Categories, Getting Aligned with God Series

Getting Aligned with God: Prioritizing

priorities

Good Morning!

We are now at the final step in our Getting Aligned with God series! The final step is to prioritize our lives to where God comes first in everything! Giving God His rightful place in our heart and our life. Just as now that He sits on the throne of heaven, He should sit on the throne of our heart as not only our Savior but also as our Lord! When we give our lives to God, when we ‘get saved’ we always remember that Jesus died on the Cross to forgive our sins, be our Savior, and make us right with God. Along the way we often forget that He is also our Lord! Meaning, He should be the governing body of our heart and our life. This is what distinguishes us from the world and moves us from being more than just believers but disciples of Jesus Christ.

I’m a week late in posting this final step because I was so sick last week that the last thing I wanted to do was write a blog post. Yep that sick. I had to make myself a priority because if I hadn’t I would have continued to be sick or gotten worse. This is how we need to look at our life when we consider getting our priorities in order. If we don’t, our situations, circumstances could get worse and we’ll remain stuck where we don’t want to be. This picture came to mind when I was thinking of priorities, there’s an order.  God's order of marriage Just as God has a model for marriage, the same goes for our lives whether married or single. Our relationship with God is THE most important and should come first in our lives. It should take precedence in the choices that we make and the people we surround ourselves with. When we make God the priority, when we put Him in His rightful place in our life, He begins to line things up for us. This upcoming weekend my Hubby and I will celebrate 14 years of marriage!! I was lying in bed thinking of our honeymoon weekend, which was not this big getaway to a tropical island, but I remembered that we didn’t even have a car when we got married and we didn’t even have our own place! But God! So if you don’t know my story, I’ll share a bit here, but you can get the full story in my book, Love, Jesus, Sex: Experiences & Lessons Learned.  Before my husband and I got married, we’d had sex outside of marriage not just in our relationship with each other but with others before we met. We were all out-of-order! When we decided to get married and do things God’s way, it’s as if He rolled out the red carpet for us! The way that He provided for our rings, my dress, even the hotel suite we stayed in. I even remember that somehow we’d both gotten a nice income tax check so that we were able to enjoy our honeymoon weekend and were able to eat at our top choice restaurants that we’d always wanted to try but couldn’t because we were broke college students LOL! Even after we got married, he blessed me with a new job because when we got married I was working at Ruby Tuesday as a server! Then, after the job came our own apartment and then He gave us favor with the owner of the building we lived in and got us a brand new washer and dryer for only $300! The blessings kept coming! We’d go to church and there were couples that would just pass us cards with money in them! When we got our act together, when we got aligned with God, He began to bless us and move in our lives. He began to guide us into the plans He had for us but He began to do the work in us to prepare us for the purpose He has for us individually and together as husband and wife.

If you’re stuck in your life right now and nothing’s changing or moving then perhaps your priorities are all out-of-order. Take a look at your life and see where you’ve placed God. What/who have you put in place as lord of your life? There’s an order, a flow that leads to alignment with God. And it should always begin with God.

If you need support, have more questions or just need someone to hold you accountable and pray with you throughout this process, there’s a Facebook group that I’ve created just for this. If you’re interested, click here!

Be blessed and encouraged,

Shannon

Categories, Getting Aligned with God Series

Getting Aligned with God: Purge

purge word 2

Purge: in summary, to rid yourself of an unwanted feeling, thought or memory, or condition. To remove something physically, abruptly or violently. 

In other words to cast down thoughts and imaginations (2 Corinthians 10:5) and get rid of anything or anyone that keeps you from walking in alignment with God.

Isaiah 27:9 (NLT)

The Lord did this to purge Israel’s[a] wickedness,
    to take away all her sin. As a result, all the pagan altars will be crushed to dust.
    No Asherah pole or pagan shrine will be left standing.

When it comes to sin, God is serious! Obviously, because He’s been known to destroy cities because of it, see the story about Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19). You could argue that this was Old Testament news but if that was the case then why did He send Jesus to die on the Cross for us?

If we’re serious about moving forward in the plans that God has for us then we need to be serious in removing things, thoughts, actions and people from our lives that don’t please God, that hinder our relationship with God, that keeps us from moving forward in our calling, our purpose in the kingdom of God.

How do you know if something or someone is stealing your attention and affections from God? Well, let’s do a quick check:

  • In the morning, is your first inclination to thank God for another day and pray or is it to check your phone and get yourself together to dash off to work?
  • Do you spend more time scrolling through social media or reading your bible?
  • When you want to go to church, is there someone hindering you and telling you that you can go any time and suggests a list of other things you can do instead?
  • When you mention church or reading your bible, does this person mock or try to shame you?
  • Is there a particular act that you participate in (masturbation with sex toys, sex outside of marriage, overeating, emotional eating) that, afterwards, there’s a feeling of condmenation that you just can’t shake?

What came to mind as you asked yourself these questions? Whatever came to mind, is what needs to be purged from your life!

We’re not called to walk this journey alone. I’ve created a private Facebook Group that provides support for the steps in this series. To join, click here!

Be blessed & encouraged,

Shannon

Categories, Getting Aligned with God Series

Getting Aligned With God: Fasting

significance of fasting

 

Hi!!

Welcome to the first step to Getting Aligned with God! Today we will talk a bit about fasting. There’s lots of confusion when it comes to fasting and there are many scriptures in the bible that give certain specifications for fasting; when it’s done, why, where, who, what, how and how long.

Well, for me fasting starts with a choice. It’s a choice to deny the flesh of something it craves, and seeking to fully fulfil my spirit. It’s me decreasing so that God in me may increase (John 3:30-31). Christians fast for healing, answers to prayer, closeness to God, to have certain things broken off them, to help them get aligned with God.

Letting go of what we want, especially when it’s no good for us, sometimes requires a little extra umph, extra help, some reinforcement. That’s where fasting comes in.  The first 2 scriptures in our January 2018 SWP (scripture writing plan) were scriptures pertaining to fasting. Have you decided what you will fast from? There are many ways to fast. There’s the Daniel Fast, there’s fasting where you only drink water and/or juices, and then there’s a fast where you fast from things, people or situations that pull you away from God or have a strong hold on your life. For instance foods, that guy who you know you need to move away from or that friend or family member who criticizes your faith, or fast from social media! For me, I’m fasting from sweets; no candy, cakes, ice cream, cookies, pies, cinnamon rolls, all the things that I absolutely love. I don’t eat these things all the time but I do love them and sometimes the cravings can get out of hand or I’ll find myself turning to them when I’m a bit stressed or frustrated. So, I’m starting this year off in getting aligned with God by denying my flesh and instead of baking something to try to ease a frustration, I’m going to God, I’ll be praying and reading scripture instead. As for the length of a fast, it depends on you. Every year my church does a 21 day fast in January and we started this past Saturday, January 6th. Some people do 40 days as Jesus did when He was tempted in the desert by satan (Matthew 4:1-11). Then there are short fasts throughout the year. I do these based on what’s going on in my life, or if I’m seeking clear answers from God. I’ll do a week-long fast and say, not eat anything all day until 4pm. If you’re not sure, pray and ask God, He’ll give you a time period and what to fast from. During this type of fast, you can ask someone to fast with you or to be your prayer partner during your fast.

Fasting is a way to help to train you to run to God first and not to those things, people or situations that pull you away from God. In order to move forward with God we have to be in line with Him.  We have to be on the same side of the fence, we can’t straddle. Fasting is making a choice for our relationship with Christ. It’s also a way to make your spirit more sensitive to His voice. Fasting requires us to depend on Him to get us through denying our flesh and in the first week, you may find that your flesh is screaming at you like a 2-year-old having a temper tantrum because it wants what it wants. When your flesh starts screaming, you yell back at it with scripture! I also must warn you of the spiritual warfare that comes with fasting. It’s the enemy, the devil, satan, trying to trip you up and pull your affections away from God. That’s why prayer is so important during fasting! You can’t fast and not pray, you just can’t. Your fast will be in vain. You can’t get close to the Father without having a conversation with Him and that’s prayer.

You don’t have to go through your journey of fasting alone. I have set up a Facebook group that pertains to this series and there we will share about our fasts, and other things we’re learing during this series. If you’re interested, click here!

I look forward to this journey with you and please, if there are any questions, comments or concerns feel free to ask!

Be blessed & encouraged,

Shannon

Categories

Start Anew

happy-new-year-2018-7

Anew:

1. over again; again; once more: to play the tune anew.
2. in a new form or manner: to write the story anew.
Happy New Year! Finally, it’s 2018! I’m hesitantly excited! Why hesitant? Well, because I really don’t know what to expect. God has removed my comfort zones and I’m truly walking on water, starting anew.
For those of you who don’t know or haven’t heard of this concept, instead of making tons of resolutions that I quit after a month, I pray and ask God for one word to focus on for the year. There’s a book that started this concept called One Word That Will Change Your Life and there’s also a 4 day study plan via Youversion.com Bible app that you can use. Each year that I’ve done this, I’ve learned something new. For instance, for 2016 my word was ‘joy’. I learned that even though there were a few joyful things that happened, I mostly learned that I had to choose joy. 2017’s word was ‘new’ and last year was filled with new experiences, both good and challenging. My 2018 word is ‘anew’. When I first heard this word, I quickly thought that I’d heard wrong because it sounds like ‘new’ but then Holy Spirit told me to “look it up”, so, I did. Anew means to start again, in a new form or manner, start anew. This word helps me to understand two things I felt led to do last year that I didn’t want to do and really didn’t understand why He was asking me to do them. Ironically, I’m not sure what exactly I’m starting over on. This is where the scripture that says the righteous shall walk by faith and not by sight comes into play (2 Corinthians 5:7). I’m truly trusting God day by day for the next steps in my journey.
One thing I do know is to start this year with a new series called Getting Aligned with God. What a great way to start the year, getting in step with God! We all have our own goals, hopes, wishes, dreams, but we often forget to ask God what He would have us to do. After all, He is the one that knows the plans that He has for us (Jeremiah 29:11)! So for the next 3 weeks, we’ll be focusing on getting aligned with God by fasting, purging, and prioritizing our lives based on how God leads us in these areas. Now, making changes in our life isn’t always easy, that’s why I have a group set up for those of us who are participating in this series. This is a closed Facebook group that you can connect to by clicking here. In the group we will check in with each other and share any challenges we’re having or revelations that we’ve learned. Also, there’s a scripture writing plan, January 2018 SWP that has scriptures to guide us along the way. The scripture writing plan is posted in the group as well.
I hope that you will join us on this journey and please, share with your friends, family or any one you know who’d like to or who needs to join in!
I pray that God blesses you all throughout this year! I’m looking forward to hearing your stories!
Be blessed & encouraged,
Shannon