Monthly Archives: November 2011

Hand Of Thee Potter

I feel led to discuss how this blog got started. For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be an author. I have always loved to read and write but I never had the confidence to truly pursue becoming an author professionally. I spent many summer days in the library and at Borders reading as many books that open hours would allow. I guess you can say that I am a bit of a bibliophile. Most people don’t know that when my friends were collecting magazines, marbles, sports cards, and shoes–I was collecting books. I have majority of the books I have read since I was 6 years old in boxes back home because I wish to one day have a library in my house. Even with this interest, the idea of writing my own book seemed too far out of my range so I decided to simply blog. I thought that then maybe I wouldn’t have to worry about being criticized about not always being grammatically correct or have to deal with the pressures that go along with entrepreneurship.

This past September I was on my way to class and as I stood waiting for the elevator I looked at a mirror in the hallway. I had two thoughts. The first was, “If you want to be an author why haven’t you consulted the Lord to see if that is something He too wishes that you pursue?” And the second, “What is in your way? What is the barrier between wanting to be an author and actually being an author?” As you have probably guessed, I did not have an answer for either of these questions. I did, however, know that it was foolish to not have consulted the Lord. And now that I think about it, THAT was in my way. I was in my own way. It would be giving the enemy too much credit to accuse him of creating a gap in the plans of God. Satan wasn’t holding me back. So who could I point the finger at? Myself. Not because I wasn’t an author writing the book I always dreamed of. But because I was still in the mindset of being stripped and stolen from when the Lord has given me a report of prosperity and progression.

A week later I was where I like to call my second home. I was awake in my room past midnight unable to sleep. I started wondering, “Why do I always feel like I have so much to say and share but yet feel like I never have enough opportunities to do so?” I began having a conversation with God and in summary, this is how it went.

Me: God, I would love to be an author.

God: You have not because you ask not (James 4:2).

Me: But God, I am not sure if I will be a successful author. I just don’t know which career to pursue anymore.

God: But I said I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

Me: Ok…But God I am not that strong of a writer. I am not always grammatically correct. I don’t have a super large vocabulary. And… And… And… God what if no one likes it?

God: You are everything that I say that you are. You will never be a good at anything without My help (Except sinning of course). Have no fear. I will give you everything you will need to complete the task (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Me: God, some of the things you are putting on my heart to share are things I don’t really care to mention. I wanted to forget about past sins. What if people look at me differently?

God: It isn’t about you. It is about Me and My business. Seek My Kingdom and I will handle the rest (Matthew 6:33).

Me: Say no more.

* I started up my computer and created an account with WordPress. I began writing my first post Claim Adoption Into the Royal Family and never looked back. I absolutely love writing articles for this blog. When I first got saved every chance I got I ran somewhere to get alone so that I could pray or read the Bible. Now, when I get free time academically or socially I run to work on a new article.*

How special it is to experience being sculpted by the Lord. Similar to what is explained in my post Where’s My Shell?, God is revealing to me the individual He has planned for me to become. I am not the person I thought I once was and I no longer want to be that person neither. The poisonous mindset of the world had me conditioned to being content with being nothing more than a beautiful whore. A whore in the physical or a whore in the spiritual, if not both. As I am constantly being purged and molded, of course I still face obstacles and struggles daily. One day I asked God, “How can I spread the Gospel when I am still struggling with imperfection?” I was worried about my sins weakening my testimony. But hey, before I was saved was I not out collecting testimonies for times like these after redemption? Again, it isn’t about me. It is all about our Father’s business. I am going through trials and tribulations because my brother and sister in Christ are struggling. Even if the struggle isn’t exactly the same, even if the struggle isn’t at the same time, and even if the person doesn’t want to admit the struggle. My struggle fighting temptation with smoking may be different from your struggle against gambling but are we not fighting the same fight?

Some may even question why God is slowly removing the pieces of the old man. Because not only would I probably go insane if He was to snatch everything at once but personally, it is helping me appreciate deliverance even more. Don’t get me wrong, God can do whatever He wants and it will be done decently and in order each time. However, He certainly knows how to deal with His children in a way that will be most effective for them. I work each day to beat down my flesh so that can I serve and worship God in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24). And that, I believe He appreciates. Yes, I have days when I fight harder than others. Yes, sometimes I become discouraged when I see my flesh wanting to work in cahoots with the devil. Yes, I am imperfect and I have a laundry list of sins I have committed. Yes, I still experience shame associated with some of those sins. Yes, I sometimes see specks of my old man pop up. But yes on that same note, with the discernment and power of God I have the ability to recognize and demand everything that is not like Christ to go. And yes, even in moments when I feel in distress I understand that this is all a part of the process and beauty of being sculpted by the Potter’s hand.

2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (NIV): ” 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that His life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”

2 Corinthians 16:18 (NIV): ” 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Isaiah 64:8 (NIV): “Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, You are the potter; we are all the work of Your hand.”

Job 10:8-12 (NIV): ” 8 “Your hands shaped me and made me. Will You now turn and destroy me? 9 Remember that You molded me like clay. Will You now turn me to dust again? 10 Did You not pour me out like milk and curdle me like cheese, 11 clothe me with skin and flesh and knit me together with bones and sinews? 12 You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit.”

Jeremiah 18:4-6 (NIV): 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. 5 Then the word of the LORD came to me. 6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in My hand, Israel.”

Jeremiah 18:1-9 (NIV)

At the Potter’s House

 1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

 5 Then the word of the LORD came to me. 6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel. 7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, 8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. 9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.

So yes, I am currently blogging as an author in training. Even if I have to recreate English as I go. I will save the precise and academically acceptable writing for school. I am at an exciting and greatly appreciated place in the Lord. I have experienced some STORMS within the past year but let me tell you… I now see only a portion of the peace God is helping me fight for. I am at a place where I feel like I actually have something to look back at. When I first came to the Lord and was going through the battle of Satan saying, “Oh no. You aren’t taking this one,” and God saying, “Oh yes I am, watch Me!” I often felt as if I couldn’t have any faith or hope because I hadn’t yet reached the end of ANY tunnel. How silly of me. I had ignored the gift of the Holy Spirit drawing me nigh as being just ONE reason that I may have hope. I was certainly a day better after I got saved than I was the day before and yes, I believe that is something worth holding on to. I am sure some of you know what I am talking about. It can make one feel discouraged trying to pull one’s feet out of miry muck that has simmered and hardened for years. But once your feet are placed on solid ground, regardless of how strong the winds are or how heavy the rain drops can be–you can look back and rejoice about where you are no longer. When I am in the rain the Lord gives me a raincoat. There has even been times when He has stood next to me holding an umbrella. And when it was time for me to really begin growing up, He gave me a suitcase with an umbrella, lamp, and raincoat dipped in the sweet scent of His word.

I feel heavy when my clay is damp but I am always refreshed when the Lord dries me in His furnace. I feel uncomfortable when the Lord reaches for the scalpel and naked when He begins carving but I ALWAYS love the new designs He gives me. Such a beautiful and clever architect He is. Shape me–Mold me–Fill me–Use me, oh Lord. Please make me an instrument that You can use. May your Hand remove the debris around and inside of this piece of clay and replace those areas with glory and righteousness. Amen.


Don’t Look Back!

I wasn’t born in a house with a garage. I was born in a house next to an alley that more often than not reeked of urine. My parents were never married. I didn’t grow up attending church every Sunday. Actuality, I remember my closest thing to attending church on the regular basis was Chapel on Wednesdays at my school. My parents never went to college. I grew up wondering what love was and allowing a spirit of rebelliousness to persuade me into partaking in almost every troubling situation that came my way. And yes, by the world’s standards my life was supposed to be another “statistic”. It was nothing but the grace of God that I wasn’t swallowed by the streets of Philadelphia or by the world as a whole. If it were up to past circumstances I would still be caught in the trachea of my hometown, the memories of my sins, and the curses chained to the sins of my ancestors. The torture and bondage of sin is like tumbling back and forth from the constant peristalsis of the esophagus until you are emptied into the worst of things, hydrochloric acid found in the stomach (or the pit of all damnation– Hell).

Everything stated in the last paragraph was to highlight that although there are adversities in my past, I am working to no longer allow myself to be defined by those circumstances. None of these past experiences determine my current and furthermore my future status in the Lord. If an issue arises in my life nothing ….I mean NOTHING….in my past is legitimate enough to be an excuse. God can change the rules of the world. When the world says ,”NO” God has the ability to say, “YES.” And when asked,”How?” He can simply answer, “Because I said so.” I am not suggesting that we shouldn’t follow the law or respect those who have authority but certainly recognize He who is REALLY in charge. Past hardships and misfortunes should not cause a gap in the life of a Christian. When has God ever declared a person crippled and thus unable to complete His tasks because of something in their past? Better yet, when has God not been able to effectively heal the crippled? Usually when we label those disabled it is by our own standards. I mean, by the standards of the world.

Consider those who are legally blind. You ever think that they aren’t as disadvantaged as we sometimes think? What if God has already shown them the beautiful things of this world before birth? What if they know EXACTLY the things we refer to but cannot find a similarity because we ineffectively describe something bigger than words? For every disadvantage God makes an advantage. In (Exodus 4:10) God didn’t tell Moses to be discouraged because of a speech impediment! God told Moses to get up and lead!!! God even instructed Aaron to assist Moses not because Moses was unable to complete the assignment but because God is just that generous. I don’t feel the need to feel regret concerning those who are deaf. They aren’t some type of faulty beings. I am sure deaf Christians can hear from the Lord just as clearly as those who aren’t. And is that not the most critical and respected type of hearing? What is the point of having physical eyes and not being able to see spiritually? Or having physical ears without being able to hear spiritually? God doesn’t make mistakes and nothing can happen unless God first signs His initials on the dotted line.

We should not pity ourselves nor should we want to be pitied by others. I won’t allow the fact that my parents never went to college to be a reason to believe that I cannot receive a degree. I won’t allow the past sins I have engaged in to detour my ability to fully serve the Lord. I won’t allow my past misconceptions about love to determine how I love others. Even as I love, I pray to always love with the love of Christ. I won’t even allow my old passion for medicine to modify the pursuit of happiness in any career God has for me. And ultimately, I won’t allow the lies of the enemy in the past to steal the joy, prosperity, and dominance given to me by the Lord. Haven’t you heard? The past is gone and the new is here (2 Corinthians 5:17) !

You ever find yourself having a hard time reminiscing on painful memories but finding time to daydream about the good ole days? I know I have. As humans we are quick to let go of the bad but want to savor the moments of the good. The statement in the picture above is sometimes what people say as they dwell on when things appear to have been better in the past. Some think on the times when they believe they were the happiest, the most popular, and the most financially stable. This mindset is especially prevalent when we hit a brick wall. We immediately think: Well if I was still….. this wouldn’t be a problem. So what if you were once rich. Was money a form of idolatry? So what if you miss your ex-spouse. Were you two unequally yoked? AND so what if things used to be so much easier. Have you not heard of trials and tribulations purifying us as fire purifies gold? (1 Peter 1:7).

Last week I sat in my two and a half hour Health Psychology class and we somehow got on the subject of Human Anatomy and Physiology. I was answering questions about topics that I forgot I had even learned. I was having so much fun. So much fun that I began to miss when I was always surrounded by the sciences. I began to miss when I was majoring in Biology aspiring to become a Dermatologist. I began to miss the medical conferences. I thought I was beginning to miss the past. For those who have not read my post, I am Going To Be A Dermatologist; God is the source concerning why I am no longer majoring in Biology and He is the reason why I now realize that my life is not my own, including my dreams and aspirations. I had to snap out of my reminiscing session. As I reflect on times spent with my old “friends” and partying habits—I sometimes feel like I am missing out on fun since coming to know the Lord. RED FLAG! RED FLAG! I know for a fact that I was previously admiring sin, flirting with death, and asking to go on dates with the devil so WHY would any of that appear favorable in my new eyes? Because more of my flesh has to die while I concentrate on bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) .God made it clear: You don’t know what I know. I took you from that place for a reason. Now if you want to return to your own vomit, that is on you (Proverbs 26:11). But let me make it clear–I am the way and the truth and the light (John 14:6). Find refuge in Me and don’t be fooled (Psalm 31:4). Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).

I would be a fool to try and go against His system.


Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV): 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Luke 9:62 (NIV): “Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Haggai 2:9 (NIV): ” The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house, ‘says the Lord Almighty. ‘ And in the place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”


It wasn’t until I found solitude in Christ that I began to realize how much of a pity party I would sometimes have. I was so focused on the past that I was ungrateful for the present. Thankfully, I soon became conscious of the fact that nothing is more dead than the past and Matthew 22:32 (NIV) states, “He is not the God of the dead but of the living.” Don’t identify with the past if the Lord has you in a different place in the present. Do we not trust His judgment?

Genesis 19 (NIV):

Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed

1 The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. 2 “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”

“No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”

3 But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. 4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom—both young and old—surrounded the house. 5They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”

6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”

9 “Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.

10 But the men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house and shut the door. 11Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door.

12 The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, 13 because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the LORD against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.”

14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.

15 With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.”

16 When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. 17 As soon as they had brought them out, one of them said, “Flee for your lives! Don’t look back, and don’t stop anywhere in the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away!”

18 But Lot said to them, “No, my lords, please! 19 Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life. But I can’t flee to the mountains; this disaster will overtake me, and I’ll die. 20 Look, here is a town near enough to run to, and it is small. Let me flee to it—it is very small, isn’t it? Then my life will be spared.”

21 He said to him, “Very well, I will grant this request too; I will not overthrow the town you speak of. 22 But flee there quickly, because I cannot do anything until you reach it.” (That is why the town was called Zoar).

23 By the time Lot reached Zoar, the sun had risen over the land. 24 Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah—from the LORD out of the heavens. 25 Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, destroying all those living in the cities—and also the vegetation in the land. 26 But Lot’s wife looked back, and she became a pillar of salt.

27 Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD. 28 He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.

29 So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.

Whatever your past may be overrun with– let it go. As cliché as it may sound, the present is here for a reason. Don’t have selective memory trying to forget past sins and mistakes but wanting to hold on to the remembrance of money, fame, and old relationships. I believe God has a special place for righteous memories, missing loved ones, and encouraging events. However, I also believe that if we have our focus on God this aspect of our lives will be settled accordingly. Nothing will be able to grip our attention and primarily our mind to a point where we ignore what He is doing in our lives currently. I don’t want to be defined by my past years spent shaped in iniquity but rather by my current and future position in the Lord. Thank you God for the willingness to change and perfect my trajectory. Thank You.

Be Specific, Not Ashamed

James 5:16 (NIV): “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

For the past few weeks I have been thinking about the importance of sharing our testimonies with others. I mean I often think of sharing testimonies with others but I am currently referring to the sins we’ve committed that we think are the heaviest and most burdensome. This misconception is why an individual may find it easier to confess being a liar when compared to confessing being an adulterer. It is important to identify and discard the idea of thinking some sins are heavier than others because that isn’t supported by the Word. James 2:10 (NIV): “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” It is important to recognize that sin is sin and God doesn’t instruct us to hide any specific type of transgression. Place it all at His feet.

Many months ago I once said that there are some things I would NEVER share. I was making empty promises because let me tell you…It hasn’t even been 6 months since I first made that statement and yes, as you can guess, I shared some of my “deepest” and “darkest” secrets. It isn’t a bad thing to share and confess seeing that it is a miraculous experience to be set free by the Truth! The song posted above really engaged my thoughts about being specific in conversations with others. Philippians 2:4 (NIV): “Not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” The song is essentially asking God to take away one’s shame and in the same breath asking God to shine His light through them. There are no secrets in Christ Jesus (John 18:20, Matthew 10:26).

As I write this article I am writing it to whomever may be reading it but first I am writing about this concern to myself. Earlier this week I was speaking with a classmate. The conversation began with a simple, “Hey !” but ended with a feeling of accomplishment….well at least for me. At the time that I spoke with my classmate she mentioned the feeling of “backsliding” in her relationship with the Lord, a new battle with the vice of alcohol consumption, and rocky relationships with others. I am no specialist but I can personally attest to the experience of God delivering me from alcohol addiction. As far as rocky relationships? I am constantly asking God to restore His ordained relationships and to remove those that He forbids. I am only saying that I can relate. Consequently, we talked for so long that I was almost late for my next class. You never know how the Holy Spirit will move so I am no longer surprised when things don’t go as I had planned. In conclusion, I was able to share with her my past experience with alcohol addiction. She appeared to be surprised to know that I was once in bondage to a spirit of alcoholism that later presented opportunities for greater entanglement with a spirit of anger. Reflecting on the many weekends I spent hungover is not my favorite thing to do during my spare time but I am proud to proclaim that Christ is the reason why I am no longer. And to think, shame would have kept my mouth closed!

Lets examine a scenario. Imagine having been out of school for two weeks because of a reason beyond your control. When you arrive back to school you find out that everyone did horribly on the last test so the teacher decided to give everyone a second attempt on the most missed questions. After you get caught up on upcoming assignments, the teacher allows the class to partner up to discuss questions they may have regarding the material and to share the answers they had gotten correct. Notice that the teacher gave permission and even encouraged that the individuals help each other. You look around the room and you see everyone working diligently so you immediately become optimistic hoping that your partner will share what is necessary for you to do well on the next test. An hour passes and when you ask your partner for answers or inquire about what to expect on the next exam your partner constantly responds, “Oh, just some stuff.” You look at your partner and ask, “So do you understand how you got the answer? I am a bit confused. Would you mind giving me insight on how you learned how to solve the problem correctly? Then your partner answers, ” Well, I just looked some stuff up online, tried a few things, and then pieces began to fall into place.” —– You would be beyond frustrated right? Well imagine those who are dealing with more serious matters. Think of those who are more than frustrated and are burdened by tormenting, sorrow, and utter desolation. I am a firm believer in the fact that God sometimes kills two birds with one stone. Similar to the strategy used by the teacher in this scenario, our Teacher may be presenting opportunities to take another step closer to becoming free as we help free others. Our obedience or disobedience never stops His show but regardless, do what He tells you to do.

Confessing to God FIRST!! When things are first made right with Him, He may then give instructions regarding how and what to share with others.

Psalm 32:5 (NIV): “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgression to the LORD.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.”

Be specific! You never know who may be waiting and listening for you to share a part of your testimony that they can relate to. This of course should agree with the commands God has given you. There has been times when He has told me to be vague with someone because that person wasn’t in a place to receive what it was I could have shared or merely because at that moment I wasn’t strong enough to share it. Exodus 4:12 (NIV): ” Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” The Holy Spirit is faithful in all things, including guiding conversations to set captives free. You never want to do more damage than help. If God has called you to plant a seed, don’t go around trying to water or nourish them.

Be mindful of the person who may feel the way you one day felt. The person who may be sitting in an audience waiting to know that they aren’t alone in a specific battle. While you may be speaking generally about lust there may be a person yearning to discuss their battle against fornication…or masturbation…or beastility. You may be mentioning past addictions ditching and dodging certain words or phrases while someone in the crowd may be anticipating conversation about alcoholism or specific drugs addictions. Would you want to leave someone in the dark because of the shame you associate with a specific sin you’ve committed in the past??? I mean seriously, envision if the extra help and comfort God has given you was hiding testimonies not because God told them to but because they were too ashamed? I know for myself I would be thinking, forget your shame and lets discuss the issue at hand.

Beat condemnation from Satan to the punch. Condemnation is not from God and thus will not have the ability to taunt you if you place your sins at the altar. I am speaking from experience. I was once the queen of beating around the bush when it came time to confessing sin. HONESTLY: Sometimes I still feel tempted to have “selective discussions.” But on the other end I LOVE when others are specific and completely honest while sharing testimonies with me. Talk about wanting to take it all but not wanting to give anything. Thankfully, God is changing that.

If you’re a murderer then don’t say you didn’t really kill someone when you did. If you have a history of stealing don’t go around stating that you were just borrowing merchandise. If you were once in bondage to alcoholism don’t try to use the infamous “Jesus drank wine” excuse. When confessing sins and sharing them with others, there isn’t any place for kind of(s) or sort of(s). State what it is for what it is. Remain focused on the proposal that you can be the vessel God is using to help bring comfort and support to someone else. Proverbs 28:13 (NIV): “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Everything the enemy means for evil God will change for good so He may be edified. So be specific and kick shame to the curb.

How Am I Lookin’?

Could you imagine not looking into a mirror for a whole day? Week? Month? Year?? I think we all can agree that it is safe to assume that we would look as crummy as we could only imagine. Our hair would probably be as out-of-place as an amateur bird’s nest while our faces would be freckled with old and discolored condiments. To prevent this we keep pocket mirrors handy, take constant bathroom breaks, and even check our rear-view mirrors before we get out of the car.

Take a moment and think about how much time you spend looking into the mirror each day. Personally, I only look at a mirror when I happen to cross one but when I do, I LOOK as thoroughly as possible! We sometimes become so plagued by the thoughts of being embarrassed that we constantly check on ourselves to see how we are lookin’. No one wants to be caught looking any less than what society considers acceptable or polished.

Discomfort or a disliking brings change, right? Or at least it should. If I look in the mirror and my hair is out-of-place, I comb it. If my eyebrows need to be smoothed down, I get to smoothin’. If I see a pimple growing, I immediately reach for my Noxema. I am sure you get my point. My next question is, why do we sometimes trust the mirror made out of glass more than we trust our spiritual mirror, which is the Word of God? Compared to as frightening as we can become physically from the lack of looking into a natural mirror, we are even more hideous spiritually when we don’t make use of our spiritual mirror.

About a week or two ago I went to the grocery store to buy a few things. After spending about 15 minutes of being on the phone and glancing at each item in every isle I decided to go home before I began to buy unnecessary snacks. I had a case of water at the bottom of my cart so when I reached the register I immediately checked with the cashier to make sure that I wouldn’t have to pick up the heavy 24 pack of water and put it on the counter. Plus, I wanted her to know there was a case under the cart so that I could pay for it. The cashier assured me that I did not have to pick up the case of water and that she could put it in the system by its code. After paying for my items and receiving my receipt the Holy Spirit began leading me to look at my receipt. However, I didn’t want to because I knew exactly what the Holy Spirit was leading me to do. I hadn’t been charged for the water. I began to walk out of the grocery store as I was thinking about how I could use the extra money for gas. I only made about 3 steps until I took the receipt out of my pocket and asked the cashier if she rang up the water. The cashier who appeared to be young, maybe even a college student, stated that she hadn’t charged me for the water. The cashier appeared to be half in distress about the possibility of her supervisor knowing that she had almost mistakenly “given” away merchandise. As a college student I can relate to coping with the pressures of performing well at the workplace. On the other hand, she appeared to be shocked that I turned around to give what I owed. I didn’t even have to look at the receipt because I knew exactly what the issue was. I pulled out my wallet to pay for the water, partially disappointed in myself for attempting to leave without paying but slightly happy with the fact that I took heed to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In the past, I never put a huge emphasis on having or gaining money but I definitely have had a manipulative and rebellious nature about myself that would try to get over simply because I could. This experience was clearly a test and reminds me of the story in the Bible about Ananias and Sapphira.

Ananias and Sapphira

Acts 5:1-10 (NIV):

1 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” 10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.”

I read the story about Ananias and Sapphira not too long ago so the consequences they faced are fresh in my memory. If someone had asked me if I was a thief or if I would lie to get something for free, I would have said no. Which, again is why we can’t trust our natural mirrors because the reflection of the Word showed me something different. Fortunately, I surrendered to the conviction of the Holy Spirit so that I didn’t act on what I thought was most logical but rather followed the righteousness steps of the Holy Spirit. I am glad I turned around and acknowledged the help of God because I believe as much as I constantly check with God to see what transgressions I have made against Him, He would have brought me back to this situation. Anyone who is serious about serving the Lord will leave wherever they are and whatever they are doing to do what is righteous and just to be free of conviction of the Holy Spirit. To me it feels like God is tapping me on my shoulder and saying, “Hey, you told me that you want to serve me. Let me help you be righteous so that I may be pleased. Even if I have to tap you for hours and days on end, no worries because mercifully, I don’t grow weary.” Thank God for conviction.

2 Corinthians 3:18 (KJV): “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

James 1:23-25 (NIV): 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”

1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV): ” Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I am in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

The enemy wants one to see an illusion like the picture below. The devil will have one tricked into believing they are spiritually fit when they have been running with the devil for so long that their running patterns are synchronized with his. Even on the other extreme, Satan can have one believe that they are still struggling with something that God has dismissed out of one’s life. Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44)–why would one ever believe anything he has to say? We cannot make justifications from our own knowledge or understanding because our carnal nature makes us vulnerable to the tricks of the enemy. This is how the mind of individuals who are wonderfully and fearfully made become distorted with corrupt thoughts that lead to disorders such as bulimia and anorexia (Psalm 139:14). Or even how individuals are quick to point out the speck in another’s eye but disregard the plank in their own eye (Matthew 7:3). Only God can and will honestly tell you how you are lookin’— by His standards and not by the standards of the world.

Dont just reflect, reflect with a desire to change. As mentioned in a paragraph above, we must trust the reflection of the Bible even MORE than we trust the reflection of the natural mirror. When we see something unappealing in our natural mirrors, we are quick to move. Lets not act like our shoes are made out of bricks when the Word reveals spiritual misconduct. The Bible will tell you that you are a thief when the world tells you that you are only taking what is yours. The Bible will tell you that you are committing adultery when the world tells you that looking and fantasizing doesn’t hurt. And most importantly, the Bible will tell you that the only way to the Father is through the Son (John 14:6) when the world tells you that there is only one God but many avenues leading to Him. The last example is essential in effective spiritual reflection because until recognition and acceptance regarding Christ as one’s Lord and Saviour, everything else is unobtainable. Remember, never put trust in man or the natural things of this world because it will leave you shattered and traumatized.