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ACTIVE FAITH NOT EMOTIONAL FAITH

active faith

There is something beautifully painful about growing through correction. Criticism is a necessary evil and the chastisement from a genuine place of unconditional affirming love is absolutely incredible. These last six months for me have been extremely powerful in the sense that a routine prayer that I have is being answered in ways that I never would have expected. I call it a routine prayer because it is one that I say often, and I offer it not out of repetition but out of respect and an earnest desire to want to grow spiritually. The prayer simple says, “Lord, convict me and chastisement so I can be the vessel that you need me to be. Show me the parts of Carlette that I have not given to you.”

I’ll be the first to admit that it’s nothing profound or earth shattering about the prayer, but thanks be unto God that he’s not looking for profound, HE just wants honesty. The ways in which he has released the many answers to this prayer over the last six months is pretty amazing. I call it amazing because the lessons that I learned all derived from a hurt place. Although most of us can admit, pain is our muse or that the thorn in our sides keep us grounded but this has been different. The hurt that I speak of was realized when I had to admit what I was purged of. I had to confess to Abba a lot of hard truths about who I am and how I’ve been treating HIM. These revelations aren’t about sin, yet they are about truth. These nuggets of wisdom are about opening my eyes and receiving a new level of understanding about work I need to do on me and how I can improve to bear more fruit for the kingdom.

I can’t share them all with you but one lesson that stands out to me the most is involving my faith. The circumstances of my life this year alone had caused my faith to be emotionally charged to a degree. When the Lord revealed this to me, I felt just terrible and I was downright embarrassed that a woman of my responsibility in the kingdom and exposure to the miraculous had failed miserably and that I had no idea! I got caught up in a rut of emotions. This is primarily because the people and circumstances that were used to test me during this timeframe are people and situations that I hold dear to my heart therefore, when things went left, they pulled on my heartstrings and caused me to have emotional faith instead of active faith!

My emotional faith didn’t cause me to curse God or to stop serving or to stop attending services. It didn’t even stop me from praying and studying the word. What this shrunken kind of faith did was neutralized me. It stopped me from moving in faith literally and spiritually. Several times over the last six months, I became completely stagnant – zombie like. Now that I can think back on these times, the symptoms are so evident but there were pretty much invisible at the time.

Symptoms included:

·         I became super serious while travailing as if my super serious demeanor was going to push God to move faster on my behalf (this cracks me up now that I can reflect)

·         I became “judgy”. I was making judgements of people in my head and didn’t see the harm in it because I wasn’t verbalizing it to anyone else

·         My spirit was depressed – (imagine a choppy wifi connections. Sometimes you’re connected and sometimes you’re not)

The only remedy for this dis-ease in my faith was to desperately cry out for help. I knew that I didn’t feel complete in my spirit and that I was tipping the scale towards giving up on everything. I may not have said it but I was sure thinking it…more often than not. I wasn’t doing enough to combat my wrong thinking and I hadn’t asked for the freedom that I so desperately needed. My heart was willing because I could no longer go on feeling like this. You would never know that I was feeling this way by looking at me or by speaking to me.

God used the most unsuspecting person who I know genuinely loves me to point out some things to me. Their observations were brought to my attention subtly and gently. I didn’t really HEAR them in my spirit when they were first mentioned. In fact, it took a couple of days for me to absorb what had been said. Once I processed the information, I took it to the Lord in prayer and through his grace and unfailing love, HE dealt with me right where I was. I was purged of all that was ailing me. I received my healing and deliverance. Much repentance and a great deal of worship fell from my lips with a pure heart and clean hands. I was able to literally feel the release. It was beautifully painful.

We must be careful not to fall into ruts of routine and pits of mediocracy. The LORD wants us to be alive and vibrant. Full of zeal and excitement. Our energy should be a result of who we know him to be and not based upon the limits that our emotions cause. There are blessing running over. There is healing bubbling up. There are gifts falling free, but our emotions put a cap on the pot and we stay on simmer. Let our faith be on fire as GOD arises so should we! As HIS enemies scatter so should our doubts, fears and anxieties. Confess your feelings. Do emotional and spiritual check ins with our creator. Our emotions must be handed over to the pilot before we can board. There is going to be turbulence and there will be wind, but God is in the control tower. We have nothing to fear. On the way to our destination we will travel through clouds that will test our strength. Be reminded today that we have explosive strength and power inside of us that cannot be put out. The flame is always burning inside of us. Do not become stagnant. Move as the Holy Spirit leads you. Move in expectation. Pack up your stuff, even if you don’t where or how you are moving. Like a pregnant women is an expectant mother, we must be expectant disciples with active faith! 

It’s coming to pass…

Pitch a tent wherever you are as an act of a healthy awe reverence of God Almighty. Let your tent be your umbrella in all places so that you are reminded how good it is to obey God rather than men. In our act of faith, we will be witnesses of the things of God because the word of God will always prosper and we will not be scattered to the wind but we will be strong in our knees and in our stance. We may bend and we may even buckle but we won’t break!

The Truth About Every Test

It is highly likely that the uncertainty that you are feeling is a familiar emotion. It’s possible that you passed the last test so smoothly by the grace of God that you forgot about the agonizing feelings when tests first present themselves. Here is what we need to do; quicken our spirits to go into our Rolodex of victories and recall the pursuit and the victory that we encountered in every past test. The truth is that we’ve never lost. The truth is that we’ve always come out on top. The truth is that prophecy has to be fulfilled and that we are in a place to be used to bring forth the truth about who God is. Every natural challenge is a spiritual conflict and every spiritual conflict comes with a word of divine direction. These are never challenges of easy or little consequence that will take minimal effort. Every ounce of determination that you have is required so that you don’t quit!

This is a time when every possible negative thought will try to consume your mind and to change your direction. The enemy will do everything that he can to try and talk you out of what you know you heard God say and who you know God to be. He will use people and circumstances to thwart God’s plan for your life. But the truth is that he can’t stop the plans so the best that he can do is to create the thought in your mind that he can. Ignore the lies, accusations and fears. Combat them with the word of God, prayer and worship.

Even if what you are going through seems impossible for you to overcome, have faith in God’s faithfulness not in yourself. Who do you say that he is? Who has he been to you? Depend on HIS strength and HIS direction. Pray about everything. Give thanks for everything! The truth about every test is that with God on our side, we can’t fail. We only win. Victory belongs to Jesus! Boldly declare today that you won’t quit and that the enemy can’t have your thoughts or your emotions. Boldly declare today that you will stand and see the salvation of the Lord! Put your faith to work beloved. #themasterpeiceproject

LOVE AND PEACE CHALLENGE

I pray that on this week we will experience unusual amounts of love and peace. The receipt of these fruits is about our perception. Perception is reality. What we perceive to be true is the truth to us. Let’s ask ourselves where our truth is coming from. Let’s evaluate our root and foundation. “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior”. Let’s challenge ourselves to combat every thought outside of love and peace with love and peace. If a family member says something hurtful, fill your thoughts of a memory of them that makes your smile or laugh and then share it with them. If a co-worker is slamming doors, remind him or her how valuable they are. When was the last time that you’ve complimented a co-worker on a skillset that they have that is priceless to the team?  If your child disappoints you, respond with a loving kind word that will change their attitude and shock them. If your spouse gets under your skin, pause.  Pray about your response and then shower them with their favorite things.

Consider yourself deputized. You are the love and peace deputy of the week. It is your job to enforce love and peace no matter what. You’ve been designated to influence every place that you step in to. Empower others around you to spread love and peace in their circles as well.

Stand up for it. Cover others in it. Spread it abroad. Express it abundantly. Share it intentionally. Love and peace over everything else. We can all agree that the world needs more of it so let it start with you.

Let’s go out of our way to give a compliment, a hug, a gift, a kind gesture, a loving expression or more. Let’s do the unexpected to make someone feel that they are appreciated. This week won’t be about us or what we need or want; it will be about others.  “For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silent the ignorant talk of foolish people.”

Don’t forget your pin code

Being OF this world means that we will have to be in the company of people from all walks of life. In some instances the Lord will place us in situations where we are among those that might be more fortunate that we are according to the standards of this world. When we are in the company of such individuals who clearly serve the god of this age, their conduct will generally make it clear that their status in life affords them a certain level of confidence or arrogance. This confidence or airs that they exude has the potential to be intimidating if we allow their demeanor to cause us to forget our pin code. Affluent people of this world may have airs that make them appear superior but as children of God we are heirs that allows us access to the supernatural. When in these environments we cannot allow fear to rule but we must use what has been given to us and withdraw from Jesus’ eternal deposit by using our pin code, ABBA. We are a part of the family of salvation and no longer condemnation. No one OF or IN this world is greater than that truth. When we use our pin code by not only calling on our DADDY God to rescue us but we also begin to behave in a way that is indicative of who ABBA says we are, we overcome any fear or intimidation. The bottom line is that being spiritually rich makes us far more valuable and affluent than anyone that may be rich according to this world’s standards. If you find yourself among people and arrogance, condemnation or accusations define who they are because of what they have, don’t get angry or cowardly. First use your pin code and get restored to your true identity and then overwhelm them with the love of Christ. Pray for them, have compassion and empathy for them. In these places is an opportunity, an entry point through which Christ can enter their minds and emotions through you because of how you respond to them.  Use your pin code, ABBA,  whenever you are fearful, intimidated, nervous, anxious or unsettled. We can draw from a well that never runs dry. The funds are always sufficient with grace on our side and we can access these funds from anywhere because of mercy. Don’t forget your pin code beloved. You are more than enough and you are so so rich. Blessed be the Lord!

Obedience is just better…

It is better for us to obey God alongside with giving him our worship vs. giving him worship and disobeying him. Obedience is what affords us the opportunity to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living; it opens doors. Offering worship alone is like sitting our family down for dinner and then bringing them empty plates. We may go through the motions of preparing but came up empty and therefore unable to give our family anything of substance; something that will change their current status of being hungry. Worship w/out obedience is going through the motions of preparing for God to use us for his glory but missing the opportunity to give him anything substantial to work with so that our status of being hungry can change. Obedience gives us authority that empty worship and works cannot provide. It behooves us to run towards obedience despite what others are doing, despite our feelings or inhibitions and despite the cost. Lose yourself in obedience so that you can find yourself living in freedom and in eternity while still here on earth.

In order to obey, we have to hear. In order to hear, we have to listen. In order to listen we have to be set apart. Although lonely at times, we should never despise being set apart from the noise; we’re never alone.

Obedience is just better. It’s the best way that we can draw closer to God. It’s the best way to learn more about ourselves. While we are being obedient we are becoming the light of the world. While we are being obedient many things also come to light. We become more aware of the things that are still in our hearts that we thought we gave away to God. Obedience is just better. Disobedience is the easy way. It’s the way that we’ve always known. For most of us, our 1st word was no. We’ve been saying no to the right things for a long time and old habits seem unbreakable but they’re not.

Obedience is just better.

The Ebb and Flow of Long-suffering

The regular and repeated way that we experience inevitable opposition is a great reminder to us all that only God can be completely long-suffering. When I think of long-suffering, I think of the waves of the ocean and its movement. I think of the predictable way that your body is forced to move if you’re standing along the shore in the water. Predictable because you can expect to be moved but unpredictable because you can’t always tell how forcible the tide will be. While suffering wrong or injustice our natural response is to hand in our resignation and to run in the opposite direction. It is only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can have an active response to opposition that includes patience – bearing up under our tidal wave and turning it into glory. Love over everything. Godly principles have to rule over our fury and the push to act out. It is my prayer that the Holy Spirit will continue to develop me so that my walk embodies an attitude that no circumstance can destroy and that one that allows me to endure the waves. I want to always see the beauty in the motion; the ebb and flow of long-suffering. To God be the glory!