Faith,Monthly Study

Monthly Study: Are You Truly Living?

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “If this were to just happen everything would be fine,” or “If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have wasted all this time, and I would be here.” More often than not, in the same breath, I was asking God to reveal in me a new “purpose,” or to show me where I was going to be, and what I would be doing so I could bring glory to His kingdom—knowing full well I only wanted to bring glory to myself.

And even though I never had a concrete plan or vision of how God would use me, in my mind it was always something GRAND! I would be in some position of leadership, where people would look up to me, and I would be happy and joyful and my life would make so much sense!

It wasn’t until very recently that God checked me on this selfish, sinful mindset with a simple question: What have you done in preparation for the life you’ve been praying for?

And then He went on like only He can:

Have you truly been obedient and walking in faith in all areas of your life?

 

Have you been consistent and disciplined with the tasks I’ve already given you?

 

Have you produced any fruit?

 

Have the people you’ve been in contact with produced any fruit?

 

Have you been trusting me to fulfill my promises, or have you been trusting in your own flesh and relationships to get you where you think you ought to be?

 

How are you even qualified in spirit to do what you think you should be doing?

 

Are you thinking about eternity at all??

 

And then I just had a stuck face because I had no answers! I wasn’t seeing progress in ANY of these areas! In reality, I had been sulking, borderline depressed, confrontational and mad at everything and everybody for no reason. I was acting like a spoiled brat. I had been so consumed with what hadn’t happened for me or what my situation looked like to others, without ever acknowledging all that I did have. It was impossible for me to produce a single fruit of anything, from any vine, because I wasn’t truly trusting God. I loved God, I enjoyed being in his presence, and reading his word made me feel refreshed for a second, but I was never truly living it! And then God opened my eyes to the truth that this is not how God calls us to live!

Do you honestly think God sent his son to die for our sins so that we can be spiritually dead, and living a worrisome and burdened life? Absolutely not, and that’s just common sense.

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NLT

Eternal life is the promise for believing in Christ; contrarily, when you don’t believe there is death, because there is no life outside of Christ. Unfortunately, what I missed for so long, was that I had access to eternal life right now on earth through the Holy Spirit.

I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death to life.”-John 5:24

Jesus doesn’t say we will get it, or he’s saving it for this unknown moment. He says we are in possession of eternal life as soon as we believe in our hearts that He is the son of God. We have “already” passed from being spiritually dead to being reborn and possessing LIFE through Holy Spirit.

And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him, and He in us.” – 1 John 4:13

So, Dominique, why are you living life as if you’re dead, when as soon as you believed in me you had access to abundant life?

 

Well, Jesus, when you put it like that, I don’t really know! How could I expect God to show me anything or to do anything with my life, and I wasn’t even living with this BASIC principle? And as hard as it was for me to admit to myself, this is what Paul was talking about when he called out the spiritually dull and immature in Hebrews 5:11-14! I wasn’t hearing from God because I was immature and sulking in my negative emotions.

God is literally in us! Walking, breathing, living in us every second, minute, hour of the day. Having eternal life literally means that everything Christ is, lives in us on the daily until we meet him in heaven. His Word, His character, His peace, His Rest, His wisdom, His power. I’m literally more intelligent, wise, self-controlled, strong, well-rested, and at peace purely because I believe Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. All those days I would be miserable and acting crazy in my emotions I can picture Jesus sitting next to me shaking his head! Like girl, if you could just be in me!

Depression, fear, anxiety, and lack of self-control are all destructive feelings born of the devil meant to keep us living in death, when God called us to life! I’m actually pissed at myself for letting Satan have this hold on me for so long because he wants nothing more than to stunt your growth in the spirit, and that’s exactly what I was letting him do. Those same lies of doubt the serpent whispered to Eve in the garden, are the same lines he will use to keep you in your stuck place. Thankfully, God gives us the victory over every evil thought and advance of Satan.

For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through faith. And who can win this battle against the world? Only those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.” -1 John 5:4-5

If we know that these negative thoughts and emotions are works of the devil, operating in them makes us no different than the faithless people of this world. How can God trust you with his plans when you are as fearful as the person who doesn’t know God? We can only do God’s will when we operate in complete, blind, and innocent faith.

And that doesn’t mean that as soon as you think you’ve started believing “enough,” God is supposed to reveal all you’ve been asking for, but that you will be perfectly content in knowing that your steps are ordered and there is purpose in where you are at this very second. I pray daily that Holy Spirit will use me and develop me in the smallest simplest moments of my day. That there is joy and purpose in every encounter. Retrain your mind! Where you want to brush something off as insignificant, see life and divine purpose! Look at every single moment as an opportunity for God to be using you. As a mother, as an employee on your job, as a sister, friend, or spouse, there is no person in the body of Christ who is not playing a role, big or small.

I genuinely thank God for people who have the capacity to do things I can’t do because I need them! For example: It’s pretty much guaranteed, no matter where we are in public, that Grace is going to need to use the restroom at some point. And let me tell you, there is nothing more annoying than having to take your prissy 4-year-old in a disgusting public restroom—but there’s no way around it sometimes! So as a mom, I’ve come to appreciate when we use a restroom that is decent and maintained. Would I want to be the one cleaning it—no, but I’m so thankful when someone has! And I’m so serious. These are the little things that matter to me and I appreciate the person who takes pride enough to make our way a little easier, whether they realize it or not. It’s the same thing with the roles God gives us—you’re filling a position that God needs you in. No one can do a better job at being Grace’s mother than me. God needs me there, and when he needs me in a different role, He will have prepared me spiritually for that as well.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. There is no law against these things. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” – Galations 5:22-25

God doesn’t call us to live defeated lives! If you are claiming to belong to Christ Jesus but are living in submission to your feelings or circumstances, I’m telling you from experience that it is impossible to do both. Resting in Holy Spirit means you only produce good fruit as clearly stated in the scripture above. Does that mean you won’t ever feel negative thoughts and emotions, um NO! But thank God, you won’t stay there! That deserves praise!

Imagine if God gave you all you desired while you have this crummy mindset—you wouldn’t even see the good in it because your vision and how you see things is determined by the position of your heart. If you have a grateful and loving heart, you see things first in love and appreciation; but a heart rooted in discontent can only see things as not being enough.

You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.” –Matthew 12:34-35

And when I used to read this, I would say “I’m a good person, Lord! I’m not evil. I mean I don’t talk bad about people or steal.” But truthfully, those “harmless” sins like envy of what the next person has, or jealousy and discontentment because you don’t have the things you desire are just as evil because they are born of Satan’s covetous spirit. Your heart can’t be pure for others while harboring these feelings!

Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.”—Romans 8:5-8

All this starts with being truthful with yourself! Be honest about your weak areas and let God speak to you about things you need to change. Free yourself of these spirits, and guard your heart of all things that promote you feeling this way. My revelations and clarity of mind and heart began when I took myself off of Social Media. That’s honestly a whole separate post but y’all know what I’m talking about! Instagram and Snapchat breed discontentment so easily because you can literally filter what people see about your life. We think life is so great for everybody while putting down our own lives, meanwhile that celebrity is just as miserable as you! It’s not worth your peace. If you want God to use you, your heart has to be pure.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”—Philippians 4:8-9

Y’all that peace is so sweet. If you fix your thoughts on the things of God, there is nothing he will keep from you. I know that everything won’t always be perfect, but I’m honestly just thankful to be free from the burden of fear and death! I am free to hear from God, and be obedient without thinking about how others will receive me or what the next person might say. Most importantly I see growth and the fruit of my faith in my daily life, which means God is getting the glory.

So again, what have you been doing in preparation for the life you’ve been praying for?

If God gave it to you right now, would the spirit you’re carrying be able to handle it, or would you still show no fruit?

Could God trust you, or would you not see the greatness in his plan because your eyes are clouded with fear and regret?

Before we demand so much of Him, let’s make sure we are truly living as children of God and that the fruit of our lives shows that!

 

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