You Weren’t Meant For This

Handcuffs 

Galatians 6:4

But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.”

I love crime shows! Watching how someone almost gets away with a crime, particularly murder fascinates me.

I am also amazed at the people in the shows who have long histories of crime and punishment. These people have committed crime time after time and been caught time after time. You would think they would figure out that their not good at being a criminal and find another line of work, but I guess that would take too long.

The person who should give up a life of crime would have to find out what their good at, what they are passionate about and what it takes to get into that field. It would take self-examination and time to find out what they should be doing because it’s obvious, to me, that a life of crime is not their call or their vocation.  But, they would rather try to follow in someone else’s footsteps and try to be something they are not, rather than figure out who they really are and what they are really good at doing. Consequently, they end up incarcerated over and over again.

It’s just like many Christians who try to be something they are not or try to do something they were not created to do for God’s kingdom. No matter how hard we try, we still get caught by God and the masses who know we are not doing what we were created to do. In fact, in our heart of hearts, we know that we’re not good at what we are trying to do, but it’s easier to imitate someone else than it is to develop the person God has created us to become for His glory.

Like the criminal who gets caught over and over again, the Christian who would rather mimic someone else rather than grow into their authentic selves, is looking for an easy way out; a shortcut. In Christ there are no shortcuts to fulfilling our calls.

If there was a shortcut available for Jesus, don’t you think He would have taken it rather than being brutalized and then hung on a cross to die for the sins of the world? There is no shortcut to becoming who God created us to be for His use in His kingdom.

If you are trying to be something or do something you are not, or you’re not sure of what you’ve been called to do, then it’s time for you to ask, seek and knock.

  • Ask God the Father what He wants you to do now, today, to help you move into being your authentic self in Him;
  • Seek out scriptures in the bible to help sustain you until God answers;
  • Knock on God’s door in prayer until He gives you the answer you need.

Never settle to be an imitation of someone else. God didn’t make you a copy He made you an original. Never give up seeking who God created you to be and what He created you to do for His kingdom. There’s only one you, and you’re it!

“The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor.” I Corinthians 3:8

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Living Above Mediocrity,

 

Anita Wamble

E-spirational – Divine Inspirations

Sharing God’s Word: Motivating God’s People

http://www.espirational1.com

Be Careful

No evil trio

 

Luke 6:45

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

When I was a child there was a song that our children’s choir sang that said, “Be careful little eyes what you see. Be careful little eyes what you see. For the Father up above is looking down with love. So be careful little eyes what you see.” The song went on to warn ears to be careful what they hear and little tongues to be careful what they say. I don’t know if children choirs still sing this song in most churches today, but I think they should because this song is correct in its warnings.

What we take in through our eye and ear gates is going to be what we put into our hearts and what comes out through our mouths!

If you know someone with a nasty attitude or a sour disposition and you HATE talking to them because you know they are going to be negative, nasty or uncooperative, it is because they have taken in nasty, negative uncooperative things. Jesus said it best in the above quoted scripture. We act, respond and deal with other people and things based on what’s in our hearts.

We take in so much without really thinking about it. We watch all types of TV shows, “The Have and Have Nots”, “Devious Maids, “Scandal”, “Modern Family”, “Blacklist” “Empire” and the list goes on and on. Do we ever stop and think about what we’re really taking into our hearts and minds? Do we really stop and think about the type of lifestyles we’re cheering for while we watch our favorite shows?

We read and watch all types of videos and stories on-line. We watch and read stories of people fighting each other in the street, bullies mistreating other people at school, teachers being hit and beat while they are trying to teach their classes, near pornographic dance moves and again, the list goes on and on. And we sit there looking and listening, in taking without thinking that these images and words are going to manifest themselves in us at one time or another.

I know I’m guilty of leaving of eye and ear gates open to feeding my heart ungodliness. So how about you? What are you taking in through your eye and ear gates?

“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:10

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Out of the Box

Created Chosen Called

August 12, 2015

Genesis 1:26

“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

When I purchase a rose for my garden, I have a plan. I know where I’m going to put the rose, the nutrient levels I need the soil to possess and how to feed, water and protect the rose until its root system stabilizes in its new environment. I have a plan that the rose doesn’t know anything about.

The rose is shipped to me in a plain brown cardboard box. There is nothing in the box with the rose except other bare root roses that I may have purchased at the same time. If I purchased a single rose, it is in the box by itself.

I can only image how the rose must feel when I plant it in its new place. It goes from being in a dark empty box without soil or water into an open air space with at least six hours of sunlight, soil, vitamins and food. What a shock to its fragile system!

I’m sure if my roses could complain they would. They have probably become use to living in the dark bareness of the box but, in order to live, the rose must have the sun, soil, water and food, things that the roses can’t get while in the box. So, they may have become accustom to living in the box, if they stay there, they will die.

Yes, God does the same thing to and for us. You and I ask God for growth; financial, spiritual or personal growth so we can do more, have more or become more for the Kingdom of God. He answers our prayers and responses to our request. He begins to move us from our dark and confining boxes to new places where we can grow. And what do we do? We complain!

We wanted to grow where we were, in the confines of the boxes we have put ourselves in! We don’t want to change, we don’t want other things to change, we don’t want to do anything different, and we just want to grow where we are. Sorry! It doesn’t work that way!

God did not create us to be confined to dark, lifeless boxes. He created us to live in His Son and in the sun. What does that mean? It means God created us to live our spiritual lives in the light, soil and be feed by the life of His son AND to live our natural lives in the abundance here on earth. God never designed us to live in lack or less than. Neither in this life nor the one to come.

In order for us to grow, God has to move us to a place where the totality of who we are can be used and displaced as we experience new things. God is taking out of our boxes because He wants us to live and not die in the dark empty lives so many of us are now living.

Yes, it’s time to come out of your box!

“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” II Corinthians 9:10

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You Were Chosen

Picked out

 

Matthew 22:14

For many are invited, but few are chosen.”

When I chose a rose for my garden, I don’t pick it based on one characteristics of the rose; I pick it based on the totality of the rose. So not only do I pick a rose based on its color, I chose it on how the blooms are going to look. Will the blooms have lots and lots of petals or just a few?  I chose it based on the fragrance; is it lightly fragranced or is it heavily fragranced?  Does it smell like honey or does it smell like a traditional rose?

I also look at the type of leaves the rose is going to have. Will the leaves be bright green and shiny or will they be a matted green? I also look at the stem of the roses; will they be long-stemmed so I can use the rose in a single rose vase or will they be short stemmed so I can use them in an arrangement?

So you see, everything that the rose is goes into my decision-making process of whether or not I’m going to plant the rose in my garden. Yes, each facet of the rose is important, but one piece without the others doesn’t make the rose what it really is. It is the totality of the rose plant that makes the rose what I want in my garden.

God does the same thing with us. When God chooses us to do a particular assignment He chooses us based on the totality of who we are; our temperament, the things that we’ve gone through in order to bring us to the place where we are now, our looks, our background and upbringing. All these things make us who we are and are the reasons God chooses us for our assignments.

Unfortunately, all too often we look at ourselves through the eyes of the world system and only see what we think the world sees when it looks at us. The world system says over and over again, we have to be super model thin in order to be considered worthy of being called attractive. The world system says we have to be rich or famous in order to be counted amount those whom others should listen to. The world system says we have to be educated with the right type of degrees and from the right schools or we’ll be outsiders and not allowed to join them at the popular table. But, no matter what the world tells us, it does not stop God from doing what He’s going to do and it shouldn’t stop us from doing what God has assigned us to do.

If God has given you an assignment, and He has given us all an assignment, what the world system says about you doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. When God gave each of us our assignments, He has already measured the totality of who we are and He knows we can successfully complete the assignment.

The world system only knows the labels it has placed on us. God knows who He created us to be.

 

“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” I Corinthians 1:27

 

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The Same but Different

cropped-julians-pix-6691.jpg

James 1:13 – 15

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

I have a dozen roses in my front yard. I basically care for each of them the same way; I feed and water them at the same time, clip them when they need it and make sure the soil nutrient levels are correct. I care for them equally.

My Double Delight rose, which is pictured above, is right at my front door because it’s beautiful and has a strong honey sweet aroma. When you walk up to my door and Double Delight is in bloom, the last thing you smell before you come into my house is the sweet fragrance of the rose. YUMMY!

The problem with the Double Delight is it is susceptible to black spots and yellow leaves. It is so susceptible to the disease that I have to pay special attention to the rose all summer because if I allow the disease a little room it will destroy every leaf on the Double Delight and defoliate the rose completely.

Right next to the Double Delight I have the John F. Kennedy rose; which is beautiful too but in a very different way than the Double Delight. The John F. Kennedy rose is not susceptible to black spots or yellow leaves but, Japanese Beatles LOVE the John F. Kennedy but they don’t really care for the Double Delight. So, even though the two roses are sitting right next to each other in the garden, they have too different challenges that I have to content with in order to keep them alive and healthy.

It is the same way for us in the Body of Christ. We have been engrafted into the Body of Christ by His redemptive blood and His finished work on the cross. We have been made spiritual siblings and yet, we are all tempted and drawn away from God by our own temptations.

What tempts you to turn away from your relationship with Christ may not bother me at all and what tempts me may not cause you to think about it twice. You see, just like my roses, we are individuals with different challenges, needs and desires. Coming to Christ doesn’t make us clones, it makes us saved. We are still the people we were before our salvation.

Our struggles are the same, our issues are the same, our aptitudes are the same, and the things we are susceptible to are the same. The difference is how we handle the struggles and the issues. The difference is how we handle the temptations. We are all the same; we all have struggles, issues and temptations but we are all different in how we handle them. None of us have any room to throw stones at someone else.

This is why we can’t judge someone else’s walk in Christ. We can’t judge how God is using them, or not, when or how. We don’t know all the particulars in that person life. Only God knows that and He is the one that directs the steps of us all.

One reason I love gardening is because flowers don’t have the ability to look over at another flower and try to compare themselves, whether for better or for worse. They don’t have the ability to see what I’m doing to one plant that I may not be doing to or for them. There is no envy or jealousy between plants like there often is between people.

While we are all the same in Christ because God is not a respecter of person, we are all very different and He treats us different according to His call on our lives.

 

“But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.” Galatians 6:4

 

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Hold On – Part II (Revised)

Ice age squirrel holding on

Joshua 1:5

“No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

God has told us that He will never leave us; He will always be with us. This is why we don’t have to seek after the things of the world system. We don’t have to love money, fortune or fame. We don’t have to give up our morals nor ethics in order to fit in with the world. We don’t have to go along to get along with everyone else because God, the Father of all things, has made us a promise; ‘I will never leave your; never will I forsake you.’

This means as children of God we can stand and fight just like the Israelites fought at Jericho; in an unorthodox non-world system method. The children of Israel marched around a fortified wall, singing and playing trumpets in order to bring down the wall of Jericho. Who does that? Those who trust in the Lord our God.

Our methods of warfare will be unorthodox by the world’s standards. Who shows love, kindness and compassion to people who are trying to take their jobs, their home or their car? Who still smiles and speaks to people who are rejecting you, mistreating you and saying all manner of evil against you? Those who trust in God because we know, God is with us!

Trusting in God will lead us to unorthodox methods of warfare because we know God has already promised us victory. “No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you…” These words weren’t just for Joshua, they are for us too!

We can hold on when it looks like all is lost because we have confidence that our God is not only with us, but He’s for us! We can be strong and courageous, unswerving and stout hearted because we know that no matter what happens God is standing beside us to care for us.

Even in the most desperate or difficult times we can keep our lives free from the love of worldly things  and be content with what God has given us because we know that God will provide for all our needs according to His riches in glory through His son, Jesus Christ (Philippians 4:19).

Proverbs 19:23 says it like this: “The fear (respect) of the Lord leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.” If we respect this truth and promise of God; that He is with us at all times, then we can rest untouched by trouble!

DO NOT GIVE UP NOW! God has been and will continue to be with you.  He sees what you’re going through and He’s right beside you to help you through it. This is not the time or place to give up!  Just keep your eyes fixed on Jesus because He is walking right in front of you; The Holy Spirit is leading, guiding and directing you down the correct path for you. Remember Gods’ hook, “Hold on, I’m here!”

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have because God has said, ‘Never will I leave your; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”’ Hebrews13:5 – 6

 

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Hold On – Part I (Revised)

 

waiting on God under tree

Psalm 27:1 – 2

The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.”

 

There is an old Sam and Dave song that has a hook that says, “Hold on, I’m comin!’” Thankfully, we did not enter into our Promised Lands with Sam and Dave. If we had, when we were in trouble, we would have had to wait until they got to us before they could help.

We entered our Promised Lands with God the Father, who is always with us. In fact, Deuteronomy 31:8 states God goes before us, therefore, we do not have to be afraid nor discouraged because God is always with us. If God had a song like Sam and Dave’s His hook would be, “Hold on, I’m here!”

We don’t have to worry if God is going to rescue us from our enemies. We don’t have to fret about God’s showing up on time. God is with us even when it feels like our enemies are overwhelming us and He never needs to be rescued. He’s always the mighty one. There is nothing and no one greater than God and He will never leave us!

All of us had to fight to get into our Promised Land. We had to fight our pasts, our disappointments, our worries and our anxieties.  We had to fight our low self-esteem, our heartbreak and our intimidators. Through all of these things, God was with us. By God’s grace and His mercy we made! Through hard-fought battles, most won but some lost, we made it.

Here we stand on the soil of our Promised Land, and guess what? We still have to fight! Just like the Israelites had to fight when they marched into their Promised Land; they had to battle at Jericho, Ai and other enemies, so do we. The good news is, just like God was with the Israelites, He is with us! He is our very present help in the time of trouble.

DO NOT GIVE UP NOW! God has been and will continue to be with you. He sees what you’re going through and He’s right beside you helping you get through it. This is not the time or the place to give up! Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. God is with you. Remember His hook, “Hold on, I’m here!”

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4

 

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Dying on the Vine

 

Tomator rotting on vine

I Corinthians 12:4-6

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in men.”

For the first time in my life I decided to grow a vegetable this year. I was talking to the farmer where I purchased my flowers and told her what I wanted to do and she suggested a table top tomato plant. She said they were easy to grow, easy to maintain and I could put them someplace where I would see them every day so they wouldn’t die on the vine.

She was correct on all points: the table top tomatoes are easy to care for and maintain, plus they sit on my deck so I see them every day and I can watch them as they flower, fruit and mature right before my eyes. If only our spiritual gifts were as easy to grow, maintain and watch. Maybe then so many Christians wouldn’t allow their gifts to die on their spiritual vines.

There have been several times I almost gave up writing Daily Prayers and Words for Today. I often thought “no one reads them any way” or “what I’m doing isn’t helping anyone” or, and here’s the best excuse I had for giving up this portion of my ministry, “who am I to try to help people live a fuller life in Christ. I struggle with stuff every day, how can I help them?”

During these times of defeat I’d still write the Daily Prayers and the Words for Today but I wouldn’t send them out. Then, I’d get an email from someone saying, “hey, where’s the daily reading?” Sometimes I’d know the person but often times I didn’t. I realized that what God had me doing in this portion of my ministry was important and helpful to people other than just me. And, if I continued to be selfish with what God was giving me, then the fruit that other people needed would die on the vine in my spiritual garden.

We all have spiritual fruit which grows out of our gifts. EVERYONE has at least one gift, according to I Corinthians 12:11, given to us by the Holy Spirit and, the Holy Spirit made the determination of who got which gift.

Sometimes we allow our fruit to die on the vine because we don’t value the gift we’ve been given. Selah!

“All these are the works of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.”

I Corinthians 12:11

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Prayer for Today

 

C S Lewis Quote

June 30, 2015

Father, at the beginning of the year, we made plans, set time lines and set goals for what we wanted to achieve this year. As we look at our plans we see some plans are behind the schedule we had set or some things we wanted to do have not been done at all. These realizations can cause us to feel like failures or to feel like we’ve not obtained everything we’ve been pursuing and, if we’re not careful; these feelings will cause us to give up. Remind us that our plans must take a backseat to the plans You have for us. Nothing we’ve planned is better than what You have already ordained.

Everything is not going to go the way we’ve planned, but we’re sure that everything will go the way You’ve ordained. Help us mature to a point that, when what You’ve ordained overrides our plans; we do not fret, complain or grumble. Instead, we rejoice knowing that You have our best interest at heart.

You planned our perfect path long ago and You know what’s best for us. You will perfect us until we fit into Your perfect plan. Thank You Lord for caring so much about us that You planned for our greatness. Therefore; we press towards the higher calling, which is in Christ Jesus!

In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Scripture References:

Proverbs 19:21

Psalms 65:9

Isaiah 25:1

Philippians 3:14

 

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Being Destroyed from the Inside Out

 

Japanese beattle on rose

I Corinthians 3:16 – 17

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?  If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.”

I HATE, HATE, HATE Japanese Beetles!!! Can I say it again, I HATE JAPANESE BEETLES!!! They destroy everything in their path but they love roses. NASTY LITTLE CRITTERS!!! Okay, I feel better.

Japanese beetles grow underground where you can’t see them and hatch in late spring, early summer when my roses start to bud and bloom. They fly, crawl and have a hard shell which makes them difficult to kill. They get inside the rose buds or underneath the rose leaves and eat my roses from the inside out.  I can check my roses in the morning and they will look fine but, when I go out to look at them later the same day they have holes straight through the heart of them.

When I first moved to Maryland and started caring for my roses I didn’t know what Japanese beetles were because I didn’t have to deal with them in California or Texas. I was talking to a friend one day and telling him about this bug that was eating my roses and nothing I used got rid of them. He identified the pest and told me to get some Sevin and that would do the trick. That afternoon I went to a nursery and picked some up. My friend was correct. As soon as I started spraying my roses with Sevin the beetles began to fly away and die.

Now that I’ve lived in Maryland for over 20 years I know how to deal with the beetles. As soon as the humidity starts, I begin two-a-day spraying; once in the morning and again in the evening. The humidity seems to be the trigger for the beetles to come out and destroy.

We have things that are eating us from the inside out. Things like hate, envy, jealousy, pride, low self-esteem and feeling less than are just a few things that eat at our spirit persons.  There is also the spirit of control, you have to control everything and everyone or everything is wrong. Then there’s a competitive spirit, you have to win and be first in everything even when no one else knows there’s a completion underway.  The list of things eating us from the inside out goes on and on but there are three solutions; The Word of God, prayer and professional help.

We need to identify the triggers that cause our internal bugs to start their eating frenzy within us. We need to pay attention to our feeling and emotions when this happens, also called self-awareness and we need to spray our internal bugs with the God’s word and prayer. If necessary, we need to seek professional help to deal with our internal bugs. It’s okay! The goal is to kill that which is destroying you from the inside out.

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other; so that you are not to do whatever you want.” Galatians 5:16 – 17

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