MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST

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Impulsiveness or Discipleship?

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith…  Jude 20

There was nothing of the nature of impulsive or thoughtless action about our Lord, but only a calm strength that never got into a panic. Most of us develop our Christianity along the lines of our own nature, not along the lines of God’s nature. Impulsiveness is a trait of the natural life, and our Lord always ignores it, because it hinders the development of the life of a disciple. Watch how the Spirit of God gives a sense of restraint to impulsiveness, suddenly bringing us a feeling of self-conscious foolishness, which makes us instantly want to vindicate ourselves. Impulsiveness is all right in a child, but is disastrous in a man or woman— an impulsive adult is always a spoiled person. Impulsiveness needs to be trained into intuition through discipline.

Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. Walking on water is easy to someone with impulsive boldness, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is something altogether different. Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus, but he “followed Him at a distance” on dry land (Mark 14:54). We do not need the grace of God to withstand crises— human nature and pride are sufficient for us to face the stress and strain magnificently. But it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours of every day as a saint, going through drudgery, and living an ordinary, unnoticed, and ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is ingrained in us that we have to do exceptional things for God— but we do not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things of life, and holy on the ordinary streets, among ordinary people— and this is not learned in five minutes. From My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 62-64; 1 Timothy 1

BIBLE GATEWAY

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

A fanatic is one who entrenches himself in invincible ignorance.

from Baffled to Fight Better, 59 R

Proverbs 31 lady

 

“Sometimes we must undergo hardships, breakups, and narcissistic wounds, which shatter the flattering image that we had of ourselves, in order to discover two truths: that we are not who we thought we were; and that the loss of a cherished pleasure is not necessarily the loss of true happiness and well-being.” – Jean-Yves Leloup

In this modern age, nothing is permanent. A woman enters into an intimate relationship with a man she would not want as a lifelong friend. Ours has become a world of quick replacements. It’s too much! Every time someone shows interest, you are in love again. If a relationship cannot survive your long term why would it be worth your time and energy in the short term?

After a couple of weeks it’s over and you are with another man, then it’s over before it even starts. In this equilibrium is the giving and receiving of love that many women seek, but most have lost by choosing short term flings, passions and romances instead.

Whether long-term or short-term, relationships have a way of changing you. When you love someone, their happiness affects yours. You want the person to be happy, right? Without even realising it, you start putting yourself in the other person’s shoes. You start to understand him, you love him the way he understands love and before you know it your happiness is pegged to his.

This is a good thing if you plan to spend the rest of your life with that man. If you are lucky, you only go through one relationship. But if you are like most women, it takes more than one prospective suitor to find a glass slipper that fits.

It is when the relationship fails and the tables turn that all hell breaks loose. You no longer understand this person, his happiness causes you pain and the emotions are too much to handle. It is especially difficult if he finds happiness in the hands of another woman and you have to watch the one you love, love someone else.

When You Choose to Break Up…
You have been dating this man for as long as you can remember. Every time you try to make an exit, you end up going back to him because you are entangled in this yoke you call ‘love’. Whatever you are willing to give you give but the love you expect from him is never really given to you. You hold on to a thing that you know will probably never happen, because somewhere deep inside your heart, you have a little piece of hope that someday…it will. Do you let go something that was never yours in the first place or do you hold on with the hope that the love you give will be reciprocated?

No relationship is ever perfect, even if people try to make it seem like it is. There’s always going to be ups and downs–the disagreements, the fighting and maybe even a break up here and there. But that is no reason to stay in loveless relationships ladies.

A broken courtship is better than a broken marriage.

If he almost never calls you to know how you are, it’s because you are not on his mind. If he creates expectations for you, and then doesn’t follow through on little things, he will do the same for big things. Be aware of this and realize that he’s okay with disappointing you. Don’t be with someone who doesn’t do what they say they’re going to do. If he’s choosing not to make a simple effort that would put you at ease and bring harmony to a recurring fight, then he doesn’t respect your feelings and needs.

At that moment when you realise that you are on a one sided relationship, you have to make a choice. The choices you make at that moment can define the rest of your days.

You have got two choices; look back, or look ahead.

Like most people, you may prefer to look back than look ahead. But before you decide to look back ask yourself, “Is this how I´m going to spend the rest of my life? Married to someone who is perpetually absent?’

Sometimes the best option you have is to look ahead and walk away. I say this again, “a broken courtship is better that a broken marriage.’ You know you deserve to be with someone who loves you the way you understand love. Someone who cares about you the way you understand care. If a man doesn’t love you, you need to walk away before you are tangled in a web of a loveless marriage for the rest of your life–and that’s a long time.

If he treats you like you are a joke, then you need to walk away like it’s not funny. You have an obligation to be happy in your life and you walk away because you know your worth. And you know there are men out there who are looking for exactly the stuff that you are made of.

When A Break Up Chooses You

You’ve built your hopes and dreams around a man for years. You have invested your best years, energy and resources in that relationship. One day -before you make it to the alter-he looks at you and all you have to offer and decides to try his luck elsewhere. It is now clear that this is not the match made in heaven you hoped it would be. For whatever reason, he decides that you are not worth it anymore and he walks away.

Whether you have chosen to break up with someone or someone has chosen to break up with you, it hurts. What really hurts is the realization that the person you had invested so much in is not really the one–dreams or promises are broken. In both ways you’re left feeling inadequate, used, alone, deceived and sometimes empty. You’re left feeling all the feelings you never want to feel again.

Lady, let go. If the glass slipper doesn’t fit, let it go. It is no use walking with a shoe that hurts-you can’t go so far with it. You have to get over him.

For months now, you have had a heavy heart. You have shed a lot of tears over him, lost a lot of sleep and eaten a lot of cake batter. Somehow, you have to move on. Life will be hell if you didn’t shake loose from the grip he has on your heart. You most definitely don’t want to keep feeling this way–alone in a relationship meant for two. Even if he’d felt like the one. Even if you had always thought you would end up married. Even if he still has a choke chain on your heart.

Walk away and rise from the ashes of broken dreams.

Making Hope Happen
When our hopes and dreams of spending the rest of our lives with the one we love have been shattered, our natural reaction is to withdraw from people, stagnate, let ourselves go, swear that we will never be in another relationship and sometimes find comfort in the fridge.

Just like any other woman, The Proverbs 31 Lady will allow herself to do all those ridiculous things for a day or two. But she cannot wallow in the miasma of self-pity and pain for months. She is clothed in strength and dignity. (Proverbs 31:25) She knows that pain maybe unavoidable but suffering is optional. The future may seem shaky but she has complete trust in the one who holds it–she cannot be afraid of the future.

After a while she cannot cry anymore. She has to accept the fact that life is not always fair and no amount of self-pity will change some things. She will not get hung up on a man who rejects her. It may take some time, but eventually she will find the ‘good’ in goodbye. Because in most times than not, the good Lord removes a no good man from our path to create room for a good one. Thus she must accept the way things are and move on.

Ladies, Let me give you some tough love advice. You can’t keep what is not yours. You can’t lose something that was never yours in the first place. And you can’t hold on to someone who does not want to stay. Accept what you must, change what you can but by all means move on.

Strength and Dignity in the Break Up
When you have gone through a terrible break up, you have three choices in life; you can either let it define you, let it destroy you or let it strengthen you. Don’t let the breakup destroy you. If your ex has moved on, don’t insult their current partner.  It just makes you look petty.  And undignified!  Have a little class. Keep it civil.  Even if you’d rather be giving him a few ‘appropriate words’, don’t! If it helps, try to remember that there was once something you liked, admired or even respected about this person.  Try to hold on to that—not forever, but just long enough to offer a sincere “I wish you well” (or something along those lines) and actually mean it.

Never let moments define you. Sometimes a break up can be a defining moment, a moment we make lifelong decisions about ourselves and our future relationships. It’s like once we’ve been hurt, we’re so scared to get attached again. We have this fear that every person we start to like is going to break our hearts. Sometimes the greatest thing to come out of a broken relationship isn’t what we get but what we become for it.

Fleeing from Rebounds
After the break up, you are left feeling empty, alone and with void. You feel like you need someone to feel that hollow in your heart immediately you are separated from the one you love. This is not the time to immediately fall into the arms of someone else. Take this time to reflect, do some self-evaluation on your life and your next action.

 This is the time to learn how to enjoy your own company for some time. It is the time to realize that you are responsible for your own happiness. If you jump right back into something else just to keep your mind off the pain of a break up, you may regret it.

The Support System
When life comes whooshing at you from out of the darkness, who will you choose to face it with? Will it be someone you trust? Will they be wise? Are they friends who can cushion your fall or friends who will turn their back on you?

Life will definitely wobble you at a moment when you least expect it. When it does–is there someone in your life you can count on? Someone who’ll watch over you when you stumble and fall and in that moment give you the strength to face your fears alone. Choose your friends wisely. Surround herself with a support system that will pray for you when can’t pray for yourself, give you the right counsel when you would rather do the opposite and friends who are there for you at your hour of need.

Handing Over the Broken Pieces
You know the feeling–that feeling of panic that starts in the stomach and works its way to the throat when you think about the future. A future that was so clear before the break up but now everything seems so desolate.

The Proverbs 31 Lady can laugh without fear of the future because she knows who holds it. This isn’t just a Christian pie-in-the-sky, like, “Yes, life’s tough, but I am happy I am Christian.” No, she casts all her anxiety on God because she knows He cares for her (1 Peter 5:7). She knows that releasing her negative emotions to the Lord is the healthiest way to handle them.

She has in fact fully acknowledged her feelings, admitted her inability to handle them, revoked her right to revenge, and trusted Him to be her defender(Romans 12:19). She knows that the good Lord can take care of things better than she can.

The Lord wants us to trust Him to set things right and even the score because only then can we face our heart–breaking circumstances with courage and joy.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who a have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

He will take your heartbreaks and broken pieces and use it to inspire, encourage and lead others to walk in their purpose as you walk in yours.

Letting Go
If you are like most women who put all their eggs in their man’s basket, it is natural to feel completely offended by the idea of letting go.  Most people think that it is holding on that makes them stronger; sometimes, it’s letting go. When a mirror breaks, it’s not the actual breaking that makes it impossible to mend the pieces back together. This is because after the breaking, some pieces are lost which makes it impossible to fit the remaining pieces together, even if they wanted to. Sometimes a break up is like a broken mirror–it is better to leave it broken than get hurt trying to fix it.

In this life, you can have it all but not all at once. You have to let one thing go so that you can create room for something better. You cannot dwell on past failure if you want to work on a present moving towards a future. You have to be willing to let go the life you had planned so that you can enjoy the life that is waiting for you.

Her Redeeming Forgiveness
Letting go is one thing, but forgiving a man who won’t acknowledge the pain he has caused is a different ballgame all together. Most men just walk away without the courtesy to even explaining what went wrong in the relationship. Accept the fact that closure is a fallacy.

You’ll get it eventually, but it will rarely come from the man you broke up with and if it does, it will take a very long time to get there. We have been hurt that way, in this life. But that doesn’t mean that women have to behave in a wrong way just because we have been hurt. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Never let someone’s bad behaviour make you lose yourself as a good woman.

We have to forgive ourselves too, and this can be very challenging. The most liberating thing about forgiving ourselves should be this: We are not forgiving who we are but forgiving what we did wrong.

A woman can be released from hurt, and God will forgive you for all your wrong doings–He never runs out of Grace Cards. Just begin to forgive yourself for the things that you have done wrong and forgive the other person for the things they did wrong. You have to forgive to forget but you also have to forget, to love again.

The Nourishing of the Soul
After the storm is over, you need to over the broken pieces of your precious heart to God’s healing hands and start rebuilding your life.

A broken relationship is not going to be mended by sitting around asking questions forever. Leave the pieces on the feet of Jesus, and move on with your life. Soon, a better man will walk into your life. And when he does, you won’t be wondering and guessing about the timing or his feelings. You won’t be waiting around for a phone call. You won’t be ruining your life running in circles trying to figure it all out. You won’t be feeling ignored or rejected. You will be too busy nourishing your soul and rebuilding your life.

In the end, the only heart that is whole is that which is broken because it lets His light shine through it.

Mending Her Broken Heart
“Sometimes it takes heartbreak to shake us awake & help us see we are worth so much more than we’re settling for.”  Mandy Hale

Sometimes when we are young, we think nothing can hurt us. It’s like we are invincible. We have big plans for our lives–plans about meeting our perfect mate, getting two children and living happily ever after. It’s only when we grow older that we realize that it’s not always that easy.

Plans are unrealized and promises are shattered. The beauty of it all is that inherent to every unrealized plan and shattered dream is a tremendous lesson. And in the end, when we look back at the tough times, we want two things. One, to make sure we made the most of what life gave us. Two, we want to know we got something from it all. You want to know it all mattered.

Sometimes the lesson will hurt–like hell. But learning is an integral part of the healing process. No relationship no matter how damaging it was can be considered a complete failure if you have grown from it.

If you are open to it, each relationship has potential for spiritual growth and learning. You can always take solace in the knowledge that as you are being prepared for your future mate; he is also being prepared for you.

To sum it up, the most important lesson has to be; never peg your happiness on anyone under the sun. You should never give anyone that much power.

When you put your life on someone’s hands–they can destroy it with a single action. Enter a relationship from a point of strength–wanting to share your life with someone else because of the values you share. Not from a point of weakness–entering a relationship because you are unhappy, alone and you need someone to make you happy.

She Guards Her Heart
“If you cannot see yourself married within one year, you are not ready to date.”

God intended relationships to be for life. Love in itself commits. It should never fail, and when it fails it should recommit.  Be careful with your relationships. Guard your heart from every relationship that is not meant for life. An emotional attachment to a man before you’re ready for marriage is definitely not a good thing. The possibility of you marrying the person whom you are involved with is small, and when you finally get married, these past relationships will only invade your marriage. Ladies, if a relationship can’t survive in the long term why it should be worth your energy in the short term?

In as much as it is possible, avoid sharing your heart with every Tom, Dick and Harry that shows interest on you. Every time you give your heart to a man you have no desire to spend the rest of your life with, you risk getting your heart broken and leaving a piece of it to that person. By the time you give yourself to your husband one day, you might have no heart to give away.

In the meantime, put your trust in God. He knows that you long for companionship so badly that it hurts. He knows exactly what you need, and if you let Him and if you love Him, He can work all things together for your good and for His glory. Burrow into His word and claim every single promise you find! You have to trust His plan, and know that He is writing your story. Give him back the pen and you will be amazed at how beautifully he can author and finish your story.

Devotional

SPEAKING WORDS OF GRACE
October 20, 2019

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Colossians 4:2-6

In closing his letter to the Colossians, the apostle Paul highlighted some essentials of the Christian life—devotion to prayer, an attitude of gratefulness, and wise dealings with unbelievers. Reminding us to make the most of opportunities to share our testimony, Paul said, “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt” (Col. 4:6).

The apostle knew the tongue’s power for good and encouraged using words to influence others for Jesus. James took the opposite approach, describing the harm tongues can do. He likened them to sparks that set a forest on fire or a restless evil that can poison (James 3:5; James 3:8). Sadly, we see this truth lived out in the media, workplace, families, and even churches.

Consider how we respond when we hear about a stranger who has ruined his personal life, carried out ruthless business practices, or brought public condemnation on himself. Our first response is often criticism and judgment instead of compassion or sorrow.

But we can learn from Jesus’ example. He asked the Samaritan woman simple questions so she’d recognize her need for living water (John 4:7-26); He invited Himself to the house of the hated tax collector (Luke 19:1-10) and He stood between the adulterous woman and her critics before gently bringing correction (John 8:1-11). Jesus’ words were seasoned with grace.

As representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ, we must learn to speak graciously. Let’s make it our habit to use a kind tone of voice, courteous approach, humble spirit, and edifying words.

Bible in One Year: Luke 1:1-80