Programmed for Success or Failure?

The mind and emotions are very big factors in shaping the kinds of relationships we have with others. Most importantly, our mind and emotions mold and maintain intimacy in the relationship we have with God. This is one of the reasons that He tells us in Ephesians 4:23 that we must renew our minds to His Word. To renew is to make new again. It is important because some of us have some programming running in our minds and hearts that is outdated. It will not support the new operating system of faith, elevation, and blessings. No matter how much we pray for certain things, if there’s not a change in our souls, then we’ll lack the spiritual resources to support what we’re praying to receive.

For some of us, it is shocking to hear that our way or mode of thinking may be flawed—that our own thoughts, attitudes, behaviors, and feelings are causing us to fail in areas of our lives that are very meaningful. We may be successful in several areas, but where it counts most, we may have some kinks that need to be worked out. The building blocks of our personhood that we’ve learned or inherited since our births may be constructing a barrier instead of a bridge to brighter tomorrows. In most cases, these kinds of building blocks ignore the destiny DNA that’s written deep within. Instead, they build perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors that are toxic to our souls and spiritual well-being.

In Mark 1:15(NLT), Jesus Christ said, “The time promised by God has come at last! …the Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!” Many during this time heard this proclamation and looked at Jesus as if he had two heads. They had no idea regarding the meaning of all this talk about the Kingdom of God, which was invisible to them. They were looking to see things in a very literal or linear way. They didn’t know their identities as spiritual beings, so if it wasn’t something tangible—something they could see, smell, taste, hear, or touch, they weren’t inclined to believe it. Some of us are the same way.

Earth is not our home. We’re just passing through. We came from a place that must be seen with more than human eyesight or vision. Natural or physical vision allows us to see and interact on earth, but our homeland requires a vision that is exponentially higher and more acute. It’s spiritual vision, where we see with the eyes of our spirit. Comprehending this allows us to recognize the reality of the truth in 2Corinthians 4:18 The Message (MSG). It says, “There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” The things we can’t see are more real than what we can see. We can’t see love, for instance, but most of us would agree that it is more real and stronger than anything that exists.

Because of carnal thinking, some of us can’t see what the Lord desires us to see, and we can’t hear what He desires us to hear; for these things must be spiritually discerned and perceived. An internal change must occur, and this was the message that Jesus Christ conveyed in Mark 1:15. He said, “REPENT of your old ways.” To repent is to have a change of heart and a change of mind. It’s to change the programming to such a degree that we believe in what we cannot yet see. That’s faith!

Leaping from fear to faith is for many of us a very big step. We often cling to the things that make us comfortable, and yes, sometimes those things are the very toxic elements that hold us back. We must get wired to the truth that faith is the only way to travel to real success in life. God commands us in 2Corinthians 5:7 to walk by faith and not by sight. Proverbs 3:5 warns us not to lean on our own understanding—we can’t allow ourselves to settle into a carnal mindset. We ought to continually be reaching toward higher spiritual heights. We must aim to have what God has for us, as we lean totally and completely on Him, the God we cannot see. He will not forsake or fail us, and if we trust Him, He’ll give us good success. ■

Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Programmed for Success or Failure?” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord! ar

He Will Help You Get Your Treasures Back

One of the most well-known passages of scripture in the Bible is in the Gospel of Matthew. In it, Jesus Christ extends an overwhelmingly generous and loving invitation. In Matthew 11:28-30, he tells us, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” If you’ve never faced a problem or issue in life so troubling that you literally feel imprisoned by it, then the invitation of our Lord and Master may not mean much to you. But if you’re anything like me, and you’ve had your back pinned against the walls of your circumstances and condition a few times, then you will understand and appreciate the lifeline our Redeemer is offering.

Recover
He offers us rest, and it is more than just a temporary reprieve. It is a rest that allows us to recover, be restored, and increase in spiritual strength. Spiritual recovery is so important to us because it brings the healing that only our Lord and Savior can provide. And all we need to do is ask for it. Very often we feel imprisoned by life’s circumstances because our destiny is to be at point C and we’re still at point A. We must remember at all times that we’re spiritual beings having an earth experience. Our body provides the vehicle to move about within the earth, but our spirits provide the opportunity to move with Holy Spirit power according to God’s Will and Plan. So, when we feel as though we’re stuck in life, growing in God’s love, nature, and power is always the solution. This is why Jesus Christ tells us in Matthew 11:29 that the conduit to the rest he offers is to learn about him.

Restore
We have a dastardly evil enemy, and he is the devil. Jesus Christ said in John 10:10 that the devil is a thief whose chief mission is to kill, steal, and destroy. Our Big Brother and Lord would never lie to us. Jesus Christ is truth itself. So, if he tells us that we have a treacherous spiritual enemy, it would be incredibly unwise and catastrophic if we refuse to believe him. He wants us to know about our enemy, and he also wants us to know how to protect ourselves against him. God’s Word places this wisdom in our hands.  

I heard a wonderful believer’s testimony about an encounter he experienced after praying fervently for a friend. His friend was very bound by oppressive situations. They were fracturing his family relationships and depleting his finances. This friend had contemplated suicide and came to this man for prayer. While meditating in the Lord, the believer saw a massive room filled to capacity with every imaginable treasure, and everything in this room was chained. He knew that these were treasures of God’s people that had been stolen by satan. Understand that God will help us get our treasures back.

Heavenly Father told His people in Joel 2:25(NLT), “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts.” God’s people had lost everything that was important to them, and the locusts in this verse are symbolic of the devil who steals and destroys the things we value. God reminded His people that only He has the power to restore. They had made the terrible mistake of putting their faith in the wrong things, but in order that God could restore them, they needed to turn to Him in obedience and have faith in Him. This is true for us as well. It’s why we need to learn about Jesus Christ in God’s Word, because learning about his love, ministry, and the extraordinary sacrifice he made for us will build our faith.

Increase in spiritual strength
Increasing in spiritual strength is probably the most important aspect of rest. God tells us in Ephesians 6:10 to be strong in Him and in the strength of His might. Life requires His strength, and the more we know about Him the stronger we become. It is important for us to respect that our destinies are etched in stone, so to speak. Our conscious minds are not aware of all that God has slated for us, and it’s why we must trust Him with all our being. He knows where we’re supposed to be, when we’re supposed to be there, and He knows how to get us there. Our propensity is to try and control the journey, and this won’t work. The rest that Jesus Christ offers requires that we give him the wheel. This is a no brainer. We should never hesitate but take the lifeline and rest he offers; we desperately need it.

While we’re in the passenger seat, we’ve got plenty of time to read, study, pray, and mediate on God’s goodness. That’s the whole purpose of rest, to remember what has been done for us through Christ, and to rest in it. You see, there’s a mindset of intentionality that’s expected of us. We must intend to gain spiritual strength as we rest. If that’s not our intention, we won’t have the strength to maintain what God restores. Let’s do our part by resting in the peace that Christ offers. We’ll be amazed at what the Lord does in our circumstances when our hearts are truly committed to spiritually grow and increase our faith in Him. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“He Will Help You Get Your Treasures Back”
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

A Fresh Start

I was asked recently to pray for a woman that has been in an abusive marriage for over 25 years. Her husband has been abusive in many ways, including habitual infidelity. She’s tried to leave the marriage several times, but each time he has begged for forgiveness and made promises to change his behavior. She has taken him back and continued to suffer through his abuse and cheating. His years of affairs have produced more than one child outside of their marriage. The child support for those kids has diminished college funds and financial support for the children they have together. Now that she’s in her fifties, and after all the lies and everything she’s been through, she says she’s finally going to leave him and give herself a fresh start.

When we think of the word ‘fresh’, we automatically think about newness or something that is different. The mere mention of the word inspires good feelings. We get excited about the possibility of leaving the ‘old, worn out, and no longer useful’ behind us. The harsh reality that stares all of us in the face is that newness doesn’t get it’s beginning from the external, it is birthed internally first. Real and lasting change begins in our hearts and minds. This is an astounding truth that most people ignore.

There are many reasons that a person will remain in an abusive relationship. If children are involved, the abuser may contribute part or all their financial support, making it more challenging to leave the marriage or relationship. Also, both pride and fear can be deterrents to leaving as well. When the abuser has some degree of affluence or prominence in the community, pride can become a stronghold. Fear of abusive retribution and retaliation, as well as the fear of a withdrawal of support, is also very much part of the reason why many people remain in abusive relationships. But these are not the root cause of why a person stays, they are what’s on the surface.

The truth is that God has empowered every individual of sound mind to achieve and accomplish whatever they truly want to do. When we’re relentless or passionate about something, most of us find a way to get what we want done. So, there has to be something deep-seated in someone’s mind and heart to make them feel as though they are unable to be set free. This isn’t a judgment. I was bound by four walls of self-doubt, self-condemnation, and insecurity for many years, so I know the entrapment of a mindset of powerlessness very well. I personally believe it is its own hell, a prison that ensnares countless numbers of individuals who believe there’s no hope.

In 1Timothy 6:12(NLT), God tells us through the Apostle Paul, “Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.” God’s Word is true. It is the Source of any truth that exists in the earth. A thing may be factual, but facts change all the time. Truth is eternal, and it is this fight, the fight to stand on our truth in Christ, that is the greatest fight of all.

Instead of fighting to stand ground on the truth of our strength, ability, and liberty that Christ gave his life to make available to us, we fight for the thing that enslaves us. We fight our strength, ability, and liberty when we don’t believe in them. Jesus Christ tells us in John 8:32 that only the truth will set us free. And the truth is that we will have to give up the mindset of powerlessness for a mindset of hope.

Hope is the first step to a fresh start, but it will require something that only the Lord Jesus Christ can provide in order to back it up. We need the power of the Spirit of God, and we must invite Him to do a work on the inside of us. Without this, we slip back into old ways of thinking and behaving and continue to allow ourselves to suffer. We must acknowledge that we are indeed in a fight, and we will need more than the armor human understanding and skill can provide. We need the whole armor of God, and He freely offers it. He tells us in Ephesians 6:11 to put it on, and therein lies a true fresh start. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

A Fresh Start
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Nothing Stays Hidden for Long

A friend of mind would drive herself nuts with hair and make-up. It was beyond anything I’d ever seen. She’d fall for every new trend and claim about the secret to beauty and youth, and she bought an insane amount of products; most of which she never used. Her hair was always impeccable, every strand seemingly in place. Many of us are more than a little conscious regarding our appearance, but she seemed obsessive and just about everyone close to her knew that something wasn’t quite right. The pressure to look perfect often caused her to be emotionally distraught because she couldn’t meet the unachievable standards that she had set for herself. Sometimes, when we’re overly consumed with one area of our lives in this way, it is because we’re neglecting another. When the area we’re neglecting is spiritual, we’re moving in really dangerous territory.

When insecurities play out through obsessiveness, it could be tied to our need to fill a void. None of us like hearing this because it means we have to confront some things internally, and soul-work is not always easy work. One thing is for sure, we only live on this earth once, and if we’re going to make the most of it, we’re going to have address the things that hold us back. Blockers not only keep us from experiencing the life we’re entitled to live, but they cause us to lose precious momentum on this journey. No matter how much we try to avoid dealing with them, God designed life in such a way that the lessons of surrender and release will be on repeat until we either get them or die.

We’ve tried convincing my friend of her attractiveness, telling her she doesn’t need procedures and other things. She’d quickly change the subject, ignore our comments, or become frustrated. The words we spoke were a whisper compared to the loudness of her shame and insecurity. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, sin consciousness entered their psyche. No one knows exactly how long they had lived prior to eating of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, but once they did, time entered the picture and so did death, fear, and shame. We know this because before they disobeyed God, Genesis 2:25(KJV) tells us, “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”  After they sinned, Genesis 3:6(NLT) says, “The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. 7 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness.”

This clearly allows us to see that shame is felt when something we want to hide is exposed. What ends up happening is that many of us will deflect, ignore, change the subject or do worse to make sure the hidden thing stays this way. It’s painful. We don’t want to feel it, and we don’t want others to get near it. The thing about life is that we’re here on this earth to learn some lessons that are uniquely crafted for each of our individual spiritual journeys. We can try to run, but we definitely can’t hide from them. If we don’t summon the courage to confront what we haven’t conquered, sooner or later, our inner pain will be exposed, and most of the time it ain’t pretty.

Make no mistake, God’s Word tells us we’re born with sin in our bodies, and we’re born into a sinful world. A lifetime isn’t long enough to confront every dark thing in our souls, because all of us have junk in our trunks. But to the extent that we’re so consumed with licking our wounds and feeding our insecurities that we’re not moving forward in our purpose; we’ve got to deal with the issue.

A person’s purpose is tied to the very core of who they were created to be. It’s woven in God’s plan for the entire universe, and everything in creation knows when we’re out of alignment with it. This is why God’s divine design exposes darkness, so that it can be brought to the light. Jesus Christ said in Luke 8:17(NLT), “For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.” You can’t conquer what you refuse to confront. God doesn’t expect us to deal with it by ourselves, because we can’t. He wants us to invite His love to do a work within, so we don’t have to continue ducking and hiding. We can let the thing that keeps us from loving fully to come front and center, so we can surrender it and accept the love of Christ in its place. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Nothing Stays Hidden for Long”  
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Choosing the Right Person

One of the most valuable lessons in life is learning the importance of allowing God’s direction and guidance in our significant relationships. Most of us don’t think we need any help in this area, but nothing could be further from the truth. It’s an integral piece of our overall lives and hugely impacts our relationship with God. Choosing the wrong person will cause us to lose time, resources, and momentum on this journey. Resources and momentum we can regain, but time is lost forever. There’s also the potential injury to our souls, and possibly the other person’s, that could occur when we’ve chosen poorly. In a perfect scenario, we’d ascertain rather quickly whether the person we’re jonesing for isn’t our destiny partner, and we’d cut’em loose with no animosity whatsoever. We’d wish them well and send them on their way with God’s grace. For many of us, that ain’t the case.

We latch on and make emotional investments into people because they have within them something that moves us. But just because someone moves us soulfully, it doesn’t mean they’re our soulmates. Many of us are so busy responding to the situations of our lives that we haven’t taken the time to truly know ourselves better. We haven’t taken out our trusty tools of exploration like brutal honesty and truth to go soul digging beyond the surface. So, nine times out of ten, we respond strongly to someone and go all in, when all they’ve done is simply skimmed the surface of our souls. They’ve touched a note, but haven’t a clue about the whole song, and neither do we.  

Jesus Christ said in John 3:16 (NLT), “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” Because of the finished work of Christ, you and I are eternal beings through him. This means we’ll be around for a really, really, really long time. There are parts of us we’ve never known. Our spirits were made brand new in Christ, and a lifetime on earth isn’t enough to explore the wonder of our new creation. We couldn’t possibly get to the depth of all that we are, but God knows us through and through. David, the psalmist, wrote in Psalm 139:1-5(NLT): “1O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. 2 You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. 3 You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. 4 You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord. 5 You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.”

God saw our end before we ever got started. He’s mapped out a plan for us that lays a foundation for you and I to get better and stronger—to tap into the depth of our greatness in Christ, to bask and make ourselves at home in his goodness and love. He’ll prevent us from intercepting this flow if we’ll humble ourselves before Him.

It takes humility to pause and consider the possibility that we’re about to bust a move that’s not in tune with God’s plan. Many us begin relationships without giving this a second thought. Jesus Christ teaches us that the quality of humility is a non-negotiable one when it comes to the Kingdom of God. No matter our ages, we are all children to Heavenly Father, because this is what He created us to be. Make no mistake, we’re extremely intelligent and capable creatures. Ephesians 2:10(NLT) tells us, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” God calls us His greatest work, but we must always remember that the creation isn’t greater than the Creator. When we get this twisted, humility goes out the window.

When we cross paths with a person that is right for us, God will confirm it many times if we are patient and humbled enough to seek Him and accept His wisdom. He is very interested in our relationships, and He desires us to be happy. He knows exactly what we need to fulfill our purpose and walk the path of destiny He’s laid before us. Humility begs us to not always trust our hearts but to trust the Lord! Job 12:13(NLT) declares, “But true wisdom and power are found in God; counsel and understanding are his.” He will never steer us wrong.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Choosing the Right Person”  
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Dissipating the Dark Cloud of Sadness

“The human spirit can endure a sick body,
but who can bear a crushed spirit?”
Proverbs 18:14 (NLT)

Anyone who has taken steps to heal wounds left from the trauma of domestic violence and abuse can speak to the residual emotional pain it causes. A person can move past the situations and conditions where they were exposed to abuse. We can put it long behind us, but this doesn’t mean that we’re healed and delivered from the effects of it. You can be doing your own thing, going about your humdeedumdum business, and all of a sudden, “WHAMMM!!!” It hits you like a ton of bricks. It’s an avalanche of heaviness that looms over your life like a dark cloud, and it just knocks you for a loop. You can’t shake it, and you can’t explain why you feel so bad.

It is almost unheard of to expect a child, 4 or 5 years of age, to lead a company of soldiers into combat or to go to work every day and support an entire family. Most mature and intelligent individuals understand these are unreasonable expectations for a person so young. It is, however, conceivable that a child could have the mental prowess for extraordinary accomplishments, but he or she wouldn’t have the emotional or physical development to carry out such things. Most of us can certainly fathom the absurdity in placing overwhelming burdens on a young one, but when it comes to the overburdening that we have experienced ourselves, some of us are not nearly as compassionate as we should be.

In Matthew 11:28-30, Our precious Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” One of the reasons that millions fall madly in love with Jesus Christ is because the record of him in the bible testifies of his goodness. He walked upon this earth being both fully human and fully God. He’s our High Priest, and Hebrews 4:15 says that he was tempted in every way that a human can be, but never sinned. This verse tells us that he understands what we go through. He has intimate knowledge of our weaknesses and shortcomings.

Jesus Christ is brilliant and supremely intelligent. He would not tell us to do something unless it is absolutely necessary for us to get it done. He knows that we’re going to go through things in life that will completely overwhelm our mental and emotional resources. He also knows that the burden of those experiences is too much for us to carry. As a way of preserving ourselves, many of us buried those feelings long ago. We pressed them down deep and may not have realized we did this. The thing is, nothing stays buried unless it’s dead. Residual pain and sadness from traumatic experiences doesn’t die. It must be released, and this is a process that our Lord and Savior will help us walk through.

For years too many to number, believers have suffered sadness in silence. Many were too ashamed to speak their own personal truth about what they’ve endured, and for some, pain is buried so deep that they’re unable to call a spade a spade. Like me, they wake up one morning not wanting to face the day and not knowing why. If you’ve suffered prior abuse or any traumatic event and you’re experiencing overwhelming sadness, it is very important that you know it’s possible to dissipate the dark cloud over your life. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen. My prayer is that you will ask the Lord Jesus Christ for help and trust him to divinely connect you with people, relationships, and resources that will bring you into the light and help you stay there.■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Dissipating the Dark Cloud of Sadness”  
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

Sometimes, You Just Gotta’ Be A Ninja

As I stood behind the podium in front of people from various religious backgrounds, I made a statement that is central to the core of who I am as a believer. “We cannot be the same people we were two years ago, two months ago, or two weeks ago. We must be always growing and abounding in Christ—responding to the new mercies of God that greet us every morning.” When I wrote this statement some days before, I believed it to be revolutionary; because discovering the revelation of it truly had been life changing for me. I was in church all my life. I was surrounded by a wonderful community of people who I believed were genuinely committed to me and the other youths they mentored. But as an adult, I became very weary of sameness. I believed there was so much more to life in the Spirit than what I had personally and previously witnessed. I yearned to see God’s power phenomenally manifested in my life, and when it showed up for me, I couldn’t help but tell it.

Standing there, looking at those who had just heard my words, I expected to sense in my spirit a pulling for more. It’s the spirit to spirit tugging that occurs when the souls of folks are captivated. It happens when people hear words that they’ve been waiting to hear all their lives. But as I gazed about, and checked my radar for take-off, it became blatantly clear that they were not willing to travel with me. In fact, most looked at me as if I had two heads. Only just starting out back then, I was bruised and a little bit embarrassed, but the Lord was not finished with me. In truth He had just begun. It took me a while to snap back after this incident, but the Lord was patient, and I continued to pursue Him for more.

This happened some years ago, but we live in an environment that is quite different today. We no longer have the luxury of settling into a posture of letting disappointment run its course. Everything in the world is moving at an accelerated pace, and God is up to something; most of us can feel this in our spirits. What does it all mean? Well, the Apostle Paul reminds us in Hebrew 12:1 that God has given us some fantastic examples of faith to emulate. He tells us that since the Father has given us these extraordinary witnesses, we’d better strip off every weight that slows us down, because like them, God’s given us a race to run. No time to play around because this race is heating up. Our only option is to heat up with it. We’ve got to get busy making sure we’re responding to what the Father is doing.  

The whole business of being an earth-dweller is to respond to God as the sons and daughters He’s made us. When I first understood this years ago, I was excited as all get out! It was thrilling to learn that I’m not here to rest on my laurels in a take-it-as-it-comes existence. In John 5:17,19(NLT) Jesus Christ said, “17 My Father is always working, and so am I. 19 I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.” This is our mission—our modus operandi. It takes humility in the form of flexibility to respond to God, because we’ve got to do what we see Him doing. He’s calling upon each of us to break out of sameness and look up. If we don’t, we’re going to miss out.

Time is of the essence. Heavenly Father whispered in our ears years ago to get rid of some things—to do a Jiu Jitsu on those old fears, toxic relationships, and negative habit patterns, so we can respond to Him with the love He deserves. Many of us haven’t done it. And the reason is because we are so strapped in to who we think we should be that we’re not becoming who God destined us to be. We’re out of synch with our identities, and everything around us is a reminder of this. Don’t let the roots of old dead things continue to suck up your good energy. Sometimes, you just gotta be a ninja. Chop em’ off and do it quickly so newness can bloom. Get rid of that stuff. You’ve got a race to run, and you shouldn’t let anything keep you from being all that God has destined you to be. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Sometimes, You Just Gotta’ Be A Ninja”  
written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2018. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!