Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Complaining Stops Progress

And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger. Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day , that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.- Exodus 16:2-4 (KJV) 

When God took the children of Israel through the wilderness, they grumbled against Moses in frustration because of their circumstances. But it was God they grumbled against, unhappy and complaining about where they were and the "lack" they thought they had. They even went as far as to say they wish they would've died back in Egypt, where according to them they had plenty food. (Exodus 16:3) How crazy is that though? They were oppressed and kept in bondage in Egypt but would rather go back to that because the food was plenty. Though it was bondage, they had become so accustomed to being treated like that. But reasoned that they would rather be in bondage where they were familiar with the circumstances, than be in a new circumstance where they didn't know the end result. Why would they want to go back to bondage than be free though? Because the freedom came with a different level of uncertainty and uncomfortableness. They were mistreated and in bondage before but at least they were familiar with it. (*A whole other topic to go into.) They didn't understand that the new place they were in was a blessing in itself. A blessing because it's when we're placed in an uncomfortable position that we're forced to move and grow. It's in our fleshly nature that we avoid uncomfortable situations but God knows these situations are best for spiritual growth. And when we grow we get that much closer to walking out what God has for us.

So instead of the children of Israel first responding by getting in prayer (act of faith) to see what God had for them, their response was to complain (act of doubt) and regretted following Moses, who was following God, out of Egypt. Though they complained to Moses, those complaints were counted straight to God because Moses was only being obedient to Gods will and commands. So in essence, they were regretting following God at this time. In Exodus 16:4, God lets Moses know that He will provide for them but He was also going to prove or test them in the process by giving specific instructions and commands. The children of Israel had just proved to God once more, that they needed more refining and testing. It was in their grumbling and lack of gratitude, they showed they lacked maturity.

Many times when God is taking us through a refining fire and process, our first reaction or response is to complain and fuss about about our circumstances. Complaining comes from a place of misunderstanding though. Understand that these things are done according to God's understanding. Great thing is, we can get in prayer and ask God for His understanding of things. But we shouldn't delay in being obedient just because we lack an understanding. A child doesn't always know why a parent has certain rules but obeys out of respect and honor of that parent. So know that the refining process is to prove us ready. Prove us ready for what? you might be wondering. Prove us ready for the blessings, ministry, callings, answered prayers, marriage, etc - Whatever the case may be, this is a necessary process in where God teaches us to be more dependent upon Him to lead and guide us through. Some of these blessings are only released AFTER He's tested us and proved we're mature enough to maintain them.

Complaining stops progress in these ways:
  • blocks us from seeing our own blessings because we're too focused on the negative.
  • if we don't see our blessings than we have a lack of gratitude towards God.
  • deflects from what we need to see within ourselves that need addressing (i.e. faults, mistakes, temptations, weaknesses, etc)
  • promotes a prideful/arrogant mindset, as though you're "too good" to suffer or above it.
  • prevents us from walking in humility and being content, therefore building up impatience, frustration, etc. 
  • builds up uncontrollable emotions and makes you emotion driven instead of being Spirit led.
  • creates a negative environment for everyone else around us. Negativity breeds negativity.
So don't stop your progress by complaining! Everyone has room to grow and make improvements. Remember that just because you're trying to refrain from complaining, doesn't mean you shouldn't be concerned about certain things. Take these things to God and be productive about what you're concerned about. But complaining is completely unproductive. Many times we're moved to complain because we're not confident in what God is doing in our lives. Spend more time with Him and allow Him to reassure and reaffirm you.

*Scriptures related to this to meditate on. Be blessed, friends. :)
  • But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. - Matthew 6:33
  • My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. - James 1:2-4 (KJV) 
  • But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. - Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Waiting On Your Blessings

Right now God has me a place where I'm awaiting Him for some specific blessings. This has been such a trying time for me. I can't really go into detail of what specifically I'm waiting on, but when God finally manifests this thing I'll be sure to fill you guys in. :) Anyways, back to me. ( haha ) This trial has been the longest and toughest one I've ever been through. I've witnessed some awesome things firsthand that God has done in my life and others. I know that He is more than able! This is nothing for Him to bring to pass. But during this waiting period I've heard some doubtful comments about my situation "are you sure God said that?" "maybe that isn't the case now and you should get in prayer to find out what He wants for you now.." and so on and so forth. And I can't lie. There were times I doubted I was hearing correctly also. Though I've had countless confirmations ranging from dreams, visions, to prophetic words - this is a unique situation that has TESTED my faith in God unlike anything else. Just like with any test, there's pressure. I think it's in our nature to avoid that pressure also. It's when we stick with the test and lesson at hand that God is truly able to grow us. In situations like this we have to understand that NOT everyone is going to understand what God is doing in our individual lives. This helps us in maintaining and building our faith in God but also helps us to not hold grudges and forgive those that don't understand. Throughout this experience God has shown me the things I need work on and ways I was holding back my own progress. In this instance it's pushed me to get closer to God by spending more time with Him through the word, prayer, fasting, praise and worship. I needed to get closer to Him to make sure I was hearing right and in essence, going in the right direction. With this particular trial I've learned it's important to walk circumspectly and ask God to show me my own faults so that I may reach as much growth as possible through the trial. So though this situation has been less than desirable, I am so appreciative for this opportunity to grow and get a few steps closer to who God has called me to be. :) I encourage you all to keep pressing forth with the vision and plan God has given you. This isn't a time for anyone to second guess themselves or ASSUME God said anything, so if anything increase the time you spend with God. We have to know that we know that we know. Then we have to be faithful with that by speaking blessings and life over the situation and acts of faith in alignment with that. Remember to keep those close to you that DO understand and support you.Things like that may seem insignificant but they make such a difference. Be encouraged everyone, and know you're not alone in your pursuit of God's best.

P.S. I cannot wait to share the full testimony when it's fully played out later. :)

  • "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine." - Isaiah 55:8 (NLT)
  • See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, - Ephesians 5:15 (KJV)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Merry Go 'Round of Dreams

A crumbling down,
A building up
round 'n round,
my heart goes.
On this ride of heighten emotions of affection
Dancing on clouds of dreams of us, I doze...
Now sudden pained lows and spiraling confusion
With the harsh reality that they were just that; dreams imposed.

And it goes and goes
Going everywhere, all around
Emotions spin, turn, and twist
this roller coaster of love, goes round 'n round.

Trusting again, feeling unashamed
as little children do,
A glimpse of a vision gained
Innocent eyes fixed on the future
of what could be,
In a daze, high off the fumes
of what should be,
Mists of promises depicted in beautiful mirages .
Floating down a river,
of dream formed memories and collages
of you and me together, I picture.

Caught in between reality and fiction
Searching, itching for my next high.
I see reality but what oversees that is my addiction.

On the edge of love, feeling alive
arms open wide, free falling with my heart,
I'm floating, I'm gliding, down as I dive.

Knowing reality but refusing to give up, refusing to let go.
Aware of dreams but knowing also what's meant to be.
If he only knew I am the one that's really woke
If he only knew he was the one really asleep. 
Until that final day he realizes and believes,
I will press to continue, thriving on hope
When he finally wakes up and he finally sees,
that he's been sleep walking, in a dream like state 
Then he will dream my dreams, making this our shared reality.
But until then I'll keep waiting by his bed, til he finally stirs and is finally awake...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Mothers Love

No - not's

Fluid are the tears;
What words can't speak, tears stand in the gap to be heard.
Each tear complex, unique, and not easily understood,
from childhood until now, she did not overlook
but rather stayed up late wondering, searching 
racking her brain for something she could do;
Desperate, Something, Anything
To make disappear any pain of mine,
to place a smile upon my face instead,
to love and hug my pain away,
Yes, even her happiness for my pain she traded.

The love of a mother;
It's profound and unimaginable, the depths and extent of this love,
As exquisite the rose's fragrance and the rose's appearance,
but as the thorns are prickly and arrow-like,
so is this love protecting,
defending as barriers and spikes,
of her child, never neglecting.

And only God understands this love fully,
cause from Him did this love first come
it was first formed.
From the cross to the grave, from there to the sky,
from the sky to the hearts of those that cave,
give in under the weight,
of His sacrifice, under the heaviness and absoluteness of His love.
Is the origin and foundation of the heart of a mother.
It's not by coincidence, definitely not by chance,
but neither by happenstance,
That a woman would allow her heart to be
by this compassion and stance,
for another, that another being her child.

See life is about choices, choices determining the destinies.
So according to choices, decisions, and resolutions,
is what is used to paint the masterpiece,
the finished product and end result.
These prepared my mothers open, yielding heart for this love.
The love that fueled a devotion and adoration...
.. for me.

- And for this, I thank you Mom...
I've learned much from you but the best of these was loyalty.

*Dedicated to the special woman in my life, Ruth Rodriguez-Dunnahoo. Mothers Day May, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hard Times

We've all gone through or are currently going through some hard times. And it's in our nature to attempt to avoid or avert the storm because it's uncomfortable. Who likes to be uncomfortable? Understand that these hard times AKA "storms" are NECESSARY! It's when we're placed in an uncomfortable situation that we're forced to move. Hard times/Storms aid in shaping and molding us into the people God has created us to be. So how do storms accomplish this? Storms obviously place pressure on us that brings to surface HINDRANCES that need to be addressed and removed. These hindrances can range from faults, old/ungodly mindsets, weaknesses, negative/limited perceptions, etc - All of these HINDER our spiritual growth in God. From birth we are in flesh. And that flesh craves the things that are pleasing to the our natural senses; smell, taste, sound, touch, sight.(I think those are all the senses? Lol) It doesn't help that the world we live in caters to those very senses that we, as a Christian culture, are trying to move away from. We're wanting to move away from these because to be driven by these senses means we're not being led by the Spirit of God. But as the word of God says," Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will." - Romans 12:2 (NIV) But our fleshes DESIRES and WANTS are these! So what is the remedy? The remedy for this: to DIE DAILY. This means we have to let our flesh die daily and often, by not giving into temptation, exercising self control, and disciplining ourselves. We know the goal is this: to move away from the fleshes' WANTS, or as you may have heard others call it DECREASING, so that our spirit may have ample room to grow. We are created with BOTH, spirit and flesh, but one cannot grow stronger with the other in the way. Makes sense, right? It's like having one pot of soil with two different plants. One has got to die for the other to continue growth. Being that the goal is to DECREASE in the flesh so that the spirit may grow stronger than the flesh, how do we do that? Let me first let you know that if you go down a list of DO's and DONT's you will be overwhelmed and you will STRUGGLE at trying maintaining the list. Many have had a technical view point and approach to living for God and they have failed or backslid in their walk in result. Nothing about our relationship with God is suppose to be FORCED or TECHNICAL. It's like any marriage in the sense that you marry someone its because you're in love with them and want to spend the rest of your life with them. So why then do some treat their union with God as a duty? We can't go into this with God as though this is a chore or job to us. We're not employees. We are children of God with an inheritance awaiting us, and as a people we are the Bride of Christ. Some have failed because they first failed to fall in love with God. When you fall in love with someone, nothing they ask or require of you is too much. You DESIRE to do things to please them because you want to see them happy more than anything. How much more though for God, your Creator, who has nothing but plans to prosper you? "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) So with this new perspective of dying to self/flesh we can now look at these "storms" as necessary for spiritual growth and edification. I urge and implore you to find out more about who God is and what He's capable of. Spend time with Him in worship and prayer. Take your time doing these things. And as you spend time with Him, you WILL fall in love! It's impossible to know God and not absolutely adore and love Him greatly. So get to know Him, beloved. :) As a child when a parent or an adult told us "no, don't do that or don't touch that", we wanted to know why? And maybe from a parent's point of view it seemed disrespectful to ask before obeying but sometimes it really helps the child to better follow through with instructions when we are patient to explain and help them to understand why this or that is dangerous or harmful, etc. We now take this into consideration with needing to decrease in the flesh. Having a better understanding will hopefully move you to better follow through in dying to flesh and better endure hardship. No, your flesh HATES being tested and going through this storm but YES, it's good for your spirit! Take notes of what tempts you and of your faults/weaknesses also. Uproot those things by addressing them in prayer and fasting. Make the most of this storm so that you can double or triple your progress.  Keep in mind that the attitude you have while going through the storms is also being ASSESSED! NO complaining and NO negativity! For those going through right now; keep your head up! Know that all precious gems and metals have to go through a refining fire to burn off their impurities. :) Be blessed everyone. Love you all.