FREE FROM GUILT

Lets talk about sin, condemnation, and a guilty conscience. I do not think that some of us know how guilt affects us and how it can keep us from our best. And I also think that many of us hold onto guilt for things that we have done and have a underlying feeling that God is mad at us. I struggled with this, and still have times that I have that thought of, God is mad at me. But it is the following truth that I use to cover up the lie that the enemy puts in my mind.

First of all, yes, we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. The whole world is guilty of sin. And before Jesus, there was no hope for forgiveness. There was no way to take the condemnation and the guilt from us. That guilt caused Adam and Eve to hide from God because of their guilt of sin. King David spoke of how miserable He was because of the guilt that He had for all that He had done. And Judas committed suicide because of the guilt that He felt from His sin. So we can see how guilt can affect us in major ways.

But there is now a way that we can be forgiven and have no need to carry the guilt. We have someone that carried our guilt for us and cleansed our conscience. God knew what the guilt was doing to us so He made the way for him to be able to have mercy on us and for our sins to be forgiven. when we are struggling with guilt we have to remember that God is greater than our guilt. He sent Jesus to pay the price for our wrongdoing so that we can be in right standing with himself. He knew that if we were held down with guilt and condemnation that we could not have the life that He wants us to have. He knew that we could never step into our destiny if we had to carry our own guilt. So He made Jesus who never sinned, to be our sin, so that we could be His righteousness. He traded places with us. (If you want more scriptures on guilt I found this site to be helpful.) We serve such a merciful God, full of grace and unfailing love.

Jesus was sent to save us and not to judge or condemn us. He came so that we can exit the darkness and walk in the light, having a much better life. He came so that we did not have to be weighed down with condemnation and guilt, holding us back from being our best. The blood of Jesus took care of the punishment for our wrongdoing. And all that we are asked to do in return is to believe it is so.

Galatians 3:27 says, when you were baptized you have put on Christ. We were clothed in Christ. Our outfit is Jesus. We put on Jesus. We are covered with Jesus. We are covered with all that Jesus is. And since we are covered with him God sees Jesus when He looks at us. He sees all that Jesus is and not all that we are not. Because of Jesus we are seen as perfect in His eyes. Because Jesus was able to be the perfect person that God had intended for all of us to be, God sees us as perfect too. He sees the heart which is where our true identity resides. Because of Jesus, and our belief in him, we no longer have to wonder what God sees when he looks at us. We do not have to wonder if He sees all of our sins, bad attitudes, faults, failures, mistakes, fall backs, fall offs, and everything else that we are not. We can rest in the fact that we are seen as Jesus. We can come boldly to God’s throne not because of anything that we have done but because of what Jesus did for us.

Romans 8:1 says, “there is now no condemnation in those that are in Christ Jesus.” Acts 10:15 says “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” John 3:17 says, “For God did not send His son into the world to condemn it, but that the world through him, might be saved.” 1 John 1:19 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all righteousness.” Hebrews 8:12 says, ” For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins, and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” These are just a couple of scriptures to show you that because of Jesus you are NOT a shameful sinner that God is mad at and shakes his head every time he looks at you. You have no need to walk around thinking that you are not good enough, not obedient enough, not smart enough, not enough in what ever area that you feel not good enough in. You are enough because Jesus did it all for you and me.

Guilt effects many areas of our life, not just our spiritual part. It can cause a number of physical health problems. Guilt will cause people to become stressed, have anxiety, depression, lack of sleep, stomach problems, high blood pressure, heart problems, weight gain or loss, and many other things. It causes relationship issues. It can cause a person to think that they are such a bad person that they are getting what they deserve or that they do not deserve any better than where they are at in life at the moment. It can cause a person to be self destructive. And in extreme cases it can cause someone to take their own life because of how heavy the guilt is.

A person filled with guilt will often blame others for their actions. They will point fingers. Adam pointed fingers to eve when He told God about eating the apple. Because they feel guilty, but do not want to admit it, they will blame someone else for their actions. It keeps them from having to look at themselves and face their wrongs.

But thank God that we have someone who has made it possible for us to be free from guilt and shame. We have someone who knows and understands the flaws and hardships of being human. We have someone who made the sacrifice for our wrongdoings and we do not have to be punished. And since God is not punishing us why do we feel the need to punish ourselves. If you have done what you needed to do to correct your wrong, if it is a guilt from something that you have done to someone, then you have done what you needed to and could do. You can not make someone except your apology. But You have been forgiven by God and Jesus took your guilt, so receive that freedom from guilt and move on. Remember we all fall short. No one is perfect. We all mess up from time to time. We can never be perfect. All we can do is try our best and believe that Jesus has made our imperfections perfect so that we can move on, always growing in God’s timing.

God is ALL KNOWING

God is omniscience, meaning ALL KNOWING. 1 John 3:20 says that God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. John 2:24-25 says that “Because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man”. Ezekiel 11:5 says, “I know the things that come into your mind”. Psalm 44:21 says “would not God search this out? For He knows the secrets of the heart”. There are many more scriptures in the bible that speaks of the all knowing of God. This is an attribute of God, that when, it is realized and understood, it has a huge impact on us. It can completely change us, right at that very moment, in the midst of our darkest hour. It shines a light into our heart that lifts our spirit and grows our faith. It provides a freedom that nothing else can and a comfort like no other. I am going to try to explain this the way that God explained it to me in hopes that it brings the joy, comfort, love, peace, and freedom to you that it brought to me.

Since God is all knowing, that means that He knows EVERYTHING! He has absolute 100% knowledge of all things, all people, all creation, every circumstance, every situation. There is nothing that He does not know, does not comprehend, or does not understand completely. There is not one person on this earth that He does not know everything about. He is wisdom and knowledge and understanding. He knows the where, when, what, why, and how of EVERYTHING. So what does this mean for us?

It means that we have someone that knows everything about us. He even knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows your weaknesses. He knows your struggles. He knows the worst thing about you. He knows the bad things that you have done. He knows your failures and your deepest, darkest secret. And yet, He still loves you. He still accepts you. He’s still your daddy. He understands you completely, all the time, in every circumstance. He knows your heart. He knows all the good that you do have in you. He knows the desires of your heart. He is never mad at you. He believes in you and supports you in every good thing that you do. You are no surprise to God. You have not done anything that He does not know about, and did not know about it before you even did it. There is nothing that will surprise Him about us because He already knows everything that there to know about us.

He wants us to talk openly with Him about anything and everything. He is like the friend that everyone longs for. The friend that knows everything about you but never uses it against you, judges you, or criticizes you. The friend that is your greatest supporter when you are going through something. That friend that you can count on and trust with all your heart. The friend that will never turn their back on you, do you wrong, or stop loving you.

God knows all that there is to know about us. And yet, even with the back slides in your walk with Him, your disobedience, your rebellion, and sin, He loves you still the same!! He gets you. He never misunderstands you. He knows all that there is to know about you, good and bad, yet He still loves you, adores you, is for you, and will never turn His back on you. There is nothing that is hidden from Him, nothing that He does not know about, nothing that He does not know that you have done, thought, or said, and yet He still loves you!!

Isn’t that just amazing! When God gave me revelation on this it changed me. I knew that He knew everything, but I never grasp the fact that He knew everything about me already before He called me to Him, and yet still wanted to be in relationship with me. Even knowing the worst things about me and the weaknesses and failures and struggles, He still wanted me and loves me. The comfort that it brought me to know that I have someone that completely understands me, knows all my junk, all the good and bad about me, and yet still loves me unconditionally. To know that I have the one thing that no one in the world could give me released me from the longing and search for it. We finally have the person, the partner, of our dreams. We have someone that truly loves us unconditionally and gets us.

We have someone that stands beside us through it all and accepts all of us and not just what He likes about us. We have someone that we can talk to about anything without fear of judgement or rejection. We have someone that is for us all the time and not just when it is beneficial for them. We have someone that knows all there is to know about us and yet doesn’t blink an eye when showing His love for us. And since there is nothing that we can hide from Him, let us run to His open arms today, and embrace the love that He has for us, just as we are, even with our messes, rebellion, disobedience, sin and all.

May you find rest today in the fact that you serve an ALL KNOWING GOD that knows everything there is to know about you, and yet, He still longs for a close personal relationship with you and loves you always and forever, unconditionally, without a doubt or flaw. Don’t try to hide from Him because of your weaknesses, faults, or failures. Don’t try to hide from Him because of your sins or the way that you are currently living. It is in our weakness that He is able to be our strength. It is in our failures that He is able to lift us up. It is in our sin, faults, and daily living that He is able to work in us, through us, for us, teach us, and change us. We have no reason or need to try to hide from Him because He already knows about what ever it is that we are trying to Hide. And yet, He still loves us, and is saying to us, “come and talk to me, tell me about what is going on and let me comfort you by showering you with my love for you. I understand what you mean. I get it and I get you”!!

Free to be you

Say this after me, “I am who I am. And it is not my responsibility to make others like, approve of, or agree with, me.” As a child of God we are free from the rules of the world. We are free to do what our heart desires. We are free to be who we were created to be. We no longer have to do what is “in” at the time. We no longer have to respond to others the way that they respond to us. We no longer have to worry about living up to the expectations of the world, and those in it. We no longer have to worry about if someone approves of, or likes us.

When we are living by the world we are not following our heart and it makes us miserable on the inside, always feeling like we do not measure up in some way. But when we choose to live for God we are set free from the world and can live the life that we were created to live, being who we were created to be. When I was living for the world I was constantly consumed with some kind of shame, guilt, or regret because I was always going against what I felt in my heart. I would respond in ways that my heart was telling me not to towards others. I would do things that I knew in my heart I should not do but I wanted to fit in with others. I was always trying to please others in my actions and words but never felt as if I was measuring up. I would allow things that I knew were not right. Because I was not being who I was created to be, following my heart, I was causing internal misery for myself.

Then I decided that I was going to live for God instead of the world. I started following my heart, learning how to be who I was created to be. I was kind, I was compassionate, I was funny, I had talents, and I spoke the truth in love. I became the happiest that I had ever been because I had gained the freedom to be me. I did not have to hide who I was, how I felt, or what was right or best. I followed my heart and I always had the best interest of others in mind. I wanted to help those who asked for advice. I wanted to walk with those who needed someone to guide them through something. I wanted others to have the freedom and the joy that I had inside. I felt the pain that others were in and shared their tears. I felt like I was doing what Jesus wanted me to do by being the best example that I could, loving others as myself.

After several times of rejection, wrong reactions, wrong interpretations of what I was saying, ridicule for speaking the truth in loving ways, and harsh reactions from others, I began to shrink back. I began to be quiet. I began to not act at all. I became a sponge that absorbed everything that others brought my way, listening only and not voicing what was on my heart, not standing up for what was right, not guiding, not being kind nor mean, simply doing and being nothing (as I felt it to be). I began to be miserable again, feeling like I could not be who I was, because someone always disapproved of, did not like, or did not agree with me. I was right back in the condition that God had brought me out of.

Then one night God said, “Mandie, you are who I created you to be. As long as you are following your heart (my spirit), having everyone’s well being in mind, then it is not up to you how other ‘s receive it. You are a great person, you mean well, you are compassionate. You are who you are and it is up to others to take it or leave it. As long as you know that you mean well and that your heart is right don’t worry about what others say or how they react to you. I love you, I approve of you, I agree with you loving others enough to speak the truth to them in love, and that is all that matters. You are free to be you. You no longer have to seek the approval of those in the world. I know you, I see your heart, and it is good. Be who I created you to be, so that, you can have the peace and joy that you deserve.” That was what I needed to be reminded of. I needed to be reminded that it is not up to me to make everybody agree with me or the way that I do things. As long as I am not intentionally hurting anyone and I am doing the best that I can then that is all that I can do.

Not everyone is going to like us or agree with us. Not everybody is going to like hearing the truth that we speak to them because the truth about ourselves sometimes hurts. It is hard to hear our faults that are hurting ourselves or others. But we must speak those things to those we care about. If we love them, we will speak truth to them no matter their possible reaction. Not everyone is going to like the music we listen to or the hobbies that we have. But their opinion does not matter. What does matter is God’s opinion. And as long as your heart is right then you are right in his eyes. Live in the freedom that He gives to be who He created you to be. If you are living for the worlds approval then you will never be happy because it is always changing, wanting something different. God just wants you to be who he created you to be and then you will live in forever joy, peace, freedom, and satisfaction with life. You are free to be you!!!!

A life of happiness

I have been on a quest to find out what it is that people want most out of life. What is it that they long for. What is it that will make them feel as if they have a complete life. I have heard many things, but most of all, I have heard that people want to be happy and successful. I myself had spent many years wanting and seeking the same thing but always seemed to be lacking in some way. It was not until I discovered the secret that set me free that I began to have what I was in search of. It took many years of searching the wrong places and seeking the wrong things for me to learn that my happiness did not and could not come from any of that. And until I was happy with myself I would never feel that I was successful at anything.

We often think that a bigger house, nicer car, better relationship, or more money is going to make us happy and fill the void that we have inside. We think that if we look better we will feel better. We think that if we get away from all the negative influences around us that we will have peace and be happy. Well can I tell you something, we can never experience real happiness until we are happy with ourselves. And until we are doing what our heart tells us to do, doing the things that our good side tells us to do, we will not be happy with ourselves because we will have underlying guilt or regret residing in us. Until we can accept our flaws, our mistakes, our downfalls and weaknesses, we will always have underlying shame and guilt. Until we can learn to embrace all of our imperfections and know our worth we will feel as if we are not good enough in some way. We can have the best of material things, the biggest bank account, or the best job, but until we are happy with ourselves, and our actions, we will not have lasting joy in our hearts. We may be happy for a moment, but it will not be long before we are seeking it again.

Real happiness comes from living up to our God given potential and being our best selves. Real happiness comes from being able to know that we are doing all and the best that we can. It comes from not having excuses to not do something that we know we should or could do. It comes from knowing that we were created with and for a purpose, uniquely and wonderfully, strong and able. Happiness comes when we accept ourselves, as ourselves, and do not try to live up to anyone else’s standards. When we are following our hearts desire we are following God’s will for us, which brings lasting joy as well.

We interrupt our happiness when we know that we should do something that is life giving to ourselves, for our well being, but we don’t do it. It makes us have disappointment in ourselves, brings guilt and shame, and it can cause us to get into a funk. We interrupt our happiness by self pity when things don’t go our way and we sit around thinking about how unfair it was or it was just our luck. We keep happiness away from us when we murmur and complain about things. If we are talking about what we don’t like, the bad ways that we feel, the possible bad things that could happen, the things that we do not like, then we are taking the happiness and the peace right away from ourselves.

Just as we are the key to our happiness, we are also the key to our misery. Both of which start with how our hearts feel about ourselves. How we feel about the effort that we are putting into this thing that we call life can determine the amount of effort that we continue to put in to it. If we know that we have been slacking in some area(s) and we know that we should do something that will increase our happiness or our quality of life all we have to do is let go of the fact that we have wasted time, let ourselves down, and decide that we are going to start living up to our potential. We can start fresh everyday because the bible declares that each morning is a brand new day. A new start to a new, better future. A new beginning. A do over, so to speak. No matter how far we have to go to get to where our heart desires us to be, as long as we are making progress, taking steps forward, we will have lasting joy on our journey. We will be happy along the entire journey if we are loving ourselves where we are at, that we are doing the best that we can, and we are doing what our hearts prompt us to do. There is lasting joy in the journey as long as we are moving forward toward our destiny.

Get your voice back, speaking truth with love

Are you a person that speaks their mind openly and honestly? Are you a person that never speaks their mind and keeps their opinions to themselves? Or are you a person that speaks the truth in love like the bible suggest that we do? I must admit that I have been all three. When I was really young I was one that never spoke my mind and kept my thoughts to myself. In my late teenage years I spoke my mind and I did not have a filter on my mouth. Then once I got serious in my walk with Jesus I did my best to speak truth with love to others. When I was quiet I always felt misunderstood and not valued. When I spoke my mind I began to feel guilty after a while for hurting peoples feelings although there was a empowerment that I felt by speaking my mind and not caring how it made the other person feel or the consequences that I faced for some of the things that came out of my mouth. Then when I started to speak the truth in love I gained a freedom along with empowerment and peace. I learned that we can tell someone the truth without hurting their feelings. I learned that we can voice our wants and needs without being demanding. I learned that we can voice our concerns and worries without yelling and fussing. I learned that there are ways that we can talk to people to get the message across in a way that the other person will not feel judged, criticized, condemned, or attacked by us. Speaking the truth in love is not always easy though.

After many failed attempts of trying to talk about issues “in love” with my spouse, some friends, and even my child I began to lose my voice. No matter how kindly and nice that I would speak about the issue at hand they would always take it the wrong way and it would end up in a fuss or a big disagreement. I would try and try to explain that I did not mean it the way that they were taking it but they demanded that I was wrong. I knew that they were responding in that a manner because of the way that they felt about themselves but it ended up discouraging me so much that I began to not say anything at all again. I began to not voice the truth, my opinions, my wants or needs, nothing that could possibly be turned around. I allowed things to go on that I did not like or approve of. I allowed my home to not be taken care of the way that I liked it to be. I began to let others walk over me because of the fear of the reaction that I would get from the words that came out of my mouth. It got to the point that I lost more than just my voice. I lost confidence. I lost peace. I lost joy. I lost freedom. I felt alone and misunderstood all over again. Because of the fear that I had gained of the reactions of others I allowed myself to be taken advantage of, treated unfairly, I did not stand up for the truth that I was trying to live out in my life, I allowed my surroundings to become toxic for me, all ultimately affecting my spirit and my well being. I would keep things bottled up until something would happen and I would explode, letting it all out in anger. Then I would feel bad for how I handled the situation and would wish that I had said things differently.

I had to make a change. I couldn’t continue to remain quiet. I didn’t need to go back to the blunt outburst. I needed to get back to speaking truth with love. But what if I did that and I was ridiculed for what I said? What if I was verbally attacked because of the truth that I spoke? What if they didn’t like what I had to say? These were questions that ran through my mind continually. The fear of the response that I may get really bothered me. I did not want what I meant for good to turn out bad once again. But I had to get my voice back. I had to start standing up for the truth, what was right, and myself.

We do not have control over the way that one will react. We can not make a person receive our words in a loving way. We can not make a person like the truth or what is right. We can, however, choose to speak truth with love, no matter how the person reacts to it. If we know that we are speaking from our heart in a loving way and we have explained that we are not judging, attacking, or ridiculing the person then that is all that we can do. Before we talk to the person we can pray that God prepare their heart and help them to receive our words with love but ultimately it is up to that person to do so. But it is important that we speak what is on our hearts and not hold it in. In some situations we are not acting in love if we choose to not confront someone about something that they have going on that is harmful to them or others. We are not speaking truth to them that could help them in some way. And we are not loving ourselves when we do not speak up for ourselves, what is right, the truth, and our wants and needs.

There are many relationships that have ended because of the way that the communication is between the two. If we all would speak truth with love to each other there would be much less arguments, break ups, fights, drama, bitterness, and hostility between people. We would all be much more peaceful and happy if we could voice ourselves without being verbally attacked or put down or taken the wrong way. If we could all allow others to voice themselves and respond in a loving manner we could solve a lot of disagreements without arguments. If we have conversations without only thinking of ourselves we could hear into the heart of the other person and be able to understand them better. If we spent more time listening to others than trying to prove our point we could learn more about them. And if we could know and understand a persons heart better then we could have a better relationship with them.

Having a voice that speaks the truth with love is a great quality to have. Being a friend sometimes means having a difficult conversation about something that person is doing wrong or something that they need to change. Acting in love is speaking truthful with others in a kind and compassionate way. We will get bad reactions at times but it is important that we continue to have them hard conversations, stick up for what is right, stand our ground on what our needs are, and always addressing others with love.

Light in the midst of the chaos

When things are not going well for us, we can get caught up in the midst of the problem. We can begin to feel the gloom surrounding our spirits. We can carry the worry that is in our hearts on our face as our smiles become less and less. Going through difficult times, hardships, unknowns can cause us to lose our joy, our peace, and at times even our hope. We tend to ask God why we are going through what we are going through. And some people will even get a little upset with God because of what they are going through. I know that I have caught myself a little upset before but I had to repent to God and talk to him about what I was going through and wait for him to speak back. He gave me a understanding that has brought me great joy in the midst of the chaos.

God spoke to my heart and said, “you may not understand it now, but you will in the end. I will never put more on you than you are capable of handling. Pay close attention with an open mind and learn that lesson that I am trying to teach you. Things will always work out for the better as long as you follow my advice, doing what you can do and trusting me to do the rest. You are only responsible for your actions and you can’t make anyone else do what is right.”

I know that some situations are so extreme that they are hard to be able to even think that good could come out of it. Some situations bring so much pain to us that we can not fathom the fact that it could actually turn out to be of our benefit. And I know that we can get so tired of treating people fairly and kind only to be mistreated or taken advantage of in return. The discouragement that comes along with a life filled with let downs, struggles, and failures can paralyze all hope that once filled your heart. And sometimes the chaos has lasted so long that there is nothing but darkness all around. But there is a light that we can stay focused on that will guide us and bring us victory (peace and joy).

After the Lord spoke to me that day I was able to see things differently. It gave me a new mindset about the things that we go through. Although I may not like the situation at hand and it may be very hard to endure, I am able to get through it without losing my peace and my joy. I am able to take a step back and look at the situation from the outside to gain a better perspective as well as what I could learn from it. Some times I learn that I could have handled something in a different way or that I was wrong in some way. Sometimes I only learn to never do that again. Sometimes I learn of a better way to approach certain things so that they get handled peacefully. There is always that something that we can learn from what we go through in life that will help us in the future.

When we are going through things, it is to our benefit to follow the advice that Jesus is giving us, and do what we know we should do. When we do that and trust Him to do what we are unable to do we are able to have peace about the situation, knowing that we did all that we could do and it is up to Jesus to do the rest. We are able to keep the gloom from surrounding us because of the peace that we have. We will be able to fight away the darkness with the joy that we have. And we will be able to maintain our light within us because of our trust in Jesus to work it all out.

No matter what you may be going through right now, stop for a minute and pray that God show you what you need to do, what lesson it is that you need to learn, and what good could come of it in the end. Then take a step back and look at the situation from the outside. Is there something that you could do differently to help the situation? Have you done all that you know to do in the situation? Is there anything on your heart that you should do? Are you trusting God to work it out for better of you, no matter what the end result may be? Are you hoping for the best in the situation? Are you believing in Jesus to give you what you need to endure with peace and joy in your heart? We can get through anything that life throws our way if we stay positive, do what we can do, trust God to do what we can not do, and keep our focus on the light of Jesus.

Fight for your life

If you are a believer in Jesus Christ then you are in fight for your life. You are in fight for the better of yourself and your life. You are in a constant war with the enemy, your feelings, your flesh, your mind, and your actions. Because we have a new spirit within us that wants to do what is right and best in every situation we have to choose to listen to it instead of our old nature, our flesh, and the enemy that tries to sway us to stay the way that we were before we received our new spirit. But because our new spirit has authority over all things we can be successful at living by our new nature. The only way that we do not change for the better and have the peace, joy, love, and success that is available to us, is if we allow ourselves to stay unchanged. It is going to take work and effort on our part but we have the grace of God to lean on and to help us grow into our new being. It is a forever learning and changing process that continues until we die. But thank God that we have the opportunity to be peaceful, happy, loving, compassionate, giving, caring, fulfilled, and free.

We have to get determined that we are going to do whatever it is that we need to do to make a positive change in our lives, to have the peace, joy, love, contentment, success, and freedom that we desire. We have to be patient with ourselves and know that change is not going to happen over night. We have to pay attention to ourselves and make a conscious decision to stop a thing and start a new thing. We have to be willing to fight against what our soul (our mind, will, and emotions) wants and what is best for us. We have to stop being selfish so we will not give into ourselves. And we have to read our bible so that we can gain the wisdom that we need to live our best life.

All changes start with a change of thought. We have to change the way that we think about a thing in order to change the thing. For example, if you want to stop smoking, while you are smoking that cigarette think, “I do not to smoke anymore, I do not like to smoke, I hate the taste of smoke”. When you want a smoke, say that you do not want to smoke. It helps with the process of quitting once you get to the point that you are ready to quit. I hope that is a good enough example for you to understand what I mean by changing our thoughts.

We have to have a certain amount of determination if we are going to be successful at any victory in our lives. We have to be willing to fight against our wants and our habits. If I want to work out but I am not feeling up to it, I am going to have to make myself push through the feelings and do it anyways. I am going to have to want the results of me working out more than I want to sit around. I am going to have to be determined to better myself no matter if I like doing it or not.

We have the ability to do what we need to do through Christ, but we do have to put forth the effort. We have to want and be determined to have the life that is available to us because of Jesus. Are you sensing that you need to make a change in your life? Do you struggle with the war between your flesh and your spirit? Get determined today that you are going to fight for the better of you and have the life that you have available to you because of Jesus!!!

Live your best life now

This past Saturday was my 40th birthday. As I sat back drinking my morning cup of coffee I began to think about the situation. At forty years old, I would say that I am at the half point mark of my life. Half of my life is gone and I have the other half to go. Do I want the second half of my life to reflect the first half? Do I want to repeat the cycles that been going around and around in my life thus far? Do I want to make it through the second half of my life without the struggles of the first half? Do I want to travel down a different, steadier road than the one that I have been traveling? Do I want to make a difference in my life and the lives of those around me? Have I been living up to my full God given potential so far? What changes do I need to make in my life that will reflect Jesus to the world and allow him to work through me to reach others? What do I want to do with the second part of my life? All these questions ran through my mind as I looked out at the ocean of waves from the balcony of my hotel room.

We have the choice to change our lives at any giving time if we want to. But something about turning forty put an extra boost in my thoughts about my life, the choices that I make, my future, and making a positive Godly impact on the people that are brought into my life. Maybe it is the fact that I look at it as I have spent half of my life on this earth already. I made many mistakes and feel that I wasted a lot of time by doing much of life on my own in the past forty years and I do not want to waste any more of my time that I have left. I want to make positive changes in myself and make use of the wisdom and understanding that God has given me. I have to face fears of the unknown, fears of rejection, and fears of disappointments, if I am ever going to step into what God has planned for me to do. Why is it that so many of us wait to do the things that are vital to living our best lives instead of doing them as soon as we know what to do?

God loves us so much and I believe that it hurts him to see us cause our own misery or discomfort. I believe that he would love to make us do what we need to do, but he has given us the gift of free choice and he does not want robots. We can make our lives so much better by simply doing what the Holy Spirit guides us to do but we have the flesh that fights against his guidance.

I am making a declaration today that I am going to deny my flesh to the best of my ability and begin to live in the will of God once again. I am going to do my best at letting the Holy Spirit direct my steps and lean on Jesus to help me to walk it out. I want to make the second half of my life mean something. I want to be a woman of integrity, love, and compassion, spreading the good news of Jesus to those listening. I want to leave a positive stamp on the world when I leave this earth. I want to end my race with a “job well done” from Jesus. I want to live this life right and fight for the greater good.

Where are you at in your life right now? Are there any changes that you feel the Holy Spirit nudging you to make? Are there things that you know that you need to do to bring more peace, joy, and love to your own life? Are things that you have putting off, for whatever reason, that you know will make a positive difference in yourself or your life? What are you waiting for? Make the decision today that you are going to have the life that Jesus wants you to have by following the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Take a stand against your flesh and against the enemy today. Stand up for the your greater good and the greater good of others. Live your best life now and do not waste any more time putting things off. You deserve the best life that you can have and you are not fighting any battle alone because Jesus is on your side, fighting right with you.

Just receive His gifts

When I was told to receive Jesus and what he was offering me I had a hard time understanding how that worked. To be sure I had to do something or give something in order to get what he has to offer. To be sure I had to be good all the time and had to earn my blessings. I wanted all that I was reading and being told was available to me but I did not understand what to do to get it. Then one day the Lord put on my heart that just receive it from him. I said to the Lord, ” but what do I have to do to receive it”? He said, “Mandie, just as you do nothing but accept the gifts that someone gives you on your birthday or at Christmas, u simply accept what I want to give you”. Suddenly I understood what it meant to receive. Just as the only thing I did to get gifts from people on my birthday was be born into this world, all I have to do to have what Jesus has to offer is be born again in the spirit.

All we have to do in order to have the offerings of Jesus is to simply take hold of them and say thank you, just as we would a gift from someone. We do not have to work for them. We do not have be exceptionally good. We do not have to do anything but receive them. Receive Jesus and all the things that he wants to give you today. Receive his love, his mercy, his peace, his joy, his forgiveness, and his grace today.