Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Fearing God, not People

Oof! It has been a week for me. How about you? Currently, in my early 30s, Adulting and all its responsibilities have been weighing extra heavy on me lately. I have been feeling confused, anxious, fearful, incompetent, and helpless about it all. Sure, it is the perfect time to remember I am not doing this alone, but it has been hard. It helps a little to remind myself that usually when trials come, they come in waves; when it rains it pours but also being reminded that this is just a season. It won't last forever. For as much as I feel like a child wanting to run away to some hidden place where I can curl up into a small ball, cover my eyes, and retreat from the pressures of the world and adulthood, I know that is not an option, but at least I have Jesus as an anchor.


... We  have  this  hope  as  an  anchor  for  the  soul,  

firm  and  secure.

Hebrews 6:19


One thing that never helps during times like these is my struggle with "Fearing Man". It makes matters already difficult, only more complicated. As a people pleaser, I find myself wrestling with the temptation to give the opinion of others more weight than they deserve, leading me to feel controlled and often tormented by them. If I'm honest, in full transparency, I have recently experienced (for the first time) a dating relationship, of six months, beautifully blossom and then crumble into a painful breakup (the ending in which I initiated- but painful nonetheless). Though difficult, God has been ever-present. I know my experience wasn't in vain for I have grown and learned so much from it, but without trying to be dramatic, I steal the following quote from Charles Dicken's A Tale of Two Cities to perfectly describe my last couple of months:



“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities 



I battled with people-pleasing and "fear of man" all along the dating process, before, during, and even after, and one thing I have learned and am convinced of is that this struggle and sinful pattern of thinking that I've been dealing with has got to STOP. Oh, to be as free as how the apostle Paul describes himself to be in 1 Corinthians 4.



 "I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me." ― 1 Corinthians 4:3-4  

 

I have been doing a lot of reading lately; The autobiography of Will Smith for one thing which I would NOT really recommend. In my opinion, his story is rather compelling, but the book gets rather "trippy" and nonsensical by the end, coming from a Christian standpoint. One thing that did stand out to me though was that not even a celebrity such as Will Smith was able to evade the struggle of people pleasing and fear of man in his lifetime and experience. I would just advise dealing with it a little differently than he would.

Other more helpful books I have been reading on this topic that I would highly recommend are:









AND OF COURSE, the word of God has been a go-to and the most effective remedy I've found for squelching out my "fleshly" people-pleasing tendencies. So today, for the remainder of this blog post I would like to share with you my favorite "daggers" of truth from these resources that have been helping me fight against my "fear of man", people pleasing, and self-idolization. I hope anyone relating to my struggles, whatever your circumstance, will find the following to be edifying and helpful. Be blessed!







  # Amazing :


1 Samuel 16:7 "The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

Proverbs 9:10 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."

Proverbs 10:27 "The fear of the Lord adds length to life,"

Proverbs 19:23 "The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm."

Proverbs 29: 25 "Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe."



  # Ouch :

John 5:41,42,44 "I do not accept glory from human beings, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God."

John 12:42 "Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God."

Galatians 1:10 "Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ."

1 Samuel 15:24 "Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them."

Matthew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other."

  # Goals :

Matthew 22:16 “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. 

1 Thessalonians 2:4 "We speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts."

Ephesians 6:19-20 "Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, or which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."

1 Peter 3:13-14 "Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened."

1 Corinthians 4:3-4 "I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me."

Matthew 10:28 "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell."

Isaiah 51: 7-8 "Do not fear the reproach of mere mortals or be terrified by their insults. For the moth will eat them up like a garment; the worm will devour them like wool. But my righteousness will last forever, my salvation through all generations."

Jeremiah 17:5-8 "This is what the Lord says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."

Psalm 146:3-4 "Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing."

Psalm 34:9, 11 "Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing...Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you to fear the Lord" (it has to be learned!!)




A few quotes from :

" When People Are Big and  God Is  Small "

Page 68 - "When people are [made] large, God will be [made] small."

Page 113 - "Too often our mountain-top experiences [with God] are quickly overtaken by the clamor of the world, and God is once again diminished in our minds. The goal is to establish a DAILY tradition of growing in the knowledge of God."

Page 135 - "When you spend time in the throne room of God, it puts things in perspective... Daily stops in the court of the Lord cure the fear of man."



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Saturday, July 16, 2022

Being Called to Selflessness and Serving

It has been for a couple months now that I have been fixated on the following scripture:

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:37-39

This time it has been particularly the second part of the scripture that has been standing out to me recently. It amazes me how God can so powerfully use scripture to reach out to our hearts, challenge, and bring conviction! But more on that scripture in just a moment... 

It sure is interesting to me how God can also work, more than that, He even chooses to work through mere mortals to get his work done too sometimes. Lately, I have been reflecting on the beauty of relationships and how deep relationships and trusted friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, can serve as vessels in which the Lord may choose to work; Christ-like examples that can spur others on in the faith, can be good sources of accountability, and who can also play the role of being like a mirror or sounding board, that through good edifying conversation and providing their listening ear, can allow for others to verbally process aloud their thoughts and ideas to them. 

This can at least be said about a select handful of special individuals who have really shown their support and love to me as of late, them being the Lord's chosen vessel and me being the impotent companion in need of their listening ear, accountability, and of the being spurred on by them, my Spirit-filled friends. Things happen and clarity always seems to come to me when I have someone to "vent" to, for a lack of a better word. It is a blessing to have them near even if it is without them even saying a word, but just having their comforting presence! But then, not even just that! Sometimes, these friends of mine even go the extra mile pouring back into me by returning my venting with wisdom!




I guess my point is, it is a MARVELOUS thing! My friends inspire me to want to be like that to them and to everyone I meet! And with that, back to the scripture above!

 I feel like God has really been calling me to love, serve, and better prioritize the people around me in this season! It is easy for me to get selfish and fall into the complacent position of only wanting to receive and not give, and then, sometimes on the off chance I DO make an effort to give of myself, whether I'm giving comfort, wisdom, resources, service etc,  I often find myself doing it for the wrong reason (self-righteousnessly, for recognition, reward, or compensation), or with the wrong attitude (begrudgingly etc.)  #FAIL

Yes, to be more like Jesus is the goal, but I must say, it has been cool to see his serving nature modeled in the friends around me lately, in the power of the Holy Spirit. #GOALS


Image Source

I've been reminded that everyone is going through something. I want to slow down in life and make sure to take time and look for opportunities where I can reach out and be a blessing to others in need like my friends have done for me; and not to give them the credit, or myself when I am able to follow through, but that God would get the glory! It has been pretty neat how the past couple of days during my bible reading time going through the New Testament chapters of Corinthians, God has been reiterating to me this theme of selflessness and serving! I keep coming across certain verses that leap off the page and into my heart, calling me to better serve and love people! I have seen it exhibited, read about it, and have been a recipient of the love, kindness, and generosity of others, now I am ready to meet the challenge myself of better operating in this manner.

 In closing, I just wanted to share with you the couple of scriptures in the Corinthians that have powerfully impacted and reshaped my attitude on the topic of serving, and hope you can be blessed by them!


"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" 
1 Corinthians 10:31


"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love." 
1 Corinthians 16:13,14


"This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else."
2 Corinthians 9:12,13


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PS. Did you know I have other blog articles featured on another website? XRythems.co.uk
Check out my blog post linked below for another article featuring the same theme of selfless living, and serving.


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Wednesday, July 13, 2022

This Happened!

While I was gone from blogging here... this happened! 😃 I am quite proud of this accomplishment, a project I have dreamed of doing for some time now was finally completed the 20'-21' school year; 365 pirouettes! One pirouette for every day of the year, check it out!

 It has been quite nostalgic for me to go back and watch! Now, for your viewing pleasure, Enjoy!





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