“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged, For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
You might be thinking - - yes, of course I’m comfortable speaking about Jesus and God - - OR - - you may feel restricted, and you are only comfortable speaking about your religious beliefs:
Believe in your faith enough to stand up for God and Jesus when it counts the most
In this blog post you will learn:
#1: OUR RIGHTS:
It will be helpful to understand how God’s involvement in our lives has evolved overtime in our legal system and in our culture. This will empower us to realize the importance and responsibility we have to share God’s word with others.
Society has worked hard to suppress God in our lives.
You may be thinking all of this logically makes sense. After all, you don’t want to push your belief on anyone. If someone doesn’t believe in the bible, how can they swear on it to tell the truth? How can we ask a child to say “One nation under God” when we don’t want to force God on them?
Our society praises this kind of religious tolerance, or lack thereof. What this is saying is either one of two things:
It is important now more than ever to understand that we as Christians have the freedom to speak boldly and be assured in our faith through compassion, patience and understanding.
God doesn’t force himself on anyone. God wants you to come to him on your own, and he will use people, places and his word to help guide you towards his truth.
If you are someone who believes in God and Jesus, you are part of God’s plan to help those around you to find the truth you were able to uncover.
A human being’s rights to publicly express their faith or religious belief is a fundamental understanding that will empower you to be comfortable to speak up when it’s needed.
Let’s understand the intent of Separation of Church and State.
It does not mean “hide your faith outside of your Church, or place of worship”.
It means you have a right to express yourself freely through the guarantees of religious liberty that Thomas Jefferson fought for us all to have in the first amendment. Unfortunately, our society has mis-interpreted this to mean you should not mix religious activities with public or state activities.
The intent of the First Amendment of the Constitution is meant to help “reinforce the legal right of a free people to freely live their faith, even in public; without fear of government coercion. Free exercise means you may have faith and you may live it. The Separation of church and state doesn’t shut down our debates over religion in the public square; it guarantees the freedom for us to respectfully have those debates...Faith is worth talking about in many places in American culture” - - Thomas Jefferson said that The Constitution would “restore to man all his natural rights”. Intolerance of another person’s faith is a personal choice, not a legal requirement.” - Time.com, The real meaning of the Separation of Church and State.
One thing is certain - - as Christians, we have a responsibility to educate the importance of having God in our lives.
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms'' - Peter 4:10.
It is in our service that all will see God’s grace in action as we demonstrate our faith.
So now that you have a comfort level about expressing your belief of God and Jesus freely through our constitutional rights, let’s talk about how important this is.
#2: IMPORTANCE OF GOD IN OUR LIVES
Here is an example of how important it is to have God in our lives. According to a recent Pew Research Study from Spring 2019 Global Attitudes Survey Q30 - -
Countries with higher purchasing power are less likely to tie belief in God to morality.
Those with higher income are also less likely to see belief in God as necessary.
This shows us how money separates us even further from God. When we put value on MONEY and THINGS, we lose sight of the importance of how God can positively shape our morals and values. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” 1 Timonthy 6:10
Whereas, if we put people before things, we will have a higher expectation of our morals, shaped by God’s guidance for us:
“a new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have
loved you, so also you must love one another.” John 13:34
Now that we understand the importance of God in our lives, let’s review when the right time and place is to speak about God and Jesus. “If God is for us, who could be against us.” Romans 8:31
#3: When is the right time and place to speak about God and Jesus?
To understand the right time and place, we will start by asking a few questions detailed below. These questions are meant to help you learn about your current decision making.
The way you answer them today, may not be how you act in the situation. Once you learn more about yourself from these questions. Remember how you may WANT to answer, versus what you may ACTUALLY do. Take this to heart, and know how much you can truly make a difference in someone's life - - especially when you have God on your side to help guide you and direct your steps.
Statistics are included under each question to give you an idea of the probability you may witness the situation. This will show the significant likelihood of occurrence for each scenario, which offers multiple moments to not only help someone else, but build your character as a warrior for God.
It’s not to say that you are to talk about your belief in Jesus and God all the time, everyday with everybody - it’s to say that in those specific moments of conflict are moments of opportunity. An opportunity to represent God’s love in this world. God puts you in those moments to test your faith. The ones that walk away are the ones that fail.
Choose to stand strong in your faith, just as you choose to know God and Jesus. Be the warrior he chose you to be, through grace, compassion and understanding, knowing that God and Jesus are always with you.
While it is not our battle to fight, it is our responsibility to defend and live the word. As it says in Ephesians 6:10-6:20, we need to put on the full armor of God when we have these healthy debates - - “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Now that you have your armour on, and you are ready to share God’s word, how do you do it?
#4: How to defend God’s word in the world we live in today
Your courage to speak about God’s love through his word, helps to bring God’s word to life. "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
We have to understand God’s word in order to speak about it with others, and help to change people’s hearts.
The way you express God’s word can help to be a voice of truth, justice and hope - it can resuscitate a life and help the heart to beat again.
“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind
to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” Timothy 2:24-26
We are all connected to God and Jesus through our spirit. Everyone, from Christians, to Muslims, to Jews, to Republicans or Democrats, the religion or political belief is an added layer to the spirit that we all have.
So when we speak of Jesus or of God, we all feel something:
Speaking about it can help to bring understanding to the confused, and clarity to those that are uncomfortable or angry. God has given us the tools we need right in the bible to chip away at the chains that shackle most.
As the Lord says in Jeremiah 23:29: - - “Is not My word like fire?” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock?” The word is our sword and our light, that breaks the lies and brings peace where there is darkness. So lean on the word whenever you need to.
Some people will be reminded of God’s love. They will be resuscitated and start to speak about it to others. And some may take longer to understand. That’s where our patience and understanding comes in, and we continue our good works.
God’s word is the bridge, the translator, and the bandage that heals to bring us back together again with our father - - Back to the Garden of Eden (Zion), to our relationship with God, through his son Jesus.
What was started in the beginning will come back again in the end, as initially intended. And through the journey, we can each help one another to get there.
Do you agree?
Did you know that in just the past few weeks there’s been a spike of
Americans seeking God? 55% more Americans are praying more often,
and reaching for purpose and meaning through religion during COVID-19.
(reference: the latest gallup pole)
“Internet searches for the topic of prayer surged..(during COVID-19),
surpassing all other major (searched) events that otherwise instigate
intensified demand for prayer, such as Christmas, Easter and Ramadan.”
- Jeanet Sinding Bentzen, associate professor in economics
from the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), CEPR, and
director of the Association for the Study of Religion, Economics & Culture
Here are a few more stats to show the incredible turn towards God and faith during times of crisis: % increase of the U.S population that turned to prayer during crisis:
It’s incredible that so many more people are seeking God. We understand
when we are affected by tragedy, we seek a higher being,
reach for our unique rich heritage, faith and hope, and draw strength
from our family and community.
Just remember this -- God is always waiting for us.
But…. we want to ask you all one thing...
Why do so many of us wait until a tragedy to seek God?
What’s sad is, most of us
reset our priorities back to
what society deems important
shortly after a crisis is over.
We forget what we knew
was important when times
For example, for the first 3 weeks after September 11th, religious attendance
increased by 6%. Then, 4 weeks later, flat lined back to what it was before the crisis.
Does that mean that once a crisis is over worldly things become the priority again?
Why are factors of social conditioning the new measuring stick of our worth?
God knows your true worth - no matter what is happening around you, or what the new trend is. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." [John 3:16]
You see, why is that during a crisis we realize what is most important:
So is this the only time when we turn to God, to remind God we exist, we are here,
and please remember me God?
- ME - a human being.
- I want to be valued as ME.
- I want to be loved as ME,
- you love me for ME - right God?
Then, when things are good, are running smoothly, there is no need to talk to God right?
We are missing God in our lives.
God wants to have a relationship with us everyday, not just when we need him most.
We can’t have God part time. God wants a full time relationship with us.
He wants to celebrate our successes too. He’s not there to only hear when
there is sorrow. He deserves the praise for all the good that we have.
But -- why should it take tragedy for us to be this way? God wants us to naturally
be this way each day. “Love one another as I have loved you”[John 13:34].
This is not meant for just when there is hardship, or during struggles. This was meant
to be a choice we make every single day.
When God created man and women in his image, that is our soul -- our attachment to God.
“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.” [Genesis 1:27]
When we allow our soul to have quiet time to ponder what’s happening in the world
and think about others, we start to want to reach out and care about helping those we love,
and those we don’t even know.
Yes, there are bad people out there.
Yes, there are people who will take advantage of it. BUT, there's so many more good
people who won’t, and that outweighs the potential circumstance.
If 10 people take advantage of our kindness, while 100
people don’t, it's worth it for those 100 people who seek it,
and need it.
Why should those 10 people block the blessing for those
100 that are caring?
Remember - we are all made in God’s image.
Most people recognize this in their own way,
and have a natural goodness inside,
which is God’s light reflected in our soul.
Even physically we have fleshly attributes that demonstrate
the inherent nature of God in our souls.
You see, our bodies are wired to be kind to each other. When we are kind to others,
our bodies release a chemical called ‘serotonin’ which activates a reward circuit
in our brains that results in a happy feeling.
Also - - the genes that are impacted by that kindness are coded
for immune function and inflammation which helps us recover
from disease faster, and may even lengthen our life.
God made us this way! He made us, to be kind to one another, designed to encourage kind acts, which in turn increases
our levels of happiness and our life expectancy.
This is just a sliver of the genius demonstrated by our creator and what a blessing this is! Even in Proverbs, we are reminded of this:
“A cheerful look brings joy to the heart” (Proverbs 15:30)
Imagine if we could take the energy that we put together through caring
and love during a crisis, and reach out to each other and to God daily in this way.
No matter what is happening in the world - Good or Bad, what an incredible world
this could be. Instead of taking a pandemic or plague for us to come together,
to recognize the people we never cared to speak to, and try and be there for each other.
and he wants only what’s best for us, and will not guide us down the wrong path.
You can start to find this guidance
in his word, by reading the bible.
Learn how God helps and protects
those that reach out to him,
that want a relationship with him.
Did you know everything that has ever happened in the world
has been experienced before in one way or another in the bible?
There is so much knowledge waiting for you to help bring understanding,
which will give you strength, which will give you peace in your life.
Just try it.
Want to know what LIFE WITH GOD is like? - learn more here
“Here is the quiet time you have needed to speak with me and pray. Do not waste it on frivolities.” ~Jesus
This is the first time in a long time, that the world population has come to somewhat of a standstill as we all self-quarantine to help reduce the spread of a virus that has affected all of us in different ways. Whether we are alone, with a loved one, with family or friends, there is one thing we all have - - a mass opportunity to sit and think about what decisions we have made in our lives, and the path we have chosen.
At this time, we have time. We have an opportunity that we may not have once we get back to the way our lives were, to reach out, get to know God, and find out what path our lives should be on. This may be the only chance we get to build that relationship with him.
We have so much in our day to day lives that usually blocks our mind from hearing him:
There’s always something that is filling our minds, distracting us, that how can we make room for God and hear what he has to say to us? Maybe that’s why we don’t hear him at all? And how can we be guided if we’re not listening? This is the time to be guided.
By now, some tasks on your daily list aren’t there anymore, and most likely won’t be for some time. Now is your moment to add God to your list. Seek God out. Ask him those questions you have always wanted to ask. Have that 1:1 time with God, and speak to him. Then, take a moment in silence to listen to his answers for you.
The word is truth, and it says “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” Jeremiah 29:13.
You’ve heard others say “Be human, create relationships, show compassion during this time.” We are reminding you to also seek to have a relationship with God. Add God to your list of people to reach out to and have a conversation with.
No one on this earth holds your salvation and will direct you the way God will. If you haven’t heard his words before, now is the best time, in your silence, in your moments of “what should I do now?” to dedicate just a few minutes to seek him out - - and then listen.
His direction is one hundred times better than how we could direct our own lives. God doesn’t want us to suffer. He doesn’t want us to go through hardships. He only wants love and peace.
Who knows, when this is all over, your life may take an incredible direction that brings you so much peace, love, tranquility and prosperity. Why not try it? What do you have to lose?
Start that conversation today. God is waiting…
“Dear Lord, I am here. I am reaching
out to you. I have so many questions for you, but first I want to know if you are there? I want to know you. I want to have a relationship with you. I want to have the faith and understanding to believe that you are taking care of me, and that you love me. Please help me to hear your words. I have heard people say they can hear you, that you are listening and you speak to them. I want to have that relationship with you too. May the holy spirit come over my ears, and give me the ability to hear your guidance. I ask this in your name, amen.”
We have experienced tragedy to us, our friends, to our family, which was not easy for us to understand, and of course we’ve questioned why. We’ve asked God why - This is why we felt we needed to write this blog, to help explain what we’ve learned through God’s word, and our own experiences. There is much to talk about with this topic, and this will only be a part of what we feel is important to share to start the conversation. We hope if you’re reading this, it helps you, as it has helped us.
We Make Our Own Decisions (God gave us free will)
When you’re a child, growing up, you learn right from wrong from your parents guidance, or a mentor, neighbor or friend - Ex: If you touch fire, it will burn. If you touch a sharp object you will get hurt. You choose to listen to the guidance you are given, and not go near the oven or touch the sharp object to keep yourself out of harm's way.
As we become adults, those choices multiply. And without God and his proper guidance in our lives, the temptations of this world can distract us from making the right decision. If we make a wrong decision, it not only can affect ourselves, but it can affect other people emotionally or physically.
1 - The decision to cheat: a husband or wife decides to cheat on their spouse. This will affect the entire family. Not only does the spouse lose trust, but so do the children, and family. The children may also have a hard time trusting their own relationships as they get older. This one decision has now affected many lives, and could have been avoided.
2 - The decision to drink and drive: This choice can affect many people. If the person gets caught it affects their relationships with family, friends and possibly their career. If the person gets into an accident, it will also affect the other family. And if ‘God Forbid’ someone is killed from that accident, then a family is now affected for the rest of their lives from that one decision.
When we choose to not do the right thing:
People that choose bad decisions in their life are not inherently evil, they just choose to not do the right thing. We are not saying there are no evil people in the world, because unfortunately there are, we are saying that good people - can make bad decisions.
Why? - As human beings, we find ourselves wanting to take the “easy way out”, because it doesn’t require as much effort. That’s where the internal battle begins between our own human comforts, vs. the “right thing to do”.
For example, it’s much harder to speak up or stick up for someone that you see is being hurt or bullied, because you yourself can get hurt if you choose to intervene, versus, just avoiding the conflict, and walking away. “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13.
God is not saying to sacrifice your life, but what he is saying is, sometimes it’s harder to make the right decision out of love and self sacrifice, than to have your own wants and comforts to take priority over others.
Let's use the two scenarios mentioned earlier:
Why Doesn’t God Stop It from happening?
You could start to blame God for a decision that was made by a human being. You may then ask “Why didn’t God stop the bad decision from being made, knowing it would cause harm to others?”
We believe God tries to stop us all from making the wrong decisions - But - it is our choice not to listen, because we were given free will.
What Does Free Will Have To Do With It?
Imagine if our parents made every decision for us as we grew up. Eventually we would feel smothered, and the first chance we get, we would leave, to be on our own, without them. Some children would even be resentful, and purposefully make bad decisions knowing it would hurt their parents, just to be vengeful for all the years they were hurt.
God doesn't want us to resent him, which is why God will not make the decisions for us. He will not force his hand on us to take his path for us. He can and has guided us along the way, to try and remind us of compassion, love, kindness, and empathy. He does this through our own consciousness, and by the people he brings into our lives.
How does God help guide us to make the right decision?
Do you ever hear your conscious ask you “is this right? Should I be doing this?”, but you do it anyway?
Has anyone ever tried to stop you from making a poor decision you are about to make?
Have you ever felt in your heart that what you’re about to do is not right, and things happen to cause you not to get to your destination or take the action you were uncertain of? How can you explain it? Is it just a coincidence? NO - These are all ways God intercedes to try and stop us from making bad decisions.
But we still have the ultimate choice, and can still find a way to do the wrong thing.
This is why it is so important to keep our relationship strong with God - so that when he speaks to our hearts, we know it’s his voice. The stronger our relationship with God, the more likely our choices will be influenced through him, keeping us from harm's way, while becoming an example for others, inspiring strength in others to do the same.
Why should we do what God wants?
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. - Jeremiah 29:11
God does not want us to have hard times. Because of our free will, when we make bad decisions, we put ourselves in bad circumstances. Although, God will always be there for us.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” - Corinthians 10:13
How are we held accountable for our free will - our decisions?
God loves us so much that he doesn’t want us to suffer in Hell. He wants us to be with him in Heaven. And so the suffering we endure here on Earth, is to help us avoid eternal suffering in Hell.
Heaven doesn’t have any free passes. You either do God’s will and fulfill his purpose for you on this earth, or you do your own will and you suffer the consequences. If other people have to suffer the consequences for your wrong doing, then you may wind up suffering the consequences at a later time in your life, especially if you do nothing to ask for forgiveness for the wrongs you committed against those people.
Is Heaven Real?
In the end, our judgement against others, our lack of compassion, or our avoidance to help others goes against what God wants us to do, and he has made it so simple for us to remember which is:
“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another…. Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going” - John 14: 1-4
We all want to believe there is a God, and a Heaven for us to call “home” after we leave this Earth. If you read the word of God, you will know there is. And to get there, just continue to build your relationship with God, and trust in his decision for your life.
For who can you trust more than man, than the one true God, who has all patience and love for you, waiting for you to come back to him.
Our 10 year old niece just started school this week. She said "I need to get good grades in school, then I can get into a good college and then I can get a good job, and then have money to eat. If I can't eat, I'll die" Well, she has the right idea! - We have to work hard in school, to get a good education, to have a good career, to have an easier life financially. Sometimes our path can be a little less traditional, but as long as it's through God's will, we will receive everything we need.
Anything we do, even starting out as a child,
we have to be good in order to get dessert,
do our homework in order to play with our friends. These are the simple things our parents ask of us. God is our father, and Jesus is our brother. If it works the same way with them, we can't expect to not strive to live a righteous lifestyle and then pray and ask for things and have them dropped on our doorstep. God is not a genie. If life doesn't work that way here on earth, then why would we think it works that way in heaven with prayer?
Then how does it work?
Matthew 7:8 says "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened"
God wants to give us everything that will help us live the best life possible, but our asks must be in line with God's will for us. 1 John 5:14 'If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us."
Matthew 21:22 "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
Of course God wants to give us everything that will help us live the best life possible, but our asks must be in line with God's will for us. Even with these conditions, God's will for us will never disappoint us. Having faith that God's will for us is the best plan for our life is the first step.
If we have done nothing for his people, and have lived our lives selfishly, how can we ask for help with anything in our lives? If your child (or when you were a child) were constantly fighting, getting in trouble in school, not doing chores or homework, and then went to your parents and said "I want an x-box, or more allowance, etc." Your parents wouldn't get those things for you, because you're not acting the way they expect you to act. These are the lessons we learn as we grow up.
God is our ultimate Father. He expects the best from us and longs to help us, but it is all based on our free will.
Know that sometimes there are beautiful life events that honor him, such as a marriage or a child. Sometimes they can be difficult for us - such as a failure that humbles us or a physical weakness or personal loss that makes us more dependent on him. But the outcome of God's will for us, no matter how challenging it may seem in the short term, has a greater, larger purpose for our good and for the good of others.
EXAMPLES OF GOD's AWESOME PLANS - MORE THAN YOU COULD IMAGINE -
THROUGH ADVERSITY: and he has that waiting for you too (see prayer at the end)
Joseph: vision of his family bowing before him - it meant he would be divinely placed to save Isreal as a family and future nation. His siblings mis-interpreted his dream which caused envy and jealousy, tried to kill him and then sold him into slavery. He found a nice job, and worked for a man who's ambitious wife requested his attention. After Joseph rejected her, the wife charged him with sexual harassment and he was wrongfully put in Jail.
Joseph interpreted the Pharaoh's dream, and then was put in charge of his palace, and all his people would respect Joseph's orders.
The man who created the Make A Wish Foundation, had an abusive mother, and very hard childhood. The challenges he went through as a child, shaped his heart and prepared him for his purpose to create the world's leading children's charity in the world, in over 50 countries, with over 32,000 volunteers, with over 334,000 wishes granted.
ASK GOD WHAT HIS WILL IS FOR YOU, and he will show you. God is waiting for you, eager to show you and give you his love.
Psalm: 32:8 "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you"
YES you are THAT special! We are all are. God has given each and everyone of us unique gifts to help make this world brighter, and more filled with his love.
Dear Lord, I come to you to ask you what your will is for me in my life? Guide me in the path that you have chosen for me. Allow me to be the beacon of your light and your love here on this earth.
I know I call out to you when I am in need, or lost, or in search of what I think is the right path in this life. I ask you Lord to please put me on the right path, if the one I am currently on is not in your will, please let me know.
I am learning that your will for me is THE ultimate path for my life. You have created me, and put hopes and dreams in my heart that I have come to forget, or think are no longer possible.
I pray for you to reignite my belief, my faith, the light in my soul, so that I may continue to grow in your will and your love. With these asks, I know you will strengthen me to help those around me.
I claim victory in my ask with you. May the blood of Jesus protect my words to you, and help me to see your countenance in me.
In Jesus name, I pray,
Life is like a game of chess. Without God, you can take a pawn and change it into any color, yet it is still the same pawn, making the same moves. But… if you take that same pawn and turn it into a Queen, imagine how the game changes. That is life with God.
How you live now, in this moment, will either help bring light to the world or it will not. It’s up to you to make each moment count.
You can live your life as a pawn in this world, and be moved one square at a time, following others around, only taking steps when others say it’s ok, or when you feel it’s acceptable or when you think no one will notice, or when you think it will bring you closer to the next “acceptable place” in society - and in the process take the chance of losing yourself because you can only move one step at a time -
Each day we move a step and we think, “is this what God wants us to do”? And we make our lives so much more difficult moving one step at a time.
OR.....You can live your life as the royalty you are. You can have faith in God that he will help you become that Queen piece in the game who believes in their self worth - because you know, and have the faith that you are a part of God, that you are a child of God, and have that light inside of you - that you can make each move with strength because you have God in your life.
What God does is, through his will and guidance, he allows us to move multiple steps to get to where we need to be. He fills the board game with just the right amount of pieces which are people or events that help propel us to where he wants us to be - all to protect the King.
Romans 8:17 - Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
Why the Queen?
Chess is logical and strategic. As you’re moving these pieces around, each piece has its’ own function, but the Queen can move anywhere and do anything on the board. (within the games’ guidelines, which we talk about below)
So if we look at ourselves as that Queen piece that God is guiding anywhere he needs to guide us to, then we will have the ability, through God’s will, to move anywhere we need to fulfill the purpose God has for us.
The process of the Queen moving anywhere is to protect the King at all times - Jesus Christ. In other words, bring God’s message to those who don’t believe, or even to those who do believe.
Where Do You Begin?
(Or Re-Start Wherever You Are In Your Life? - it’s never too late)
You may be thinking that you want to believe this, but you don’t understand how to even begin to think this way, or apply this to your life. We’re about to explain that to you…. If you are religious or not, in your 20’s or your 80’s, this should help you take the first step that you know your heart wants to try - because you’ve read this far, and because you’re here. Thank you for making that choice.
Where To Start:
We will start by explaining our basic human needs and how we can tap into these proven scientific human needs to help jump start or revive your life towards a more fulfilling, peaceful life with God.
Then we will explain the analogy of a game, how it applies to our lives and most importantly, we will then show you how God can and will help you through.
Each section you are about to read will help inform the next section. We hope you walk away from this article with a clarity about how God is there for you - especially during the hurtful or hard times. If you are willing to follow God’s path for you, while it may be difficult, the destination is more rewarding than you can imagine.
RULES OF THE GAME
Whose Rules Are You Playing By? Rules shmules. Who cares about rules right!? Actually, every human being needs the rules of the game, even if you think you don’t, or even if you’re instinctual thought right now was “rules, I was born to break them” - well, that is just a conditioned belief to make you feel that if you break the rules, that means you are strong and independent - when in fact, did you know that your primal human need is to have rules? - because - clear rules, or goals, allow us to know whether or not we are making progress - and progress provides us with a reward. For example:
Why We Need Rules (Based On Evolution)
Evolution shows us that we are fundamentally in search of experiencing pleasure and/or avoiding pain with each activity we chose to do. For example, when you are hungry, you eat and your body rewards you with dopamine to encourage you to repeat the same behavior next time you are hungry.
With emotional needs, such as gaining acceptance from others, this is where we need a little more guidance, because, without any guidance, it would be up to our own perception of our own progress. An example would be actually knowing you have won a car, and “thinking” you have won a car. Both will trigger dopamine in your body to give you the same physical pleasurable reward, until you want to drive the car that you don’t have.
So you can see that rules are important to help us keep boundaries between knowing what is right and wrong. With all of the options and distractions we are offered, it can be very difficult to know what the right thing is to do that will give us the most reward in the end. We want to do the right thing and become the Hero in the end of every game. This is why it is most important to have a relationship with God - because God’s rules or guidelines for you help elevate you above the noise so that you can be guided righteously towards your unique purpose.
There Are 3 Sets Of Rules You Can Play By In This Life:
1 - YOUR OWN - (living a life self absorbed)
2 - THIS WORLDs - (living a life on what others want of you)
3 - GODs - (living the life God designed for you to live)
YOUR OWN RULES:
Background: This is when you live your life with a focus on your own self gain. Each relationship or interaction you have focuses on what you can get from it. For example:
In that process, sometimes you stab other people in the back, you step on people’s toes, and you may even lie to gain the things you want.
This false sense of fulfillment or self gratification, creates a cynical part of you that thinks that everyone else will try to do the same thing to you. “If I’m willing to do this to get to where I am, than that means other people are going to be willing to do it to me.” - and how could you have true peace in your life when you’re always feeling like you need to look over your shoulder to see who the next person is going to be that might stab you in the back?
In the end, when you gain those things, you don’t feel the emotional reward in your heart, because of the way you did it. Physically, the body does not produce the neurochemical dopamine that gives you a feeling of fulfillment which naturally occurs when you establish genuine, positive relationships.
Instead, you are hooked on the adrenaline - the rush of getting away with something for own self gain. You don’t believe that this feeling of fulfillment from good deeds even exists, or that you deserve it, so you continue down the path of getting that quick adrenaline rush, even if for a small moment in time, it feels ‘good enough’ to you.
Don’t be blinded...there is a way to break that cycle. You know you’ve seen good people gaining many blessings for doing the right thing - you choose not to acknowledge there is another way.
By following God’s way and making moves through God’s will for you, he will put people in your life that will truly help you, and not try to gain from you or stab you in the back. God will give you the gift of discernment to tell the difference between who is there to genuinely help you vs. those that want to gain from you.
Matthew 7:7-8: Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you; For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth and to him that knocketh it shall be opened
THIS WORLD’S RULES:
Background: In this world, we have our choices - usually worldly thoughts are our options under these rules - that can only help us one step at a time.
These worldly desires usually are:
When you start to follow the expectations of others, another person’s path and try to do the same thing they are doing, you’re not becoming who you are supposed to be. So you lose yourself in the process....
When....God has a purpose for you - not to be someone else, but to be yourself, and he has a path for you, individually.
Romans 12:2: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Look at the statistics of wealthy people that are unhappy. "research shows that giving to others leads to greater happiness than spending on oneself. The one factor that makes some of them happier than their equally wealthy peers comes as no surprise -- making the money themselves instead of inheriting or marrying into it." - Inc.com Harvard Study
They gain every ‘thing’ but the one thing they don’t have is God. That’s when you realize you’re just a pawn, giving or taking favors from people that have hidden agendas, all to get what you think you need. And always wondering when you will hear “checkmate” meaning, you will feel the need to stay on your toes if you will get fired, or have enough money to take care of what you currently have, or if your friends or family truly care about you.
When you follow the path God has for you, you’ll find other like minded people who care from the heart, and you don’t worry about checkmate anymore, in fact you enjoy being a part of the board of players because you are royalty in God’s eyes, and you know each move you make will be in good hands, in God’s hands.
Isaiah 41:10: Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand
Background: God’s way,or God’s word (in the bible) provides all of the guidelines you will need to receive the pleasure and fulfillment we are looking for.
Every move we make in our life can be based on things we want to do - or what God has in store for us. A lot of times we find that when we do things for our own self gain, most times it doesn’t turn out the way we expect it to, and sometimes it can lead us down a really bad path. But when we start to follow the moves that God has for us, we start to look and say ‘Wow, I can’t believe these things are happening”, and we see things falling into place that we would never expect to happen.
Psalm 119:105 - Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
After all, you don’t play a game in the dark.
Here are some of the guidelines God’s will and love for you provides. When you have faith in God, and trust in him for your life’s purpose, he will provide all of these aspects to work in your favor:
11 Opportunities You Are Given By Choosing God’s Way:
(many more can be found in the bible as you read and learn the word of God)
1. Minimize the impact of the element of Chance With God providing you guidance, you can trust in his will to prevail. Proverbs 19:21: Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 16:33 We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall.
2. Become Less Self Absorbed: When we concentrate fully on an activity there is no room for self-reflection. All of our attention is used to perform the activity. Afterwards, we can look at ourselves and notice we have grown from the experience - our mind has been enriched with new skills and new accomplishments
3. Develop The Right Skills: Helping you to develop skills that teach your opposition and outmaneuver them when needed.
4. Goals Are Set At A High Level where we need to invest our skills to reach the goal - otherwise the goal will become meaningless. God has the most faith in us.
5. Receive Well Needed Feedback Along The Way by how others are impacted, improved or helped from your God given talents and purpose
6. All Progress Needs To Come From Our Free Will - If we feel forced to do an action to progress, then we become less involved in the task. Each decision we make for and with God, must be from our own free will to do so. The more challenging a task, the more we focus. If it were easy, and repetitive, then human nature has shown us, we would not want to continue with it. God is the master planner, and knows exactly what we need to help us grow, learn and contribute - righteously. And want to continue along on his path.
7. Using Enemies For Good - What’s amazing about playing the game in God’s rules is your opponents who are trying to beat you, even if they are not playing by God’ rules, God has the ability to use your enemies to help you win.
Romans 8:28: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
8. It’s Not About Having Control, or having a feeling of control, but rather the confidence that you are developing such a great skill that the risk of failure is dissipating - through the faith of God and in the process brings more peace.
9. Our Perception Of Time Becomes Altered because while we concentrate fully on the purpose God has at hand for us, it doesn’t feel mundane - it makes our days feel like hours, and our hours feel like minutes.
10. Not Knowing All Of The Moves Or Even The Outcome - While Maintaining The Faith That It Will Be The Right One For You - we have a desire to understand and seek new knowledge, which is why we enjoy hearing new stories, reading the news and watching movies. We also want to know every move and see our future. BUT….
In this same way, we are receiving guidance from God, but he can not reveal the entire picture to us. God will give us just enough of what we need to bring us through each stage of our development towards our purpose, to keep us moving on the right track.
11. God’s Timing Is In Your Favor- In that same process, each person has a certain talent or purpose that they like or they think they want to do, and that doesn’t happen without educating and practicing and learning along the way. If we didn’t learn a new game, if we sat down with people who are already playing a game and didn’t know how the game worked, we would have to sit and understand how the basics worked in the game.
If we didn’t understand the basics it would be uncomfortable for us to start where the others were at, so we wouldn’t want to play, and possibly miss out on learning a new skill and new activity. Each of us is built differently - some of us enjoy handling multiple challenges at once, while others don’t want new challenges until we have conquered the first challenge. You’ve heard of the phrase “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle”. God knows exactly what we need, and how we need it. As long as you trust in him, he will show you this.
Psalm 37:23 - The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him.
Psalm: 16:11 - You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
With all of this - remember….
Winning is NOT the purpose. Living In God’s Will IS.
There is much more to winning that makes competition an important socializing experience. There is teamwork, cooperation, commitment to others, respect for your opponent, and, learning to play by God’s word and will for you. You may want to break those rules, to ensure your own victory, to “get ahead” during the course of the game.
Losing is only temporary and not all encompassing. You’ve heard the phrase; “It’s not whether you win or lose it’s how you play the game”.
You will learn more about your peers, your colleagues, your family and friends, playing skillfully with the rules, observing, listening and discerning your next move. If you are preoccupied with your own win, with coming up with schemes and ways you can skip a step, or break the rules, than you miss out on learning who is around you to help or to hurt you. Once you get to that next spot, you may be surprised to see who is waiting for you, to drag you down, or to question your arrival.
Let God help you. You have ambitions and desires purposefully planted in your heart by God. Why do you think every person in this world has a different hope, a different passion? Just like a fingerprint, God has planted in your heart what your purpose is and if you let God know that you will trust in him, he will help you make all the right(eous) moves throughout the game, to help others - while helping yourself.
Ask God: “God, I know my heart wants to understand you, and know you, but I don’t know where to begin. I ask you with this prayer, to please help me get closer to you. Help me to believe that I deserve your love and your guidance in this life. I want to believe that I am royalty in your eyes, and I want to be able to live the life you have created for me. Please give me the guidance to show me the way Lord. I am grateful for all of the blessings you have given me, and I thank you for your love and faith in me. Please help me to release my worry and anxiety unto you. Lift my burdens that I may have a clear mind to hear your guidance. Please show me how to be closer to you Lord. - Amen”
STOP - listen in silence - still your thoughts - and wait to hear him to answer you. Take at least 10 minutes to breathe in silence, and wait to hear the guidance in your heart.
Philippians 4:6-4:7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
You may believe in God, but do you have faith in him with your life?
In this blog post, we will walk you through 5 steps that will help you to identify your readiness for the journey towards knowing God and anticipating your life purpose. Know that God is waiting for you, whenever you are ready.
Before reading this, realize this is a step by step process. This does not happen overnight. Some portions of this process may feel too good to be true, or not realistic from your current perspective, but know this; we are speaking from our direct experience and from the direct promises made in the bible.
If you read a certain step and feel it may not be possible for you in your life, we challenge you to try each step, one step at a time. We are confident in the words we share because of the knowledge we are learning through the word of God
STEPS TO BELIEVING: You will see this chart shows you with each step, the amount of people that stay through each step is less and less. It’s hard for each of us to patiently go through these steps in the time that God has planned for us.
We put time limits on our progression through life, without realizing that each step has it's course to help us be the most prepared for the next. We’re here to tell you it is worth staying the course.
STEP 1: AWARENESS: BELIEF - is when you know in your heart God exists, and/or that Jesus is the son of God. To expect or hope with confidence; to trust - that there is a God. You have come to that conclusion based on circumstances or teachings in your life that have you feel in your heart, there is a God. Mindset: “I’m aware that there is God, and/or that Jesus is his son.”
STEP 2: INTEREST: FAITH - is beyond just believing that there is a God or that Jesus is the son of God. Faith takes your awareness of God and connects it personally to you. Faith allows you to understand that God is here for you, and for you personally, to guide you towards your life purpose, which he created you for. Faith allows you to trust in the word of God and trust in it each day. It is full confidence in God, knowing that he has a plan for you. Faith allows you to grow in an understanding of the word of God and it’s meaning for you. We know in this world today, it can be hard to “keep the faith” because man, through his lack of faith has designed so many elements to distract you, deceive you, deny you of the truth. Your choice to have faith will keep you connected to God. We’ve spoken about this briefly in our previous blog post “Trust in God’s Plan for you: He always fulfills his promises”
STEP 3: DESIRE PURPOSE - Now that you have faith, you have a desire to get to know God and build a relationship with him. You have a desire to understand what your purpose is in this life. God created each of us with a specific task on this earth, and through God, you can find the answer. The only way you can get to know God is to understand his word. The bible was left for us to really get to know God. He waits for you to read his word and ask him for his will in your life. The first step to build that relationship with God is to come to an understanding of how he wants us to live and how he wants us to treat others, and to do this all out of love, and the only way to do this is to read his word, the bible. When we start to study the bible, we slowly come to more of an understanding of what he expects from us. In Proverbs 3: 1-35 says it all. Here is a portion that will show you what we are saying:
1 My child, don't forget what I teach you. Always remember what I tell you to do. 2 My teaching will give you a long and prosperous life. 3 Never let go of loyalty and faithfulness. Tie them around your neck; write them on your heart. 4 If you do this, both God and people will be pleased with you. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. 6 Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way.
Many people are lost today because they are stuck in the ways of the world and they don’t even realize it. They do not have the belief, faith, or desire to understand God’s way. If you’re reading this, you’re taking the right step, just look up Proverbs 3: 1-35 and you will see what God has waiting for you. If you’re interested in learning more details, see one of our previous blog posts on “How to Have a Personal Relationship With God”
STEP 4: TAKING ACTION - Once God reveals the plan for you in your life, all you want to do is take action, and start living it. The more you read his word the more direction he gives you in your heart of what your true purpose is. You wake up each day wondering what can you do to make progress on your revealed purpose.
Everything begins to fall into place and your path becomes clear as you gain more knowledge. You will not have a complete map laid out for what the rest of your life will be, but, you will have an absolute direction, day by day, through God’s will for you as long as you ask him what he wills for you in your life. As you continue to build your relationship with God he will reveal more to you and give you more direction.
If this seems foreign to you, then you may only be on Step 1 or Step 2, but please know that God’s timing is perfect. He knows when each of us is ready for the next step on our path. He is always there by your side, guiding you each step of the way. As you go further along on the path he intended for you, you will find more peace and gain more wisdom with your daily interactions. Each day you will start to live the life God intended for you. This will bring you much joy and happiness. At some point the peace and joy you’re feeling will give you the want to share this with others.
STEP 5: ADVOCACY A WANT TO SHARE IT - When you start to experience this joy, all you want to do is help others experience it too. Just like when you find love and you want to shout out loud about it, or when you win a game, and you want to tell everyone about your triumph that you’ve overcome. Finding God, finding your purpose, and living your life in truth feels so good, like “good medicine, healing your wounds and easing your pains” Proverbs 3:8 - all you want to do is become a beacon for God and share his light with others. Did you know that when you experience God’s light, others will see it and feel it? They may not realize that’s what they are experiencing, but they will be drawn to it anyway.
At this stage, you are so fulfilled in helping others. The learning continues, the growing and wisdom through God continues, and helping others becomes even more enriching.
A book that helps you realize God's hand in your life, from messenger international, by John Bevere entitled "God, where are you?" shares through personal examples, how God prunes and strengthens us for our purpose - each step of the way.
Which step are you on today? If you are about to start at step #1, you've made an incredibly positive decision to even think about starting the journey with God in your life.
Amen and God Bless.
Why do you view kind hearted people as weak, or loving people as gullible? What makes you perceive people who are smiling and saying “hello” to a stranger as being naive or lacking “street smarts”? In fact, isn’t it just the opposite? Isn’t kindness and love, and the confidence to speak up all experiences you want to have most in your life? When you see someone else experiencing what you want to experience, or receiving what you want to have, you distance yourself and say “That can’t be real..they must be weak”.
In the world today, we're shown how to do the wrong things, how to take the wrong path, and then we are rewarded for doing so. We're rewarded for walking further away from God. We're taught: Let's not commit to a person because that allows us to sleep with someone else. Let's not open our heart to someone then we can't be hurt. Let's not trust someone, because then we can't be let down. And these are the cultural acceptances we learn to live in the world.
If you can relate to this, then you have been stuck in the ways of the world for too long, and it's time for you to take a stand for yourself, and to start noticing when a strong righteous person is standing next to you, or when a door of opportunity is presented to you for you to participate, ask and learn. When you learn, you grow closer to the new experience you felt you could never reach and with God’s help, you can receive it.
Peter 2:19 says “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” Seeking to live in God’s will can help you break free from the entanglement of world views. You have an opportunity to experience God’s blessing with each deciding moment in your life. You see, it would be much easier to do the wrong thing then to do right thing in God's eyes. This takes STRENGTH and COURAGE.
STRENGTH FROM GOD
When you pray for the Will of God, he provides that strength for you. The more you get to know God, the more strength he gives you. Eventually, he gives you so much strength, that when people look at you as weak, you just laugh it off because you realize "They do not know what they do".
If someone drops a one dollar bill on the ground, and the person continues to walk far enough away, would you stick the one dollar bill in your pocket? Or.. would you run to chase that person down and give them their one dollar bill? If you said you would give it back, awesome, you're on the right track! And if you hesitated... that's ok, you're here reading this which is one step closer to helping you reclaim your strength with God. You see, it's easier to take it and say "It's only $1.00". It takes integrity to run and give that $1 back - and you know it's the right thing to do.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
Maybe it will be hard for you, because your friends may pressure you. You see, one thing you will find with a flock of sheep is no matter where they're guided, they will follow. Even if it's into dangerous territory. So if you're following the world and what they deem as right, you could be following them into a very bad situation that you may not be able to get out of. But what God will never do, is guide you into a danger. What's great about God's love is that even when we stray, he will guide us out of it. In 1 Peter 4, it shows that God knew this already, that when you make the choice to live a better life, there will be opposition, but you will win in the end...
1 Peter 4:
“For you have spent enough time in the past….living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead”
God has your back! When you choose him. You may not think you deserve God’s blessing, or that you will be given blessings, but if you make every effort to seek to live in God’s will, seek for forgiveness and act by helping others, this propels you forward, closer to the joy and happiness you truly desire.
YOU CAN START TODAY:
I challenge you today, to try.
Try asking yourself “What would Jesus do? What would God do?” And in each deciding moment that you find yourself in - about to judge, about to smirk, about to close the door - Stop.
Think. Decide. Decide to live in God’s will. See what happens. You will be surprised at the relationships you start, the love you open yourself up to, the friendships or loved ones you start to strengthen.
7 Small Steps that make a HUGE difference:
1 - say hello to your neighbor, a co-worker in the hallway, or just say hello back, and mean it.
2 - hold the elevator, subway, bus or train door open when you see someone walking towards you. You may just change their day/life #slidingdoors
3 - call a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a while,
4 - have a coffee with an acquaintance
5 - comment on social media - share your thoughts to help lift someone up or encourage more people to speak to each other
6 - pray....thank the Lord and ask for his will in your life
7 - listen...
To learn of more small steps read Jennifer Waddle’s article: “How to be a light in the darkness”
1 Peter 5 says:
"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness, and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.
For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble. And you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
SHARE YOUR COMMENTS
What do you think?
- Are you having a hard time getting started?
- Have you experienced a transformation recently?
Let us know. We can all learn when you share.