HOW TO STRESS LESS

We are in unprecedented times right now. Everything has been turned upside down. Life as we know it has changed to a new normal. The stress that this Coronavirus crisis has created has been tough on us all because of the adjustments we have had to make. I pray that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy, wearing a mask, and following the guidelines.

Yesterday was so stressful for me. I ran all day long hurrying from one appointment to another with my 86 year old mom in tow. Some of the stress was Coronavirus related, but much of it was not.

Have you ever had a stressful day?  Maybe you are a person who has a laid back personality. Well please pray for me because I am not. I HATE BEING STRESSED AND HURRIED. Jesus NEVER hurried anywhere He went, even when His friend Lazarus was ailing (John 11). God does not want us to live stressed-out lives either. Why? Because when we are stressed out, we are not our best selves, not to mention that stress will kill you.

So the question is how can we do better? How can we stress less?

  1. Recognize and target that as an area where we need to grow. If we don’t recognize the issue, we will continue to go down the same path without making any changes. I see now that I need to work on this area of my life and make it a goal to stay in peace at all times. Jesus died to give me peace. I don’t want His death to be in vain.
  2. Confess our faults. When stress has gotten the best of us, confess it to God, confess our fault to whoever we need to, and repent if necessary. I had to apologize to my mom because I was not the nicest person that day. When you’re in hot water, like a tea bag, what’s in you will come out of you.
  3. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give us the power to do better and stay peaceful next time. His job is to help us grow and change. Self-sufficiency, trying to do better without asking for His help, will result in failure. Without Him we are nothing.
  4. Refuse to wallow in condemnation when we fail. Romans 8:1 says, “There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” Remember, you are the righteousness of God in Christ no matter what.
  5.  Develop a deliberate plan of action. For instance, I will not schedule so many appointments in one day. I will give myself more time between appointments. I will focus on peace scriptures to build myself up in that area. When I am stressed, I will take a mental vacation and imagine myself in a tropical paradise, seated under a palm tree with a glass of lemonade (Ahhhh). We have to decide how we will respond beforehand.

Saints, Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:1). That means we have control over whether we have heart trouble or not. We have to decide that we are going to get to another level. If this is not an issue for you, I thank God that you have gotten the victory. But for those of us who haven’t, I challenge you to come up higher in this area. Let’s do our level best to keep the chaos on the outside from getting on the inside.

What are some methods you have used to relieve stress in your own life? Please leave a comment below.

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BRIDGING THE RACIAL DIVIDE IN THE CHURCH

John the Apostle writes in Revelation 7:9, “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” That gives us a clue about how God wants His worship services on earth to look like every Sunday. However, it has been said that Sunday is the most segregated day in America. For the most part, Caucasians worship with Caucasians. African Americans worship with African Americans. Latinos worship with Latinos. Asians worship with Asians, and so on.  I don’t believe that God is pleased with segregated worship.

WHY THINGS ARE THE WAY THEY ARE

Unfortunately, there is an ugly reason why there is a “black church” and a “white church” in America. In the days of slavery and in the Jim Crow era, blacks were not allowed to worship in white churches. Therefore, African Americans chose to start their own churches where they knew that they would be welcome. Sadly, this divide has not been overcome and, by and large, still exists today.

THE BODY OF CHRIST NEEDS TO LEAD THE WAY

2 Chronicles 7:14 says,  “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 believe that the reason that systemic racism still exists in our country is due to the fact that we have not addressed racism in the church and healed the division in the body of Christ FIRST. The land will not be healed until we ourselves get it right in the body of Christ. The healing of the land begins with US! We have got to lead the way. If we as the body of Christ cannot bridge the racial divide in the church, and we have the Holy Spirit available to us, how can we expect America to bridge the racial divide?

ADOPTING A MULTICULTURAL MINDSET

The body of Christ needs to ponder on Revelation 7:9 and decide how we will proceed forward to implement God’s vision for His church. This may require that we as individual believers step out of our comfort zones and visit, and maybe eventually join, churches that have people attending the service that are a different race than we are. It may mean that churches of different races will agree to merge. We have to adopt a multicultural mindset and develop multicultural fellowships as we move forward into the future.  

What will it take for that to successfully happen?  We as people of different races have to get to know one another by having fruitful conversations that will help us to break down walls and get past the stereotypes. We have to pray and be able to apply the Word to bridge the gap between our differences and overcome the conflict that may result from those differences. Only then will we become the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ that we were predestined to become. Only then will we be able to operate at maximum capacity because where there is unity, God commands the blessing. Only then will the bride of Christ be ready to be presented to her bridegroom without the spot of racism and the wrinkle of segregation.

What do you feel you can do to help bridge the gap between the races in the body of Christ?

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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A CONVERSATION ABOUT CONDEMNATION

The other day, I made a mistake. I hate making mistakes, but I guess the positive outcome is that every time my humanity manifests, God gives me the opportunity to reflect and get a deeper revelation and a clearer view of how He sees things. That means I learn new lessons. Unfortunately, during that incident, it took me hours to learn the lesson and get out of the condemnation. But I can say I have come a long way because I got out of it in less than a day. I use to take days, sometimes weeks back in the early days of my life. Thank God, for spiritual growth!

Below I have listed some things God has shown me or reinforced in my thinking during this bout with condemnation. My goal is just to remind you of some things that will help in the time of testing. We all will be tested in this area, and we need to keep the following in the forefront of our minds if we are going to win the battle:

  1. The Origin.  We may call it “self-condemnation,” but we should remember it’s actually “satanic-condemnation” because as you well know, it originates from the devil. He injects negative thoughts into our minds and fools us into thinking they’re our thoughts so we will not wage a counter-attack. Therefore, the first step to nullifying condemnation is to fully recognize its origin.
  2. The Idolatry. We must also recognize when we accept the enemy’s condemnation and accept it as our own by agreeing with him, we have slipped into IDOLATRY. Condemnation is a form of idolatry because it’s an attempt to punish ourselves for our own sins or pay the penalty for our own sin apart from Jesus’ death on the cross. It’s an attempt to appropriate our own righteousness.
  3. The Consequences. There are unfortunate consequences that come with condemnation that should motivate us to fight against it with all we have. Condemnation pollutes our spirit with negative emotions. We fail to receive God’s best when we lose faith because we don’t think we deserve anything from God. We try to hide from God unless we deliberately make an effort to overcome this human tendency. Finally, the anointing of the Holy Spirit is shut down in our lives. Accepting satan’s condemnation is simply not worth it.
  4. The Remedy. Since condemnation is a renegade thought from the devil run amok, we must cast down condemning thoughts, bringing them into captivity to the obedience of Christ as stated in 2 Corinthians 10:5. Furthermore, we must deliberately think thoughts about our righteousness which are clearly stated in the Word of God (2 Corinthians 5:21) and speak these thoughts out of our mouth. If we have to say “I am the righteousness of God” a hundred times before the condemnation loses its grip, then that is what we must do.

Therefore, when condemnation comes, we must recognize where it’s coming from, and make a conscious decision to refuse to engage in idolatry. We must keep in mind the negative consequences that will ensue if we don’t deal with it effectively and rebuke the devil. Finally, we need to take the thoughts of condemnation captive, replacing them with the Word of God, speaking the Word out of our mouths, and plead the blood over our minds. We have got to learn to forgive ourselves quickly and keep it movin’. Joyce Meyer put it this way: “Climb out of the pit and skip the guilt trip.” That’s truly God’s desire is for us.

How do you combat condemnation? Please leave a comment below.

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HOW TO DEAL WITH BOREDOM

Bored Business Man

Have you ever been bored? Now that we have been quarantined and have been ordered by the government to “shelter in place” because of the Coronavirus pandemic, our avenues for entertainment have been effectively shut down. We can’t go to the places we use to go or do what we use to do. We are now gathered together with family members in our residence, or if single and living alone,  maybe isolated from our family and friends all together. One of the by-products of this unprecedented situation we find ourselves in is that we may become bored. I define boredom as being disinterested in what’s going on around us in the current moment. Have you become bored during this shut-in?

If you are currently experiencing boredom, a good question to ask during this time is, “Why am I bored?” Why are some people bored, and others are never bored? I’d like to submit to you that boredom may be a natural by-product of the following life situations:

1)      Lack of Productivity. Therefore, one remedy for boredom is to vigorously go after the dream God put in your heart. Has God told you to do something, and you have failed to act on it? Do you know what gifts God has given you to impact this world for Christ? Have you discovered your purpose and are you actively pursuing it with everything you’ve got? When you do whatever the Master is directing you to do to fulfill the plan and purpose for which He created you (Jeremiah 29:11), boredom can be kept at bay.

2)      Lack of Growth. What is your plan for growth? What will you do to be better than you are by this time next year? You must set a goal for which to aim, and then write down the goal and the strategy you will use to accomplish it. You must be about the business of becoming all you can be in Christ if you want to live a life without boredom.

3)      Lack of meaningful connections to God and/or others. Some people may be saved, but they have little intimacy with God. Others may have lives void of intimate relationships with others. I believe that people who have only superficial relationships crave the richness and emotional depth intimate relationships offer, and the discontent they experience sometimes manifests as boredom. Therefore, if you are battling boredom, seek to improve the intimacy in your relationships with God and others. Spending time with God everyday fellowshipping with Him in the Word is one of the best ways to battle boredom. Seek God for emotional healing if needed, and ask Him to remove whatever is causing you to maintain the emotional walls you may have erected that keep Him and others at an emotional distance.

To summarize, I personally believe boredom is the soul’s expression of utter discontent with a lack of productivity, growth, and/or connection to God and people. If you want to avoid boredom, be productive for the Kingdom. Seek to grow and become the best Christian you can be. Stay connected to God and others in a meaningful way. The Christian life is by no means boring. It’s one of the most exciting lifestyles imaginable when we keep God at the center, follow His instructions, and stay in His will.

How do you combat boredom? 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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THE CONDITIONS OF FAVOR

Hand receivin house

Psalm 5:11-12 says, “But let all those that put their trust in you rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because you defend them: let them also that love your name be joyful in you. For you, LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor will you surround him with a shield.” Let’s hone in on the word “FAVOR.” Favor is defined in the Bible dictionary as “approval, acceptance, or special benefits or blessings,” We all would love to have the favor of God on our lives.  But that favor will not just fall on you because you are a child of God. If you want God’s favor, you must meet certain conditions.

God wants to extend his favor in our lives, but what are the conditions that we must meet?

  1. Trust in Him. Psalm 5:11 says, “Let all them who put their trust in you rejoice…because you defend them.” Trust, unlike faith, has an object. Trust means we rely on God and expect He will come through for us and do what He says He will do. Trust says that God is going to be the main ingredient in bringing to pass what we want. Daddy says if we trust in Him, He’ll defend us. Therefore, trust is a means of defense because it puts us in a position to be shielded with His favor (Psalm 5:12). Therefore, we must have the expectation that He will be good to us if we want to be favor recipients.
  2. Love His name. In Psalm 5:12 we read, “Let all those who love your name….”  In John 14:15 Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” In Matthew 22:37-39, when Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment, He responded, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” So in order to receive God’s favor, we must show that we love Him by being obedient and making sure we walk in love towards the people God puts in our path on a daily basis.
  3. Realize your righteousness. Psalm 5:12 also relays that God surrounds the righteous with favor. Therefore, in order for us to receive the favor of God, we must first be in right standing with God through Jesus Christ. Furthermore, it’s important to know who you are in Christ. You must KNOW that you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” It’s not enough to have head knowledge of this truth. You have to believe it when the devil comes knocking at your door with condemnation. Jesus said in Matthew 9:29, “According to your faith be it unto you.” If you don’t believe you are righteous, you won’t believe that you have a right to expect anything from God, let alone favor. Therefore, realizing your righteousness is imperative.

When we meet the necessary conditions for receiving God’s favor, we will also get the by-product of that favor: joy.  In Psalm 5:11-12, joy is mentioned 3 times. We are joyful when we feel secure and blessed because God’s favor shields us and empowers us to succeed and prosper. Therefore, if you want to receive the favor of God, simply meet the necessary conditions and enjoy the benefits of being in your Father’s good graces.

How have you seen God’s favor show up in your life recently? 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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FEAR VS. CONCERN (PART 2)

Shame_Katherine_Evans

In my last post, I contrasted the concepts of fear and concern. During this global coronavirus pandemic, it’s normal to be concerned. However, fear must be recognized and arrested if we are to make it safely through. Fear will kill your faith, and if your faith is dead, you open the door for “Corona” to kill you.

To recap, fear is characterized by compelling thoughts, reactions in your body (e.g., insomnia and loss of appetite, etc.), negative emotions of anxiety and unrest in the spirit to the point of torment, and irrational behavior (e.g., hoarding). In contrast, concern is characterized by peace, confidence in God, and Spirit-led action. We must choose the latter if we want to survive.

So what if you are in fear? What do you do? How do you combat fear and maintain a healthy concern all the way through this crisis?

  1. Recognize and take authority over the spirit of fear.  I Timothy 1:7 says,For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Luke 10:19 says, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” If we don’t recognize that fear is not an emotion, but a spirit, and that we do have power over it, we won’t even attempt to fight against it. When we don’t fight, we lose.
  2. Build yourself up in the Word. During this crisis, it’s imperative that we stay rooted and grounded in the Word of God. A consistent quiet time with God on a daily basis is a necessity. Now is not the time to miss spiritual meals. Jude 1:20 says, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit….” You build your faith by reading and speaking the Word of God.
  3. Guard your eye and ear gates. You must control what enters your soul daily. Tony Robbins said, “You must stand guard at the door of your mind every day.” Watch what you read, programs you view, and what you listen to. You cannot resist fear when you fill your mind with CNN reports. Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
  4. Keep a positive confession. When you confess God’s Word daily, you build your faith because Romans 10:17 says, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Job 22:28 says, “You shall decree a thing and it shall be established for you.” So when you speak the Word of God, you build your faith and automatically counteract the fear the enemy attempts to dump on you.

Therefore, Beloved, don’t let the fear get the best of you. It’s OK to be concerned. Let that concern motivate you to make it through this crisis. Let concern motivate you to wash your hands regularly and wear a mask. Concern will help to keep you safe. Concern is your friend. Fear, however, is your worst enemy and will torment you right into sickness and disease, into the hospital, until you find yourself on a ventilator fighting for your life. Remember, Job 3:25 says, “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.” Please don’t let it happen to you. Put fear in its proper place: under your feet.

How are you dealing with the spirit of fear during this coronavirus crisis? 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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FEAR VS. CONCERN

DON'T PANIC (MASK) Photo by Tonik on Unsplash

Beloved, this global pandemic has required us to drastically change our way of life. The coronavirus crisis has struck fear in the hearts of people everywhere, even some Christians. Surely, we should be concerned about our health and the potential of the dreaded virus to cause sickness and death, but we should not wallow in fear like the rest of the world. Why? Because we have a God Who is our refuge and our fortress (Psalm 91:2) He is the Difference Maker. That is why we can maintain a position of concern and not let our emotions mushroom into full-blown fear.

What is the difference between fear and concern? This is very important to know so that we can maintain a position of faith throughout this ordeal and come out on the other side of it alive. Therefore, Let’s take a look at the characteristics of each, then you can make a determination as to whether you are simply concerned or in fear.

CHARACTERISTICS OF FEAR

Hopefully, as you read this you do not have the coronavirus. However, if you fear getting the disease, this is what you might be experiencing:

  • Your thoughts are continuously preoccupied with evil forebodings or extremely negative thoughts about the fact that you could indeed contract the coronavirus.
  • You may have negative emotions of depression, hopelessness, anxiety, or feelings of continuous stress.
  • You are anxious to the point where you may lose sleep or your appetite, or you overeat to cope with your negative feelings, setting the stage for your immune system to be compromised and sickness and disease to come upon you.
  • You see the threat of the coronavirus as a clear and present danger, although you don’t know for sure that you have been exposed to the virus, or you don’t have any symptoms manifesting at this time.
  • You have irrational fears due to feelings of not having any control over whether you contract the disease or not, and you fail to factor in the sovereignty of God Who is in control of your life.

CHARACTERISTICS OF CONCERN

Concern, however, is far different from fear. If you are simply concerned, this is what you are probably experiencing:

  • You refuse to let thoughts about contracting the coronavirus dominate your thought life.
  • Your daily activities of eating and sleeping remain unaffected.
  • You have peace and joy in spite of what is going on, and you are believing that you will not contract the virus because you are standing in faith on the Word of God.
  • You view the coronavirus crisis as a potential danger, not a clear and present danger.
  • You see yourself as having some control over whether you get sick or not, and you conduct yourself accordingly by taking the proper measures as prescribed by the governmental entities, and you are aware that God is ultimately in control of your life and what happens to you.

So you see Beloved, fear and concern are very different in nature. Are you concerned, or are you in fear? Know that how you respond to this crisis will determine your end result. Job 3:25 relays, “The thing I greatly feared has come upon me.” That is why we must be careful not to let concern morph into fear. I pray that you will stay in faith and not let fear get the best of you. A healthy concern is necessary, but fear must be cast down if we are to get through this situation with a powerful testimony that will ultimately draw unbelievers to the Savior.

How are you dealing with the spirit of fear during this coronavirus crisis? 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 DEAL WITH CONDEMNATION

 

Accusation by Ambro

Today I want to focus on a topic we all deal with from time to time: condemnation. The Bible says that all of us have sinned and fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). None of us is perfect, and because of that fact, when we miss the mark, the enemy will try to cripple us with accusing and condemning thoughts.

Just the other day I battled with condemnation when I was supposed to attend a meeting, and got so caught up in something else I was doing that I forgot about it! The enemy began to heap condemnation on me, and the fight was on. That’s typical because the devil is always looking for opportunities to pounce on us and beat us down. If we wallow in that negativity, we will end up totally missing God’s plan for our lives. That’s why we have to know who we are in Christ so we can keep condemnation at bay.

So when we fall weak and fail to live up to God’s, other people’s, or our own expectations and Satan begins to inject condemning thoughts into our mind, how should we respond? Here are some good steps to take:

  1. Receive the conviction of the Holy Spirit and repent before God if necessary.
  2. Take responsibility for your actions and refuse to blame others.
  3. Learn the lesson and determine what you need to do differently next time.
  4. Extend a heartfelt apology to whomever you need to.
  5. Pray for the person’s heart to be healed if applicable.
  6. Do what you can to make amends and make restitution where possible.
  7. Reject the condemnation of the devil.

Remember you are the righteousness of God in Christ, and Jesus died on the cross to take your punishment. Therefore, there is no need to punish yourself. After you have done all of the above steps, you have earned the right to be at peace and get your joy back. You are now at ground zero, and you can forgive yourself and move forward.

Beloved, if you have missed the mark in some way or offended someone, expressed true remorse over the wrong, and you’ve taken the steps above and done all that you can do to rectify the situation, what else can you do? NOTHING. At that point, you can place the situation in the hands of the Master and drop the charges against yourself even if the offended one chooses not to do so. You can exhale and go forth in peace without condemnation. After all, nobody is perfect, not even the person with whom you had the problem in the first place.

The last time the devil hammered you with condemnation, how did you handle it? 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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ARE YOU LIFTING UP JESUS?

Fear Not You are Mine

Jesus said in John 12:32, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.  I began to ponder on that verse and the Holy Spirit quickened to my spirit, “If you don’t lift me up, I can’t draw anyone.” In other words, our job is to lift up Jesus. That is our responsibility. His job is to draw men to Himself. We must work in partnership with God if people are going to be saved. But if we don’t have a burden for the lost, we will fail to lift Jesus up and drop the spiritual ball. When we fail to do our part, people perish. That’s what we need to come to grips with.

Also, Jesus said if He be lifted up, meaning we’ve got to do it. He is not going to lift Himself up. As we go about our business on a daily basis, we have to lift Jesus up! But how do we do that?

  1. Through our behavior. We have to always make sure we are representing Jesus properly. The Bible says we are ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). And since we represent the Kingdom, we need to avoid all appearances of evil (I Thessalonians 5:22). We do not want to be a stumbling block for anyone. Therefore we need to be mindful of how we behave in public and behind closed doors. When we represent Jesus well, we lift Him up high.
  2. Through our speech. Proverbs 18:1 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Therefore, we have to watch what we say. Also we need to make sure our speech is monitored, especially in the area of complaining. Philippians 2:14-15 (NLT) says, “Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. ” When our speech lines up with the Word, we lift Jesus up.
  3. Through our witness. Mark 16:15 says, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Therefore it’s our job to share our testimony with the lost. In Acts 1:8 Jesus said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Jesus wants us to use our personal testimony to lift Him up. Are you telling anyone who will listen what God has done for you?

Have you lifted Him up lately? If we don’t do it, who will? Therefore, let’s purpose in our hearts to lift up Jesus today so that He can draw people to Himself. If you think about it, we can exhale because the pressure is not on us to get people saved. Jesus said He is the One that has the responsibility of drawing people. We just have to lift Him up by being ambassadors for Christ and opening our mouths as the Holy Spirit leads. Therefore, let’s pray and ask God for a burden, a burning desire, to see the lost saved. When the desire to see the lost saved ignites in us, we will lift Him up daily and see a rapid expansion of God’s Kingdom as a result

 

The last time you lifted up Jesus, what was the result? If you haven’t been lifting up Jesus, what is hindering you? 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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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.

 

 

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.

Find me on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/TraceyLMoore2012

Follow me on Twitter:  @TraceyLMoore1

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles via http://www.freedigitalphotos.net