PRACTICE THE PRESENCE OF GOD

Prayer to God

Today I want to talk about the importance of maintaining a constant of awareness of the presence of God. Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV) reads, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. This is so important for the following reasons:

Maintain Your Peace of Mind

As Isaiah 26:3 states, perfect peace is the byproduct of keeping your mind on the Lord, or being aware of His presence. Since we can’t focus on but one thought at a time, you can’t maintain an awareness of God and entertain peace-stealing thoughts from the enemy at the same time. The moment you lose your awareness of God is the moment you lose your peace.

Keep the Lies of the Enemy at Bay

The enemy is constantly trying to inject lies and negative thoughts into your mind. I notice when I am thinking negative, condemning thoughts, when I come to myself, I realize I have lost my focus and awareness that God is in the room with me. Once I lose this awareness, the enemy comes in like a flood (Isaiah 59:15). The best way to combat condemnation and the loss of your awareness of who you are in Christ is to try to keep the awareness of God in the forefront of your mind as much as possible.

Stay Connected to The Power of God.

When you are unaware that God is with you, you will end up getting overwhelmed with life because God is not factored into the equation of what you are facing.  When you are unaware of His presence, you are virtually in a mode of self-sufficiency. If you are caught up in self-sufficiency, you cannot receive God’s power because you will not ask for His help when you have not acknowledged His presence. If you want the power, you must regularly maintain an awareness of His presence.

None of us will be able to keep our mind on God perfectly. However we can practice the presence of God regularly and the times we don’t have Him on our mind will get fewer and farther between.  When Peter walked on the water, He took his mind off Jesus and lost the awareness of His presence for a moment and He began to sink. The storm got inside of Him. In the same manner, the devil surrounds us with storms of negativity continuously. However, if we will maintain our focus on God’s presence we will be unaffected by that storm of lies. We will continue to be “water-walkers” and live the victorious Christian life.


How has your awareness of God or lack thereof impacted your life? Please leave a comment below.

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PERFECT LOVE CAST OUT THE FEAR OF CONFLICT

NO_FEAR

Today, I want to talk to you about the topic of conflict resolution. Unfortunately, conflict is inevitable. Therefore, If we want to have good relationships, we must become proficient at resolving conflicts that arise.

Personally, I use to avoid conflict until I realized that If I do avoid confrontation, there is a greater chance that the relationship will suffer and die or the intimacy in the relationship will be jeopardized. However, if I do confront, there is a better chance the relationship can be improved. Therefore, I now confront when I need to, even if it feels like I am jumping off the high dive into the deep end of the pool.

Many times the reason we don’t confront is because of fear.  Specifically, fear of being hurt again by people’s response or loss of the relationship. But there is a remedy for that: God’s perfect love. He says acknowledgement and acceptance of His perfect love cast out fear (I John 4:18). His perfect love for us should compel us to overcome our fears and confront conflict head-on with hope and faith that a better relationship will be the end result. After all, Matthew 18:15 says, “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you.” With that being said, let’s look at a few verses from I Corinthians 13 (verses 4-8), The Love Chapter, that will empower you to have more confidence when it comes to conflict resolution.

  • Love is not self-seeking – God loves you and His goal is to always look out for your best interests, not His own. He always has YOUR best interest at heart. He wants your relationships to work, and He wants you to grow and mature in your faith. Sometimes that is accomplished through conflict. Know that God has your back when you apply the principles of the Word.
  • Love rejoices with the truth – His goal is to make sure truth prevails in all our interactions with people (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit will take up the cause of helping each person in the relationship to see what needs to be seen. Therefore, when we pray, we can trust that when He unveils the truth and the parties involved submit to it, the conflict can be successfully resolved.
  • Love always protects – God is fiercely protective of you. Psalms 91:4 says, “His truth shall be your shield and buckler.”  If we look to Him as protector and defender and stop trying to protect our own selves, we can confidently confront and engage in conflict resolution necessary to improve our relationships.  However, if we choose to defend and protect ourselves instead of letting the Holy Spirit fight for us, we will probably end up saying things we have no business saying.
  • Love always perseveres – The Lord will help you and make sure He sees you through to the end of your conflict-laden situation. He says in Genesis 25:15 says, “I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” If you will hang in there and refuse to give up, God will hang in there with you and won’t give up. He will help you see the conflict through to resolution.

Beloved, God wants you to have good, healthy relationships. In fact, that’s what Jesus died for. He came to reconcile us to God, and also make the power available so that we can be reconciled to each other here on earth. Reconciliation is not always possible, but there is a greater chance when we invite God into our difficult situations. Therefore, let’s keep God’s love factored into the equation at all times, confront when we need to confront, and trust God to help us to improve our relationships with the people to whom He has strategically and divinely connected us.

How do you feel about conflict resolution? 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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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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SOME DECISIONS NEED TO BE MADE AHEAD OF TIME

 

Your Way My Way Buttons Stuart Miles

We all have trials we go through in life. Jesus said, “In this world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.” If we are going to be overcomers in this world, we have to make some decisions. Not only do we need to make decisions, but we need to make some decisions ahead of time if we are going to see victory:

  1. I won’t let fear paralyze me. It’s not a sin to experience fear. However, it is a sin to allow fear to cause you to disobey God and fail to do what He has instructed you to do. Make up in your mind you will do it afraid if necessary.
  2. Although the situation looks overwhelming, I’m not getting overwhelmed. We get overwhelmed when we fail to factor God into the equation. When the spirit of overwhelm attacks you, Say out loud, “I’m not getting overwhelmed because God is with me.” Then say to God, “Lord, what do you want me to do?”
  3. I will forgive anyone who hurts me immediately. Jesus said offenses will come (Luke 17:1). Therefore, before you even leave your house in the morning, be determined that you will forgive everyone the enemy works through to wound you right on the spot. Then allow God to fight your battles.
  4. I will walk in love no matter what others do. You will encounter rude people on your journey. The devil takes people captive to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26). However. You have to be determined to walk in love and give the response Jesus would in spite of how people treat you.
  5. I will believe the Word of God no matter what I see. As believers, we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). We have to refuse to let our senses deceive us into thinking that the Word is not true. Make up in your mind that when you encounter a situation that contradicts the Word of God, you will stand on His holy Word and say, “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it.”
  6. I will obey God even when I don’t understand. God’s instructions don’t always make sense to us, but from His perspective, they make perfect sense. The reason is that He sees the big picture, and we only see only a sliver of what He sees. Therefore, since sees the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10), we need to trust that He knows what He’s doing and just simply obey.
  7. I will never turn my back on God no matter what happens in my life. I have run into people who get mad at God because things didn’t happen in their life the way they expected. Someone died, or it appears that God didn’t come through for them. They questioned His existence and disconnected from Him. Do not allow the enemy to deceive you. Make up in your mind that you will love God unconditionally all the way into eternity even if things don’t go as you had planned.

As you can see, Saints, the decisions we make ahead of time can make all the difference in the world. They can mean the difference between the “thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” When you make up in your mind beforehand what you will do, you don’t have to think about it when the time comes. You just do it. So decide now and ask for the Holy Spirit’s help to follow through on your decisions so that you can be the overcomer that God intends for you to be.

Which decision above has impacted your life the most and how? 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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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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FAITH WORKS BY LOVE

LOVE by Stuart Miles

Happy Valentine’s Day to you! Since this is the day we express love to those most important to us, I thought this would be a great time to talk about love. Today I want to focus on love and how it’s connected to our faith. The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 5:6 that “faith works by love.” What does that mean? In other words, without love as a motive for all we do, our faith will not work for us. If love is not our “default mode,” our faith is hindered, and we will not operate effectively in the Kingdom. Therefore, to make sure our faith stays strong, we need to allow love to rule in reign in our lives in the following ways:

  1. Receive God’s love. If you believe that God loves you, when you pray, you will have more confidence to believe that your prayers will be answered. Furthermore, the Bible says perfect love casts out fear (I John 4:18). Since faith and fear cannot coexist, when fear is cast out by love, your faith will operate at a higher level so that you can believe God to accomplish His purpose and plan for your life.
  2. Love God. When you love God, you will keep his commandments (John 14:15). When you are keeping the commandments, your confidence that your prayers will be answered skyrockets. When we have not obeyed God, we have a tendency to believe that He won’t help us, and our faith fails. To avoid that feeling, we simply need to trust and obey.
  3. Love your neighbor. When you love those God puts in your path (Matthew 22:39), you want the best for them. You want to help others. Therefore, your burning desire to make a difference in people’s lives will motivate you to believe God for the miraculous and take risks that you need to take. Since faith and risk-taking go hand in hand, love will cause you to focus on the highest good of others and take the risk of forgetting yourself.
  4. Love yourself. Self-love is a byproduct of knowing that God loves you. When you love yourself (Matthew 22:39), the devil will not be able to deceive you with feelings of unworthiness and condemnation. When you know you are worthy only because of what Christ has done, you will trust that God will move on your behalf when you call on Him, and your faith will be enhanced.

As you can see beloved, faith truly does work by love, and I Corinthians 13:8 states that love never fails. We need love to be working in our lives in all four ways at all times if our faith is going to operate effectively. When our faith works at an optimal level, we will experience more peace and be more willing to take risks. And God loves it when we step out in faith and take the risks He wants us to take. Spirit-led risk-taking allows us to do great exploits for God and bring glory to Him. Therefore, let’s make sure that we speak God’s love language of obedience, receive His love, and walk in love so that we can please God with a faith that works (Hebrews 11:6).

What area above impacts your faith the most? 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 HANDLE RUDE PEOPLE

polite-rudeswitchbystuartmiles

We all have encountered rude people along the way, right? However, God requires us to love them anyway. The other day, I went to a store and made a purchase. When I looked at my receipt, I had been overcharged by $7.50! I went to the store manager to complain. He saw that there apparently was a computer glitch, and said he would refund the money. We went to the register and after the transaction was made and I signed the required paperwork, he handed me my merchandise and said, “Have a nice night.” That was it. No apology. Nothing. I was hot. I thought to myself, “How Rude!”

The next week in Bible study we talked about I Corinthians 13, the part where it says, “Love thinketh no evil.” After that, the Lord brought back to my remembrance the incident at the store. I definitely had not walked in love internally, or in my thoughts. I calmly told the gentleman how I felt about the way he treated me, I didn’t yell, scream, curse, or called him names, However, I thought evil of him. Externally, I was OK, but internally I was not. I am a customer service person myself, and I have to admit that I judged him severely for his blunder. Wrong.

I asked the Lord, how could I have handled it better internally? These were the tips I gleaned from the Bible Study to apply to this situation:

  1. FOCUS ON THE “WHY?” When someone is rude, I need to shift the focus from the what, the behavior I see, to the why behind the behavior. I should have immediately thought, “He’s not a bad person, he just has not been taught good customer service skills. He can’t do better than his training allows.” Or, “He’s tired and not thinking properly. When I’m tired, I may not be at my best either.” Or, “He has no idea who he is in Christ and to admit his wrong and experience the condemnation that comes with it is probably too painful for him to handle.” If I can come up with a feasible explanation in my mind, then my tolerance level increases.
  2. RESPOND IN LOVE. Even when they are rude, we should always respond in love. A soft answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1), even if it’s just, “God bless you.” The Bible says we should love, bless, pray for and do good to them that treat us poorly (Matthew 5:44). We can respond by communicating and empathizing with them, then give a loving response of a non-judgmental attitude. Remember, if it weren’t for the help of Holy Spirit we’d probably be acting like them.
  3. PRAY. Actually, prayer should be done from beginning to end. Pray that God will show you a word of knowledge about why that person is acting the way they are. If you get an understanding, you will feel more compassionate, and your feelings and behavior will be in line with God’s will. Pray for the grace to respond correctly and act like the Christian you profess to be. Finally, pray for the person to grow and change the way the Lord desires.

This is a tall order, isn’t it? We can’t do this alone. We must depend on the Holy Spirit to help us make this transition. God is calling us to come up higher, Saints, He is calling us to maturity. So the next time someone is rude to you and your flesh rises up wanting to respond in kind, remember to shift your focus to the why behind the what. Walk in love, and pray fervently in your mind for the help of the Holy Spirit. Your thoughts must line up with the Word which says, “Love thinketh no evil.” When you take the focus off yourself, your feelings, your ego, and your self-interests and focus on the needs and best interest of those around you, then you will truly be loving your neighbor.
What have you learned in your travels about handling rude people? 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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SPIRITUAL QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN WITNESSING

water-baptism-1431326 (1)

I pray you are having a good year so far. I hope you are full of anticipation and have high expectations about how God will use you in 2019. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus gave us the great commission saying, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Therefore we have a responsibility to witness to those around us who don’t know the Savior. In the past, this has been difficult for me. But recently, I have been seriously trying to focus on witnessing to others that I meet even if it’s in a small way, such as telling the cashier at the shoe store after I pay for my purchase, “Remember, Jesus loves you.”

I truly want to be a better witness for the Lord. I’m sure that’s a desire of your heart as well, so here are some good questions you can ask to help facilitate a discussion that may lead to a decision for Christ:

  • Do you have an interest in spiritual things? My Friend, Pastor Conley White, who is gifted in the area of evangelism taught me this one. If a person’s mind is closed to a discussion about spiritual matters, the timing may not be right.
  • What are your thoughts about Jesus Christ? Can I tell you what Jesus said about Himself? I gleaned these two questions from Rabbi K. Schneider who then gives them John 14:6 and John 8:24 as follow-up scriptures. These questions will reveal how much they know about Jesus and ask for permission to share information about Him.
  • Can I tell you what He’s done for me? This is an opportunity for you to give your testimony. It should be short and succinct, highlighting the struggles you have overcome in your life and how you are different because Christ is in your life. I Peter 3:15 says to always be ready to give the reason for your hope.
  • If you died tonight and God asked you, “Why should I let you into my Heaven?” what would you say? This diagnostic question comes from the curriculum developed by Evangelism Explosion International, founded by Dr. D. James Kennedy. This will allow you to determine if people are really saved or not. If they give any answer other than “Jesus died and paid the penalty for my sins,” then an opportunity has been revealed for you to give them the correct information and possibly lead them to Christ.
  • If you died in your sleep tonight, are you sure you would go to heaven? This question will force people to think about their eternal destiny.  If they cannot answer yes, then you can relay to them how according to I John 5:13, they can know that they have eternal life.
  • Would you like to receive Jesus as your personal Savior? The bible says in James 4:2, “You have not because you ask not.” Once you have shared the Gospel, it’s time to “close the deal” and invite people to receive Christ.

Beloved, The Great Commission is a command, not a suggestion. We all need to be out there taking territory for the Kingdom. In order to do that, we have to not only live right but overcome our fears, open up our mouths and share what Christ has done for us regularly. Only then will the captives be set free.

What are your thoughts about publicly sharing your faith? 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 POWER OF SLEEP

Woman Sleeping in Bed

Today, I want to talk to you about something that is very important: Sleep. You may think that the topic of sleep is mundane and not very spiritual. However, sleep will definitely impact your spiritual life. In fact, Psalm 127:2 says, “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.” Therefore, sleep is a gift from God, and if you don’t get enough of it, sorrow will be the end result.

Maybe getting too little sleep is not your issue. Maybe you sleep too much. That too is a problem and is possibly a fruitful topic for another blog. But seriously, I am writing this to myself because I know that, very often, I don’t get enough sleep, and it’s my own fault! The Holy Spirit tells me to go to bed, and I continue to stay up anyway. I am confessing my fault so that I may be healed (James 5:16). Therefore, my friend, if you tend to “burn the candle at both ends” as well, please obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit to get more sleep for the following reasons:

  1. The anointing on your life is affected. Tiredness can affect the Holy Spirit’s ability to flow through you. Therefore, maximizing the anointing on your life could be as simple as getting a good night’s sleep.
  2. Your love walk is impacted. We are commanded to walk in love in Ephesians 5:2. However, we can get short-fused, more easily angered and irritated when we are sleep deprived. We are better able to walk in love when we have had enough sleep.
  3. The devil has greater access to your emotions. In I Kings 19:4, the prophet Elijah sat down under a broom tree and asked God to take his life. Why? Because he was tired. Improper sleep makes you more emotionally vulnerable to satanic attack.
  4. You’re putting your health in jeopardy. Lack of rest will also cause your immune system to be compromised. That sets you up to have sickness and disease manifest in your body.  Since your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6:19), sleep is one way to keep your temple in good repair.
  5. Your cognitive function is degraded. Have you ever noticed that your memory is impaired when you don’t get enough sleep? When your brain is not functioning optimally, it’s harder to understand and memorize scriptures.
  6. Your energy is sapped. When you are tired, you won’t be able to accomplish the goals, dreams and visions God put in your heart. You don’t want to get up early and pray and read God’s Word. Therefore, a lack of sleep could cause you to miss your destiny.
  7. Your creativity is impeded. Deuteronomy 8:18 says God gives you the power to get wealth. How? Through creative ideas. Sleep deprived people are less creative and are therefore less likely to receive good money-making ideas.

Given these negative consequences, it would behoove us all to GO TO BED ON TIME. When the Holy Spirit speaks, we need to listen. Recognize that this is indeed an important aspect of your spiritual life, and it does impact your ability to do what God has called you to do.

What changes do you need to make in the coming days with regards to your sleep habits? 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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