Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The People Addiction

 “I don’t care what people think about me!” Have you ever said something similar to that? As easy as it is to make that statement, it’s harder to actually believe it and live it out. Everyone wants to feel accepted. Everyone desires to be loved. When we don’t receive the love or acceptance we long for, we become addicted to people. It doesn’t matter if you’re the world’s greatest basketball player or on the cover of "World’s Most Beautiful Magazine," rejection is something that comes to every person. Although we all experience rejection, we don’t all handle it the same. Let’s take a look at how Hannah, a woman of God in the book of First Samuel, dealt with rejection and received treatment for her people-addiction.

The Symptoms:
Insecurity & Depression
You know that you’re a PEOPLE-ADDICT when you begin putting your worth in people instead of God. When our worth is in people, we care more about what people think and say about us than we care about what God has said about us. If you believe that you’re a failure because your father said that you’ll never amount to anything, you’re addicted. Instead believe that the Lord has great plans for you, to give you a future filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11). If you see yourself as ugly because someone said that to you, you’re addicted. See yourself as fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). If you’re afraid to be yourself because you fear that people might not like the real YOU, you’re addicted. Instead, be content with who you are (Matthew 5:5). You’re an addict when you crave for the affection and attention of others more than you crave His attention and affection.

Hannah was married to a man named Elkanah. Now Elkanah was also married to a woman, Peninnah who easily bore him children. However, it was not so easy for Hannah to bare children. “So Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the Lord had kept her from having children” (1 Samuel 1:6 NLT). Immediately, Hannah felt the rejection and slipped into depression, “Year after year it was the same—Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. Each time, Hannah would be reduced to tears and would not even eat” (1 Samuel 1:7 NLT). 

When our worth isn’t in God alone, depression and insecurity will always be the outcome.

We see a few verses after, Hannah rose up from her depression and went to the Lord. As she was at the temple, she began to cry out to God. She vowed that if He would give her a son, she would give him back to God. She prayed so intently and diligently that even Eli, the priest, thought she was drunk. “'Oh no, sir!' she replied. 'I haven’t been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the Lord'” (1 Samuel 1:15 NLT).

Worship is THE treatment for people-addiction.

So how does the story end? In that same chapter of First Samuel, Hannah gave birth to a son, Samuel. She honored her vow and gave him to God. We know that Samuel became one of the most well known prophets in the Old Testament. He even anointed King David of Israel. Out of the lineage of David, came the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords—Jesus Christ. What if Hannah didn’t cry out to God for a son after her experience with rejection? There would be no Samuel. Without Samuel, there would be no David. Without David, there would be no Jesus. 

There is a blessing in rejection.

Every day, God heals me more and more from this addiction because I too, am an addict at times. Before treatment with the Holy Spirit, if someone didn't validate my beauty or the gifts inside of me, I would feel insecure. I came to the realization that my depression was rooted from people. Like Hannah, I valued other people's opinions more than God's. So, I took the very painful rejection of my past to the Lord and I began to build a lifestyle of worship. I allowed Him to use my rejection for His glory. Out of that came this blog. Now, each day I pray that I only desire the acceptance, affection, adoration, attention, and love of my Lord.

Beloved, take the rejection in your life to God. I know it’s hard, but let it go. People are going to reject you—THAT’S LIFE! But it’s how you deal with the rejection that makes the difference. Hannah took her rejection to the Lord and He made it into something so unbelievably great. Ask the Holy Spirit daily, "Am I allowing rejection to depress me and cause me to feel insecure?" Right now, go to the Lord and fall at His feet. Pour your heart and soul out to Him. He wants to take your rejection and turn it into acceptance for someone else. It’s time to get over this addiction to people. Begin to put your worth in Christ. Take the dosage of worship prescribed by the Holy Spirit. He wants to heal you and infect you with His love.

"Lord, the rejection I've experienced has hurt me. But I will no longer handle it without You. Today, allow me to desire Your attention and Your affection more than anyone and anything else. You are all that I need. God, heal me. I am ready." 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Accepting Grace Pt.2

Have you ever tripped and stumbled into sin? What about falling face first into sin? We all have experienced this in one way or another. As imperfect beings, sin is inevitable—it will happen. There will be times where we will stumble back into sin. Other times we will dive right into it, feeling like we've landed flat on our faces. But no matter how we fall, we know that because of Jesus Christ we can accept grace. His grace is so powerful that it literally covers a multitude of sin (1 Peter 4:8).

Months ago, I wrote a post about accepting grace. Sometimes, even after repentance, we still doubt by not forgiving ourselves. After Jesus picks us up from the fall, we find it difficult to walk in grace. The beautiful thing about walking in grace is that you walk as if you never even fell in the first place. It’s like someone who tripped and broke their ankle, but five minutes later they begin walking even better than they did before. His grace is THAT amazing. But why don’t we accept this grace if it’s so amazing? 

I too, would fall face first into sin, not knowing that I really was falling into His arms of grace. I found it difficult to forgive myself even after I knew God had forgiven me. I say this all the time, Satan’s biggest trick is NOT necessarily to get you to fall into sin. His biggest trick is to get you to stay down in guilt. When we don’t forgive ourselves for the fall, we do not fully accept His grace. So hours or days, sometimes even weeks go by and we are angry at ourselves. And the feelings of unworthiness parade our minds. So instead of walking in grace, we tip-toe.

If Satan can get a Believer to stay down in guilt, he’s got them right where he wants them. One of the most important aspects of the Christian walk is worship. But how can you worship when you still feel unworthy? Beloved, you can’t. When you no longer have a worship life, the strength to do HIS WILL also stops. For example, that person that needs to hear your poem about salvation will never hear it because you were too busy not forgiving yourself. This is exactly why the enemy tricks us into guilt. An important part of walking in grace is forgiving yourself. When we don’t forgive ourselves, we are unknowingly saying, “I thought I was perfect like Jesus, but I’m not.” That prideful statement is exactly what is keeping you from truly walking in grace.

Believer, it doesn’t matter how many times you trip and fall, you are simply falling into arms of grace. Today, forgive yourself. You are an imperfect person that’s greatly loved by a perfect God. Every day, I tell the Holy Spirit that I am weak and HE is strong. Constantly remind yourself that you are weak and you aren’t perfect. First Corinthians 12:9 says that God is the strongest when we are at our weakest point. When we remind ourselves that we are nothing without God’s strength, forgiving ourselves becomes easier because we knew we were weak in the first place. Beloved, God’s grace is enough for you. He has already forgiven you (1 John 2:9). But do you believe it enough to forgive yourself? Don’t focus more on the fall than you do getting back up—accept grace and walk in it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The "In-Between" Season

We see in the story of Joseph that dreams are very important. Apparently, dreams were so important that Joseph’s own brothers hated him for his dream. Genesis 37 tells us that Joseph had two dreams with the same meaning—Joseph would so be great that even his family would bow down to him. Although Joseph is thrown in a pit and eventually ends up in prison, we all know how the story ends. In Genesis 41, Joseph's dreams finally manifested as he is made second-in-command to Pharaoh. But what happened from the moment Joseph had the dream at 17 and the time he saw the manifestation of it at 30? What did Joseph do in between that time? He simply remained honorable to God.

Many of us have dreams from God but don’t know how to honor the dream. What do you do in the “in-between” season of life? Joseph shows us perfectly how we should remain honorable as we wait for the manifestation of the dream.
  • HONOR YOUR BODY- In the “in-between” season, honoring your body is very important. Joseph could have easily slept with Potiphar’s wife. He could have said, “God, I’m lonely. You understand.”  But he remained honorable. The word of God says to flee from fornication (1 Corinthians 6:18)—literally run from sexual immorality as Joseph did.
  • HONOR YOUR SOUL- The soul is our emotions. When Joseph found himself in prison for being honorable, he could have let his emotions rule him. The butler and the baker needed their dreams interpreted. Joseph could have said, “Man, my brothers threw me in a pit AND I’m in a prison for something I didn’t do. You guys interpret your own dreams. I’m feeling bitter.” But he remained honorable. Think about it, if Joseph never interpreted their dreams, he would have never made it to his destiny. Joseph let the hope from his God-given dream anchor his soul (Hebrews 6:19) in his “in-between” season.
  • HONOR THE SPIRIT- When you honor your body and soul, you are ultimately honoring the Holy Spirit that lives in you. Second Timothy 2:20-22, speaks of vessels of honor and vessels of dishonor. As Believers, we must to strive to be vessels of honor in our “in-between” season. Remain useful for God, our Master, by fleeing from youthful lusts and pursuing righteousness (2 Timothy 2:22).
Believer, if you have a dream be encouraged that it will come to pass. God gives us dreams and leaves it up to us to honor Him with the dream. What dishonorable things are you doing right now that you know you need to stop? What honorable things is God telling you to start doing? Every day, ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and the strength to remain honorable. God could trust Joseph with the manifestation of the dream when he saw him being honorable in his “in-between” season. Although this season is uncomfortable at times, stay faithful. Whether you’re in the pit, the prison, or the palace, continue to remain honorable. Destiny comes to those who remain honorable.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


October has finally arrived. As the scarves come out, the leaves fall, and the seasonal coffee flavors are sold, we know one thing is for sure—Fall is definitely here. It obviously isn’t a surprise because we know each year around this time, the season will change. As Believers, we also have seasons in our lives—Spiritual seasons. Some are great and full of joy, while other seasons aren’t as fun. No matter what the season, we know that we must stay content as the Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 4:12. Our passionate pursuit for Jesus shouldn’t change because our season has changed. It’s important that we remain the same in every season.

Indicators that your season is changing:
  • Things get hot. (Spiritual Summer) When it seems like everything in your life is heating up, know you’re in a new season. This is a season where the enemy will tempt you the most. It seems like everywhere you turn, temptation is all around you. In this season, pray that His strength overrides your weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
  • Things get cold. (Spiritual Winter) When it seems like everything in your life has stopped or frozen, know you’re in a new season. My Pastor taught on “unexplained depression” recently. If this season isn’t handled right, depression will definitely be a result. Usually, the enemy will try to confuse you. He will attack you with regret, bitterness, insecurities, and doubt. These attacks are unexplainable, meaning they came out of no where. Since God didn’t write confusion in your plans according to (1 Corinthians 14:33), pray for clarity to see Him and hear His voice in this season.
  • Old things die. (Spiritual Fall) When it seems like everything and everyone has walked out of your life, you’re in a new season. This season is a blessing in disguise. God will begin to remove people and things that shouldn’t be in your life. The enemy will try to attack you with feelings of loneliness. Remember, God will never leave us alone, He is with us, always (Matthew 28:20).
  • New things spring forth. (Spiritual Spring) When it seems like everything is going great in your life, you’re in a new season. This is a season that everyone enjoys. New people, new vision, new opportunities will begin to flourish in this season. The Lord wants to see His children prosper and bear much fruit (John 15:8).
Whether we’re in a high season or low, God desires to reveal something new to us. We must stay content in each season so we know exactly what He wants to reveal to us. Maybe in that “cold season” God wants to reveal His great love to you. In that season where He cut people out of your life, He wants to reveal to you that He is all you need. In that "spring season," He wants to reveal to you that He is your provider. Don’t allow a season change to alter your stride in your pursuit toward Him.

You know that you’re content when you continue to pursue God with all that you are—with all that you have. When we aren’t content, we become anxious. When we’re anxious, we become fearful. When we’re fearful, we become hopeless. See the pattern here? Today, have you stopped pursuing more of His presence, His word, and His love because of a season change? Identify what season you’re in. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you peace to stay content in these seasons. We know that God remains the same in every season, so we should as well. Be a reflection of God’s faithful image—Pursue Him the way He constantly pursues after you, in every season. 

-Lord, Your presence is the heartbeat inside of my soul that awakens every part of me. I pray that Your peace will guard my heart and mind in every season that I’m in (Philippians 4:7). My desire is to pursue You with all that I am, every day of my life.- 

"Pursuit" by Kim Walker-Smith

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Champion of Faith

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."
– Hebrews 12: 1-2

As followers, moving forward in Christ takes serious commitment and effort on our part. Throughout this journey/race through life, the Apostle Paul encourages us by telling us to keep our eyes on Jesus in Hebrews 12. Since Jesus perfects our faith, it is important that our eyes remain on Him. He is the one who gives us the endurance, hope, and strength to finish this race strong. There is a part in one of my favorite songs, “Come to Me” by Jenn Johnson from Bethel Music, where she sings about fixing our eyes on Jesus. “Don’t look to the right or to the left,” she says, “Keep your eyes on Me.” That particular part of the song moves me every time. Our eyes must remain on our prize, which is Jesus Christ, for He is the ultimate champion of our faith.

So maybe you’re reading this today and you feel like you’ve got it all together. “My eyes are on Jesus, I don’t need to read this,” you may say. I have felt that way at times. But are your eyes really on Him? Fixing your eyes on Jesus means that you consult with Him about EVERYTHINGCommitting everything to Him first. Whether it’s a new job you want to apply for or a girl/guy you want to pursue. You know your eyes are on Him when you consult with Him first. It’s more than just putting Him first on a checklist—it’s making Him first in your heart. 

Sometimes we complain to God, “Why didn’t that work out?” or “How come that relationship fell apart?” or “Why is he/she running faster than me?” But did God truly release you to pursue that person. Was it in God’s will for you to go out for that job? Consult with the Champion FIRST. When our eyes aren’t on Jesus, discouragement sets in and we slowly become hopeless. This is why it is so important to keep our eyes on Jesus—He will never disappoint us. He will continue to give us the hope and endurance we need to finish this race strong.

Believer, stop looking to the left and right—focus your eyes on the Champion of our faith. If our eyes aren’t on Jesus, then they simply are on everything and everyone else. Stop comparing your stride to othersGod has a perfect plan for YOUR life. When your eyes on Jesus, you will have peace, hope, and joy about your race. Right now, fix your eyes on Jesus and block out everything around you. Allow the Lord to perfect your faith and restore your hope. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you vision to see Him. What is stopping you from truly keeping your eyes on Jesus? Consult with the Lord. All you need for this race is right in front of you. Christ endured the cross for you—Keep your eyes on the one who is seated in Heavenly places.

"Come to Me" by Jenn Johnson from Bethel Music

Monday, September 17, 2012

You Complete Me

It's time to talk about SINGLENESS! This is one of the most important aspects of moving forward in Christ. The "singleness season" is sometimes viewed as some kind of curse. However, it is actually a blessing. Oftentimes as singles, we look for people to fulfill us and make us whole. In actuality, Jesus is the ONLY one who brings complete fulfillment. During this season of singleness, you have the opportunity to completely fall in love with Jesus without any distractions. Let’s take a look at some more benefits of this season: 
  • Healing- The Holy Spirit now has time to heal your heart completely. He exposes every broken area in your heart and begins to mend them. Wounds from past relationships will heal and forgiving your exes will become easier. This is also where the chains of sexual addictions can break off. It’s important we counsel with the Holy Spirit about our insecurities, weaknesses, and pain. If you are not healed from these issues, you will carry it into your future relationships.
  • Maturity- I hear so many young people complain about their singleness. Child, slow down—enjoy your youth. This is the time where you can grow fully into your womanhood or manhood. Your maturity at 18 will be totally different at 20. No one wants to be in a relationship with an immature person, right? Really take the time to mature naturally with Jesus.
  • Growth- You now have the free time to grow with the Holy Spirit. A relationship with God is the BEST relationship to have. It’s filled with never ending  love, joy, and absolute peace. You can worship, read your bible, develop a prayer life and spend time with Him without being so distracted. If you know how to draw closer to the Lord while you're single, you will know how to draw closer to Him when you are in a relationship. You can use this season to grow deeper in your relationship with your FIRST LOVE—Jesus Christ.
  •  Wholeness- During this season, the Holy Spirit can finally make you whole. After all of the healing, you are no longer fragment pieces but a whole vessel, ready to be filled up with more of Him.
Have you ever seen the 1996 film, Jerry Maguire? There’s a scene in the movie where Tom Cruise’s character wins back the heart of his love with this line, “I love you. You complete me.” Many times we desire this “fairytale” kind of love that we see in movies, not realizing that we already have this love in Jesus. We all want our prince charming to come sweep us off of our feet or the girl of our dreams to knock us out of our seats. But why would God send us our future husband or wife when we still are not whole? That will only lead to arguments, insecurities, heartache, and ultimately divorce. In our season of singleness, we MUST press into God's presence to receive the wholeness we need. This keeps us from putting all of our worth into our significant others when we are in a relationship. Our worth should only be found in Christ because HE is the only one who completes us.

-If you can't find peace in your singleness with Jesus, you definitely won't find peace in a relationship.-

Believer, don’t look for a man or woman to TRY to do what only God CAN do. Only God can complete you. Today, let the Lord begin His completion process in you. The Lord wants to give you the desires of your heart but you have to delight yourself in Him first (Psalm 37:4). Yes, there will be times where you FEEL lonely. It’s important at the moment to acknowledge that you are not alone and His presence is with you. “Lord, I know that You are with me! You are all I need. You complete me!” Immediately go into worship when loneliness rears its head. Beloved, you want to move into your next relationship already complete in Jesus. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you peace and contentment in this season if you are anxious (Philippians 4:6-7). Take advantage of your season of singleness. Fall in love with the One who has been madly in love with you before the foundations of the Earth were created.  

Friday, September 14, 2012

God Forgives, I Do Too

 “I will never forgive her for what she did to me!” “He hurt me so bad, how could I ever forgive someone so horrible?”... Sound familiar? Forgiveness is such a touchy topic amongst Believers. In actuality, we are extremely hypocritical. We want forgiveness from God for our sins but we don’t want to forgive others. We want to hold on to what he/she did to us when we were seven. Letting go of what our mom said to us out of anger when we were 15 seems impossible to release. Forgiving others is difficult for us, as sinful humans. But I am so grateful that God is not like man and forgives graciously. In order to move forward in Christ, we have to start looking more like Himin His image. Since He forgives, we must also. Sadly, unforgiveness always leads to bitterness. 

“Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

Have you ever been around a bitter person? Sometimes you see them at the grocery store. No smile. No joy. No life. They are just bitter. The problem with bitterness is that while they have moved on, you are still stuck on the hurt. This makes moving forward in Christ impossible. Hebrews 12:15 says, “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” You want the one that hurt you to suffer, but in actuality you are the one suffering. Bitter roots in your heart will choke the fruit you bear. 

Jesus tells in John 15:12 that the greatest commandment is to love one another like He loves us. How can we please God by loving one another if we are harboring unforgiveness in our hearts? Believer, you can’t love and hate at the same time—something has to win. Don't let hate win in your heart. 1 John 2:3-5 tells us that if we truly love God, we will keep His commandments. We must keep His greatest commandment, which is love. Release that hurt in your heart today. Bitterness today will remain bitterness tomorrow. It’s time to move forward, Believer.

Where are your roots bitter? Who hurt you so much that you can’t seem to let it go? Today, you can move forward in Christ. Ask the Holy Spirit to expose and heal every bitter root in your heart. Don’t allow bitterness to choke your fruit of joy, peace, love, and a sound-mind. Let His love set you free today. The joy and freedom you experience when you forgive others is absolutely amazing. Receive it, right now, where ever you are. Unlike Rick Ross who says, "God forgives, I don't," we must always forgive if we desire to move forward with Jesus. #70X7
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”  Jesus answered, I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” –Matthew 18:21-22

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Finding Hope

Rihanna found love in a hopeless place. But what if I told you that you could find hope in the love of Jesus? Once this hope is found in His love, it will never be lost again. Many times we lose hope after experiencing rejection. Whether the rejection was from someone you barely knew or a loved one—rejection is still rejection. Hebrews 6:19 assures us of the hope we have in Christ, “We have this hope—like a sure and firm anchor of the soul—that enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.” When our hope is found in Christ, it is an anchor for our soul/emotions. Rejection is no longer a factor when our hope is in Christ because unlike people, He can never fails us. However, when our hope is found in people, we will always experience rejection.

Indicators that your hope is NOT found in Christ:
  • You are not Happy- My Pastor always says, “Whoever you put in charge of your happiness is responsible for making you happy.” In this stage, when people fail you, you become depressed. Your hope is found in others making you happy.
  • The Opinions of others matter the most- At this point everyone’s opinions start to make sense to you. “Maybe I’m not called to do this… She was right.” “I am ugly….That’s why he left me.”  Your hope is found in the opinions of others. 
  • People become your god- Here is where idolatry sets in. As a result of the first two stages, you have now put people before God. You have made them responsible for your happiness. You also have cared more about what they have said rather than what God has already spoken. Your hope is found in your worship to others.
  • You have an Ego- This is where it gets ugly. You now have become “big-headed.” After all of the rejection you’ve experienced, you now want to vengefully prove to everyone that you are “somebody.” Your hope is found in avenging others.
When our hope is not found in Christ it is easy for our lives and emotions to spiral out of control. Ask the Holy Spirit to heal you from all of the rejection you’ve experienced by putting your hope in others. Hebrews clearly tells us that our hope in Christ will be an anchor for our emotions. Romans 8:39 also says that nothing can separate us from the love of Chris. We can never lose the hope that's found in His love because we can NEVER be separated from it. Think about it, when you first fell in love with Jesus you found unexplainable hope, right? Believer, everyday fall in love with Jesus more than you did yesterday. This is how you will be reassured that your hope is found in His love alone. If Rihanna could find love in a hopeless place, how much more hope could you find in the love of Jesus?

-Lord, be the anchor in my soul that holds me together in the midst of the storm. Today, I place my hope in Your steadfast love, knowing that I will never sink into hopelessness again.-