants to do, whenever He wants to do it. He is omniscient and knows everything. Therefore, when you suffer a loss, you must understand that God knows things about the situation at hand to which you have not been made privy. Therefore, when you don’t understand what God is doing, you must shift to a mode of trusting God with everything within you based on the knowledge that He loves you and has your best interests at heart.
  4. Hold to people and things loosely. As a believer, you must give God permission to control the flow of people and things in and out of your life. If you refuse to do so, you are destined to suffer pain and disappointment as a result. Make sure that God is the center of your world and nothing and no one else. Refuse to make yourself vulnerable to the enemy, setting yourself up for the ultimate collapse of your world. When you commit idolatry, God is obligated to show you that He will not allow you to have other gods before Him (Exodus 20:3). However, when God remains at the center of your world, regardless of who or what comes or goes, you stand on a firm foundation and come what may, your life will indeed remain stable.

These were lessons I have learned through my painfully tragic situation, but what gives me comfort is knowing that Steve was in Christ, and he is now in the arms of Jesus. No more stress and struggle for my baby.  He is basking in the glory of God. I loved him very much, and I am so thankful to God for the time that we had together. Steve loved God. He loved and accepted me just as I was, and that in turn empowered me to love and accept myself. He was an excellent communicator, and he, in fact, taught me how to be a better communicator. Finally, he always made sure that I knew how much he honored, respected, and cherished me. I will be forever grateful to God for the time we had together. Our relationship was His gift to me. I have been forever changed by Steve’s presence and his departure from my life. May you rest in peace, My Love. May you rest in peace.

What lessons have you learned in the midst of tragedy? Please leave a comment below.

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick here to find out ways you can help.

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WHEN GOD SAYS NO

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Have you ever prayed for a long time for something that you really wanted and had your prayers go unanswered? You wondered why God didn’t show up for you. Maybe your disappointment caused you to be offended at God. The offense created a rift between you and your Creator, and your relationship with Him suffered or became distant. When we have issues with God of this nature, it opens the door for the enemy to wreak havoc our lives. Therefore, we must avoid this scenario at all costs.

Today, I want to give you another perspective about God’s “no’s” in life. However, first let me remind you of certain truths that I’m sure you know: 1) God loves you. In fact, God says in Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” That love is unconditional and perfect. 2) Regardless of what you go through or experience in this life, God is a good God, and He has your best interests at heart. Psalm 100:5 says, “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever.” Thus, when these concepts are firmly established in your heart and mind, you’ll be less likely to “kick against the goads” (as Jesus told Paul on the Damascus road) and see God as the enemy when you don’t get your way right away.

God loves to bless His children just like any other parent. He wants to say “yes” as much as possible. But sometimes, in His sovereignty and wisdom, He has to say no. It’s not that He doesn’t have what you ask. It’s not because He doesn’t want to give it to you because He’s stingy or wants to get on your nerves. Psalm 84:11 says, “No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Therefore, in order to keep our hearts free and unfettered, we need to keep the following thoughts in mind, recognizing that God has good reasons for refusing our requests:

  • God knows something you don’t know. God is omnipotent and omniscient and He sees the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). He knows everything about your situation, and you only know in part. Therefore, He may say no because of the information that He has not made available to you.
  • God has a timing for everything He does. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says there is a time for everything. If you have not received your blessing yet, perhaps God’s no is temporary. You simply must wait on God’s timing while He sets in order everything needed to deliver what you ask.
  • God always has something better in mind. Very often, when God says no, it’s only because He wants to bless you beyond your wildest dreams. He is a good, good Father, and if you keep a good, good attitude and trust Him, He will reveal His will in due time and exceed your expectations. He will show you His ability to “do exceedingly abundantly above all that [you] ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).
  • God is preparing you to receive your request. Sometimes you may not be ready to receive what you ask for. If God granted the request now with you in your present state, perhaps you would ruin a good opportunity. God does not waste blessings. He may be withholding what you ask until you are positioned to receive the maximum impact of that blessing upon your life.
  • God wants to test you. Could it be that God may be withholding your blessing to allow you see where your heart is? If He doesn’t give you what you want right away, could it be that He wants to expose your motives? Perhaps He wants you to come to the place where you want Him for Who He is and not just what He can give you. God’s “no” may be the very thing He uses to mature you.
  • God wants you to learn a lesson. Sometimes God will let you stay in a mess longer than you would like so that you can learn the lesson the Holy Spirit wants to teach. Perhaps if He gave you what you asked without being sure you learned a lesson, you would repeat the same mistake over and over. Sometimes He uses a divine “no” to cause the consequences to be so grave that you will think twice before you make that choice again.

Let’s face it; we all have to go through times when God says no. You might be waiting right now for an answer. You may have received a “no.” The question is how will you respond? The challenge is to be mature enough to accept His decision and quickly move forward, trusting in His wisdom and omniscience.  That means there is no pouting, no melt down, and no cold shoulder towards God, but a simple acceptance of His sovereign will. When God says no and we peacefully acknowledge and accept His decision, we communicate to Him (and to the world), that Father truly knows best.

What has been your experience with God’s “no”?  How did you navigate through your disappointment? Please leave a comment below.

 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick 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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RELEASING THE JOY

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Jesus said He has given us everything we need that pertains to life and godliness (II Peter 1:3). As a believer, one of the things God has deposited into your born-again spirit so that you can live victoriously is JOY. Joy is such a beautiful thing because it’s a supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit Who resides within you. Joy gives you strength for living. Joy can get you through the most difficult of situations. Joy can cause unbelievers to be drawn into the Kingdom. Joy can be experienced regardless of what is going on in your life. The question is how do you release the joy? How can you tap into the joy within?

I recently saw Pastor Bobby Schuller on the Hour of Power television broadcast, and he stated that “joy is not passive,” but requires action. As you well know, taking Spirit-led action is paramount in many aspects of the Christian walk. Faith is an action. Faith without corresponding action is dead. Love is an action, not a feeling. Forgiveness takes action. Jesus commands you to love, bless, pray for and do good to the person who hurt you in spite of your feelings. Likewise, joy is released by taking ACTION.  In order for joy to manifest in your soul, you have to aggressively act in ways that will release it within. Passivity will keep the cap on the well of your joy.  Unfortunately, if your joy wanes, then your spiritual strength is sure to follow (Nehemiah 8:10). Therefore, it is very important that you be in control of your joy.

Normally, before God does something supernatural, He first requires action on our part. Before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He told the people to roll away the stone (John 11:38). Elijah told Naaman to dip in the Jordan river seven times before the power was released to heal the army commander of leprosy (II Kings 5:10). Moses had to lift his staff before the Red Sea parted (Exodus 14:16). Joy is no different. If you want the supernatural joy of the Lord to manifest, you must first DO something. Joy will not just fall on you. Releasing the joy requires a partnership between you and your God.

You see, many times when we are going through trials and tribulations, we forget to do the very things that will cause joy to manifest. The joy that Jesus died to give you will continue to lay dormant if you allow passivity to reign. Therefore, if you want to release the joy in your life in spite of your negative circumstances, here are seven Spirit-led actions you can take:

  1. Praise and Worship the Lord. God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). Therefore, worship ushers in the presence of the Lord, and  as Psalm 16:11 relays, in His presence there is fullness of joy. Therefore, if you want joy, bask in His presence through praise and worship.
  2. Forgive those who have hurt you. In Acts 13:50-52, Paul and Barnabas experienced persecution but were still filled with joy. Why? “They shook the dust off their feet” and refused to allow offenses to remain in their hearts against people who treated them badly. If you want the joy within released, you must forgive those who have hurt you.  Refuse to let offense shut off the well of joy that resides within you.
  3. Pray in Jesus’ name. Jesus said in John 16:24, “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” Thus, prayer is a powerful joy releaser for the following reasons: 1) prayer requires you to be aware of God’s presence; 2) prayer is fellowship with your best friend, and 3) having your prayers answered definitely brings joy.  Therefore, prayer is an action that you can take that is pregnant with the potential to release joy.
  4. Obey God’s voice. Obedience is also a key to maintaining joy. In Acts 5:29, the apostles were given strict orders by the Jewish leaders not to teach in the name of Jesus. However, Peter said, “We must obey God rather than man!” and they taught anyway. Later in verse 41, we read, “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” They obeyed God and joy was released in them supernaturally in spite of the persecution. When you obey God and go through difficulty, trust God with the outcome and expect supernatural joy to be released.
  5. Believe the Word. Romans 13:15 relays that joy and peace are realized through believing. Therefore, if you are joyless, it could be because your faith has waned in some way. Is the enemy of your soul deceiving you regarding God’s Word? Believe, and supernatural joy and peace will be the result.
  6. Shift your perspective. James 1:2-3 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”  In other words, if you want the joy to be released, you have to focus on the advantages that God will afford you through your difficulty. Additionally, shifting your focus to what is good in your life (instead of constantly dwelling on the negative) and being grateful for what you have will release your inner joy as well.
  7. Engage in enjoyable activities. This may sound simple, but you may be joyless because you have failed to do what you enjoy. When your feelings go south, don’t just sit in a dark room with the curtains drawn. Do something you enjoy. Do something fun. Get a manicure. Watch a funny movie. Connect with a friend through a phone call or fellowship. Buy yourself some flowers.  Fight passivity with all that is within you, and take action!

Joy is a powerful inoculator against spiritual weakness (Nehemiah 8:10). Therefore, it’s imperative that you stay joyful. You may not be happy all the time because happiness depends on happenings. However, God has made provision for you to be continuously joyful. In fact, Paul says, “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice” (Philippians 4:4)! If there was not a way to accomplish the feat of having continuous joy, that verse would never have been included in God’s Word. Therefore, as a believer, you must do your part and take action to make sure a constant flow of joy wells up in you regardless of the trials and tribulations that come your way. The question is: what are your willing to DO to release the joy within?

What action will you take today to release joy in your heart and soul that will strengthen you for the battle you face? Please leave a comment below.

 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick 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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INSIGHT AT THE JAZZ FESTIVAL

 

Musical Revelation by Stuart Miles

I recently went to a local jazz festival in my city. I really enjoyed the gifts being displayed by the talented individuals on the stage. Those musicians were amazing! As I sat there relaxing, listening to the music, and enjoying the atmosphere, I began to think about what an awesome God we have. How gracious He is to bestow gifts and talents on each and every one of us!

Suddenly, in the midst of the concert, I received a flash of insight. In an instant,  God showed me that the concert performance is analogous to how the body of Christ should perform as a unit. Through this real life musical illustration, he showed me how He views the individual gifts and talents He has given to His children. Thus, I would like to share the following thoughts with you this week regarding how to view your God-given gifts as you endeavor to expand the Kingdom:

  1. Your gift is unique. Each musician played a different instrument.  In the same way the gift that God gave to you is unique. God has something for you to accomplish that no one else can. I’m quite sure that none of the musicians were saying to themselves, “I wish that could play that instrument like so-and-so can.”  No, each person played their instrument with excellence to the best of their ability, and they were dedicated to honing their skill in playing their instrument of choice.  In I Corinthians 12:18, Paul writes, “God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.”  God deliberately gave you the gifts that He wanted you to have. Therefore, embrace them, hone your skills and refuse to covet the gifts of others.
  2. Your gift is important. Although the saxophonist took the lead most of the time, everybody’s instrument was necessary to make the beautiful music they were making together.  Each instrument was important to the piece they were performing.  Likewise, the gift that God gave you to share is very important. In reference to the body of Christ, Paul writes in I Corinthians 12:21, “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you!’” Therefore, the body of Christ needs your gift. Refuse to let yourself go to the grave without tapping all of the gifts that God deposited within you. Purpose in your heart that you will die empty.
  3. We are better together than we are alone. Each musician needed all of the others’ musical support for their individual gift to be perceived at its best. I began to think, what if the drums were missing? What if the bass guitar was missing? The keyboard? Lead guitar? The saxophone? Without each of the musicians playing their part, the performance would have suffered a loss of sound quality. Thus, as all of the musicians poured out their gifts simultaneously, the result was that each gift was optimally perceived. As each of the band members musically backed each other up, each of their gifts was enhanced. In the same way, if the body of Christ is to operate in excellence and make the most impact in this world, we all have to use our gifts in concert. As we work together to expand the Kingdom, we become like iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17), and our individual gifts are enhanced.

Therefore, celebrate the gifts that God has given you. Thank Him for the grace He’s bestowed upon you. Know that God has a plan for your life, and He wants to use those gifts for His glory. Be determined to work together in unity with your brothers and sisters in Christ for the common cause of promoting the Kingdom. When you do, Jesus will shine brightly through you, and you will be better able to represent the Master to a lost and dying world.

What insight has God given you about the gifts He has bestowed upon you and those around you? Please leave a comment below.

 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick 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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FOUR THINGS THAT WILL CHANGE THE COURSE OF THIS NATION, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

American Flag by Stuart Miles

Are you concerned about the direction this country is headed? I am very concerned. In times past, I would start to pray about the condition of this nation, and then would think, “What good will my prayers do? Things are just going to get worse anyway.” But for some reason, one morning I woke up with the following scripture in my head from II Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” I thought, “That is the Word of God, and if He said it, then change is possible.” However, the question is, how will we get back to being a Christian nation? How will the rebirth of the original vision that our forefathers held in the beginning come to pass? The answer is in II Chronicles 7:14 which states that the land can be healed, but several things must take place for God to hear, forgive His people, and heal our land, the United States of America:

  1. “If my people who are called by my name…” The emphasis is on “MY people.” We are God’s people. We must see ourselves as a community of believers, the Army of God. We must come together and unify because where there is unity, the blessing is commanded (Psalm 133:1-3). We must mobilize and stop letting Satan use our petty denominational differences to divide us.
  2. “…Shall humble themselves…” indicates that humility is a necessity if the turnaround of this nation is to take place. We as God’s people must humble ourselves. We must totally depend on the Living God for everything because He is truly our source of supply. His grace is what will enable us to act in ways that will help to move this country toward her manifest destiny and restore us as “the beacon on the top of a hill” (Matthew 5:14) in this world.
  3. “…Pray and seek my face…” We must pray and seek God’s face. Intercession is a must. Prayer, however, is not enough. When we think about the phrase, “seek the face of God,” that indicates fasting is in order. As Jesus said, some things only come out by prayer and fasting. The condition of our country is such that we must fast and pray regularly and corporately if we want to see change take place.
  4. “…Turn from their wicked ways…” This indicates that known sin in our lives must be dealt with. Secret sins must be confessed and repentance must follow. Little compromises must be taken seriously and eliminated. The Bible says that judgment begins in the house of God (I Peter 4:17). If the rest of the nation has any hope for change, we as the people of God have to get our house in order. That’s another reason why fasting and prayer are so important.

God Himself says if we will do the things stated above, He WILL heal our land. That indicates total turnaround is indeed possible, but the body of Christ has got to believe it! Therefore, let’s take God at His Word. He says that if we will do what He commands, He will heal our land. Let’s humble ourselves and entreat the help of God in all areas of our lives. Let’s go to a new level in our walk with the Master and make it a priority to be our best for Christ.That means that the turnaround of this nation depends on each one of us as Kingdom individuals. It’s our responsibility to do what is necessary to fulfill the call to action in II Chronicles 7:14. The course of our nation’s destiny depends on it.
What are your thoughts about how our country has strayed from Christian principles? Please leave a comment below.

 

I’d love your help spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth and The Exceptional Man: Love Poems and Inspirational Writings Celebrating Godly Men and Great RelationshipsClick 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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Image courtesy of Stuart Miles via http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

KEYS TO OVERCOMING ANXIETY

Keys

 

Anxiety is an epidemic. People are taking more and more medication to combat anxiety because of what is happening in our world: The poor economic status of our country. Terrorism. Sickness and disease that currently runs rampant. The list goes on and on. It’s enough to make anyone anxious who doesn’t know the Lord and believe that He is in control.

Philippians 4:5-7 (NIV) is an excellent passage on which to focus when we feel anxious or stressed. The Apostle Paul says, “The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Therefore, no matter how unsettling the situations we face in this life may be, God gave us a direct command in verse 6, “Do not be anxious about anything.” God will never give us a command, and not give us what we need to carry out His instructions. So in this passage, upon deeper study, we find the following four keys that will help us to overcome anxiety and stay peaceful in the midst of tumultuous times:

  1. Recognize that the Lord is near. Verse 5 says, “The Lord is near.” When you recognize and focus on the fact that God is with you, you don’t have to be anxious. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Fear not, for I am with you.” Anxiety is a sign you have simply lost your focus and forgotten that God is with you.
  2. Roll your cares onto God. Since the Father tells us not to be anxious in verse 6, He obviously wants to give us an alternative to deal with the negative emotion of anxiety. That is why He commands in I Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” Therefore, bring everything that causes you anxiety before God and refuse to harbor and attitude of self-sufficiency.
  3. Remedy the problem through the application of the Word. Verse 6 gives further instruction about how to triumph over anxiety. This includes first praying praise-filled prayers about past victories. Next, petition God, tell Him what you need, and ask Him for His divine strategy. Finally, praise and thank Him for the victory in advance. At this point, when your faith is engaged, that opens the door for you to enter into God’s supernatural state of rest (Hebrews 4:3).
  4. Receive His peace. Once the Word is applied to the situation, verse 7 relays the supernatural Peace that surpasses all understanding will manifest to guard your heart. This truth is confirmed in Isaiah 59:9 which states, “When the enemy comes in like a flood the Spirit of God will raise up the standard against him.” In other words, God Himself will raise up the barrier of peace to shield your heart and mind from the onslaught of the enemy.

In summary, if you experience an anxiety attack, you must wage a counter-attack. In the midst of the storm, pray praise-filled prayers acknowledging how great and powerful God really is. Petition Him by asking him to help you and deliver you from whatever is causing the anxiety. Begin to praise and thank Him in the midst of the attack as if you really believe that He will help, protect, and defend you. You will then experience the peace of God, the peace that Jesus died to give you, coming in like a flood to guard your heart.

 

How do you deal with anxiety? Do you have a testimony about being delivered from anxiety? Please leave a comment below.

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