I think about the story of David when he made the decision to go up against Goliath. Let’s keep in mind that David was a small guy in stature. Biblical scholars estimate his height to be around 5’2, while Goliath was around nine feet. David had every reason to fear Goliath. The giant was scaring off all of the trained soldiers that were assigned to kill him off. David, a young boy, was a sheepherder with some sharp abilities that apparently no one knew about. He immediately took on the challenge to defeat the giant as soon as he heard of how Goliath had the audacity to threaten the armies of the land. Saul began to dress David to war against Goliath by putting on the gear that all soldiers typically wore when they were preparing for battle. Saul dressed him with a brass helmet, a protective coat made of metal, and a sword to ensure he wore what had been proven to physically guard their bodies during war. David was outfitted for battle when he realized that it wasn’t appropriate for how he usually fights in battles. Wearing what soldiers have always worn was not suitable. David stated, "I can't go in these, I'm not used to them.” He took off all of the dressing and weaponry. David picked up his staff and five stones; and he took off for battle against Goliath. The lesson here is to live out your life based on your own uniqueness and how God has wired you. Individuals have to live out their own path, exclusively designed by the Creator.
David is a true demonstration of courage in his abilities and in his relationship with God. He had the confidence in his skills to take Goliath out. But even greater, David knew that whatever he lacked in skill, God would fill in the gaps to ensure he had the victory over the enemy. When David met up with Goliath spewing out threats, David responded by making it clear that he had God on his side. Because of that fact alone, he knew that he would win the battle. David won his fight against Goliath using a slingshot and a stone.
Confidence is defined as having full assurance in or about something. God commanded us to be courageous in times of difficulty and opposition. In other words, walking in confidence and courage is a decision we make, not an attribute we pray for. It is an opportunity for us to demonstrate our love for Him when we must make a choice to be led by our flesh or be led by His word.
Trusting God at His word means to step out of the boat when He calls you to use your abilities to fulfill His purpose. Yes, even when you don't see all of the steps in front of you and when it looks like it's an impossible situation. You have to make a choice based on your fears or based on your con- fidence in His word. God's way is always perfect and with God you cannot lose when you make the decision to trust Him, regardless of how you feel.
Do you have a morning routine or are your mornings (and the rest of the day) determined by how you feel when you wake up? Creating a consistent morning routine helps to set your attitude and the atmosphere for the rest of the day. It enables you to control your day, instead of it controlling you. There is no ideal morning routine except the habits that enable you to be at your best for the rest of the day. Customize your morning routine to your own taste so it empowers you to manage the day with the right mindset. Consistent routines have been proven to elevate your performance at work and in life. It gives your brain and your body a boost, equipping you to focus on what is ahead while reinforcing healthy habits each day. Here are some ideas to incorporate into your morning routine:
1. 🏃🏾♀️ Go for a brisk walk, run or hit the gym.
2. 📖 Read a book, listen to a podcast or watch a video that cultivates your personal development.
3. 🍳 Eat a healthy breakfast to boost your energy and your mind.
4. 📒 Review your goals for the day so you're clear on what needs to be accomplished. *Reviewing your "To-Do" list or daily goals the night before helps to strengthen your efforts.
5. 🙏🏾 Devotional time in the morning amplifies your internal peace and renews your faith so you're unshakable when facing daily challenges.
It may take a couple of weeks of trial and error to find a morning routine that supports your strengths and goals. Creating the kind of morning that elevates the rest of your day is certainly worth every effort.
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day 💜 and in light of the volatility of our current politics and society, I just want to briefly share my thoughts on our responsibility as Christians.
The world will always be exactly what it is...the world. However, those of us that subscribe to biblical truths and have declared ourselves to be Christians have a responsibility. Not only to be the hands and feet of Jesus, but also to reflect His voice and heart in the world. That means we are not to remain silent when we see our fellow man/woman facing mistreatment in the form of debasement, injustice and oppression of any kind.
If we claim to be representatives of Jesus Christ, that means we understand that He has already authorized us to speak truth in the face of lies, deceit and corruption. It also means that we must disturb the waters of society when it has become stale, bitter and toxic in order to make way for fresh and living water. That is achieved by speaking truth whenever the opportunity arises, whether we're in casual conversation, taking action in our sphere of the world or utilizing our platform to influence hearts and minds. When ignorance and miseducation is being displayed, we must be able to discern when it's a moment to stand up and speak out.
It's disturbing to see so many Christians, particularly leaders of the faith, side with the ugly faction of our society through their silence and their actions. We're witnessing individuals operate in hateful ways (covertly and overtly) towards people while attempting to justify it in the name of God. Seeing whole segments of our society, shunned, devalued and disregarded by government officials and average citizens that claim to be "Christians" has been eye-opening. On one hand, many are quick to quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. but turn right around and exhibit hateful behavior towards their fellow human-beings. Those actions cannot be reconciled. It simply reflects hypocrisy, unbelief and ungodliness.
Justice and Christ-like Love go hand-in-hand and are attributes of the image of God. We can't claim to love people and then turn a blind eye to the issues of injustice. But choosing to be oblivious to matters of injustice is running rampant in the Christian community. The topic is rarely discussed in many churches, yet God clearly points out his disdain for injustice throughout scripture. Jesus' time on Earth demonstrated that He was a fighter for justice and for the humane treatment of people, including those that lived unrighteously. After all, our Heavenly Father is the Author of Justice. *See verses on Justice below.
As Christians, it serves as a reminder to us all that we can easily become so arrogant and comfortable in our "Christianity" that we unknowingly, (and sometimes knowingly) overlook our own deficits, prejudices and unforgiveness that have been deeply embedded in the crevices of our heart. None of us are exempt from the sinful inclination of mistreating others. Forgetting who we are in Christ and not understanding the heart of God can lead us to behave like the world when we've been called to love ALL people.
That requires us to challenge ourselves by checking our hearts and our actions. It's easy to love those that look like us and those that we feel comfortable loving. But how are we any different from the rest of the world if we choose to only love people that we deem lovable? (Matthew 5:46-48). We must always evaluate our hearts by being honest with ourselves. Are we really demonstrating the love of Christ? Sure, we give plenty of lip service to the idea of love but are we reflecting God's love in action? God expects us to always work towards eradicating anything in our hearts that don't reflect Him and His word. That means we must humble ourselves and continuously ask God to reveal anything in our hearts that oppose His ways.
We're responsible for our own spiritual condition, including the condition of our hearts. God also holds us accountable for how we treat people, even when we're behind closed doors. God's bottom line is always PEOPLE. If we're His representatives in the Earth, He expects us to be His hands, feet, voice and heart everywhere we go. If no one else is looking, God is. And He encourages us to always be found "blameless and harmless children of God...in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you are seen as lights in the world." (Philippians 2:15)
⭐ Verses & Footnotes:
"If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate." - 1 Corinthians 13:1 (MSG)
'And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul (life), and with all your mind (thought, understanding), and with all your strength.’ This is the second: ‘You shall [unselfishly] love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.' - Mark 12:30-31 (AMP)
The key to understanding this and other statements about love is to know that this love (the Greek word agape) is not so much a matter of emotion as it is of doing things for the benefit of another person, that is, having an unselfish concern for another and a willingness to seek the best for another.(Biblegateway.com)
Justice: Psalm 106:3, Leviticus 19:15, Psalm 99:4, Isaiah 61:8, Isaiah 1:17, Luke 18:7...and many more.
#HeartCheck #Humanity #Love #Justice #Love #People
Alice is an Educator, Coach, Speaker and Author. She loves teaching women how to create peaceful lives through purpose & productivity.