Sunday, February 23, 2014

Reflections4Life: "It's Time To Let It Go"

Reflections4Life  February 23, 2014

“It’s Time to Let it Go”

“If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” Ephesians 4:21-24 (NASB)
Scripture Contemplation: Jeremiah 17; 33; Romans 12; Ephesians 4; Romans 8; 1 Peter 1; James 4…
Did you ever own a favorite article of clothing that you just couldn’t seem to part with? It wasn’t that the clothing itself was in fashion, or looked good on you, but it was tied to a memory; to an experience, that whenever you held this article of clothing it reminded of you of that time long ago.
We have a way of holding onto things from our past; be it an article of clothing, furniture, a keepsake, a memory, a way of thinking or behavior. Because we are not letting go, it is interfering with our present and our future. It’s time to let it go. It’s time to say goodbye to our old ways, and embrace what God has for us now.
I declare and decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement for your heart, mind, and soul. There is much that God desires to bring to pass in your life. Let this be the week that you release it all into the hands of God and trust Him with your now, and with your tomorrows.
As long as you hold on to what was, you will not be able to receive what God has for you now. So many of us are trapped in our past. We are trapped in a realm of hurt, pain, disappointments, and we have become stuck, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and even physically.
The truth of it is, many of us have been accustomed to a certain way of life. The enemy has convinced many that we are not worthy of the promises of God. We allowed the whispers of the enemy to take space in our minds, and take root in our hearts until we now believe his lies. By believing those lies, we sabotage our lives. We inhibit the Father from manifesting His blessings in our lives as He desires.
I am convinced that many people have a relationship with their past just as a victim of abuse has with their abuser. Many victims of abuse; especially domestic violence, have been abused in such a way that they start to believe that the abuse is their fault. Many ask the question as to why a person that is being abused just doesn’t leave the relationship. Why would anyone stay in a relationship that is so evidently toxic and painful?
What many feel to understand is that the abuser has slowly but steadily torn down the defenses and self-esteem of their victim. They have isolated them, stripped them of their voice, and work continually at manipulating them and those around them. It is the threats and whispers and the isolation that the victim succumbs to; giving up their will to fight; eventually believing that they are getting what they deserve, and are unworthy of anything or anyone better.
That is how it is with Satan. He is an abuser of our mind and soul. He tries to rape us daily with his lies, leaving us vulnerable, violated and without trust. He will use our past against us to try and keep us bound and from moving forward in the Lord. He will remind us of two things consistently: 1. who we were, and 2. what we did.
He will whisper lies and tells us that we are not worthy. He will remind us everything we ever did wrong, and plant seeds of doubt that God could never and would never use us. And if he cannot get you with that, he will try another scenario by making you long for your past. He will repeatedly bring pictures to your mind, people in your presence, to remind you of the sin which made you feel good at the time. That sin that made you forget about God and about responsibility. He will even try and convince you that you were better off without knowing God.
Here’s the real truth of the matter: If your past was so good to you; if your past held all the answers, then you would not have sought out God for His redemption and deliverance. Too many of us keep looking back. We know what we went through. We know the experiences we endured. We know what life was like; what our hearts were like without the Holy Spirit. Yet, we return to our past like a dog to its vomit. And we begin the torturous cycle all over again. Only this time, it is worse than before, because we have tasted and now know the goodness of our Lord.
Just as some victims return to their abuser, many of us will turn to our past. Why? Because it’s familiar. It’s what we know. It’s what we understand. Our minds have not been renewed or transformed. We allow the lies of the enemy to take root in our hearts and grow bitter and poisonous fruit in our lives. The fruit has grown with thorns; thorns that prick us, choke the good fruit, make us bleed, and cause us to hurt others in our lives.
We do not understand our worth and the abundance that God has for us because we are too busy holding on to memories and experiences of the past. We judge everything we do now by what our life was like before. We judge others based upon what we or others did to us in the past. We hold onto things and ways and thoughts, not because they are right, but because they are familiar, and we are comfortable with the dysfunction and disorder.
Everything we have done and have learned and have experienced before knowing Christ is corrupt. It must be filtered through the Holy Spirit, cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. God cannot pour into us all that He has ordained when we are filled with poisonous toxins from a life that was corrupt, filled with sin and deceit. In order to walk in the newness of Christ, then we must be willing to surrender all and lay down everything at the altar of God; putting the old man to death.
Our minds must be changed and renewed. For it is in the mind that it all begins. Whatever we think upon will eventually come to pass in our lives. It tells us in Isaiah that he who keeps his mind on Christ (on the things of God) will be kept in perfect peace.  Make no mistake: the carnal mind will always be against the Spirit. And until we yield completely, the enemy will take full advantage of his favorite place to reside: in the mind of man, which leads to the heart and actions of man.
Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.”
Do not forfeit what God has for you now and in the future because you are comfortable with your past, or afraid of change and becoming the person God has called you to be. Let those things go! Release it to God. You cannot come to the throne with closed fists and a closed heart expecting Him to fill you. You cannot walk in the abundance of God and in His knowledge and wisdom with the mind of your past. It must be renewed and transformed each and every day.
I decree that the spirit of peace and prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. Surrender it all to God. Every thought, every memory, every keepsake, every sin.  Allow Holy Spirit to breathe into you and place in your heart the very thing that God has ordained for you. Don’t give the enemy any more room to rent in your mind and heart. Present him with his eviction notice, and Jesus shows him the door. He’s been trespassing way, too, long! You are deserving of God’s best. You are Blessed. Now go…and Be a Blessing!

©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Reflections4Life: "You Already Are"

Reflections4Life  February 16th, 2014
“You Already Are”
“And let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4 NIV
Scripture Contemplation: John 1; Romans 8; 2 Corinthians 1; Hebrews 4…
I heard a lecture the other day concerning changing one’s perspective on self. It was interesting. The lecturer gave some pointers on how to begin the transformation on seeing one’s self in a different light. To see one’s self as flawless. The very first thing he said, was to say to yourself and believe: That There Is Nothing Wrong with Me.
The lecturer went on to discuss various points, and talk about what he was taught as a psychologist, and how they are taught to help their patients identify and accept what is wrong with them, so they can work on improving their lives.
It was a fascinating lecture, to say the least. To see what he was taught, and what he now believes. As he spoke, the Lord reminded me that has been His message to all of us from the beginning. That, He has created us whole and complete. That, we already are who He says we are; we just have to accept it, believe it, and begin walking in it.
I declare and decree that this week’s Reflections is a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. May you walk in the knowledge and wisdom of the Father, that you are already everything you need to be in this life. It is a matter of accepting, believing, and walking in your true identity that God has created you to be.
My relationship with the Father began at a very young age. I accepted the Lord as my Savior at the age of seven. But in my heart, I was already in a relationship long before that. I didn’t necessarily feel different, but I definitely felt set apart. But as I grew up and life happened, I forgot the simplicity of what I knew as a child; skewed by life experiences and what others were teaching.
As we navigate through this journey of life, we may find ourselves choosing sides and conforming to certain ways and thoughts of life. Some of us may find that we share much in common with others, while others feel no connection and isolated. And the lessons we learn may propel us toward God or away.
We may find ourselves living a life apart from God and doing things based upon our background, upbringing, what we were taught, exposed to, or told to do. Our environments help to shape us. But it is what we believe about ourselves and says to ourselves that make us. I firmly believe that we are not a product of our environment, but a product of our thoughts. There have been many that have risen above and out of deplorable environments. Their environments help to shape who they are, but it was their mindset/thoughts that made them.
What you think about yourself will come to pass. What you think on constantly will manifest. What you believe is what will be. A mind is a powerful tool. It is a powerful weapon. Is there no wonder why we are instructed to renew our mind daily? Why we should put on the mind of Christ? (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:23) Or, charge us to pull down every stronghold; bring into captivity every negative thought? (2 Corinthians 10:4)
How different would your life be if you believed that you were everything that you already needed to be? What if you believed that you are already whole and complete? What would you do with that knowledge?
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. AMP
Depending upon our circumstances and situations in life, it may be hard to believe that we are already made whole and complete. That, we are already everything that God has ordained us to be; especially when we are not looking through the eyes of God but of man, and when we, ourselves, believe that we are only what we see in the mirror and what others have labeled us to be.
The world is the complete opposite of God. Why would we accept what this world has to say concerning who we are over who God declared us to be? This is a negative world we live in. It will always declare what is wrong before what is right. It will always point out your flaws before it recognizes your beauty. It will always want to fix what it believes needs fixing, before accepting or accentuating that which is good.
We are more than flesh, we are also spirit. The flesh will always war against the spirit. It will always fight against God and who we are in God. When we are connected to Holy Spirit, we come to an understanding that who we are in Him can and will be manifested in our daily lives when we accept it with all of our heart. God made us in His image. He breathed His breath into us. The true essence of who we are lies in Christ. And when we come to the Father and believe on Jesus, then the true essence of who we are is awakened. Who we are, who we will be, and who God ordained us to be is made alive.
Far too long we have judged ourselves by the standards of this world; always falling short of the mark. We struggle to become someone when God has created us whole and complete. When we connect with who we are spiritually; when we identify with the spirit of God in us; when we see ourselves whole and complete; then all else in our lives must line up with that knowledge. Everything must come in alignment with who we are; who the Father created us to be.
When you know the truth about who you are, and where you come from, it brings with it confidence and strength. The struggles you have had, and the battles you have faced, only become part of your arsenal to help someone else recognize their greatness and who God already created them to be. We have been sleeping a long time. It is time to wake up and throw off the covers that the enemy has placed over our heads to keep us from seeing the truth about ourselves.
I decree that the spirit of peace and of prosperity have found permanent rest in your lives. You already are a beautiful masterpiece. The Father has created you in His image and breathed His breath into your body. His spirit moves and lives in you. See through His eyes, and accept the gifts that He has given unto you. The price has already been paid in full. All you have to do is believe, receive, and walk in the truth. The true essence of you is found in what God has declared and decreed of you, and not what man thinks or says of you. You are Blessed. Now go…and Be a Blessing!
©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Reflections4Life: "Will You Trust in Him?

Reflections4Life February 9th, 2014
Will You Trust in Him?”
Those who trust in God are like Zion Mountain: Nothing can move it, a rock-solid mountain you can always depend on.” Psalm 125:1 (MSG)
Scripture Contemplation: Psalms 37; 40; 62:8; 91; 118:8; Daniel 6...
Trust is one of those words that many people throw around without really considering what it actually entails. Trust builds over time, but can be broken in a matter of seconds; sometimes becoming unrepairable. For many, once trust is lost it can never be regained, or it may never be quite the same, depending upon those involved in the relationship.
Many times trust is often broken when people break their word or do not keep their agreement. In terms of contracts; one may agree to a set of conditions with the trust that all parties involved will live up to their end of the deal. Should they not, the contract is revoked, and trust is broken, and any future associations or business deals will be avoided.
In our walk with the Lord, there are promises that God has ordained for our lives. There are things that God has spoken to us, and many of us have been waiting a long time for it to come to pass. What if it doesn't? What if what you have been believing for and trusting God for doesn't happen; will you still trust in Him?
I declare and decree that this week's Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. As you live your lives, and you develop your intimate relationship with the Father, ask yourself how much do you truly trust God? Pull back the covers; expose the truth from the depths of your heart; and search and see if you may have a problem with trusting in what God has spoken over your life.
Once trust is broken, it is so hard to get back; so hard to rebuild. It is possible, though. Trust can be repaired and built again. It just depends on what you want and believes in your heart.
Many times people lose trust in someone because they did not live up to a certain expectation. There are times when the trust has been broken because of someone's actions or inaction. And many times, trust is broken because the word of another has not been followed through.
When it comes to your relationship with God; do you trust Him? Do you sincerely trust in the word of the Lord concerning your life? If you had to wait on the promises of God for a lengthy time, are you the type of person that would lose trust in Him? Would you allow your doubts become unbelief, and stop trusting what God has spoken concerning your life?
Jeremiah 17:9-10 “The heart is the most deceitful thing there is and desperately wicked. No one can really know how bad it is! Only the Lord knows! He searches all hearts and examines deepest motives so he can give to each person his right reward, according to his deeds—how he has lived.” (The Living Bible)
We can be honest. God already knows our hearts. He knows what we are thinking before we think it. Yet, the truth is that many have deceived themselves into believing that they sincerely trust the Lord. That, their trust in Him has not wavered. They lie to themselves, and their very actions tell on them.
If we sincerely trusted in Him—100%; then why do so many of us take things into our own hands? Why are so many of us leaning to our own understanding? Why have so many us turned from God, then blame Him or others for the hardships we fall into and created with our mistrust?
Genesis 16:1-4 “Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. And she had an Egyptian maidservant whose name was Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, “See now, the Lord has restrained me from bearing children. Please, go into my maid; perhaps I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram heeded the voice of Sarai. Then Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar her maid, the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife after Abram had dwelt ten years in the land of Canaan. So he went into Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes.”
There are times when God will speak a word to our hearts; we have waited and waited upon His promises to manifest only to grow weary and feel as though it will never happen. Some of us may grow desperate, taking matters into our own hands, and will find that we have created chaos as a result of not trusting in God.
What if it never happened? What if what God promised never came to pass? Would you still trust God? Would still love and believe God? Or, is your trust in God based upon what He can do for you? What if you lost everything? What if you were up one day, and in a matter of twenty-four hours everything changed for the worse? Would you still trust in Him? Or, would you blame God?
Job 32:1-2 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was [rigidly] righteous (upright and in right standing with God) in his own eyes. [But there was a fifth man there also.] Elihu son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, became indignant. His indignation was kindled against Job because he justified himself rather than God [even made himself out to be better than God].(AMP)
Do we really know and understand the heart of God? God's ways and thoughts are far above man. However, when we are of Him, we have the ability to walk in the spirit; to connect our spirit with the Holy Spirit and learn of Him and know what is on the mind of God.
When you understand the mind of God and learn of His plans for your life, your trust in Him will not be based upon what He can give you, or what He will do for you, or even His promises to you. Your trust in God comes from the mere fact that you love Him. That, you know the heart of your Father. That, you have come to understand His ways and follow His precepts and have come to love as He does: unconditional. Not based upon deeds or gifts or promises. For the gift of Christ alone, the Father deserves our eternal trust.
Jeremiah 17:7-8“But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God. They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers—Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season.” (MSG)
I'm sticking with God. I am trusting in God no matter what comes my way. And believe me: I have had my share of disappointments, hurts, and downright heartache and heartbreak. Yet will I trust God. The love in my heart for my Father propels me to trust Him. To trust Him where I cannot trace Him. Trust in my Father is my anchor in the times of storms. It gives me something to hold onto; something to tie my faith too. And if by chance what He has promised does not come to pass; then knowing my Father as I do; I have to believe that there is something far greater on the horizon, and that was God's plan all along.
I decree that the spirit of peace and prosperity has found permanent rest in your lives. Do not lose trust in God because the wait has been so long, or certain things have not come to pass. Trust God where you cannot trace Him. God always has what's best for you; even when you cannot see it or believe it for yourself. God's blessings add no sorrows. His gifts to you are with no strings attached. Though you may grow weary, anchor yourself in the Lord. Let your trust in the Father keep you firmly planted and rooted; especially when disappointments and discouragement come. Don't give up, but keep trusting and serving the Lord. He loves you more than you know! You are Blessed. Now go...and Be a Blessing!

©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Reflections4Life: "But By His Spirit"

Reflections4Life  Sunday, February 2, 2014
“But By His Spirit”
“So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.” Zechariah 4:6
Scripture Contemplation: Zechariah 4; 1 Corinthians 2…
I am fairly certain that in and of myself, I am no one. I have no power. I have no real wisdom. I have no way to persuade you of the love and kindness of God. I understand, that apart from God, I have nothing. All that I would attempt to do of myself and of my own might is futile.
What about yourself? Do you believe that you have, aside from God, power? The kind of power that makes a difference? Sure, you may say that there are countless godless people on this earth that have power and have made a name for themselves. Some of them that are even morally upstanding. That may be so, but the word tells us that it rains on the just and the unjust alike. And that the gifts are without repentance.
I’m talking about the ability to change hearts, to renew minds, to restore hope…for eternity. I’m talking about living a life that is sold out to Christ, and gaining the understanding that all that you do or will ever do, is not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of God. I’m talking about knowing the heart of God. Knowing the thoughts of God that He only reveals to those in a relationship with Him.
I declare and decree that this week’s Reflections will be a continued source of encouragement and inspiration for your heart, mind, and soul. May the Spirit of God rest in you and connect with your spirit, that you may know and understand the will of God for your life, and also the things of God that can only be revealed through His Spirit.
I am far from a know it all. Nor do I pretend or believe that I know everything or that I am always right. Although, I have been accused of such. Why? Because when I have said something it rang true? Or, because what I have spoken has come to pass? Or, because I struck a nerve and made you feel uneasy with the truth that you believed no one knew?
Trust me, it is not I, but the Spirit of my Father that resides in me. It is the Christ in me that knows all things. And when I yield to Him, He reveals things that I need to know or He desires for me to know. I am not psychic; my spirit is just connected with the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 2:9 “But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
For those who have no relationship with the Father, they can never know or even comprehend the mind of God and what He has prepared for His children. They could never fathom it. But for those of us who love the Lord; who have entered into a relationship with God; there is much God has prepared for us and has to reveal to us.
Many of us do not connect with God. Sure, we talk to God. We pray to God when we have a need. We thank Him, occasionally, when things are going well. But we have no real relationship with the Father, Son, or Holy Spirit.
We live our lives with limited intimacy with our Creator. Even as Christians, we have this “I can do anything” or “I don’t need any help” kind of attitudes that separate us from the guidance and protection of the very One who came to save us.
Revelation and illumination of the Word come when we understand that it is not by our own might or any power we may think we have that gets things done. It is all by the Spirit of our loving God, who has ordained a life for us that is far more greater than one could ever imagine if we would just yield and connect with the Spirit of God.
God is with us. He desires for us to know what He knows. There is never a need for us to compare our lives to another and feel inadequate or unworthy when we serve a great God who has availed Himself to us and has made it possible for us to walk in confidence and wisdom, because of Christ who lives in us. Nor do we have to walk in the wisdom of the world and sell our souls.
1 Corinthians 2:10-13 (MSG) “The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dive into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Whoever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that he not only knows what he’s thinking, but he lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. We don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions. We didn’t learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we’re passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way.”
We live in this world, but we are not of this world. And we have a precious gift that guarantees us the victory each and every time: Christ Jesus. The unspiritual will never understand the things of God. They will never have access to the gifts of the Spirit, and the wisdom that comes from walking in Him.
Most certainly there are those in this world that seems to have it all. But only what you do for God will last. And those that are walking in the Spirit, understand that this (earth) is not where it ends. For there is an eternity that we are working towards. And what we do here upon this earth; what we believe; determines where we spend our eternity.
Stop trying to figure out this world, your life, and how to get to the next level. Stop trying and start yielding. Yield to the Spirit of God. Become one with your Creator. And all that He has ordained for your life will come to pass. His Spirit will connect with your spirit and will reveal marvelous things that you would have never imagined. Trials and tests will still occur. Tragedies may happen. But you will not have to get through it of your own might or power. Holy Spirit will be there with you; guiding you, comforting you, and teaching you.
I decree that the spirit of peace and prosperity has found permanent rest in every area of your lives. We can never outdo God. We can never know more than the Father. Nor do we have to walk in ignorance and uncertainty. When we yield to the Spirit, He will fill us with His wisdom and tell us things that will change our lives forever. God has some things He desires to share with us. Things that will help us to become who He has ordained us to be. And things that will help us expand the Kingdom of Heaven. There are many waiting for the truth. And you are the epistle that God wants to write His truth in, so that when people see you, they see God, and know that they, too, can have a life that is full of joy and peace despite any circumstance they may have experienced or are in. Be the Word in this earth. Let the Christ in you come forth. Let the Spirit do His will. Yield. You are Blessed. Now go…and Be a Blessing.

©2014. Ruthe McDonald. All Rights Reserved.