Categories, Pure in Heart Series

Pure in Heart: Motives & Manipulation

Pure in Heart Series_Motives & Manipulation

Matthew 5:8 (NLT)

God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.

James 4:3 (NLT)

And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

 

Motive. Do we ever take the time to question why we do what we do? In this series, we’re focusing on the heart. Our hearts hold both good and evil. Isn’t that interesting? One minute we can be so loving and caring yet when something isn’t going the way we want, our hearts changes to darkness! I believe this is why God looks at our hearts. We can make the outside look good to accomplish whatever our motives and intentions are with people, but God knows our heart. When God sent Samuel to find the next king of Israel, and Samuel got to Jesse’s sons, surely Samuel thought because of the outside appearances of Jesse’s sons that God would choose the one who “looked” like a king. But God said no, I look at the heart. David is known as a man after God’s own heart (1 Kings 16). Are we after God’s heart? Or are we running after what will give us pleasure? God gives to us, blesses us, according to what our hearts can handle. Ouch! This may be painful, but it’s much-needed protection! I’m so glad that God saves us from ourselves!

This week, I’m adding in James 4:3. We want God’s blessings and we all want attention, applause and accolades for our accomplishments. Nothing’s wrong with that! The problem comes when we want these things for the wrong reasons; when we try to manipulate others and when we ask with the wrong motives, wrong heart. The issue comes when we let the desire for this attention take the place of God in our lives. The attention, recognition and accolades become our god. There are times when I’ll hear Holy Spirit ask me, daughter, why are you doing this, or why do you want to say this, do this, post this? He asks because He wants me to check my heart. He asks because my RELATIONSHIP with Him allows for this type of dialogue. He knows me and I know His voice because I spend time with Him and read my bible. How are you doing in this area? Have you allowed some thing or some one to fill His position? I have to check myself on this too! I’m grateful that He does speak up to have me check my heart! If I act out of character, He knows that it will hurt me afterwards. It will hurt me because quite possibly I’ve hurt someone else as well as having grieved His Holy Spirit! Do you give God permission to check your heart or do you do what you want and what you think is right in your own eyes (Proverbs 21:2)?

Let’s talk about manipulation. Women have mastered the art of manipulation! We can look at a man a certain way, dress a certain way, respond to him in ways that say exactly what we want to get him to do what we want. Yes, this happens even in marriage. Did you know that in Proverbs chapter 5 that God warns his son about this ‘strange’ woman (Proverbs 5:3-23)? This type of behavior is labeled as strange by God. Because surely, His daughters don’t behave in this manner. God wouldn’t warn His son about His daughters because His daughters shouldn’t pose a threat to His sons but should be a helper to His sons! So if you’re acting in ways that are ‘strange’, then you’re not acting as a daughter of God.

It’s no wonder the world says to ‘follow your heart’. The enemy knows that man hides evil in their hearts as well as good. Jeremiah 17:9-10, “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.

Be blessed & encouraged & give God permission to check your heart!

Shannon

Categories, Pure in Heart Series

Pure in Heart: What’s in Your Heart?

PIH-What's in Your Heart

Matthew 5:8 (NLT)

God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.

This scripture has been peeking out at me since last year. It’s been the scripture that God kept bringing me back to. It’s been the scripture that would come to mind when I’d see certain posts by ‘Christians’ on social media. Finally, I gave in and said, ok Lord, apparently you want me to say something about this particular scripture, speak Lord, Your servant is listening.

There’s so much going on in this world right now but this series, this message is for The Church. I want to speak to Christians, God’s children. The question that’s weighing heavily on me and what the Holy Spirit has been speaking in my ear is “What’s in your heart?”

You do know that what you say, do, post on social media and how you react in certain situations reveal what’s in your heart, right? If you have made it known publicly that you’re a ‘Christian’ and love God and that God blessed you, then that makes you a target. All eyes are you, ‘Christian’ and I must say, it’s not a good look. One minute you’re posting about God, next minute you’re posting your personal business with several cuss words, or a picture with all your assets showing.

Now for some of us, our heart junk is hidden. We look darn good on the outside but are a hot mess on the inside. The ‘good look’ Christians are well spoken, well put together, great pictures on social media, looks like a model on the outside but the inside is a mess.  Not all messes are the same, some of us are just working out our salvation with fear and trembling ( Philippians 2:12) and we look good on the outside, don’t post craziness, serve God but there are some things in our hearts that to people may look good, sound good and reasonable but to God, it grieves His Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). Where we Christians mess us is that we judge our sin by our own measure of what we think is good or bad but it doesn’t measure up to what God calls as Holy. He called us to be Holy as He is Holy (1 Peter 1:16). He didn’t call us to be good by our weak standards. When we look at just being good and not holy, we miss the messes that are still left in our hearts. We find ways to justify lukewarmness, jealousy, evil intentions, foul language, envy, sowing strife, nosiness, assumptions, not walking in purity, saying we love God but yet our actions prove otherwise.

I’m definitely not pointing fingers because we all fall short which is why we all desperately need Jesus! Whew! I’ll be the first to admit that I fail God daily! Whenever I’m in situations or certain things have been revealed to me, the first thing I hear is ‘daughter, check your heart’. Holy Spirit warns me to not let what I see or hear take a root of bitterness or anger in my heart. I’m constantly praying for God to purify my heart, perform surgery on my heart, show me Your heart God for Your people! People are a trip! I’ve learned so much about church people in the last year that it has taken much prayer and scripture reading to keep my heart right before God! God’s Word calls for us to examine ourselves (Lamentations 3:40, 2 Corinthians 13:5). So I’ve had to examine my heart by God’s word and not by what I thought I should be able to hold onto in my heart because I was hurt or angry.

God has also been speaking to me about choosing Him. In every situation, circumstance, conversation, endeavor; to choose Him. Choose His ways, His words, His methods of handling situations and people. Us not choosing Him shows us what’s in our hearts! Oh my goodness, especially when certain opportunities arise that come to either make us look good or make us look bad, will we choose ourselves or will we choose Him, His word, His righteousness? When you find out that people have been speaking lies about you, what will you choose? When you find out that the people you thought would support and love you no matter what don’t do what they said they would, what will you choose? When you’re faced with fame, a huge platform and lots of attention, what will you choose? Will you choose God, or will what’s really in your heart come out? In this season we’re entering in, there will be great blessings but before the blessings, we must examine what’s in our hearts. We must examine where our faith and loyalty lies. Is it in ourselves or others or is it in the God we claim to love and serve? In this season, will we choose our God or will we choose us? What’s in your heart?

Be blessed & encouraged,

Shannon

Categories

Pure In Heart Scripture Writing Plan

As promised, here’s the scripture writing plan for the series Pure in Heart beginning in February. ‘Pure in Heart’, is based off the scripture Matthew 5:8. In this 4 week series, we’ll discuss what pure in heart means & the benefits for those whose hearts are pure! If you’re not subscribed , then make sure you click to subscribe so that you won’t miss a thing!  Chat soon!

pure in heart swp

Be blessed & encouraged,

Shannon

Categories, Heart of Thanks, Walking in Faith

Heart of Thanks: Being Thankful During Hardship

This weeks guest post is from my dear sister, Mae Blooms!
Heart of Thanks Mae

The rain falls on the just as well as the unjust and many times as God’s children we find ourselves struggling to be thankful because of the hardship we experience.

If we are honest with each other it’s easier to be thankful and joyful when things are going well. But it is a totally different story when you are struggling to keep food on the table and all hell is breaking loose in your life. It’s in the hardship seasons that I believe our faith is deeply tested. Faith that hasn’t been tested – can’t be trusted to last. These seasons can bring even the strongest of us to our knees with questions we would’ve never thought could enter our hearts. So how can we cultivate a heart of thanksgiving in hardship?

  1. Don’t Take It Personal

The majority of humanity has or will experience seasons of hardship. The scripture tells us that even the earth has been groaning (Romans 8:22-23). So, it’s only natural that when we go through rough seasons it feels like a personal attack, but that is just not true. No matter what we may experience, we’ve got to know that even in a sin-sick world God’s grace is sufficient for us and every situation we may experience.

Facing foreclosure His grace is sufficient

Struggling to keep food on the table- His grace is sufficient

Doctors aren’t sure why your health is failing God’s grace is sufficient

Grieving over the loss of loved ones– God’s grace if sufficient

Whatever it is – God’s grace is sufficient! it may not feel like it or look like it, but you must receive it and rest in it by faith – if you are going to be victorious and thankfully each day.

  1. Guard Your Gates

Hardship can feel like a dark veil is over your eyes making it hard to see the truth of God’s promises. So, it is vital to spiritual growth that we be very selective about what we’re listening to and what we allow to go before our eyes. Poking around on social media wishing life was different and complaining about what you don’t have will only keep you stagnant and rob you of a grateful heart. Instead get up, go for a walk and thank God for legs to enjoy the scenery. Worship and praise music are always a great idea. Letting encouraging messages and podcasts enter your ear gate will feed your spirit and hopelessness will fall off you like a heavyweight. The benefits are increased joy, spiritual growth, purified praise, and true worship!

  1. Let Her Have Her Way

Who I’m I referring too? Patience – let her have her way in every situation. James 1: 2-5 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces patience. Let patience have her way, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” Lacking nothing – I really like that! You see there is a purpose in the trials and hardships of life. It may be annoying and inconveniencing, but hardship should almost be welcomed because it gives us the opportunity to suffer like Christ. The truth is God never promised us a trouble-free life, as a matter of fact, Jesus said, that in this world we would have troubles, but take heart because He has already overcome them all. Now that is good news.

  1. Eternity Mindset

I know, we are aware that we should keep our eyes focused on things above, but truthfully when we’re experiencing pain, grieving and going through our flesh tends to forget that. 1 Peter 5:10 says, “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” Suffering is not an option it is just a matter of time before it happens to us all, but I am so glad to know that God is not an inactive bystander in our circumstances. We have a good Father who is working all things together for our good and for His glory. Feel free to pout and pour out the fleshly feelings before Him, then arise and know that God is working in you a greater purpose.

When you are going through hardships, seasons of lack or grief be intentional about staying in the word of God and allowing the Father to encourage you. You don’t want to waste the experience becoming bitter or being offended.  Cultivating a thankful heart in the midst of hardship is a pleasing offering to our Father.

So be encouraged and press in because hardship is not where your story ends!

Mae

 

Mae Blooms is an author and CEO she resides in sunny South Florida with her husband and 3 daughters. She is a writer at heart, who enjoys reading, abstract art, and vanilla frappes in her downtime.  She is a prayer warrior that loves helping others and encouraging woman to be their best in each season of life – all for God’s glory! To learn more about Mae, check her out on the following social media outlets!

Categories, Heart of Thanks, Walking in Faith

Heart of Thanks: Grateful for What is Not

This weeks guest post is from my dear sister, Melissa WalthourCopy of Heart of Melissa W

A friend and I recently went on a cabin trip for a weekend getaway to spend time with God. We were intentional about setting aside that weekend for Him, so we put our phones on airplane mode. The only time we interacted with our devices was to pull up sermons or google scriptures. With no distractions, it made it easy to be immersed in God’s presence the entire time. It was amazing!

On the second day there, I got up, dressed myself in like seven layers and went outside on the deck, which had a front row seat to the newly risen sun, gorgeous mountains, and morning fog. I brought with me my Bible, a blanket, wireless speaker, and my phone (to play some music). Once I got settled and bundled up in my blanket, I turned on the “Thank You” playlist I created before getting out of bed that morning. As the sounds of worship and thanksgiving filled my ears, I found myself in Psalm 100:

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

After reading Psalms, I got up and began to pace the length of the porch, while boldly singing the lyrics to each song with both hands raised. The more I sang, the more my heart engaged, but it was when I heard these words that tears overwhelmed my eyes: “Tragedies are commonplace. All types of diseases, people are slipping away. The economy’s down. People can’t get enough pay. But, as for me, all I can say is thank You, Lord, for all you’ve done for me.”

The melodic words were lyrics from an old song I grew up on. Although I’ve heard the song countless times, the words were so fresh that I felt like it was my first time hearing it. The message finally hit me! Yes, this girl, who has the tendency to complain when things don’t go her way, or when she gets hurt, or when she gets disappointed, realized that there are so many unseen things that God has protected her from.

I’ll admit it wasn’t a mind-blowing epiphany and I’ve heard expressions like “It could’ve been me” all my life, but my heart was receptive and it sunk in this time. Maybe as a child, as a teenager, and as a twenty-something, I didn’t understand. Maybe now, as a woman in my thirties, it’s real because I have more experience of witnessing tragedies up close and mourning with others during their devastating hardships. Maybe it’s because I have more experience of hurt in my own life. And, I realize, although painful, those hurts didn’t end in ways they could have. I could have still been stuck. I could’ve still been broken. I could’ve still been hopeless. But, instead I grew, I healed, and I became stronger all by God’s grace.

Honestly, I’m not sure what caused that song to come alive to me that cold October morning, but I’m just glad it did. Now, I’m more grateful for what is not (i.e. what didn’t happen and what God protected me from) than what is.

Be blessed & encouraged,

Melissa Walthour

Melissa Walthour is a fun-loving soul who’s addicted to laughter. She’s an encourager who finds joy in lifting up those around her. She has an undying passion to pursue and get to know God more, and loves sharing her experiences with God to help others grow. She’s a thought-provoking writer, recreational photographer, and self-proclaimed music connoisseur.  Click here to learn more about her ministry, Fruit of My Branches, check her out on Facebook , Instagram & YouTube

Categories, Heart of Thanks, Walking in Faith

Heart of Thanks: Taking Time To Give Thanks

This weeks guest post is from my dear sister, Doris M. Cush

Heart of Thanks Doris

The large clock on the wall ticks a certain way. I love how it enhances the décor of my sunroom and blends in with the occasional sounds of the early morning commuters puttering down the street. I glance over at the cluster of household foliage gracing the window sill. Creating more of a jungle than a few, simple accents, they outnumber the furniture in the room 2-to-1. And yet, that ticking clock and jungle of plants keep me humble, mindful, thankful.

Okay, seriously? I kid you not. If you live anywhere within these coastal shores, ‘Tis the Season commenced sometime in mid-October, right? Almost like two old souls playing checkers in the park, advertisers jumped on the idea to skip November and get to the crowning glory of Christmas – the decorations, the shopping, the movies, the hustle, the bustle, the stress! That means no time for November. No time to give thanks with a grateful heart. Thankfulness now comes wrapped in a Pinterest-perfect box and gets sprinkled in between the holiday baking and family visits.

Tick-tick.

In the quiet of the morning, I hear the tick of that clock. Yes, it can annoy me, but also amaze. It speaks the same language everyone understands, but all of us choose to interpret differently. The Psalmist said, “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life” (Psalm 39:4). Time doesn’t tick away to offend us of its end but to offer us the best of its moments. It’s not meant to rush through, but to rest in and enjoy. Let’s not rush through them, but be thankful for each and every moment time gives us on the clock.

Taking time to settle into the ticktock makes us thankful for the intertwine. Again, you’re thinking, “What?” Well, my 2-to-1 jungle of a sunroom didn’t start off that way. A variety of foliage graced that window sill. An evergreen here. A peace plant there. A few plants I don’t know all living and thriving because someone took the time to care. We may not always pick who impacts our lives, but I for one, am thankful for the lessons I learn from their nurturing. Much like the water poured into the soil of those plants, I drink in sweet themes like – Enjoy the day. Smile at the annoyances. Laugh at the impositions. Kiss your loved ones. Offer a hand to the unlovable. The good thing is the God thing. Fill your heart with forgiveness.

I realized the ticktock of a clock and a hodge-podge of houseplants could spur my thankful heart. This holiday season, I hope you find your amazingly odd combinations and I pray they speak volumes to a heart filled with gratitude. Blessings!

 

Doris M Cush

Doris M. Cush, Writer – Speaker – Encourager
Blog/Web: www.doriscush.com
“Honest Survivors Embracing A SAVIOR Honestly!”
Categories, Heart of Thanks, Walking in Faith

Heart of Thanks: No Longer Thankful In Spite Of!

This weeks guest post is from my dear sister, Raquel R. James

Heart of Thanks Raquel post pic

Thinking of thanking, and actually thanking, two totally different things. There were times this year where I had to remind myself to do less thinking about it and more doing. 2018 has been a very interesting year, filled with challenges that certainly tested my ability to be thankful in the midst of the storm. You would think that when God calls you to do something once you’re engaged in the process of accomplishing the task at hand it would be a breeze. Right? Wrong. You see as you embark upon the journey of purpose you learn that indeed the weapons form. Thank God they never prosper.

The year started with the Holy Spirit leading me, strongly leading me, to finish writing a book that He had long ago told me to complete. With a hard deadline quickly approaching, a new work from home job with ten hour work days and way too little pay, being surrounded by my super loving, but very busy, and seldom quiet family did not make writing a book the easiest thing to do. That didn’t matter. It still had to be done. Can we say all nighters? And no I don’t mean the fun girl talk and decadent dessert all nighters. I mean prayer, and Spirit led writing and research type of nights, vanilla chai tea and sugary almond milk creamer type of nights, Lord I’m tired, but I’m gonna get this done type of nights.

During this season I often had to remind myself that it was just a season. I also had to stop and take a moment to be grateful for the many things that seemed like obstacles, but were truthfully blessings. The Holy Spirit told me 30 years ago that I would be an author, a New York Times best selling author to be exact. The only problem was I hadn’t yet written a book. So, the first thing I had to be grateful for was the mere fact that the first part of that had come to pass. I am now an author, and truly believe that the New York Times best seller component will soon be manifested. That low paying work from home job served its purpose for the time that I had it. It was my only source of income as I struggled to grow my business and be intentional about God’s calling on my life. My super loving, very busy, seldom quiet family makes me strive to be better daily. They love me without pretense or conditions and they support my vision so much that they serve as my team when it’s time to get things done. Not only do they give of their time, they also give their money and their skills; no strings attached. Those all nighters, they served as quiet time for me to hear from God, uninterrupted, and complete that task I was given. My first book, BETTER, Not Bitter Baby, Becoming The Woman You’re Called To Be… 22 Days of Affirming Truth, was published in April of this year.

Now if I’m completely honest, I was not walking around screaming, “Oh Lord I’m so grateful!” each day as this was all going on. Some days I was whining and complaining. Well, it wasn’t whole days, it was more like moments throughout a day. Then I’d have to give myself the proverbial, figurative, slap in the face as a reminder of the many blessings I had to be grateful for. If that slap in the face didn’t work I’d text or call my sissy, Shannon, to whine for a moment. She’d give me some encouragement and I’d move on with my life.

I’d like to tell you that writing the book was enough of a reminder to simply be thankful at all times, but sometimes you need additional reminders. Oftentimes, those reminders come with, or in the form of challenges. Writing the book and those obstacles that were really blessings, hmph, the smallest of my obstacles for this year.

Did I forget to mention that one daughter was in the process of finishing college and the other (and my son-love-and-law) were expecting my third grandchild. Yeah, there was a lot going on. So, my third grandchild, my first granddaughter, was born in June. Soon after her mother, my oldest daughter, began to battle postpartum depression (PPD) that manifested as panic attacks, sleep deprivation, anxiety, depression, and OCD.  Yep, all of that falls under the PPD umbrella. All of the previously mentioned challenges/blessings were simply preparation for this huge obstacle in our lives. Yes, I said our because although this was certainly my daughter’s challenge, it was a family battle. We went to war against the enemy with, and for, her.

That meant many more all nighters. Initially the all nighters looked like praying over my daughter throughout the night, sleeping next to her, watching over her to know when to start praying when she awoke. Then it became a combination of rotating baby shifts with my son-in-love-and-law so that my daughter could sleep. As I write this I’m reminded that I hadn’t pulled an all nighter in years prior to writing my book; didn’t think I still had it in me. God needed me to know that I could. He prepared my mind and my body before my granddaughter came. How good is God?! Yet another reason to be thankful in spite of. Not only had He prepared me physically and mentally, He kept me where I was needed during a season when I thought I needed to move. In fact it was a season where I wanted to move. Heck, my entire family wanted movement prior to PPD showing up. However, we quickly realized that God had us in position for what was to come. So, as we battled this beast, and make no mistake about it PPD is a beast, we were actually able to stop and thank God for His sovereignty and for covering my family when we had no idea what He was doing or why He had done it, until that very moment.

You see, had I moved when I wanted to I would not have been in position to support my family in the way that I needed to. Had I gotten the high paying job I wanted, in a nice office, I wouldn’t have been able to accommodate the swift life change that allowed me to be by my daughter’s side 24 hours a day. Lastly, I look at the struggles our family endured during this season and can clearly see God’s hand and His plan. My God. My God. When I tell you, He brought us through to get us to… whew! PPD was simply a necessary tool to bring our family closer together and  bring about changes in my daughter, in ways nothing else could. This experience also assured that my daughter truly knew God’s heart for her and His purpose for her life.

He is mighty to be praised! Do you hear me?! He taught us all how to be grateful in the midst of any and every storm for a number of reasons:

  1. No matter what is going on He is ALWAYS present.
  2. No matter what, there is ALWAYS purpose in the storm.
  3. No matter what, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for.
  4. No matter what, God is ALWAYS worthy to be praised.
  5. No matter what, God will ALWAYS get the glory.

So, today, no matter what you’re going through be thankful for the lessons and blessings that are sure to come as a result of whatever you’re facing. Most importantly, be thankful that even in your struggles God is still God, Jesus still sits on the throne, and He is going to bring you through this test with a mighty testimony of His love, His grace, and His mercy. As you go through this month of thankfulness, don’t just be thankful in spite of, be thankful because of.  

Be blessed & encouraged,

RJ_Kims work16Raquel R. James is committed to serving as a catalyst to transformation in the lives of ladies dedicated to changing the trajectory of their lives as they define what next, what now. She is an LMSW, a Master Lifestyle Strategist, Transformational Speaker, Author of BETTER, Not Bitter Baby…, Creator of Jammies and Jewels, and the Owner and CEO of Raquel R. James Unlimited, LLC. In addition, Raquel is an Authorized Relationship Program Leader and Certified P.I.C.K. a Partner and Marriage L.I.N.K.S. Instructor. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University in New York.

You can purchase her latest book, BETTER, Not Bitter Baby… as well as BETTER, Not Bitter t-shirts here. Single ladies be sure to join Raquel at her 2nd Annual Jammies & Jewels, New Year’s Eve Edition; click here for more info. You can always connect with Raquel via Facebook and Instagram. Be sure to drop by her website as well.

Categories, Heart of Thanks, Walking in Faith

Heart of Thanks: Gratitude in Spite of…

Heart of Thanks Blog

I can’t believe it’s November! This year has flown by! It’s been filled with many highs and a few lows for me. I’ve seen God move so much more this year thus far and I already know the rest of this year and next year God is going to blow my mind! I know this because the events and tasks that I’m embarking on are stretching me and pressing me to trust Him like never before!

Nevertheless, I’m excited that we’re entering a season where things slow down a bit. I also know that we’re entering a season where things can be a little sad for some of us who’ve lost loved ones or may not be in a great place in some familial relationships. Of all the things, people & activities that will vie for our attention, let us not forget to have a thankful & grateful heart for what & Who we do have, our relationship with Jesus Christ! Our relationship with Christ helps us to have a thankful heart in spite of adversity, less than favorable circumstances, heart ache and heart break. This month on the blog, I have coined it Heart of Thanks In Spite Of…. I have a few of my good sister friends guest posting this month on how they’ve been able to have a thankful heart in spite of the challenges they’ve faced this year. I hope their heart of faith shines through their writing as you get to know them.

I pray that the posts this month blesses and encourages you greatly! There will be a new post each Monday so make sure to sign up so that you don’t miss a post! Plus, my sister friends will include links to their blogs/ministries/books as well. I have some very gifted sisters!

Be blessed & encouraged,

Shannon

P.S. We just launched Purely Loved Butters & Scrubs!! I’m so excited about this as I love whipped body butters and scrubs and I enjoy making them so make sure to check them out here!

P.S.S. There’s still space for the Purely Loved Retreat and there’s still time to take advantage of our payment plan! Click here to register!

Categories, Walking in Faith

Standing in Fire & Unwavering Faith!

Daniel 3:16-18 (NLT)  ‘Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”

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Now this story is a great example of unwavering faith! If you don’t know the story, please go read Daniel chapter 3 in the Bible. But here, we see the response of Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego, they were not going to bow down to a stupid statue, they were not going to worship anything or anyone other than the Living, Holy God! They were not bothered whatsoever by the king’s threats! So King Nebuchadnezzar is ticked and orders them to be thrown into the fiery furnace only he’s so angry, he orders it to be heated up 7 times hotter than normal! Stop here. Ok, I don’t know about you but I’d probably be crying, begging, pleading, snotting all over the place because hello, I’m about to be bound and thrown into fire, while I’m awake and fully alive! I can’t help but to wonder what was going on in their minds! What were they saying to each other if anything? Were they praying? Were they praising God? Or were they silent and stoic? Also, as I was reading, I noticed that as they got closer to the fire, the guards who’d bound them and led them to the fire, they burned and died but nothing was said about the heat from the fire affecting Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego! So now I’m wondering, when did the Angel of the Lord actually show up?! Shouldn’t Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego have burned from the heat too?

I’m reading this chapter in the Bible and I’m thinking of all the warfare I’ve experienced in the past few weeks and even hearing from friends who’ve been in a spiritual battle and wondering, how strong is our faith really? I know I’ve had several days where I’ve just wanted to quit and in my mind I did quit. But I’m not facing physical fire, no physical pain, nothing as dire as what Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego faced so why is my faith so shaky and conditional? Lord, this it too hard, I quit! Really Shannon!? Not only is this chapter making me check myself (insert eye roll here), I learned 4 key points about unwavering faith from our brothers:

  1. Standing in unwavering faith initiates God’s supernatural protection.
  2. Standing in unwavering faith brings godly promotion.
  3. Standing in unwavering faith draws others to God.
  4. Standing in unwavering faith brings God great glory!

In the ending of chapter 3 after seeing 4 figures walking around in the fiery furnace, the king was astounded! He had to question his guards to make sure that there were only 3 people thrown in to the furnace! The king goes to the furnace, calls for Shadrach, Meshach & Abednego to come out of the furnace and they don’t smell like smoke, there are no burns, not even a piece of hair was singed! He’d witnessed the miracle of God’s supernatural protection as a result of their unwavering faith and it drew the king to worship God and to promote Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego!

I don’t know about you, but I needed this kick in the butt today! God always gives us what we need when we need it. He knows when we need a gentle nudge or a firm push or kick in the pants to get us to stand while in the fire! Either way, He still gets the glory! I shall press forward to fulfill what He’s called me to do. I know the warfare won’t stop but I can rejoice knowing that by standing in unwavering faith, I’m protected, my faith is drawing others to Him, He will promote me and my unwavering faith will bring Him great glory! Hallelujah!

Be blessed & encouraged,

Shannon

PS. Don’t forget that registration for Purely Loved 2019 retreat is open & my new 5 day e-devotional is available, You Might Be Stuck If…5 Reasons You’re Not Moving Forward