Monthly Archives: August 2015

The Bargaining Chip

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I made a bargain with God. Better yet, I took all that He had done for me, attributed it to my account and got some leverage.

How does that sound? A bit crazy, right? Well, that is what we do when we try to bargain with God. There is nothing that we have to offer Him that He hasn’t already given to us one hundred times over. So whenever we try to act as if something we did should make God want to bless us, then we have crossed a sacred line and should repent and pray that God will remove the selfishness and pride from our hearts that we might see clearly again.

How many times have you tried to bargain with God? In all reality, you are just asking Him to do something for you and its probably something that you know if you prayed on it He would just direct you to His written Will (The Word) and it has already spoken against it.

This is a self-reflection moment. Even as I type this, I am reflecting on moments that I know He is purging from my life. Don’t just view this topic as applying to everyone but you…that is a sure sign that pride is blocking you from hearing what the Spirit wants you to take a look at in yourselves.

 

Happy Reflecting,

AndByFaith She Writes

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His Mercy is Good…

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As I said, I was ready to marry the first one to ask. God denied this at every turn. I would meet a guy and swear he was the one and if he wasn’t the one, by the time I got through manipulating his faults, he WOULD BE the one! As all of my attempts at creating my perfect guy failed, I began to doubt God’s goodness and His desire for my happiness.

So I got out of the mindset that marriage was a condition that would bring happiness, because in actuality, if attained by improper means, it could lead to the most destructive times of our lives. Marriage is a representative of Christ and His marriage to the Church. Do you know what He did in that relationship? He died that she might live. Can we righteously and unselfishly say that we are willing to give our lives for anyone? A plethora of mothers and fathers may say that they are willing to die for their children, but do you know that your husband or wife should come before your children? So I had to get out of the mindset that a marriage would make me happy and that is all that I needed. I had to learn to give and not receive, die and not revive, love even when not being loved in return.

I am constantly learning that God’s goodness is real. His Son showed us how good our Father in Heaven is. So in His goodness He saved me from my own disgusting sinfulness. I had convinced my self that my last relationship was the one to end all relationships. But then I realized that I had been loving without being loved in return and I was in my “shape and mold him” mode the entire time. I saw what I wanted to see and he was not the one God had for me. I had stopped trusting God to hold up His end of the bargain (check out my blog The Bargaining Chip). And if he was going to be the one, I would need to let the Lord handle him and there was no “fixing” his issues myself. So I ended up being one more day short of that marriage goal. I could have sworn that we had done everything partially right and that he wanted to marry me. But as soon as I gave it over to the Lord in a desperate prayer, the relationship began to dissolve and though I could not see it then, I see it was the prayer that saved me from a lifetime of misery.

So what was this significant prayer that I prayed? The truest and boldest prayer I have ever prayed and the one that I think has kept me more focused than ever on serving His purposes today. I prayed, “Lord, please don’t let a man see me as his wife or even date-able unless he sees You first.” I’ve observed similar sayings on social sites and in devotional emails often and agreed wholeheartedly with it, but had never applied it to myself. We often agree with something and think that is good for someone Else’s life but why do we never set it into prayer for our own lives, believing that He is able to do above and beyond that which we have asked? Do you know what my answer was from that prayer? A few weeks later as I drove along in my car and talked with the Lord, He told me “whenever he sees you, you won’t be doing anything to get his attention. You won’t have to vie for the attention of the man I have for you.” Mind blowing and clear as day, a Word specifically for me!

I believe in God’s goodness because the peace He has given me in the matter is so overwhelming that many would call it delusion or unreal. Do not get me wrong, as a human, I am imperfect and do have episodes and revert to thinking about how neat it’d be to be married and well on my way to my second or third child. Yet, as I Cor 10:13 tells me, there is no temptation that has overtaken me except that which is common to man and God is ever so faithful and He will not let me be tempted beyond what is bearable. Truth is, I could give in and wallow in self-pity or in a mindset that clings to a lost hope, lost relationship or my past, but that is not unbearable. I have to choose to wallow or choose to pray; and in those moments I always pray that the Lord show me how to take those thoughts captive unto the obedience of Jesus Christ (II Cor 10:5). For the Word is my sword, my weapon in this fight against the powers and principalities which seek to make me lose my sanity and my will power to obey the goodness of God (Eph. 6:10-18). Many of us are discouraged, but I urge you brothers and sisters to continue fighting the good fight! Our Father is Good and His Mercy is Forever and His Truth is in this Word, which will never fade!

As Paul told the Philippians and I now encourage you, “I am confident that He Who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

For the LORD is good…

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For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
 ~Psalm 100:5

I’ve learned that I must trust in God’s goodness. When I start to worry and doubt that something will work out for my good I am in fact denying God’s truth. The Word clearly tells us how God can and will work things out for the good of those who LOVE Him (Romans 8:28).

Let’s take a look at the word love though. According to Strong’s, the type of love referred to here is agape love. To deconstruct the meaning a little further, I will mention the three types of love in the Bible. There is eros (sexual, erotic in nautre), phileo (brotherly), and agape (all encompassing, selfless, submitted). There is a misleading assumption that as long as I claim God and say that I love Him and give an offering that He will work out MY every wish. This is not so. This love mentioned in Romans 8:28 is agape love. Agape love towards God means that we are willing and specifically purposing ourselves to live under God’s will for our lives. The rest of the verse reads, “and a called according to His purpose.”

I believe I have been called to His purpose and many of you as well. To this day I have yet to live up to my full potential though. I doubted God’s love for a long time. Not thinking that He doesn’t love me, but just thinking that He wasn’t looking out for my best interests. I was a giving child, then a selfish adult (due to adventures in life I shall expound upon later) and now that harsh exterior is being cracked. I was always desperate for a relationship; for someone to call my own: a friend, a boyfriend, a husband, a child. I was always craving a relationship. I believe God put that desire inside of me because I am such a relational individual.

My desire for relationship was not well nourished. I was shy and not very outgoing. The Lord led me to friends that became so much more than that. Yet and still, they were not enough to fill the gaping hole that I thought desired a romantic relationship; someone I could call my own. I experienced hurt, heartache, disillusionment, and brokenness. I am not here to write a blog about a sad past but a bright future!

Here’s a sum of my desperation. I was so desperate for a relationship, especially marriage that I would have gladly married, the first one to ask me. God denied me that pleasure (or so I thought of it as a pleasure). As early as high school I was in desperate throes for marriage, solidarity with another, permanence. It was then that I began to doubt God’s goodness. I mean really, how could He not see that I would make the perfect wife for some lucky man? Why didn’t God want to honor my desire of marriage and not just a baby? I had the means, opportunity, the heart and the support to take care of a child myself, but I wanted the full package and figured God should see it my way. Why would He deny this opportunity to a woman (of faith) who was willing to learn (submit, maybe, if she thought her husband was smart enough), and serve (in the church on my own terms). God just wasn’t doing Himself any justice, was He? How smug and desperate was I? I thought I was ready for it. I used to think, look at my parents and how much they fuss and fight, but they still love each other. And if they survived for this many years, I could learn to love a husband just as well…

and then I learned what marriage truly is. Now, I have grown to see that God’s grace couldn’t be better. Or maybe it could and that is the exciting part! If His grace and mercy on my foolishness is even more graceful and merciful than what I have experienced then  I am in for a treat. A glorious treat, in the form of more blessings and something way beyond the realm of my finite imagination (I Corinthians 2:9)!

To be continued about how His grace took care of me and all of my needs…

Hello world!

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Hello World! My name is Moni and by faith I am here to tell my story. The Bible contains the stories of many of my faith brothers and sisters and helps me day to day to remember that life is a series of stories, put together to create a timeline that should edify the Kingdom in the end. God began the story and chose a people to lead us to Him and they failed time and again, the same way we fail now. God gave us a second chance through His Son, our Brother, our Friend. Jesus brought us together and made us family through the shedding of His blood on Calvary.

My story is one interwoven with mystery (uncovered), calamity (resolved), heartache (healed), and a never ending Resource of love and affection. I feel led to start blogging on issues that I see in my everyday life. Most will probably not come directly from news sources because I don’t watch tv/cable. So i will speak from the heart and of course, you should feel free to comment from the heart.

God gives me truth and I in turn relay that truth to you, my friends, my loved ones.

Love strong, love hard, love pure,

AndByFaith She writes