Archives for May 2015

Losing Focus

Why is it that when we get busy with life, distracted by worldly problems and put off spending time with God, that we wonder why we feel so depressed? There is a direct link between our spiritual walk and our emotional well being- it‚Äôs a fact. We were created to have direct communion with God and when we choose to separate ourselves from this communion our spirits feel the strain. We already have to endure a type of separation due to the fall of humanity‚Ķ thankfully Christ sacrificed to correct that huge mistake. But when we ‚Äúput off‚ÄĚ spending that crucial time with the Father- our spiritual, emotional, mental and even physical self suffers for it. This is not to say that when we are close to God everything is hunky-dory and life is nothing but roses and chocolate chip cookies, but when we put God on the back burner there is always a strain and groaning of our souls- it is yearning to get back to the God that made us. This is usually when we experience a loss of joy, raised level of impatience at everyday things, bitterness, and overall pessimism. All of a sudden we lose track of our purpose and thus lose the desire to do our everyday tasks with even a decent … [Read more...]

Planning to Fail

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. (Colossians 3:23-24) I wonder how many of you have ever been in a situation that you truly believed God led you to... only to have it fail by no apparent fault of your own. Does this seem like an odd statement or do you know exactly what I'm talking about? I mean, you know God wanted you to do something, He confirmed it many times, you prayed throughout the entire endeavor to stay in God's will, God opened doors for you, you worked your absolute hardest, and at the end of the tunnel stood that door-LOCKED! While every situation is different and there are countless reasons behind every plan that was not seen through to completion, allow me to introduce merely one scenario that God has taught me a lesson through... I label this lesson: Planning to Fail. This sounds counterproductive but trust me- it isn't in the case I'm referring to. You see, we always need to be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit and be willing to work as hard as necessary (for as long as necessary) in order to see God's … [Read more...]

10 Scriptures To Read When You Are Experiencing Doubt

We all have faith issues sometimes. Faith vs. Doubt Faith deals with what you can't see, while doubt deals with what you can. It sounds confusing, but Faith tells you that something that hasn't happened or that can't be seen, will be. Doubt says that because of what you see or because of what has already happened, things won't be. Faith As A Gift It has been said that faith is a gift from God and there is no way to increase it. ¬†While I agree with the first part of this statement, the second part is not true. So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. ~Romans 10:17 So what does this mean? Can Faith Grow? Well, we have all been given a certain measure of faith by God (Romans 12:3), but our faith can grow. (Luke 17:21, Mark 4:24) ¬†However that growing is not in the sense of more or less. ¬†Instead it is in the sense of being of quality. The question is not, "How much faith do I have?" as much as it is, "Is my faith strong?" Without strong faith, doubt creeps in and exposes us to troubles and fears in our lives. Steps To Take There are steps that can be taken to help with this process. We have to hear, read, or speak the word of God because … [Read more...]

How Well Do You Listen?

How much effort do you really put forth into listening to someone? Be honest. As technology advances, lives become cluttered, and noisy distractions are commonplace, it seems that society- as a whole- has become a group of great talkers and horrible listeners. Let's take this a bit further... how much effort do you really put forth into listening to GOD? Do you EVER put forth ANY effort? I'm not bringing this up to step on toes- Lord knows I truly am one of the worst at being quiet before Him in order to listen. It's crucial, however, in our goal to be more like Christ, to actively listen for the voice of God. Is it even important enough to you to try to hear what God has to say to you about your own life - or are you just going your own way, perhaps even talking to God, but never really listening for His input? For every believer, there will be times when it seems God is ignoring and perhaps even blocking us (which is not true- but everyone feels that way at some point). However, are your¬†attempts¬†at hearing Him about as good as a toddler's attempt to stay focused and follow directions? I have a 2-year-old... I can go there. ¬†If we are truly growing in our faith- shouldn't our … [Read more...]

Just How Mature Are You?

Y'all ready for this one? I'm gonna step on some toes the way I had mine stepped on- and it's gonna hurt so good! This is a topic that many Christians think they are doing well in, but may not actually be... MATURITY. Not the "I never act silly" or "I'm always the serious one/the one in control" type of maturity. Rather, I'm referring to spiritual¬†maturity, the whole: meat vs. milk thing. Don't get that reference? Here it is... "We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand.¬†In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths¬†of God‚Äôs word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!¬†Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant,¬†is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.¬†But solid food is for the mature,¬†who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.¬† (Hebrews 5:11-14) Honest Cassie tidbit- while I always thought I was really mature spiritually, I now realize that I'm still treading water in adolescence. I say that not to be pitiful, but to be completely transparent. I used to think that being a mature Christian was … [Read more...]

God’s Nature or Evil Nature

Each person has a specific type of character. We are born a certain way, with specific personality traits. Yet many of our character traits, whether we know it or not, form over time. As a child we begin to take on the nature of those around us. Although not completely developed from our caregivers, our character meshes with our personality and we are developed. Adversity, challenges, and trials help to develop certain aspects of our character, while joyful experiences like love, laughter, and fulfillment of hope develop other aspects of who we are. If you've ever been around a young person and observed their actions, you would see these changes occur in their development. If this is the truth in the natural...what can we say, then, about the spiritual? Do you remember the story of Cain and Able? I'm sure you do... Two brothers, the first two sons of Adam and Eve. They were the first to be born of the curse, in pain, and distress of child rearing. Cain, the oldest, would be his mother's first experience of pain and his father's first successor and student. Never having parented before, Adam and Eve would have obviously done their best, but without the direct … [Read more...]

Tearing Down Barriers

There are times in our lives, when we look to people to affirm the message in our hearts that God has already spoken. ¬†At these times, we have to realize that unless an individual has heard from God, they cannot affirm our call, our mission, or even the message that God has given. ¬† The truth is that looking to people for affirmation can sometimes lead us to a place of hurt, frustration, and even doubt. ¬†That's when it's most important to turn to God. ¬†It is at these times that we have to look to the Word of God to tear down barriers in our lives. That turning may feel difficult... You may not want to or even feel like going to your Bible. You may find so many other things to do that seem more important than turning to the Word of God for the moment, but let me assure you of one thing‚Ķthere is nothing more encouraging and powerful than the Word of God. So, when you feel that it is hard to get the Word, I encourage you to push‚ĶPUSH‚ĶPUSH‚Ķpush your way to the Word and watch God speak into your situation. He will give you boldness, clarity, and the affirmation that you were seeking... You will find yourself with the same boldness that Paul had. ¬†Read today's word from … [Read more...]

Stop Doing God’s Job

Have you ever been in a situation (or season of life) where you felt like nothing you did was working? Perhaps you were doing everything right but it felt like you were still hitting a brick wall. ¬†If you have been a Christian for long, you may have even experienced this with your own relationship with Christ... a sort of "dead area" ¬†where you could not hear Him, feel Him, and no matter how many prayers you sent up or Scriptures you read- you just could not break through. God seemed silent and uncaring; you were at an impasse spiritually and nothing you did could break you out of it. ¬†This is an extremely hard place to be in, but one that God often uses to either teach us something or to break us away from sin. I have recently given this ¬†season of silence a name; I call it- The Valley of Bones. Oooooohhhhh creepy. Let me explain why this is fitting in my opinion: First of all, when you are in this empty place, for many, there is a feeling of hollow pointlessness. You feel dead inside and more often than not, your hope is no where to be found. While you may not be thinking of death itself- when you cannot connect with the Father, there is a sort of decay that's … [Read more...]

Rules of Engagement

Rules of Engagement: a directive/s issued by a military authority specifying the circumstances and limitations under which forces will engage in combat with the enemy. I want to apply this to the spiritual battle all born-anew, followers of Christ engage in on a daily basis. Let's answer several¬†FAQ's! Why is this battle raging? When will it end? What is my defense? What are my weapons? Because your enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.¬†1 Peter 5.8 Truthfully? When we die and go to heaven!¬†No more curse! The Word. The Word. The Word. After Jesus' baptism and before He began His earthly ministry, He went into the mountainous desert places surrounding the city and there He was tempted by the devil for forty days. His defense? He quoted scripture. You can read exactly what Jesus said to Satan¬†here. Here's where we can get excited because our God has armed us well! Every morning after we brush our teeth and comb our hair we get dressed, right? The best-dressed believer adds these items every day to their outfit! The belt of Truth -¬†Ephesians 6.14 The breastplate of Righteousness -¬†Ephesians 6.14 The shoes of … [Read more...]