How much of what we do is influenced by what we see around us? How much of what we do is influenced by spending time with God and following His guidance? There is a fine line between seeking guidance and wisdom from others on earth and allowing society to set the standard for our lives: our actions, thoughts, beliefs, what is acceptable, and right and wrong. If we are not careful we find ourselves not following the dreams placed inside us because we are busy following other's dreams that look appealing. Just imagine what all we could do if there was no blueprint, but the bible. It talks of miraculous things and miracles: turning water into wine, feeding thousands off little, walking on water, and defeating giants. What if we disconnected from the worldly influence and only allowed God's word to guide us? Imagine where we would be if we no longer allowed what other's think to influence our choices, did not allow other's mood to affect our we feel, we didn't allow labels placed upon us to dictate our characteristics, and were unashamed of our dreams.
By simply taking small steps to disconnect from worldly influences that impact our actions, thoughts, and ultimately our future , we have more time to spend re-connecting with God. By plugging into God more often, when encountering others we are more capable of receiving the things we need and leaving the negative. We learn that God's connection is more stable and reliable than any other connection. Why not try to remain connected to the most trusted source? In His anointing we can dream and operate beyond the world's standards. This does not mean we will not struggle, but it does mean that we won't be in bondage to live by a set of standards that we did create for ourselves nor did we agree to follow.
Miracles of the Bible:
Changing water to wine (John 2:1-11)
Walking on the water (Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-52, John 6:16-21)
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand (Matthew 14:13-21)
There will be many times when we are called to exercise or demonstrate our Faith in God. This will be proof that we understand and believe that His plan for our lives is greater than our own. So often we try to forge or merge our wants with the plan and are unwilling to accept "no" for an answer. Furthermore, his voice is so muted in our lives by busyness (trying to keep up with the Jones'), over-doing, over communicating, music, stress and worry, and our own egos/selfishness that we wouldn't hear if He did try to guide us. God will not compete for our undivided attention so that He may guide us. Set aside time with Him to recharge, seek wisdom & discernment, and His Peace. Remember that His plan is better than ours and we will be called to demonstrate our understanding of that concept through faith and being still, but we must seek Him and be willing to hear.
It is so imperative that we make genuine connections that do not serve our purpose, but another's. The reason for that is that we can only go so long, work so hard, and progress so much with our own strategies, agendas, knowledge, and result driven applications. It's going to be those genuine relationships we have formed that truly take us to the next level and give us strength we need to sustain. Remember, God does not appoint us or lift us high so that we may stand alone on the platform or rise the select few. He expects that we will enlarge that platform. Only through connection do we reach our fullest potential and that often requires taking "self" out of the equation.
As we go through our week, we should repeatedly ask ourselves "Am I making connections that are meaningful and using my platform to pull others to the next level without bias or reservation?". We can only do our best work when we are completely honest in our self-evaluation.
Just because we've been doing it for years does not mean we've been doing it 'right' for years. When we become deaf, blind, or immune to the world or chaos around us, most often we have become self-serving. It creates a world in our own heads that in reality seeks to serve no purpose for others, but everything for ourselves. Hear the voices of others, see the reactions and actions around us, and recognize and feel the emotions happening in and out of our presence. When we truly connect is when we truly can change and progress.
Make the decision to live your best life right where you are today! Don't allow the comfort of living under a rock that offers familiarity to stop us from reaching our full potential. God places so many opportunities in front of us to answer our prayers, yet we often do not accept them because they require us to put in effort, step outside of our comfort zones, and/or change our "stinking thinking". We can begin the process of being open to opportunity by identifying our goals and areas that stifle or prevent growth.
Kindness requires us to be selfless. When choosing kindness, we are forced to let go of our self-appointed expectations, need to control everything and everyone around us, and "stinking thinking" regarding others and ourselves. We've heard the commercial slogan "Kind never has to apologize". When we find ourselves having to apologize to others or thinking that we need to, maybe its time to check our kindness meter because we can never change what we don't acknowledge. Self-evaluate and change are the action words that help to catapult progression.
Although we must live and work amongst all people on earth, we have a choice of who we let permeate our spirit and affect our character, personalities, and actions. If we desire to grow and continue on a path of progression, it is not enough to dwell with others whose spirits are not a light in a dark place, who are content with operating on a lawful, cordial, and/or professional level, and fail to find enjoyment in striving. Surround yourself with good-hearted people who do good-hearted deeds consistently, for their seeds bring forth a multitude of blessings. We eventually become what we continually choose to surround ourselves with in life.
Do not dwell in places, relationships, environments, mentality, thoughts, emotions, and/or perceptions that give birth to darkness and more darkness time and time again. Grab hold to pieces of light, because where there is one piece it breeds more light that is uncontainable and endless despite circumstances designed to isolate , hold captive, and diminish.
Find your light and stick with it!
Just as much as we budget our money, we need to manage our time, thoughts, choices and actions to achieve what we want.
If you wanted to save money, you wouldn't buy a home or live in an apartment that doesn't allow for it.
If you wanted to be devoted to your family, you wouldn't pick a job that takes you away from that.
If you wanted to be fit, you wouldn't not find the time to workout.
If you wanted to be positive, you wouldn't keep people, thoughts, and entertain situations that bring negativity.
If we want it, we have to manage and budget every area of our lives that requires it. If it means downsizing, restricting, changing some things, letting go, and/or practicing new habits. It's your choice, and it's not always easy decisions, but it's yours. Your life is an accumulation of your choices and how you deal with things: from your choice of work, relationships, how many kids you have, how you choose to think, where you live, how you live...etc. Take full responsibility of it!
We often allow the talents and abilities given by God, sharpened by us, to be used in a manner that is displeasing to Him. They help to build arrogance and pride that block His purpose and our path to destiny. When this occurs, God must act swiftly and often aggressively, leaving us to believe we are being treated unfairly or that life has dealt us a bad hand. God does not deal bad hands, but hands that are mishandled by humans who sometimes do not appreciate what has been given to them for His purpose. In this ungratefulness, we most often make bad decisions that lead to undesired consequences we cannot handle. God must break down the pride, arrogance, and ungratefulness that we build up by any means necessary because He loves us. In trials, try to think of barriers and roadblocks we are placing in our paths that He is trying to remove.
I remember so many of my thoughts were consumed by looking to the left and the right of me and feeling as though I've failed or should be more successful. The habit of peeping into others' lives can leave us drained, feeling less than, and distract us from finding our own paths and fulfilling our own dreams. We must quit looking to others and society for a standard on how we should be living, eating, looking, and ultimately believing. Yes, it's easier said than done, but only you can get it done for yourself. Take active steps to separate your thoughts from being greatly influenced by the world around us. Sometimes that means completely disconnecting from certain things and people to spend time alone or with God.
My favorite way to disconnect from the world around me and remember whose I am is fasting, spending time alone to reflect and ask for guidance, and listening to inspirational music. Find your best disconnect to reconnect method and begin your journey to your best life.
Often times we get caught up in praying and praying for our purpose and what direction we should go in life. I have come to believe that God's purpose is for us to allow Him to use us in whatever capacity He needs to use us. Your purpose does not always dictate your career or life choices. God has shown us time and time again that He will not see His people out begging bread. Everything you do will turn to gold if you come into agreement with Him. We are not limited because of His abundance and dominance over everything in this world.
Have not I commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
"Bad company spoils good character." 1 Corinthians 15:33
God sometimes removes people, things, and relationships from our lives that distract us from His purpose or prohibit us from following the path to what's best for us. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals on the trajectory for God's best in their life. It doesn't mean we can't help or associate with others that are not like-minded; it means we can't get so involved that we dwell in the presence and company and begin to engage in attitudes, conversations, and actions that don't lead to Him. We are all works in progress, but we got this!
Sometimes the area of lack in our lives is caused by the way we speak to and treat others and ourselves. Negativity comes in many forms: thought process, sarcasm, jokes..etc. If you are lacking, I suggest examining your self-talk, God-talk, and people-talk. Speak life! Know your worth and other's.
Often we are quick to form fast friendships when in reality the relationship is only contingent upon you serving a purpose in their life. It's important to recognize those relationships in life's journey and place them in their right place and category...a comrade or constituent. These people are not for you; they are just with you. They will not be supporters of you moving forward, they will not support you moving ahead unless it involves them, and their actions will change toward you with circumstance. We can distinguish comrade/constituent characteristics by the way they treat others who they feel do not serve their purpose. However, they are still God's children and He still has a plan for those people in your life.
I prefer not to get caught up in the busyness of life, living your life by others' definition of success, a good Christian, and/or happy. Define your own version of happiness and success, making it authentic to you and disregard the reports of society. For me, rearing my kids to be kind, productive, self-sufficient, and responsible human beings is one of my top priorities. In doing that I must put aside the pressures to meet other people's deadlines, taking on stressors that are not life-threatening, and even my own occasional selfishness. It means taking care of myself so that I may be available to do a job that God placed in my hands. Whatever your most important goals and priorities are in life, develop unwavering guidelines that help you keep them first.
We often search for His purpose for our lives and it has been right under our nose. Our purpose does not always connect us to the masses or societal fortunes, but orders us to support and connect those who will carry on our lineage. While it can be exhausting and sometimes appear unrewarding, paving the way for those behind us is crucial. Determine if you are consistently and innovatively paving or standing around waiting for the next person to fulfill your purpose.
Sarcasm and jokes at others' expense are just insults dressed in a clown suit. If we are not careful, our communication with others and ourselves can be overtaken with this form of negativity. In addition, we can pass it on to our children to be a perpetuated way of communicating for generations to come. We must be aware of our words by truly discovering their intent and the feelings they bring out in others and ourselves.
Free yourself of people whose attitude toward gratitude does not allow them to at least show it at its simplest form, thank you. Secondly, do not be upset with others who cannot support, show up, and/or lift you up in your journey in life because most likely, they have not and cannot show up in their own lives. You should pray for them instead because the same actions they project towards you are the same words, vision, and actions they use to limit themselves. You see, people that lack progress and have unfocused vision cannot see where you are trying to go or your potential. The future is limitless.
So often we are disappointed by people in our lives simply because we have placed them in positions that they have never applied for or shown that they possess the attributes, characteristics, and/or qualifications to hold. So who is to blame for them failing to meet expectations that they never agreed upon?
I love all-things creative and writing thought-provoking posts. I began documenting #MyEarlyMorningThoughts about two years ago and have since received many requests to begin blogging and to continue posting about everyday life, growth, maturity, and SPIRITUAL concepts. Don't be shy, feel free to comment your life experiences and wisdom on any post.