Feeling guilty that you sinned?

Forgiven pic

Repentance was not always one of my favorite things to do. I remember associating it with guilt and not so enjoyable moments in God’s presence. Whenever I would hear that we need to pray and repent, those were not the prayer meetings I used to run to but I would go anyway and hope that the prayer session would be short. I wonder if there is someone else who feels that way or has ever felt that way.

I have had to repent of some things this week. Not that there are weeks I am perfect and don’t sin but this week in particular revealed some things that I really should not be doing and I don’t think the Lord was pleased with. It wasn’t even things that are quite obvious as sin to others. It was things like realizing I am not speaking in love and I am being critical. The thing I have come to learn about criticizing others is that no matter how much I justify it, it is still wrong. Whenever I am being critical I can always tell deep down that it is what I’m doing even if I try to coat it with that I’m just being honest or whatever else.

There are some things I do that leave me wondering why I did that and how can I still be doing that now.  After having walked with the Lord for so many years I should know better and actually do know better but somehow I find myself in some situations and find myself thinking, “After all these years of walking with You Lord, am I really still struggling with this?”

I read a scripture that changed my perspective on repenting. Perhaps the reason I never used to like praying and repenting is because it made me feel like I had done so much wrong and sinned so much. After moments of repentance come times of refreshing! Every time I take to God the things I’m struggling with and sin in my life, I always get so refreshed and filled with joy and empowered to do better. So if you repent and feel burdened recognize that it is not because of the sin you repented of but because of the enemy who still wants you to remain in condemnation. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. It is not that there is no condemnation for those who do not sin. If you are in Christ, you are not condemned no matter what.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord (Acts 3:19 NIV)

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1 NIV)

David knew this. He repented of his sin in psalm 51. In psalm 32 he talks about the guilt that comes with not repenting. When he did not repent and kept his sin a secret (which it really never is a secret before God), his bones wasted away. Bring it to God, whatever it is, just take it God. You will be forgiven and refreshed.

God bless you

 

Enjoying Today in the Face of Unfulfilled Dreams

Gift Image

What do you do when the present circumstances of your life do not look anything like the dreams God has put in your heart? You thought that by now you would have done certain things that the Lord put in your heart but it actually looks like things are moving in the opposite direction of what you have been hoping and praying for and working towards. But the dream in your heart has still not died. Sure there are times when you doubted and the flame of the dream waned but deep down in your heart you know what God told you and you are sure about the word He gave you.

I took a mental inventory this week; of all the dreams God has put in my heart and the goals I want to accomplish. Truth be told, some of the dreams God has put in my heart are not my present reality. Yet every day I wake up not having given up on the promises of God to me. As I do my best (God help me to do my best every day) and my part and wait on God’s timing, I have to make sure that I do not neglect living in my purpose daily. Each new day is a day that the Lord has made for me to rejoice in. Failing to enjoy today because I am focused on tomorrow is not right.

This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24 NLT)

There are times in life when we wonder if we are still on the right track and whether God really spoke or did we make it all up. The truth is that the word of God always fulfills the purpose of God. Right now it may feel like the present circumstances will never change and you should probably give up on the promises of God. However, you should not give up on the dreams and promises of God. In God’s time the dreams will become a reality and you will actually think you are dreaming because it will be better than you imagined.

When the LORD brought back his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream! (Psalm 126:1 NLT)

To avoid feeling discouraged make sure that you live in the present on purpose. When you have a dream or a goal to fulfill, you might forget that as you pursue your goals and God-given dreams you must live out your purpose in the present. Enjoy today, every day. Do what you need to do today for your dream to become a reality tomorrow. Do not be so focused on tomorrow that you fail to enjoy the blessing that is in today. God daily loads us with benefits.  There is a blessing from God to enjoy every day and I refuse to be so focused on tomorrow that I miss the daily benefits of God.

When Joseph was in prison it certainly did not look anything like the dream God had given him. God showed him how he was going to be a ruler but here he was a prisoner. The God-given dream eventually came to pass. When Joseph was in prison he did not neglect using his God-given gift of dream interpretation. His continued use of his gift in daily life was a stepping stone to seeing his dreams become a reality.

Whatever your goals and dreams are, I pray that they are God-given. The best place to be is in the will of God.

God Bless You!

God Loves the Authentic You

Be the Authentic You

That I can be myself and real with God is one of the best things ever. God loves the real me not the version of me I might sometimes pretend to be. God loves me.

There is a time I had started to worship God and pray and I realized I was trying to be holier in my singing for whatever reason. It is actually funny just thinking about it. Then I realized that God wants me to be myself. That is why He created each person different from the next one. When I am honest with God and myself, flaws and all, there is such a beautiful breakthrough and fellowship that comes from that as God rejoices in the person He created me to be and changes the parts of me that are still not like Him as He works on my character.

The other day I found myself thinking about how I cannot impress God. He is pleased with me because I am in Christ but impressing Him by pretending to be someone or something I am not just won’t work. He knows me; He created me and formed my innermost being. I cannot impress Him by pretending to be someone I’m not or by trying to do things a certain way to get His attention. He loved me before I ever did anything right. Praying a certain way that feels more religious won’t work if I stop being myself in God’s presence and try to pray or behave like someone else. I do not need to pretend to be better than I actually am in God’s presence.

At that time Abijah son of Jeroboam became ill, and Jeroboam said to his wife, “Go, disguise yourself, so you won’t be recognized as the wife of Jeroboam. Then go to Shiloh. Ahijah the prophet is there—the one who told me I would be king over this people. Take ten loaves of bread with you, some cakes and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what will happen to the boy.” So Jeroboam’s wife did what he said and went to Ahijah’s house in Shiloh.

Now Ahijah could not see; his sight was gone because of his age. But the Lord had told Ahijah, “Jeroboam’s wife is coming to ask you about her son, for he is ill, and you are to give her such and such an answer. When she arrives, she will pretend to be someone else.”

So when Ahijah heard the sound of her footsteps at the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why this pretense?

1st Kings 14:1-6 NIV (emphasis mine)

In this passage, Jeroboam sent his wife to Ahijah the prophet to ask the Lord what would happen to his son who was ill. He asked his wife to disguise herself so that the prophet Ahijah would not recognize her. Probably because of the sin of Jeroboam because He knew that God was displeased. So his wife went to see the prophet pretending to be someone else. God revealed to Ahijah that Jeroboam’s wife would come and she would pretend to be somebody else.

Sometimes we come to God and pretend to be something that we are not and cover up our sin disguising ourselves. But God knows us and He loves us. He longs to fellowship with the real us that He created. Whatever it is, don’t cover it up; He knows you and loves you. He wants to fellowship with the authentic you and to help you along this journey of life.

Be real with God and watch your relationship with Him grow deeper.

God Bless You!