Friday, July 28, 2017

Living The Dream

Whether we admit it or not, we are all striving to "live the dream life". Our individual visions of what that dream life looks like is as unique as each and every one of us. We are constantly planning for, working towards, saving for, praying about, and wrapping our faith around that dream life. We see it as some destination in the future that one day we'll finally achieve. And if I'm honest with you, there were certainly times in this journey that my dream life seemed almost impossible to achieve. It seemed that no matter how hard I worked, how much faith I had, or how often I kept the promises of God before me, the picture I had in my mind of my dream life was still some distance away from my current reality. However, this week, I had an eye opening moment with the Father and all I could do was weep before Him.

What I realized is that God has given me the opportunity and the resources to live my dream life RIGHT NOW! Every day that I wake up and I'm able to do exactly what I love and impact people for the glory of God, I'm living the dream. I'm in a season where everyday I have the opportunity to run Rebirth Arts full-time. I have the daily privilege to share my heart and love for God with numerous people through this blog, our social media community, our live broadcast, our studio classes, and our hosted events. For over a month, God has afforded me one of my greatest blessings . . . to experience His promises manifesting in my life.

Now, don't get me wrong, there is still plenty of room for growth in order to get to the ultimate vision that I see in my spirit of traveling internationally ministering the gospel through the arts, having a waiting list for our studio classes, seeing lines wrapped around the building for the auditions for our annual productions, and building our own multi-million dollar facility. However, I also know that the Word of God tells us to not despise small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10/NLT). And because I was so focused on the grander vision that my spirit was holding on to, I almost missed the fact that God was already manifesting my dream life. He was already making divine connections and opening doors that I would have never been able to reach on my own. He was already providing the resources I needed to take care of my needs, as I pressed forward into my purpose in Him. I almost fell into the trap of being ungrateful for what God was doing, because I was laser focused on the bigger picture. Honestly, I was borderline upset with God because my dream was not manifesting, how I thought it should be manifesting. But thank God for revelation, the ability to see and recognize the truth, and the exposing of the lies of the enemy in my life!

If my transparency today keeps you from falling into this trap of the enemy, then it is well worth it. Be sure to take notice of the little things God is doing in your life that is truly manifesting His promises. Yes, you still have room to grow and goals to achieve, but God is delivering on your dream life right now. Be sure not to miss the opportunity to be thankful and glorify the Father for the great things He is doing in your life that aligns with His promises, no matter how small. Because believe me, it's no small thing to God!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Not So Quick!

In my meditation time this week I came across a scripture that was familiar to me, but God showed me a different side of it. This new perspective certainly pushed me back on my heels a bit.
 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.  (James 1:18-21/NLT)

I've often experienced verse 18 being used to address how we interact with each other.  Teaching us that when we are working to manage our relationships with each other we should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry. However, upon this particular reading of the scripture, God turned it towards my personal relationship with Him. I began to hear the following questions . . .  Have you done this in our relationship? Are you quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry when I speak to you?

Honestly, this was a hard moment for me. It was a moment that layers were pulled back and I was exposed. Because being in this place with the Father is not unfamiliar to me, I knew exeactly what God was trying to accomplish in this moment. God was challenging me to GROW. He wanted me to see myself and know that yes there have been times that I didn't listen, that I interrupted His voice with my own, and that I've even gotten angry with God because of His instructions. And because He has me writing this blog on the topic, I know that I'm not the only one.

Beyond having this reflective moment of evaluating my own reactions to God's voice and instructions, He also tied in the later part of verse 21. He made sure that I understood that not only was I to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry, but I had to be sure that I was humbly accepting the word He already planted in my heart. There are some things that God has already spoken that I must continually humbly accept, because that very word has the power to save my soul. There are some things that I already know to be true that I have to keep at the forefront of my mind and make sure that I'm being consistently obedient to observe. And again, I know I'm not alone.

I pray that my transparency today allows you to see this scripture in a new light for your own life. That it causes you to be honest with the Father and sparks radical change in your relationship with Him. I pray that today begins a new journey for you in your walk with Christ, one that is open, honest, receptive, and fiercely obedient. May you reap all the benefits of your obedience in this season.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Spiritual Depletion

A few weeks ago I listened to a message from Pastor Joann Rosario Condrey. She made a point about "spiritual depletion" that stuck me.  If I tried to summarize her point it would be this . . . that many of us have gotten so use to operating in a state of spiritual depletion that we begin to believe that the symptoms of spiritual depletion are part of our personality. That these symptoms are just who we are. A few of the symptoms being . . . we are short-tempered, irritable, argumentative, overly aggressive, extremely defensive, unsympathetic, paranoid, insecure, impatient, stressed . . . and the list could go on.

I began to think about this statement and wondered how many times I've operated from a place of spiritual depletion and not recognized it. How many times have I been stressed, short-tempered, irritable, and impatient with those around me and not recognize that those outward expressions were simply a bi-product of what I was lacking spiritually. As I continued to ponder this thought, I found myself in a place of repentance before God. I recognized that because of my own lack of discipline, at times, I allowed myself to fall into a place of spiritual depletion that then affected my relationships, interactions, and ministry.

Pastor Joann's further point in this message was that when we put ourselves in a position to be constantly washed with the Word of God, worship God, and receive from the Holy Spirit, we are more likely to produce the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) and not those of a spirit of depletion (Galatians 5:19-21: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, etc.).

Over the past month I've had more flexibility in my schedule, which is great; however, it also means that I have to exercise more discipline over my time. I have purposed in my heart that during this season of life I will be more intentional about my personal time with God through worship and meditation on the Word. I recognize that it is necessary for my own personal sanity and for the welfare of those that are connected to me. I don't ever want to operate from a place of spiritual depletion again, so I know that it is critical for me to be consistently surrounded by the things of God.

This post has been extremely introspective; however, I pray that you will take a few moments to reflect on your own life and actions. And if you find some areas where you are currently spiritually depleted, I pray that you will begin the process to shift and allow the Spirit of God to refill and overflow you, so that you can reflect more of His character, which is your true personality.