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Monthly Archives: February 2014

February 27, 2014

Don’t Shoot the Messenger

I’ve heard the words, “but don’t shoot the messenger”, tacked on to unsolicited “information” or “advice” more times than I care to count. Nearly every time it’s been said to me I’ve walked away thinking, “Well, why can’t I shoot the messenger this one time, God? I don’t even need to shoot them, just let me shake a bit of sense into them!” Because let’s face it, the “messenger” tends to come only to kick up dust and ruffle feathers. Why else would they need to ask not to be shot? You never hear anyone say, “Sandy and I were talking about how much we love your new haircut, but don’t shoot the messenger!” or, “The bosses upstairs were saying you’re doing great in your new position, but don’t shoot the messenger!” No one thinks to say those words when they are paying you a compliment or sharing good news.

I can admit I’ve been the messenger a time or two (or three) and that phrase only left my mouth when I was saying something that didn’t need to be said. Psalm 52:2-4 (NIV) says, 2“You who practice deceit, your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor. 3 You love evil rather than good, falsehood rather than speaking the truth. 4 You love every harmful word, you deceitful tongue!” More often than not, deceit is present long before the words confidencehave left the messenger’s mouth. Deceit doesn’t begin with the words that are being spoken; it starts with telling yourself that you’re being the messenger because you mean well. Personally, every time I used that excuse, I knew it was just that, an excuse to say what I wanted to say without a second thought.

Here’s the thing about saying whatever we want to say, whenever we want to say it: we will be held accountable. Proverbs 18:21 (NLT) tells us, “21The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Every thing we do, or in this case say, has consequences. The question we have to ask ourselves is what consequences are our tongues causing us to reap? Are we speaking any and every thought that comes to mind without concern of whom we could be affecting? Are we aware that our carelessly spoken words will not be forgotten on Judgment Day (Matthew 12:36-37 New Century Version)? That same scripture says, “some of your words will prove you guilty.” We have to ask ourselves, what will I be found guilty of? Did I walk around causing strife? Was my pleasure in speaking words that tore people down?

Even now, knowing what God’s Word says about gossip and idle talk, I still have to bite my tongue sometimes. I have to remind myself that it’s not my place to teach the messenger a lesson. I also have to remind myself of the many times I was the messenger and someone could have taught me a lesson! Psalm 39:1 (NIV) says, 1I said, “I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked.” David wrote this psalm as he remembered the covenants he made with God. He promised to be mindful of all he does and says, even when tempted by sin. Like David, we have to remember the promises we have made to God. Even though it is so easy to react and respond to wickedness, we can’t.

We can’t “fight fire with fire” by speaking death to those that speak death to us. Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) “29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” I believe these are some of the most basic instructions we could ask for. I put emphasis where I did to serve as a reminder to myself and others that our words are meant to edify one another. We’re meant to speak life and encouragement, to strengthen each other’s faith (1 Thessalonians 3:2-3). And in those moments when you find yourself slipping into the role of messenger, pray about it! Read these scriptures and the many others that give instructions as to how we should speak. Last but not least, pray for the messengers! Pray they are blessed and have peace. Pray they have healing and joy. Pray that whatever drives them to embrace being the bearer of bad news is broken and that they are free.

 

This week’s blog was written by Amber Boggs. If you’d like to contact Amber, you can email her here.

 
 

February 13, 2014

More Than I Can Handle

Over the past few weeks in speaking with friends that are going through difficult situations, I have heard this saying repeatedly: “God will never give you more than you can handle.” On one particular day while driving home from work, I was speaking to a dear friend of mine who has endured many hardships, trials and losses this past year. Finishing up our conversation, my friend was praising the Lord and giving him glory. Her last comment was “but its ok, the word says, ‘God will never give me more than I can handle.’” Hearing it this time was different; it did not settle in my spirit.

You know that feeling you get deep down in your gut that lingers? Well, that is the feeling I had. I asked myself, “Where did that phrase come from?” I could not recall reading that in the Bible. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, 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. Now, “God allowing us to be tempted beyond what we can bear” is far different from “God will never give you more than you can handle.” I understand the intended purpose of this statement is to bring encouragement and comfort. However this statement also places the burden and weight on the individual and their ability to “handle it.”

The truth is: in this life, we are going to encounter many trials and tribulations that are more than we can handle. There are things that are far too great for us to bear relying on our natural strength. It is in these times that we need to come to a full dependency on God and cry out to him. In him, we are able to endure. The Apostle Paul confirms this in 2 Corinthians 1:9 Paul said, “For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead”. In John 16:33 the Lord tells us “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”fashionable-woman-thinkingHow does one handle the death and or near death experiences of loved ones, crisis with their children, extreme financial difficulties, separation or divorce in their own strength? How about when these tragedies are occurring simultaneously, and for extended periods of time? It’s impossible! The Lord brought to my remembrance the early years of my walk of faith when I was experiencing all of the trials I just mentioned, and it was a four year stretch! On my own, I made messes. I myself was a mess! I was stressed, depressed, and I was filled with fear, anxiety and despair.

I heard the Lord say to me that the enemy had released an arsenal on me. Immediately the Lord gave me Deuteronomy 20:1 “When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt. Deuteronomy 20:4 for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you. It was then that it became so real to me that I was not alone. I did not have to “handle it” on my own. God goes with me; He fights for me to save me!

It made me think of Peter in Luke 22:3 And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” I took comfort in knowing that the Lord himself, is interceding for me that my faith in him would not fail. It is through faith that God gives us the power to affect circumstances. It is faith in knowing that with God all things are possible, that the greater one lives and dwells on the inside of us and that the Holy Spirit is our helper. It is faith in knowing that he is our strength and our shield, AND when our hearts trust in him we are helped. The word tells us that his strength is made perfect in our weakness. It is not by our might, nor by power, but by his spirit says the Lord God almighty that I can come to him when I am weary and burdened, and he will give me rest. I can cast my cares upon Him because He cares for me. And as crazy as this may sound: every trial and hardship endured is worth it, so that we may strengthen our brethren.

 

Written by Becky Huston. If you would like to contact Becky, you can reach her here.
 
 

February 6, 2014

What is Faith?

Last year I went through very difficult times with my family and with my daughter’s school. I did not know what to do aside from pray and fast. Then God spoke to me and said, “Faith”. After I heard him say that word, I said “that’s right”. I needed to surrender everything to Him and believe that He would take care of my family and the school crisis. I extended my faith in God and watched Him take care of both situations. Faith in God has brought me closer to Him. I am seeing circumstances change because I trust and believe that He is moving on my behalf. I had to keep trusting and believing God when the problems were not resolved right away. Faith grows when we trust God to get us through.

What is Faith? Hebrews 11:1 explains that faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. I have learned that faith is believing, hoping in, embracing and seizing the Truth.  Faith in God is incredible because God is reliable. Faith releases the blessings of God and brings Him onto the scene. Faith is believing the truth of God’s word and His promises. When I was first saved, my family would tell me to have faith and I would always reply “I have faith.” I was certain that woman_faith_arms_upbecause I believed in God, He was going to answer my prayers. Many years passed and nothing seemed to change, so I asked God why everything was the same. He answered, “You have little faith. You are like Peter”.  Matthew 14:28-31 “Lord, if it’s you” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” He said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. When Peter saw the wind, he was afraid. As he was beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

I started out in faith. I believed God. My focus on was on Him. Yet, like Peter, my focus shifted to the wind. I became focused on my problems, which caused fear and doubt because I was more aware of the problems than I was of God and His promises. Then I started to believe the lies of the enemy: “those promises are not for you, God does not care, your faith is not working, God is not going to help you”.

I have been through trials in my lifetime and my faith has kept me from sinking. There were times that I wanted to give up, however, I remembered that my faith was in God.  God often reminds me to trust Him and not doubt Him or His promises. We serve a Mighty God and I am so thankful for Him and what He has done in my life.

I believe that this year God is requiring us to walk into new things, and we will need faith to do this. Ladies, I encourage you to step out into new things with God. Receive His truth, believing, hoping, and embracing everything God has for you! EXTEND YOUR FAITH TODAY!

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6

 

This post was written by Deborah Flores. If you would like to reach Deborah, please send us a message at admin@lifebuilderseminars.com.