Category Archives: Thoughts

Pleasing God Above People

Pleasing God Above People

 For my whole life I was a people pleaser, but in the last 5 years in my walk with the Lord, I learned that is not pleasing to God. We are to please God above people, not vice versa. God calls us to help others, but there is a difference between helping someone in need and bending over backwards to please them and make them happy. When you make pleasing people more important than pleasing God, then you are forgetting your purpose as a child of God. God did not create any of us to be people pleasers, but to serve and to please Him. You may lose some friendships when you put God above others, but the right people will stay in your life. When your life is pleasing to God, He will help remove the wrong people from your life who are hindering your walk with the Lord and will place people in your life who will help you. God will also send people to you for you to help them with their walk with the Lord.

But please do not make the same mistake I did in trying to help someone else before you are steady and firm in your faith. The people you seek to help will be looking at your life, your attitude and behavior, your words and actions – at everything – to see how you conduct yourself. If you are telling or encouraging them in one area but they see you doing the opposite of what you say, then that will confuse them and turn them off to the Lord, and possibly to you. Heed the Lord’s warning from Matthew 7:3-5: “And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend (brother/sister in Christ), ‘Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye?” Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to help deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.” I wish I had actually taken this warning into consideration, maybe then I would not have lost someone dear to me and maybe he would still be following the Lord instead of straying so far from Him the way he has. This relates to pleasing God because it does not please Him when we are at least in part, responsible for someone being led astray by confusing them. We try so desperately to please God that we end up making a colossal mistake. So let us follow carefully the instructions, commands, warnings, and advice the Lord and God give to us in Scripture. This way we will be doing what pleases God.

Matthew 10:28 tells us not to worry about people who have the ability to kill our physical bodies, for they can’t touch our souls. Instead, we are to fear God, who can destroy both soul and body in Hell.

There are more verses below that warn against seeking the approval of (or being concerned about the approval of) people above God. There are more in the Book of Proverbs, especially in chapters 10-31 both about the consequences of pleasing others instead of God, and on ways that please God and I encourage you all to read through the whole Book. Chapters 1-4 deal with how to attain spiritual wisdom and understanding, so those are definitely worth looking at too if your objective is to please God and to attain wisdom in the process. We are told in Proverbs 3:5-6 to “lean not on your own understanding, but to trust God and to seek His will in all that we do.”

 

Galatians 1:10 ESV

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

1 Thessalonians 2:4 ESV

But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.

Proverbs 29:25 ESV

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

John 12:43 ESV

For they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.

Colossians 3:23 ESV

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men

Acts 5:29 ESV

But Peter and the apostles answered, We must obey God rather than men.”

Isaiah 2:22 ESV

Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?

2 Corinthians 5:9 ESV

So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him.

Galatians 2:20 ESV

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

John 5:44 ESV

How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

Romans 12:1-2 ESV

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

 We are obedient to God when we honor His command to love one another, but we must learn to love them the way we are told to instead of making them our whole world and making pleasing others our top priority so nobody gets hurt. It is painful to hurt someone we care about when we have to either say something to them they don’t want to hear and can or will hurt them, but it is far worse for both of you if you do not tell them what God has instructed you to tell them, or to fail to do what God instructed you to do where the other person is concerned, regarding their reckless behavior or something specifically they are saying or doing that they need to stop doing before it is too late for them to repent and turn back to God to be saved. Remember this though: it is only our responsibility as Christ’s followers to warn them, or to plant the seeds and/or to water them. God is the only One who has the ability to make those godly seeds planted inside them to grow (1 Corinthians 3:6-8). In other words: we are to love others, including our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48), and to help guide them on God’s path, but, we must be sure that we are in a stable place in our own faith where we can effectively do that, and we must be sure that our objective is to please God and not put priority over the other person. God is to be number 1 in our hearts and in every area of our lives, and we must show works of faith too, in order to please Him.

Read James chapter 2 and Hebrews 11 to read more about showing our faith in the actions we take. Our actions either show that we have faith in God, which pleases Him, or shows a lack of faith which grieves Him. He wants us to fully trust, love, awe, honor, and obey Him, willingly, because we want to. The LORD wants a close, intimate relationship with each and every one of us, and Scripture tells us how that is made possible and how to maintain the intimate connection, and how to make it grow stronger, once it has been made through our faith in action (repenting, confessing Jesus as our Lord and Savior after hearing God’s word and deciding to believe it completely, being baptized in the name of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and then daily taking up our crosses to follow Jesus). Jesus outlines in the Gospels what the cost of following Him is, and the requirements for being His disciple. When we follow these instructions, we please God. He warns us against loving our mother, father, sister, brother, child, or anyone else above Him (read Matthew 10:37-39 and Matthew 16:24-27). We are to love Jesus the most in order to please God. And Hebrews 11:6 tells us “it is impossible to please God without faith”, and when we have faith in God, we will naturally want to please God, and will learn to make pleasing Him more important than pleasing others.

The right people, even if they are hurt at the beginning, will come around and accept God’s truth. As for everyone else, God tells us not to worry about them. Once we have done what we are commanded or called to do, it is in God’s hands. Let us then decide today to make every effort to please God above everything else and to seek His will in all we say and do, and in our attitudes and behavior. Let us decide to love God with all of our hearts, minds, soul, and strength (Mark 12:30) -> with our whole being. If any of us here have trouble doing that, let us come to the throne of our loving and merciful God in prayer and ask Him and His Holy Spirit to give us the help we need to show our love for Him, to equip us with all we need to obey Him, and any other areas we need help with. God is just and faithful and He will give us the help we need when our goal is to please Him. God loves all of you unconditionally. He will gladly help you where you are in need of His help. May God’s peace be with you and may You feel his love in your hearts.

Seek the Approval of God NOT Other People

Dear readers,

As promised, here is the 2nd part to/the full blog about pleasing others instead of pleasing God. It did not turn out how I expected it to, but I wrote what I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to write, so here it is! Thank you for your patience! Here it is:

Alexis Malek

April 12-13, 2017

Seek the Approval of God NOT Other People

10 “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.”

 https://www.bible.com/116/GAL.1.10

I know I have previously written on this subject, but it has come to my attention a lot recently that it needs to be addressed again. I myself have always been a people pleaser and this has gotten me nowhere but heartache, pain, and sometimes trouble (especially trouble with God). I am trying to break free of this habit, and have been trying to do so since learning this was a sin and foolish in the eyes of God, which I learned sometime after being saved almost 5 years ago (April 18, 2012 I was baptized and received the gift of the Holy Spirit). Since I am trying hard to break free from this awful habit, I must also cut ties with people who are habitual and unapologetically people pleasers – especially ones who claim to be walking with the Lord, Jesus.

But how can a person say they are walking with the LORD, that they trust only Jesus and love Him with all their being but then in the next breath (or in some cases, in their next written or typed sentence) say that they want to make everyone happy and please everyone and nothing is more important to helping others than to try to make sure they are all happy? Sounds like people-pleasing to me. However, the Bible specifically states that we are not to please people, but God in several places in both OT and NT.

Proverbs 29:25 says, “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.

1 Thessalonians 2:4 says, “For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.”

John 12:43 says, “For they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.”

There are also examples of men putting pleasing people before pleasing God into action in the Bible. For instance, when Jesus was handed over to His enemies by Judas and He stood before Pilate and the high priests had gotten the crowd all fired up against Jesus, Pilate asked who to release, the prisoner named Barabbas or Jesus and the crowd shouted: “crucify Him!” So to please the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas (a murderer), and ordered for Jesus to be flogged (whipped) and crucified (Mark 15:9-15). Pilate knew Jesus was innocent of the crimes He was arrested for and that he’d been sent to prison because the high priests were envious of Him (v. 10), but to please (or pacify, as it is written in my NLT version), he released a vicious murderer and had an innocent man (who they found out too late truly was the Son of God) beaten and crucified.

Being in the business of people-pleasing is still similar today. Whenever we make a decision to try to please everyone (or even 1 particular person or group of people), we are telling Jesus that we do not fully believe in Him and/or that we do not love Him as much as (or at all, depending on who the people-pleasing person is) we love the people we are trying to please. Jesus warns us against this in Matthew 10:37-39 that if anyone loves their mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, or anyone else more than they love Him, that they are not worthy of being His follower. He is not telling us to hate our family, friends, or other loved ones – He is telling us to love them less, because their lives are finite and will end (and those who do not believe in Jesus will be separated from all who believed, loved, and obeyed Jesus while they were here on earth, whether for an hour or most of their lives or anywhere in-between), but Jesus is infinite (He has existed since the beginning of time and will always be in existence) and holds the keys to eternity with Him and the Father in Heaven. When we love, follow, and obey Jesus in faith, we learn how to live the right way and we get prepared to how life will be like in Heaven when there will be no more evil, no more sadness or crying, no more suffering or pain or loss or betrayals: all bad stuff will be done away with and the things that remain will be love, peace, faith, hope, joy, and those who were faithfully obedient to the Lord Jesus, the Son of God and our Lord and Savior.

On the other hand, living for worldly pleasures and to please people will lead to a life of self-destruction and also your actions and words will have a negative impact on others in the world and it is insecurity and self-centeredness that led to the first sin ever committed in this world from Eve after the serpent deceived her. She was deceived because she was naïve and she was insecure after the serpent (Satan in disguise) told her she could have the same knowledge God had and be like Him and be equal to Him, and she wanted it so badly that she went against God’s command not to eat from the 1 fruit tree that was forbidden and we all know what happened after that! —> Sin entered the world along with death, destruction, pain, suffering, separation, sickness, greed, poverty, and all the other problems we face in today’s world.

Why am I bringing this subject up again, one might ask? I have been guilty of being a people pleaser my whole life, and for the past few years, I have been working hard to break the cycle. I still hate confrontation because I don’t like hurting other people’s feelings (or the possibility of it) and I do not want to upset anyone or rock the boat of our friendship or current relationship status (including blood family, and spiritual family at church). And honestly, their reactions/possible bad reactions cause me anxiety because sometimes people (including me, another bad habit I am working to get rid of) explode in anger or get super offended and hurt and cry or yell or both, and some throw things as they yell, and relationships end sometimes when the other person is unwilling to accept what they are hearing and distance themselves as far from the truth they do not want to hear as possible. But I know, because it says so in Scripture, that it is wrong to aim to please people above pleasing God, and fearing man is dangerous, but trusting God leads to safety (as we can read in Proverbs 29:25. And the flip-side to that is this: “Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true knowledge (or wisdom, depending on translation).” Proverbs 1:7a

The second part of that Proverb (Proverb 1:7b) is that “but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” Why do we act so foolish? Is it lack of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding? Is it selfishness? I believe it depends on the person, because some people are not selfish, they just lack the proper wisdom or understanding to know what is right in a situation that is not as simple as black and white (right or wrong). “Thou shalt not murder” is an obviously wrong/bad thing to do. However, doing something good for someone else may not necessarily be easy to see as doing something wrong if the person cannot see that their motive is to please the person instead of honoring God. Sometimes, people do the right things for the wrong reasons and then it is considered a sin against God because God examines the heart, He examines the reasons for our words and actions. If our motives are pure and bring glory to God (and that is our intent), then God is pleased. However, if we do something to please another person, then God is not pleased. And to do something we know in our hearts goes against God, but we do it anyway because we are afraid what the person we are doing the thing for will do to us if we do not do or say what they told us to, then we are guilty of acting against God in more than 1 way: first, because we feared man more than God and second, because we did something that went against God (i.e. lying to others because they demand it and cannot handle the truth).

There is a third option if you are unsure whether or not to do something, to do the right thing for the right reasons, and if you rightly fear God if you’re being asked to do something wrong and sinful but you know it is wrong and do not want to do it: pray. We are told to pray on every occasion, continually and persistently, in Ephesians 6:18. There are many other places in the Bible where we are told to pray in NT, and in OT, we have many examples of those who did the praying, such as Daniel (Book of Daniel), and King David (1 and 2 Samuel). God has the right solutions to every problem we will ever encounter in life. The question is, will we be willing to pray to Him to reveal what it is when the right thing to do is unclear to us? Will you continue being a people pleaser, or will you give up your life to follow the Lord (Jesus Christ) and do things His way, which is the right way? This question is for both believers as well as non-believers. For non-believers: it is not too late to turn your life around, be saved (take the necessary steps to be saved including proper form of baptism), and to daily follow Jesus and live life the way He taught us to both in words and example by the way He lived His own life here on earth as a human.

I recently had to end a very short-lived friendship with someone I met in a support group for anxiety and depression because he claimed to be a man of God who loved Jesus above everyone else and trusted only Jesus. Yet when he created his own support group with “hope” in the title (for those of us who suffer from depression, so we would know there is still hope that it will not last forever and that things can and will get better), at one point he forgot that Jesus was a major factor in the helping and supporting others (since it is important and also brings healing to those who believe when they hear it that Jesus loves them unconditionally, and has the power to heal them) and banned any mention of God or Jesus from the group and was not afraid of other believers leaving the group (and there were others besides me who also left due to this). He said that the reason he created the group was to help others, and there were those who were against hearing about God and Jesus and complained to him about it. Another admin after she left the group had said that there were only a few who did this objecting but most of the members joining were for hearing the Truth, were for hearing about God and Jesus. So one person who began with good intentions, let a few people dictate what was allowed and what was not allowed in his support group. He let their anti-Christ mind-sets wreak havoc with his own sense of right from wrong and he forgot that Jesus is a key to healing. Some people believe in doctors and the medicine they prescribe to heal them of whatever sickness or ailments or pain they experience. Some rely on natural remedies (which both of these things are OK initially, but not when that is the sole thing they rely on: medicine – whether RX or over the counter (self-medicating), or natural remedies). Jesus may, and sometimes does lead us to a specific doctor who will prescribe specific meds or let you know of natural alternatives (depending on the doctor) to help heal us or make us better. However, the first step should be believing that Jesus has the power to heal us, step 2 is to pray to Him about how to get the healing we need from Him, and step 3 is obeying Him whatever He tells us to do. Also, truly believing and accepting that Jesus loves us unconditionally can be healing as well, knowing that no matter how well or poorly we act (as long as we continue to confess our sins to Him like in 1 John 1:9), He will forgive us because when He died for us on the cross, it was to save us from all of the sins we have and would ever commit and not just the sins we had committed prior to being made right with God through a soul-saving relationship with Him (Jesus).

Standing on this truth in your heart, in your mind, and letting it enter every fiber of your being, will help you to be at peace in the midst of storms and feel joy when things are bad in your life, and you will no longer be crushed by the overwhelming weight of anxiety, depression, bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, rage, discouragement, fear, doubt, unbelief, and/or whatever else currently weighs you down. I know that these things currently weigh me down (though I thank God that bitterness has not taken root in all areas of my life and just in a couple of relationships, which I am working to uproot the bitterness so it does not spread to every other relationship and to every area of my life) and I feel like I am drowning and that Jesus (my “lifeguard that walks on water”) is too far away to reach me and save me most days. Part of my personal problem is that I am having a hard time internalizing personally what I know and understand on an intellectual level about God’s love and Jesus’ sacrifice of His life for me on the cross. I believe that many others suffer from this problem too. It is one thing to know a fact about something or someone, but it is completely different to reconcile the truth of it personally in your own life, especially when it comes to something as truly wonderful as God’s unconditional unfailing and everlasting love, mercy, and grace for us, which makes Him slow to anger and eager to forgive and blot out the stain of our sins and not remember them anymore. I believe if we could all (everyone alive today not already doing this successfully) learn to personally feel and believe and accept in our hearts how much God truly loves us, and feel the full extent of His forgiveness that was given through the shedding of Christ’s blood so we would not have do die for our sins because Jesus did for us all, each and every one of us, then it would be a whole lot easier to live life to please God and to do what is right, even if it means that not every person will be pleased. In fact, when we do what pleases God, there will always be people who don’t like it and who will complain or leave your life. I learned this the hard way several times since coming into a right relationship with the Lord nearly 5 years ago – on April 18, 2012.

 

What we need to learn is that not everyone wants to believe or accept the truth, so as much as we want it to be, those who live like this will not be saved. We need to let loving and honoring Jesus be more important than pleasing people. We need to learn to be full-time God-pleasers and to accept that there will be people, even among those we love, that will not be pleased by our words, actions, attitudes, behavior, or devotion to Christ. It is hard to let go of people we love and of seeing God’s promises for our lives come to pass on our timeline and in the way we want it to, but it is something we need to learn to do and to do well if we are to live joyful and peaceful lives. We need to trust God’s timing, and that the rare times God says no (instead of “not yet”), that the thing we want is bad for us, and/or that He has something better in mind for us because God sees the whole picture and we see only a partial picture.

 

And consider this: Sometimes when we aim to please people by saying or doing what they want and not saying and not doing things that offend, upset, or annoy them, we are doing them a disservice. We are enabling them to continue living in spiritual darkness, and to live selfishly to please themselves, which will lead to eternity in Hell for them. Part of our jobs as Christians is to make sure everyone in our lives and everyone we come across (when given the opportunity to do so) know/be told the truth about God and Jesus, and learn about the Good News of salvation and how to attain it. Then it is up to the person receiving the information whether to accept it or reject it. We can try to water the seed planted with words of love and encouragement and by the way we live our own lives, but we cannot force anyone to believe or accept something they either are not yet ready to accept, or will never believe or accept as the truth because of the veil Satan placed on their minds. But we may never know if the person initially rejecting Jesus or the truth will ever turn their lives around and give their hearts to Jesus if we do not try to share the truth/Jesus’ love with them, and if we do not try to find out why they are so against anything having to do with Jesus or God. It is possible they were hurt by a “Christian” or that there was a tragedy in their lives or traumatic event, and they cannot understand how a “supposedly loving God could ‘let’ such bad things happen to them or to innocent people in the world. I still do not understand such things myself, but there comes a time when a person needs to learn to “trust in the LORD and do not depend on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5), and to believe His promise in Romans 8:28 “to work everything together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” Instead of working so hard at pleasing others and trying to pacify them or keep them happy, what if we decided to live out the truth Jesus taught us in the Gospels and live pure lives that please and honor God, and perhaps someday we will see the miracle (especially if we continually pray for the unbelievers and non-believers among us: friends, family, and others God puts in our paths) of at least 1 (possibly more than 1) of those people having a change of heart and giving their hearts to God and their lives to Jesus to be saved! How incredible would that be? When we please God, it can bring about miracles. He can make our enemies be at peace with us. Pleasing God can bring non-believers to (and unbelievers back to) the Lord to be saved. It can bring healing to our bodies, hearts, minds, souls, and spirits. Nothing is too hard, or impossible for God. However, when a person dies, so does any help you were receiving from them and any hope of whatever you were hoping for or expecting from them. That is why we are to put our hope and trust in God and not in people, money, or circumstances.

 

Yes, it can be painful either when someone we care deeply for leaves our lives and treats us like lepers because we love and follow Jesus and they want nothing to do with the truth or Jesus because then they’d have to admit they are wrong and change their ways. Yes it is painful when we have to say goodbye to someone we care about because they are toxic to us and if they stayed in our lives, they could lead us astray and we would forfeit our salvation. However, wouldn’t it be even worse to lose our salvation because we thought keeping everyone we love in our lives (even non-believers/anyone against Christ/Truth/God) was more important than the salvation of our own souls, and we did everything the other person/other people wanted in order to get them to stay in our lives? What is more important, pleasing people or the salvation of our souls? If the answer is the salvation of our souls (and pleasing God and following Jesus) then no matter how painful it is for us, we need to do what is best according to God, because He truly knows what is best and what is right for us, and knows better than any other person would what is right for us. It will not be easy, and Jesus warns all of us to count the cost before following Him, but it is more rewarding to be able to learn to live your life filled with peace and joy, even in the midst of horrific storms (trials and tribulations) in our lives now and the promise of eternity in Heaven forever after Jesus 2nd Coming. Am I saying to never please other people? No! In fact, Jesus came to serve us and has commanded us to do the same (to serve others). The key is to remember we are doing it for God and not solely for the other person to win their approval or like or love. When we work to serve others, we are to examine our motives for doing so and make sure that our reasons are pure and to honor God and help the person (regardless of whether or not they can ever return the favor or do something in return), and not to please people or expecting something in return. The right people will be pleased when we obey God and do things that please Him. And we are not to worry about those who do not like or accept what we do in obedience to the LORD, or in the way we conduct ourselves and live our lives.

 

What will you decide to do? Will you work to please God (first) and do what is right and for the right (pure) reasons, or will you continue to be a people pleaser who either does wrong, or does the right things for the wrong reasons or does the wrong things for the right reasons? When our goal is to please God first and foremost, He will reveal to us the right way to do things and give us the right words to say to others. The decision whether to please others, please yourself, or to please God is entirely up to you. I hope you will at least pray about it and ask the Lord to help you make the right decision and to stand by it and do the right things always, no matter how difficult. Thank you for taking time to read this. I believe in doing so, that you truly do want to please God and that there is hope for you! I hope there is still hope for me, but I believe there is definitely hope for you, as long as you have breath in you to make the necessary changes in your life, with the help of the Holy Spirit and Jesus. May God’s love and peace be with you!

Quick Question About How to Live_Update

Hello readers,

I just got an unusual comment (did not approve it because it needs clarifying first) on one of my posts where I’d had a revelation from God about something and shared it on here. And based on this comment where I was told what I wrote about might be considered taboo, I would like to ask the following question, and please think about it. You do not have to answer unless you feel compelled to (and if you do respond, please keep it respectful or it will not be approved), but this is the question:

Do we do whatever we do in life to please others, or to please God?

If we live to please others, we may stop doing something God has told us to do (or created us to do, like writing and sharing God’s Word and advice with biblical back up through my writing) because we have offended someone or because we might offend someone. But consider this: Jesus did not stop preaching or teaching His disciples and followers when the Pharisees got offended by some of the things Jesus said. He kept preaching, kept healing, kept doing what the Father (God) told Him to do. So, do we live to please other people, or do we live to please God with the way we live our lives? I think this may be the beginning of a possible full blog post I may write about, because some other things have been happening in my life in regards to this issue of pleasing people verses pleasing God and I feel compelled to write about it, but currently lack the energy to do so at full strength.

So for now, I leave you with this question to silently answer for yourself and I hope to be able to write more about this topic with Scripture and in more depth than now. For now, thank you to my readers for reading this! I love you, and God and Jesus love you unconditionally! May God’s peace be with you!

Attention!! I finally followed through and wrote and posted the promised blog to follow about living to please God and not other people! It has already been read by 2 of my faithful readers (thank you). Now the rest of you/all of you can link it to this post in your minds and possibly go back to the questions above and answer them again. Perhaps your answers will be the same, perhaps after reading my blog covering this topic and giving it thought, you may change your mind/answers. But I encourage you to read my post about pleasing God above people and then come back to this post and answer the questions I posted in here. If it will be easier for you all, I can (if asked) move the questions to the end of the blog I just posted in connection to this one. Let me know. I am here to help!

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2:4-7

4And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. 5He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.6And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 7She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

Jesus was born this day over 2,000 years ago and fulfilled the prophesy from Isaiah in Isaiah 9:6 –> 6For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Now He reigns above in Heaven with God, the Father and mediates for us at God’s right hand. He loves all of us, including you, unconditionally!

One of my nephews and his mommy (my sister) woke me up at 8am to open presents (which for the first time in several years I actually had some to open). I then ate breakfast and played with both my nephews until a quarter to 11. I had only gotten about an hour of sleep so at abut 11am I went back to sleep until about a quarter to 5pm. Just waiting for Christmas dinner to be done cooking so we can all eat! What did you do today? Whatever it was, I hope it was an amazing day for you all!

Hope everyone had a Blessed, Peaceful, and Joyous Christmas! Lots of love from the Lord and from me!

 

 

From Defeat to Victory, From Worry and Fear to Faith in God

Last night I was reading a couple of inspirational books God has led me to read to boost my faith and deepen and strengthen my relationship with Jesus and Him as a result. A couple of the things I wrote down came from 2 different books. One was on how to be Victorious and when the author mentioned our victory already being won and to remind Satan of his future when he tries reminding us of past mistakes, I immediately thought of Revelations 20:10. In the other book, Romans 4:18-21 was quoted and it jumped out at me so I wrote it down. The other stuff I wrote down in my notes were thoughts that hit me as I was reading both of these books on my Amazon Kindle. I may edit this later if I can find time to re-format this into a proper blog post, but even as it is now, it is still valuable advice I wrote down for myself and want to share with all of you, my readers. I hope this advice blesses us  all and brings a turn around in our favor for each of our situations and trials and that victory is not only mine, but yours too, in every area of your life! I did edit some stuff (changed “I” to “you” or “we” and some other similar changes), but I did not re-format it. If the advice seems confusing as is now, let me know and I will re-format it as soon as I can, otherwise I may leave it as is.  The stuff immediately below was not included in the original notes, so I am keeping them separate for now.

Some things to keep in mind when doubt (or fear) creep into your thoughts and try to take over your life:

First of all, they stem from lies Satan tells us through our circumstances, through other people, or whispers in our ears when we are focused on our problems instead of on Jesus. In order to get rid of the strongholds these lies have on us, we must daily study God’s Word to learn the truth (what God says about our situation). It helps to write out the key verses that speak to the specific situation(s)  or struggles you are worrying about that are present in your life.

From Defeat to Victory, From Worry and Fear to Faith in God

More things to remember when fears and doubts assail you:

1)    King David, even before he became king (after the prophet Samuel anointed him to be king) boldly stated that “the giant” was defying “the armies of the living God” and then asked King Saul if he could fight against Goliath. King Saul eventually said yes, and with nothing more than a sling and a few stones, and a strong and firm faith in God and that God was with Him and had completely prepared him for the battle all those years he clubbed bears and other wild animals that tried to eat his father’s sheep, he completely defeated Goliath. He spoke words of faith and victory before the battle and already saw himself winning through God and that is how he won the battle against the giant named Goliath. Key verses: 1 Samuel 17:26, 32, 34-37, 40-50.

2)    Daniel (Book of Daniel) and his 3 friends Hananiah (also called Shadrach), Mishael (also called Meshach) and Azariah (also called Abednego) had a strong deeply rooted faith in God and it saved Daniel’s 3 friends from burning in the 7X heated furnace (Daniel 3:16-30, key verses 16-18 with their statement of faith that their God could rescue them from the furnace, but even if He didn’t, they would not worship the king’s god) and Daniel from the Lion’s mouth in the Lion’s Den (Daniel 6, key verses 21-22 where Daniel explains to King Darius who had come to see if Daniel was alive, that God had found him (Daniel) innocent in His sight, and so had shut the lions’ mouths so they couldn’t harm him). Daniel and his 3 friends prayed several times a day and worshipped only the 1 true God and believed that God could keep them safe from death, and even if not (his friends said “but even if He doesn’t), they would worship only God because He was the only true God (was implied in what they said). And that is also why Daniel would not pray to anyone other than God and refused to stop praying to God even when some administrators tricked king Darius into coming up with a law that for 30 days no one could pray to anyone or anything other than the king. Daniel and his friends were faithful to God the whole time, and as a result, the king reigning in Chapter 3, and the other king who was reigning in chapter 6, both ended up praising Daniel and his friends’ God and made decrees that He was God alone and that no one was to speak a word against their God (chapter 3), or to tremble with fear before the God of Daniel (chapter 6).

 

  • Prayer and strong and deeply rooted faith in God alone is what made David, Daniel, and Daniel’s 3 friends successful in defeating their enemies and death.
  1. Abraham believed without wavering that God would honor His promise to make him “the father of many nations.” Romans 4:18-21.
  2. Our victory has already been won. Satan’s end has been set (Revelations 20:10), so I and other believers need to remember this truth, accept it, and live life with this truth as a reality. Satan wants us to think that there is still a chance for him to win the battle, and wants to bring as many people down (to eternity in Hell) with him as he can. The key is to remember that Satan’s future is set and can never be undone, and so his future will happen, but our future is with God and Jesus in Heaven because we took the steps (believed God’s truth when we heard it, repented of our sins, confessed Jesus as our Lord and Savior, got baptized in the name of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit – fully submerged under water for a second, and received the gift of the Holy Spirit as a deposit of the promise of eternal life. The Holy Spirit was given also to guide us along God’s path for our lives) to be made right with God through Jesus and faith with works is what is needed to be made right with Him. Through faith we repented, confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior, through faith we got baptized, and through faith we daily take up our crosses to do the will of God/follow the instructions of Jesus for our lives instead of doing what Satan or our flesh (body) wants us to do. When we keep the victory over Satan (Revelations 20:10) and over death (1 Corinthians 15:54-57) in mind, and remember that Jesus healed many who were sick, blind, deaf, mute, lame, crippled, demon-possessed, and other illnesses and raised the dead and that Jesus was Himself raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit, and that that same Spirit lives inside of us who have been made right with the Lord, then we can have a victorious attitude and live out our faith firmly and strongly. We must speak faith-filled words, words of life, of blessing over ourselves and others in order to see God’s promises come to pass. When we speak positive faith-filled words based on God’s promises, we drive out fear, doubt, worries, anxiety, and it can also drive out depression and other negative emotions that bog us down and produce strongholds based on lies Satan told us that we believed, and when we instead begin believing God’s truth and speaking God’s truth over our lives and the lives of others, those strongholds will be broken and we will be set free. This is one of the purposes of the Holy Spirit – to lead us into all truth and for the truth to set us completely free from all bonds, chains, and strongholds of the Devil.

 

  • When the situations in your life appear to go against what God promises and I am tempted to feel depressed, anxious, defeated, stuck, or anything that goes with fear or a defeated attitude, I turn to Scripture (God’s written Word, full of good promises for hope and a future, for life instead of death) – and you can too and do the following too – to see what God says about my particular situation that I am are worried about, or depressed about and speak God’s truth over my situation (out loud whenever possible, even if only in a whisper) and firmly believe what God says about it instead of the lies. It could be that it is a general promise like “My present troubles are temporary but produce for me a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever. So we don’t look at the things we see now for they will soon be gone, rather we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen, for the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18) You need to believe you’re your current problems/trials/illnesses are all temporary. God also promises in Psalms 30:5 that “God’s anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.” For my sickness, despite what someone else – even another believer might say, the promise in Jeremiah 30:17 is still applicable today, when God says it is – where God declares, “I will give you back your health and heal your wounds.” God might be saying “not yet,” but that does not mean that He is saying “no, not ever.” God only says no when He has a plan for the trial we are going through (including illness), and as soon as the plan is carried out (be it a lesson learned, being a display of God’s mighty power like the blind man Jesus was sent to heal who had been blind from birth, or if we are to help others with the same or similar problems or ailments/illnesses, lack of faith and God is giving us a chance to believe without doubting – for Jesus said “according to your faith may it be done” and “Be encouraged! Your faith has made you well” or whatever the purpose of the trial or illness is), then the healing will be given, the situation will suddenly turn around in your favor unexpectedly and suddenly, and you will see overwhelming victory through Christ because of His love for you.
  • And we are not meant to wait until Jesus comes back for a majority of our promises to be fulfilled, only for certain ones, like the promises of no more pain, separation, loss, tears, new bodies that are unperishable and eternal, and some other promises. But there are promises that I will see come to pass in my lifetime here on earth, when I fully believe without doubting, and when God deems it time to. God has a set time for everything (as we all learn in Ecclesiastes, and Isaiah mentioned something about it in Isaiah 61:2), and we need to learn to trust in God’s timing, even when we don’t understand why He is “taking so long” to honor a particular promise or why there was a “sudden delay” when we thought the promise was about to become reality. God’s ways are higher than our ways and He sees the whole picture, while we only see a glimpse of it right now, so He knows better than we do when the time is right to bring a certain promise to pass in our lives.

 

 

 

Unconditional Love Prevails Part 2_What to do While Waiting

A few years ago, I posted on here about unconditional love prevailing and listed the qualities of it, which come from 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. I also gave examples of what unconditional love is not, so that anyone experiencing any of the behaviors or things mentioned could see that it was not true love or meant to be and get out of the relationship and move on. Finally, I gave hope (which I hope actually gave my readers hope) that true love prevails and so if it is meant to be, it will find a way to be, when God says it is the right time. After re-reading my post, which by the way is already good as it is, I thought about it and now that I have learned some more from life experiences, I want to share it with you and hope that you can learn from my mistakes.

Unconditional Love Prevails Part 2_What to Do While Waiting

In addition to the advice given in the original post, I recommend writing a list of things you would like to grow in the “garden of your heart” and in the “garden of your true love’s heart” (spiritually, thinking as if what kind of flowers you would chose to put in a physical garden if you had one, but instead it is the qualities and anything else you want found in your heart like Jesus, faith, hope, love, joy, peace, faithfulness, desire to please God, etc.) and then pray for your heart and your true love’s heart to grow these things in the “garden” in your heart and in their heart. I read this in a book I read over the summer about what to do while waiting for your true love. It was addressed to women of God, but the advice can apply to either the man or the woman. It also said something about women not being the one to pursue the man because that is the man’s job and it can mess up the relationship. I didn’t even know I was doing it until it was too late. So please learn from my mistakes and do not make the same mistakes yourself ladies! And men, if you are in love with a woman, tell her and do everything you can (including praying to God about it and following His lead on what to do) to be with her, especially if you know she feels the same way and believe God led you to meeting her and bringing her into your life and she makes you feel good about yourself, treats you right, and tries to keep your relationship with Jesus alive and draw you closer to Him. The idea here is to be so busy with your relationship with the Lord that you have no time to worry about whether or not the person you are in love with and want to be with will ever straighten out, or realize you’re both meant to be together and if it will ever happen. And then the time will come when you are so close with the Lord that your faith will become strong and firm and you will trust Him to honor His promises and to love you faithfully and unfailingly. He is the example of how to treat others, whether in a romantic relationship, friendship, or any kind of relationship.  And remember, Jesus was never abusive in any way, so if someone is abusive whether verbally, mentally, physically, or in any way, then get out of that relationship now and pray for the person from afar, from a safe place and at a safe distance. Let Jesus be your example in all ways in every area of your life, and let Jesus be the center of your world. I admit, I am still learning this for myself, but if Jesus is your focus, then you will have the peace and joy only He can give, that He promises to us in John 14:27 and 15:11.

Whether you are the man or the woman, pray to God about the person you believe is your true love to find out if he or she is truly “the one” God is telling you He wants you to be with. If the answer is yes, then pray to God on what to do first (men). And women, pray to God that this man is first of all, a praying man and in a right relationship with the Lord, and secondly, that he be given the courage to pursue a relationship with you and reveal his feelings for you to you. Prayer and following God’s guidance on what to do and keeping Jesus first in your heart, in the center of your relationship, and in every area of your life will lead to the results you desire with your true love, and in life, because Jesus is number one and God’s plan is infinitely better than anything you could dream up or imagine. Remember God’s promise in Jeremiah 29:11 about His plan for your life. God is faithful and will honor His promise in the right time, and God sees the whole picture, so He will know when the right time is for the two of you to be together. In the meantime, you have a Lord and Savior – Jesus, who loved you so much He died for you to save you (1 John 3:16) and conquered death when He was resurrected 3 days later. And now He wants to shower you with His unconditional love for you. Spend time with Jesus in private Bible study daily, in prayer, in meditation (meditating on His love for you and also if you ask for something in prayer, He might answer when your mind is quiet), and any other way you can think of. Perhaps you can spend time with Jesus through worship music or hymns that praise Him or God or Both, so you are not just doing that at church on Sundays, but  every day, or as often as possible and as your priorities begin to become straight (in alignment with what God says our priority order ought to be, with Him and Jesus number 1), you may find time more frequently and possibly daily to add worship music, and dance if you like to dance. If not, then just praising the LORD through hymns and worship music will do your spirit and soul good, which will also be good for your physical health and emotional health.

Remember also, that your body is a temple to the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19) Do not use any part of your body to sin against the Lord or the Holy Spirit. Premarital relations (doing anything God says are meant for married couples only to be doing) is a sin and it will have serious consequences, believe me. I have never done it, but someone else I know has and now everything is messed up beyond repair – that is, it is humanly impossible for things to ever work out, and it would take God’s desire for things to work out with this person and His supernatural abilities to work it out for it to happen. Do not let that happen to you. If it has in one way or another (if you or the other person has had premarital relations whether with each other or with another person), then pray to God about it. If it is the person God had written in His book for you to be with, then perhaps there is still a chance for things to turn around in the right time. But pray to God about it and listen to what He says about it and do what He tells you to do. It may be what I am suggesting: focusing on deepening and strengthening your relationship with Jesus and placing Him number 1 in your heart and keeping Him and God’s Kingdom number 1 in every area of your life.

Do not let depression drown you or anxiety keep you awake nights, for this leads nowhere and just makes you tired and miserable, and can make life extremely difficult, especially when it comes to getting things done that need doing and you are unable to do them because you are too tired or ill (physically) to do anything other than get out of bed to use the bathroom or get food and water. If this already sounds like you, do not worry because it is not too late to overcome your depression, anxiety, or both. Taking your focus off your situation/problems and refocusing your attention to Jesus and spending time with Him in various ways throughout the day every day will most certainly help. The more time you spend in God’s Word and with Jesus, the more His promises will be written in your heart, and you will learn more of both God’s and Jesus’ character and heart and you will find yourself taking more steps in faith (for faith without works – that is, without action – is dead, as the Apostle James wrote in James 2:14-26 with the key verses being 17 and 26), and as you take more steps in faith, your faith will grow. In time, your depression and anxiety will lessen greatly or may even go away completely, depending on God’s will for you and if there is a purpose for either the anxiety or depression that will strengthen your character and will enable you to help other people in similar situations as you or who also suffer from anxiety, depression, or both. if you need to, talk to a professional about it. There are Christian counselors you can see for depression, anxiety, or both, if talking about it would help you; or perhaps you can talk to your minister or Pastor about it privately. I also recommend keeping a journal of how you feel, what thoughts are created by how you feel or what you are thinking and how that makes you feel, and then open your Bible to the Scripture that talks about your situation and see what God says about it. He may lead you to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 or to 1 John 3-4 or somewhere else entirely, depending what your focus is on and what He wants to reveal to you about it. Whatever verses He leads you to, write them down under your negative thoughts and feelings and then write down underneath the Verses you write down how you feel after reading those verses and saying them either out loud, or in your head. The idea being that we replace the lies we believe based on current circumstances or what Satan has whispered in our ears, or what other people have said, with the Truth. God’s point of view, no matter what the topic is, is always the Truth, and it is what we need to reprogram our minds to be focusing our thoughts on. God’s truth is what we ought to give great thought to throughout the day every day, and what we should be speaking over our lives and over the lives of others. If God placed the desire in your heart to be married and it hasn’t happened yet (or if it has but there are trials and tribulations in your marriage), then have faith in God that things will work out. Prayer offered in complete faith and sincerity has great power and produces wonderful results.  (James 5:16) And it is God who placed the desire in your heart to be married to the right person.

God promises in Psalms 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires.” This means that only He (the LORD) can fulfill us and complete us, and only He can give us true peace in our hearts, and satisfy our longings in our hearts. It means we find our worth in the LORD, who declares that we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14 NIV) and that we are His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10 NLT). We must first realize that it is Jesus Christ alone who completes us and whom we find our worth in, not in another person. If we rely on another person to complete us or for our happiness, then you will both (you and the person who hinge your happiness on) be miserable. You need to both be 2 separate whole people (made whole by Jesus Christ our Lord) coming together to join your lives together – when you get married, and be able to find joy and peace apart from one another. You are to add happiness, joy, love, and peace to one another’s lives, not be the only source of it. Listen: You are already whole and complete without another person whether a significant other or a family member or friend. Jesus completes you, Jesus makes you whole. You are worthy and valuable, and loved beyond measure by the One who created you (God) and by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (God’s Son). God and Jesus love you unconditionally and want you to always be filled with joy and peace, no matter what is going on in your life – even through trials and tribulations. So take delight in the LORD and then you will begin to see Him giving you the desires He placed in your heart.

No matter how many mistakes you or the other person made, if it is meant to be, then God will find a way to right the wrongs, and for the two of you to be together. The key is to go about living your life for Jesus, without stressing or worrying over whether or not you or the person you are in love with is the one you are meant to be with. When you focus your eyes on Jesus, and on following His instructions and commands for your life and live to please Him and God, then in the right time, which only God knows when that will be for the both of you, God will bring the person you are meant to be with into – or back into – your life and everything will work out as long as both of you keep Jesus number 1 in your hearts and in all areas of your life, including Him being at the center of your relationship with the person God wants you to spend the rest of your life with. Do not force things to happen, or it will backfire and you could lose the person, and if not forever, then at least it will take a whole lot longer for things to be worked out on both your end (in your heart and in your life, and in their heart and in their life) for the two of you to be together. You may need to let the person you love go for a while so that God can work in their heart and in their life to make them the man or woman God created them to be, for Him and for you. And you may need to work on your own spiritual walk too. Have faith in God that it will work out at the right time. Let Jesus be the anchor to your hope. Despite how things may look now, God promises in Romans 8:37 No, despite all these things (trouble, calamity, hunger, persecution, etc.) overwhelming victory is ours through Christ.” Overwhelming victory will be yours too, which means that true and unconditional love will prevail. In light of this, keep praying, keep deepening your relationship with the Lord and going further in your walk with Him, keep hoping, keep believing, and take actions in your life that back up your faith – even if that action is waiting patiently and building your relationship with Jesus and living your life without the other person for a while, until God makes the way for it to happen when the time is right for both you and your true love. There are days that will be harder than others, and then there will be days where faith, hope, and peace are easy for you when you begin to see the pattern of God’s faithfulness in your life. Persevere through it all and you will see things work out better than you could ever have hoped. It might not be exactly how you envisioned it would, or when, but God promises it will be worth the wait.

Note: This advice works for friendships and family members too. If you are at odds with, or in a fight with a friend or family member, pray for the person persistently and if there is any unforgiveness in your heart towards the person, pray for God to help you fully forgive the person (or yourself or both if necessary) and keep praying to forgive until you have let go of all the hurt and pain and are able to fully forgive. And keep praying for the other person to come to know the Lord (if they don’t, or if they do not have the truth about God or Jesus) and that thy will believe and accept the truth and Jesus into their hearts and take the necessary steps to enter a soul-saving relationship with the Lord (you can pray this for your true love as well as for family members, friends, and even enemies since God tells us to love and pray for our enemies). If the person you are fighting with, estranged from, or at odds with is meant to be a permanent part of your life, then things will work out and your relationship with one another and their relationship with the Lord will all be mended, restored, and strengthened.